Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ski day 37: Back to deep pow

Vert: 6,250 m;   YTD cum vert: 309,215 m (yes, that's over 1,000,000 vertical feet)
Runs: 10;   YTD cum runs: 584

A mega storm is whacking the area (including Calgary). We awoke to about 10 cm of fresh snow at home, and about the same in the Sunshine parking lot. Up top, doing the pole test, we found lots of places with 30-35 cm.
About 38 cm of fresh snow
Compare that shot to the shots on yesterday's and Thursday's posts.

First thing this morning, the viz was not the best but merely manageable, and while it was snowing, it wasn't doing so too hard. 
The trees under Cleavage
However, as the morning progressed, the viz got worse and worse, the snow fell heavier and heavier, and the wind got stronger and stronger making conditions less and less fun (or at least making it harder and harder to enjoy the deep powder).
Yours truly (the one under control) up to my knees on Gold Scapegoat
Even the groomed stuff had at least boot top fresh stuff on it...
Yours truly in the fog on Rolling Thunder
...and as the morning progressed with the dumping and blowing snow, many lines were getting refreshed, so it was like skiing fresh tracks again.

But the weather was tiresome. It was not warm, and stayed a steady -6° for most of the day. The wind was blasting in from the east, and blowing hard up runs like Bronze Freefall, Bronze Gladerunner, lower Sunshine Coast and even the ski out. You had to tuck to make headway, and the snow drilling into your face was not interesting. Up above treeline, not only was it foggy with one chair viz, but the blowing and falling snow meant you couldn't see 10' in front of you in spots. So while we had some very, very sweet runs in the powder below treeline, a general unhappiness with the weather caused us to bail early -- finding the parking lot had seen it's share of snow, too.


Darren Arcuri said...

As someone who obviously loves Sunshine, I was curious what you thought about the incident between Sunshine and the Ski Patrol back in January.

RyderDA said...

I learned investigating safety incidents that "people don't die because something went wrong". In more common terms, serious outcomes are the result of an aggregation of problems that culminate in a really bad result. The January thing was the really bad result. Reading the court filings, there were a lot of problems. Both sides are right, and both sides are wrong, too. The courts get the unenviable task of sorting it out.

My only observation is that in skiing Sunshine for over 35 years, I have never met a patroller who wasn't capable, personable and professional, nor have I had any interaction with any Sunshine staff that didn't demonstrate to me that they didn't care about thier guests, and seek to give them the best experience possible.

I'm not in a position to "armchair quarterback" this one, and neither are most people. It's not a great situation for anyone. My answer is to let it play out (and it's a shame it has to be through the courts, but that's why the courts are there). I feel sorry for both sides, and hope for a fast and fair resolution for all.