Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ski day 48, A little pow, a little viz

Vert: 9,165 m;   YTD cum vert: 410,975 m
Runs: 15;   YTD cum runs: 762

It snowed basically all day yesterday in Canmore and the forecast called for more of the same today, so I was expecting at least some fluff up at Sunshine, and I was not disappointed. There was between 5 and 15 cm depending on where you went, and it was nice and light and fluffy.
Beside Gold Scapegoat

Boot top deep stuff in the trees
The morning viz wasn't the best, and it was snowing pretty steadily for the first few hours. For fun I took KC to a space I refer to as the Powder Triangle and we practiced a few runs of skiing untracked powder in basically a white out (it's a kind of important skill on foggy days, and it's good to practice when conditions are benign). We also did a few laps in the South Side chutes, and got almost to the boundary fence past Saddledome and really enjoyed the wide open powder field over there. The chutes themselves were a little crunchy under the powder, and Wildside itself remains full of megabumps that are pretty crusty. However, I went over there looking for deep stuff and still only found 10-15 cm (I was hoping for some wind transported drifts).

The viz improved and the snow stopped in the PM enabling several laps in Bye Bye Bowl, which while nice, offered few fresh tracks by the time I got there...
Bye Bye from the top
...and the best stuff I found was in fact on Viking Ridge and the edge of Boundary Bowl...
One guy enjoying the sides of Boundary Bowl
...and of course the Assiniboine Flats offered lots of low slope sliding in nice pow.

I kept hearing the comment today that people don't believe it's mid April by the weather conditions. My notes from April 17, 2010 said "Serious spring. +10 by 10, +19 in parking lot at 3 PM. Took until 11 to soften, then everything went to slow sticky mush." April 19, 2009, was a spring day with hard AM conditions and no softening. Mid April 2008 featured 60 cm of snow in the week. April 28, 2007 featured 15 cm of dusty powder, and April 27 2002 was 35 cm of fluff (that went to mush by 2 PM). So I have learned that mid April can be your choice of winter or spring, or sometimes even both in the same day.

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