Sunday, 24 April 2011

Ski day 53: The final blast

Vert for the day: 10,265 m
Vert for the year: 461,100 m or 1,512,408 vertical feet
   (doing the math, an average day on the slopes for me is 8,700 m)
Runs for the day: 17
Runs for the year: 850
Season length for me: 140 days

Today was our last day of skiing for the year, as I am about to go off gallivanting around. Sunshine will stay open for 30 more days, and they have the coverage to do it with ease. In fact, yesterday they announced Goat's Eye will stay open to the bitter end (they normally shut it a few weeks early).

And it was a glorious way to end a season, with AM cord and bluebird skies...
Lower Rolling Thunder
...warm enough temps to soften stuff by 11 AM, sweet soft turns all afternoon...
Bye Bye Bowl
Top of OS Pitch
...and practically no one here (especially compared to yesterday).
Virtually no one between me and Divide base, and no one there either
It was better than yesterday because the crusts started to melt out earlier, and the lack of crowds was pretty sweet.

I saw some interesting avis today. This time of year we get the nastiest avalanches of all: virtually unpredictable ones. The sun warms the top layers of the snow pack and what was once stable ceases to be stable very, very fast. Like here in Eagle Basin.
Avis in Eagle Basin
Looking closer. Note the ski tracks below and traverses across
The trail crew guy I spoke with seemed to think the avalanches went off a few days ago, but I was in this spot and saw nothing yesterday, so I suspect they actually fell yesterday afternoon. Note that Eagle Basin is in fact out of bounds, and is treated like all the backcountry of Banff National Park. I have often considered crossing the boundary fence at the entrance to Tobacco Road (the left side of the upper photo), but don't due to avalanche risk. The above show that risk to be very, very real, especially at this time of year.

So this is the last ski post for me this year. I am about to switch gears to "other stuff". Stay tuned, as I have some interesting news coming shortly.

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