Sunday, 12 January 2014

Jan 10: Some sun, and a whole lotta powder

Note: I normally post my ski condition reports of Sunshine Village up on However, on Friday, Jan 10, the site was apparently hacked and temporarily disabled by the ISP. I do not own that blog, and am just a contributor, so have no idea when the blog will be back up (though I note with interest that the blog owner is in Florida this week). In the meantime, I will be posting my condition reports here once again, as I used to do several years ago. I encourage you to keep an eye on as I will return to posting there when the site is restored. In the mean time...

Vert: 7,070 m or 23,196 ft in 16 runs.
YTD: 132,280 m, or 433,878 ft and 324 runs

The hill was reporting only 9 cm in 24 hrs and 4 cm of that overnight, in what is obviously the beginning of a big storm cycle. When we got to the hill, it was socked in up on the top of Divide but was occasionally sunny (between periods of fog) on Goat's Eye. As usual, not a lot of folks were on Goat's Eye. After a warm up run on that 4 cm sitting on some groomed stuff, and another of the full 9 cm...
Top of Wildfire, 11:15 AM
...we noticed the access gate to some of our favourite tree spaces had opened. The gate is on skier's left near the bottom of Gold Freefall, and leads to the trees under the Goat's Eye Chair, and if you're willing to mush on a bit, trees all the way to Gold Scapegoat and beyond (though by Gold Scapegoat, the ratio of traverse to run starts to get a little poorly weighted to me). Over in these trees, which have basically not been skied this season, it was easy to find a lot more than 9 cm.
That's about 19 cm, not 9.
We had a great run in knee deep powder in these trees (up to your waist blasting through drifts), then started traversing to explore even further. The powder just got deeper, and then the sun came out, and gave us this:
Yours truly, lower Gold Scapegoat, 11:30 AM
More of it
Karen attacking the trees
It was just really awesome skiing.

Then the clouds hit Goat's Eye, and within a half hour, it was snowing pretty heavily, and skiing was in a blizzard.
Me in the snow on Rolling Thunder, 11:55 AM
We headed to the upper mountain for lunch in a raging snowstorm...
The view from the Gondola, 12:50
...and after lunch debated staying or leaving, as the winds had picked up to ~20 km/hr (it was almost calm in the AM), the snow was just driving, and the viz was terrible. But we decided to stick it out, but stay on the low lifts, avoiding going up high on the upper mountain. We rode up Strawberry, noting an utter lack of people on Divide (probably because you could barely see Divide base in the fog). We dropped off the top of Strawberry onto the Boutry face (one of our favourite, under-skied, powder traps that loads heavily when its windy) and sank up to our waists in untracked powder on our first turns. Just freaking righteous. The whole face was like that, under skied and over the knees no matter where you went.

So we also had to give the Upper Standish Face a try, and found it slightly more tracked (it's easier to see and access) but equally knee deep. We also played in the Bunkers in boot top to knee deep untracked stuff. Down near Prune Picker's Pass, in the trees, I got another 20 cm pole test.
That 'ain't no 9 cm.
The snow just dumped all afternoon. I checked when we got home and another 8 cm had fallen after noon.

It was an amazing day, snow wise and ski wise, highlighted by the short lived but beautiful AM sun.

No comments: