Craig's Report - January 1, 1998


Pathetic

That seemed like an appropriate word to describe the conditions near the base of the mountain.   I have stayed away through the rain and warm weather of the last few days, but decided it was time for a quick reconnaissance run.  The prospects didn't look good as I searched for somewhere to put on my skis before heading down to the quad.  This was taken from just behind the day care looking down at the bottom of the Mighty Moose and Elk chairs.  Only the snowmaking they had done on the bunny runs made a path down possible.  On the way up the chair I began to wonder just how I was going to get back down.

jan01982.JPG (21744 bytes)Starting just below the bottom of Bear there was evidence of fresh snow and by the top things were looking much better as this shot into Cedar Bowl shows.  Up top the few centimetres of new snow was almost sugary, but it quickly changed to basic elephant snot as you headed down.  Opinions on this stuff were mixed.  One fellow I rode up with pronounced it awful crap, while another called it brilliant.  I thought it was pretty decent, although brilliant might be a bit extreme.  It was certainly heavy and sticky, but because it wasn't very deep, it was pretty easy to make nice carves in it, at least until it got pushed into piles. I tried a few turns in the trees between Cruiser and Cedar Main, but the underlying breaking crust was pretty unfriendly.

There was fairly good coverage right down to the Haul Back, but getting back to Boom from the top of Haul Back was a challenge.  Lower North Ridge had lots of little moguls and one could imagine the debris situation was pretty bad, so I opted for the long glide out View Trail.  This was more interesting than normal due to the need to find a continuous snow path all the way down.  I had a look up at Wallaby on the way by and it looked just terrible.

jan01986.JPG (18258 bytes)At the end of the trail I was greeted by Boom Lake and a very empty chair lift.  Not a pretty sight.  I cruised down Bear and it was rather good in a cruddy sort of way.  There were a few hazards to watch out for, but overall coverage was not bad.  I did another run in the trees between Arrow and Bow and while it was not bad near the top, you could still feel the old crunchies underneath.  Farther down things became less pleasant and by the time you got near the bench on Bow, there were lots of things to watch out for.

jan01988.JPG (13562 bytes)The big challenge of the day was to negotiate the lower slopes to get off the mountain.  I opted for Dipsey and was soon immersed in a game of connect the snow dots.  Here some other folks test their route planning skills.  Down by the reservoir buildings it became quite difficult to see find a plausible route which did not involve dirt.  By this point it was raining quite hard again, although the snow line was still below the bottom of Bear.

Hopefully the cold front that is just to the north of us will slip by us as predicted.   The forecast is for periods of heavy snow tonight and a high of only -13 C for tomorrow.

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