The ski hill was originally scheduled to close yesterday, but was given a one week reprieve a while back. A number of people have asked why the ski hill would close so early when we have such good snow and we definitely do have good snow. Coverage remains essentially perfect with the best snow pack I can remember this late in the season. Even the few slopes that normally rot out early like Wallaby and Freeway, shown here, are in great shape.
However I don't think Charlie made too many dinero from today's operation. There was almost no one on the hill and it wasn't unusual to be in one of the big bowls and look around and realize you were probably the only person in there. The few souls that were cruising around all seemed to be die hard pass holders.
I was rather pleasantly surprised by some of the ski conditions I found today, especially since the gray skies did not bode well after yesterday's hot sun. To be sure there were some pretty ugly patches. The top of the Timber chair was decidedly firm and neither Puff nor Heartland were exactly a joy.
However over here on the South side of Currie, the snow still retained a winter consistency. There was little new to speak of, but the chopped and moguls offered soft and fairly smooth carving. If there was a nasty transition zone, I must have missed it on the groomed below Trespass Trail for the final mogul pitch had snow melted a bit and was also fine skiing. Over on Cedar Ridge there was also some nice winter like moguls up top and the transition to the lightly corned stuff near the bottom was also fairly painless. There was a bit of slightly crusty new stuff in places, but it wasn't deep or overly treacherous.
The North side slopes in the old area proved to be particularly nice. Both
the Punji Chutes and Sunnyside were nice soft corn without being overly mushy.
Similarly the lower slopes were soft but not particularly sticky.
Since the North slopes had been so good on the old side, I decided to see if, by any chance, the Concussion Chute might also be soft. The patrol at the top of White Pass seemed to think this was unlikely and of course they were right. The frozen crud along the traverse persuaded me to keep on going over to Easter in hopes of finding something that would be a bit kinder to my body. The traverse beyond Tom's Run was its normal lethal self in these conditions, but at least it was fairly smooth rather than rutted.
What a change the aspect can make. On the top of Easter I was surprised to find a few centimeters of untouched soft winter style snow. Even better the surface under it was smooth and compliant so that for a few turns one could almost pretend it was powder time again.
The snow thinned and got heavier as I descended and by the time I was just above the Windows chutes it was pretty sticky.
With the exception of upper Easter, the snow was generally better today where
it has seen enough traffic to become corn, so for once I skirted the Windows
chutes and headed over to Decline. The soft somewhat sticky moguls made for
fine, if somewhat slow motion, skiing.
There is no good reason to have this picture in this report, but I wanted one of Deep Sea for when/if I get around to updating the comments on my trail map to include the new area. This nasty little funnel isn't really that bad and it is pretty short, but it does tend to capture any skiers heading down Timber past the bottom of the White Pass chair. It certainly has been the bane of more than a few skiers just hoping to find an easy way down. It can be avoided by a long tedious cat track (just guessing since I have never done it on skis), but that route is not very obvious.
At 3:15 P.M. it is 6C at the house and at some point it seems to have started to rain lightly.
(Click on any picture for a larger version)
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