Feb 18: Overcast

There’s been some nice sun in the valley the last few days, but it was overcast for basically the entire day today.

Assiniboine appears. 2:20 PM

Assiniboine appears. 2:20 PM

That made for fairly flat light, but not so bad that you couldn’t see what you were getting into.

All the lovely powder from last Saturday is basically gone, chewed up by the spring-break traffic. And what there is left…

Lesser tracked stuff on skier's right of Rolling Thunder. 11:20 AM

Lesser tracked stuff on skier’s right of Rolling Thunder. 11:20 AM

..is choppy. I actually went looking for freshies today, and they were VERY hard to find. I even took my first trip down the Cleavage traverse this year to the Goat’s Head Soup trees.

Looking across. 11:50 AM

Looking across. 11:50 AM

Looking up at my partner coming down.

Looking up at my partner coming down.

It was carevable but not soft. Not a speck of powder to be seen. I traversed all the way to the Ashtray and was only able to find a few turns of light dusty stuff; the rest? Firm but workable (with some LARGE moguls in the Wildside and Farside main chutes).

By the way, this obstacle is in the middle of Cleavage just above the turn onto the traverse.

Fenced in rocks.

Fenced in rocks.

Other than that, the Cleavage traverse entrance is merely bad, not it’s usual horrid self. The traverse itself is good.

So we are back to skiing the groomers again, which is a heck of a lot of fun, but this is PowderWatch, not GroomerWatch, so I know readers will be disappointed. The groomers were really good though, with the upper parts of World Cup Downhill standing out.

By the way, if you are tempted to cross the boundaries to go find powder in the backcountry, I hope you have heard about:

  • the skier triggered 2.5 avalanche on the back side of Wawa Ridge that happened Sunday. Great video on YouTube of a guy riding it out.
  • the skier remote triggered 2 avalanche in Healy Pass, visible from Goat’s Eye.
  • the big avi on Borgeau, visible on the ski out
  • the big avi on the Massive Range, visible from Goat’s Eye

The ski-out now has a warning sign on it saying “Ski Out Is Icy”. That’s only true on B-Line and from the Curve Station down, and the absolute worst part is right at the bottom — and that part’s UGLY. Take it REALLY slow for the last 200 m.