Jan 10: Grey and Fast

It was overcast almost the whole day today, making the light somewhat flat.

12:25 PM from the top of Standish

That made it tough to see the powder that still lingers. For instance, this is a fair representation of what it looked like on Assiniboine Trail, but not at all representative of how it skied.

1:20 PM. Flat light

There was just a ton of untracked blow in powder on the run, and lots of untracked on the sides, too, but the only time you could see it was near the trees (and there aren’t very many of them in that space). The best part was the snow was fast, so you could play in flatter areas.

So while I blasted all over the mountain today (26 runs and 10,600 vertical meters), I mostly stayed on the Goat, where the grooming was divine and the viz the best.

2:05 PM. The Goat from Wawa.

The weather started breaking late in the afternoon, and the sun (kinda, sorta, feebly) attempted to come out. While the light was OK, I got this shot of three of the Snow Safety team doing avi control in the South Side Chutes (one is working the rope line between R1 and No Man’s Land, the other two are on the cornice edge for the R2/Wildfire drops).

2:40 PM. No wonder these folks go through 3-4 pairs of skis a year.

There was a lot of avi bombing today. It started with the Shoulder (which opened ~10 AM), then moved to the Dive (which opened ~12), then went to the South Sides. Some of the shots (especially in the Dive) were productive, so there were some avis to watch when you heard the bangs. Chatting with the team today, and with Patrol, and they all reported that even though control work continues, the South Sides are very, very bony and won’t open for a while yet.

My best runs and best snow today were off Strawberry. The faces were loaded due to wind transport, and I had a bunch of boot top untracked runs in there.

Trail Crew was working hard on Eagle and Sky Dive (yeah, they changed the run names again. Eagle used to be Chaos, which used to be Gold Freefall. Sky Dive used to be Afterburner, and before that was Gold Afterburner. Don’t get me started.) The cat packed Eagle last night; it looks good to go, though Trail Crew needs to line it with snow fences still. Trail Crew pulled all the steel out of Sky Dive; now it needs cat packing, hazard posting and a bunch of other stuff. Anticipate a Saturday opening (or maybe tomorrow afternoon). The best part about that opening is that it will open higher traverse accesses to the trees formerly known as Barney’s (but which now have no name), and they might let you traverse all the way under Cleavage and the Ewe First trees (maybe).