Apr 3: Scoured

It must have been windy last night at Sunshine. I know this because when I got there today, all the leftover powder from last night was gone, likely blown to Regina (yes, I watched the first Banff episode of “Live with Kelly”). There were drifts behind some snowfences, but they weren’t soft and fluffy. So it was a good day to cruise groomers, like Wildfire.

Fresh tracks at 11 AM

Off the groomers, I could find little that was that nice, and I tracked tree routes and places I know that usually stay soft. Much was crunchy underneath, and most ruts were real. Moguls of various sizes are firming up. Yes, there were pockets of niceness, but they were only 3-5 turns in size.

Powder on crunchy

The wind was cold and steady this morning, and it just got stronger as the day progressed, probably peaking at over 60 km/hr on the top of Goat’s Eye or the Ecstasy face. The South Side Chutes were closed all morning as Patrol was worried about cornice development with the wind overnight; a false fear, it turned out, but no great loss, as they told me it wasn’t worth it in there anyway.

The day may have started sunny, but a high haze soon moved in, which turned into solid overcast and very flat light by 2 PM.

White on White. World Cup Downhill, 2 PM

The combination of the flat light, bitter cold wind, less than stellar conditions and a nice day yesterday led us to bail a little earlier than usual. The trip down the ski out was actually very nice with a total lack of traffic. Only a little busier on the hill today than yesterday, with A Lot ~60% full.

WARNING: The parking lot daily spring freeze-thaw has started. The lot is a dangerous sheet of ice in the morning (it was -2° in the lot at 10 AM), and a slushy mudpit in the afternoon (it was +7° in the lot at 3 PM). I recommend walking along the road in the morning to get to the gondola to prevent a nasty fall on your tush. Park where they tell you to (and don’t park in the big open bits if you arrive late) or risk being in an ocean of water or up to your axles in mud when it’s time to leave.