Feb 14: MUCH better

The hill was reporting 12 cm overnight, and that’s what we found everywhere. Interestingly, it was not deeper (or shallower) anywhere; typically I’ll find deeper stuff up high, or places where it blew in, but not today.

The pole test, top of Gladerunner

It sure looked nice.

Gold Freefall

Rolling Thunder

The challenge was what was underneath. On things that had been groomed recently, you could find everything from super sweet softness (Sunshine Coast) to very scraped (Gladerunner). On the never groomed stuff, you could find everything from a fairly soft windcrust that was very nice (like Bye Bye Bowl)…

Bye Bye, early PM, most fresh lines gone

Bye Bye, in the fresh near the boundary

…to acres of fresh with rather less pleasant rock hard freeze thaw stuff under it (like the South Side Chutes).

Upper Fans, just past Goat's Head Soup

Lower Fans. MUCH nicer

So the new snow was really nice, but the riding was hit and miss. Find the right stuff and it was great; find the wrong stuff and it was a bit of a challenge. Some of the more challenging areas included anything below the Cleavage Traverse and the South Side Chutes themselves, lower Rolling Thunder, upper World Cup Downhill (which was surprisingly ungroomed), Hill 205 and portions of Boundary Bowl, and the OS Pitch. Some of the better stuff was Old Chute, the lower third of the Fans (but you had to get there), the top half of Bye Bye (but you had to get out), Angel Fight, Grizzly, Assiniboine Flats…

The view from just below Peyto Pass

…anything in the TP Main area, most anything off the lower half of Angel, Laryx and most of the front face of Standish — well, there was lots.

The sun and lack of wind sure helped make it a good day, too.

The view from the top of Laryx

The sun felt warm but didn’t affect the snow. It felt pretty chilly most of the day, despite temps around -12° to start, peaking at -6° in the PM. Busier than normal for a Tuesday, but still pretty quiet with Lot A only about 50% full. We were still getting some pretty fresh lines on our way to the ski out, so there will still be some tomorrow.

BTW, there was an in-bounds avi on Saddledome (don’t know if it was natural or not), and we saw at least a dozen slides on our way in and out, including some on Cascade, Mt. Borgeau and Mt. Rundle. Methinks that hoar frost layer of which I spoke is already active.