Craig's Report - April 9, 1998

A Rather Ordinary Day

It is getting increasingly hard to come up with descriptions for what is really just snow on a hill, so I am reduced to stealing the words of folks I meet on the lift.   In this case the Australian boarder girl seemed to about nail it.  It was indeed a rather ordinary spring day and what made it ordinary was the hard patches left over from the clear night. 

I anticipated a serious case of morning crunchies and waited until afternoon to head out.   I thought the morning sun baking would have softened everything up and the base area certainly looked suitably soggy.  Actually this picture makes the base look much worse than it really was.  There remains good coverage just about everywhere and the few exceptions are generally easily avoided.  Although it was soft down here, it wasn't the mush of a couple of days ago and in shady spots such as Power Trip you could find fairly hard spots right beside slushy bits.

Up on the top of the Face Lift there is of course lots of snow.  The traverses were quite fast today, but this one had limited destinations since Easter Bowl and even Freeway were closed, probably more because of ice than avalanche hazard.  By late afternoon though the exposed bowl runs were soft enough for some great cruising.

I also took a zip over to Snake and took this picture from the top of Snake Main looking back towards the Face Lift.  The traverse is just visible below the rock band.

The snow right here (looking down Snake toward Cedar Ridge) was firm underneath, but had two or three centimetres of soft melt on top to provide a nice grippy surface.  It could be rather uneven though since the underlying tracks from earlier softer days were often unyielding.  That was the average conditions, but where the sun had played a little more it could be quite soft and sticky and a turn later in the shadow of a tree or roll your skis would be clattering over frozen remnants.  Location was everything.

Extreme Hazard and the chutes at the bottom of Snake were closed so you were forced back towards Cedar Center.  The KC Chutes appeared to be open, but did not seem to have had enough sun to entice me down them.

Mogulled runs that were in the sun like Sunnyside, Boomerang and Boom Ridge were okay, although in some places the ongoing soft conditions are producing rather deeper troughs and pointer bits than I care for.

This weekend is the snowmobile hill climb and then there will be only one week left.   The Powder Peddle Paddle will as usual be held on the last weekend.

By the way if anyone reading this owns property up on the hill and hasn't sent in their Fire Protection Petition, please get it in as soon as possible.

At 4:15 PM it is 8 C at the house under a light overcast.

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