Craig's Report - January 18, 1999

Still Improving

Picture 1
(The Hordes invade the Heartland)

Another few centimeters of snow greeted us in the driveway this morning, promising maybe 10 up top. Once Chris and I got our act together and headed up, we of course made for the White Pass chair. Apparently this wasn't an original plan and while there weren't significant line ups at either the Timber or White Pass chair, there was a remarkably steady stream of folks heading down Heartland.

The top was once again completely fogged in, maintaining my unbroken record of vista deprivation. When we got off the lift everything was closed except for the Falling Star trail back into Timber. This is a benign enough thing except that it grows little moguls which have the ability to be totally invisible in the fog.


(Scenic Chair Tour of Avalanche Country)

Of course the closures meant that all of that interesting stuff to the skiers left of the chair, including Currie Bowl, was not available. In fact the White Pass chair runs right over some of the avalanche paths which makes me wonder if lift riders might not sometimes be treated to quite a show during control work.

Currie Bowl had been open yesterday, but I remained at home acting as warden to a devious 11 year old (don't ask) while Chris and my 7 year old daughter went exploring. Apparently Currie Bowl is still a little light on signs (read none) and obvious easy ways down are kind of scarce, leading to a long a scary run for my daughter.

(Looking up Siberia Ridge)

While the snow up in Timber was great, it had already been well tracked by the time we got there and since my main quest today had been to try out Currie, we decided to head back to the Old Side. As a diversion on the way down I took a scoot over to the bottom part of Siberia Ridge. This run is marked on the map as a double black, but the bottom part (below this picture) is quite tame and I would estimate as a moderate blue. The access to this lower part is by a cat track off of Timber Trail(?). This cat track appears to head too impossibly far up hill to make with out a climb, but can if fact be navigated by taking a moderate run at it. While the ghosts of rains past were still evident, the snow was pretty good in here and it was a pleasant diversion from part of the main freeway back down.


(Come to the Old Side Luke)

There were far fewer people on the Old Side and we found some lovely snow right off of the T-Bar on the upper part of Cedar Ridge. Although lightly tracked, there were still lots of turns available in undisturbed boot high to knee deep powder and it continued very pleasant right down to about the level where Cruiser turns into the cat track. Below this I found the skiing still to be quite good, but there were enough scrapped of icy patches and little chunks of crud in the new powder to make it far from effortless.

There didn't seem to be many folks skiing Boomerang, but a brief foray down the upper part of Bear Chutes found some very nice snow at the top giving way to boot high over ice crust farther down. Even this was quite good, but I returned to Bear to link up with Chris before the final pitch to the traverse. It seemed like a good excuse to avoid something that might not have been that pleasant. The groomed runs were just fine by the way.

At 3:30 PM it is -0C at the house with snow falling. :-)

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