Craig's Report - March 20, 1999

Hot and Heavy

Picture 1
(Traverse across Snake Ridge)

This might be the first official day of spring, but it seemed more like summer out there. Clear skies returned yesterday and with it very warm temperatures. Sun exposed snow quickly becomes quite soft while shady spots remain hard. I headed across Snake Ridge a little after 11 this morning and the relatively untrodden snow there was already very heavy and gooey.


(Cedar Bowl from Snake Ridge)
Rather than try to power my way through this I continued on over to Red Tree where there was a narrow band of nice spring snow right along the ridge. Drift towards Steep and Deep and things got mushy. Go a bit the other way and the crunchies quickly became apparent. It was a bit like trying to scratch someone's back ... left, left, ah that's it, no right, too far... :-)


Picture 1
(Timber Bowl with top of White Pass in upper left and Knot Chutes in upper right)

Previously packed sunny runs were not as mushy as those with the remains of powder and could be quite nice. Sunnyside in particular comes to mind as well as much of the Concussion chutes. Even a dedicated spring whiner like me had to enjoy this stuff. I could even appreciate the slow motion powder feel of the sticky soft less packed areas, although I am not certain that was a sentiment shared by all.


(Standard Currie shot from top of White Pass)

I avoided really shady areas and the ice they certainly sheltered. Cedar Ridge remained closed with ice signs and almost certainly for good reason. The same appeared to be true of runs into Currie from the Timber ridge, but the Mitchy Chutes were open.


Picture 1
(Some friendly U of T students at top of White Pass)

More surprising was the ice closure sign I found on Diamond Back a little before two. I assume it was just overlooked for the run was sun bathed and I am sure pretty soft. However after harping about idiots skiing in closed areas it would have been rather hypocritical to ignore it so I was condemned to a heading out Timber Trail and the shuddering grab release cycle of the sticky snow down this low. Perhaps if I waxed my skis more than once a decade it would have been better, but as it was I actually had to skate part of the way out.

Despite the ridiculous heat and a firm determination to be miserable, I ended up having some pretty pleasant runs. I'm not about to abandon my disdain for spring skiing as compared to powder, but I have to admit it has its moments. <g>

At 4:00 P.M. it is 14C on my porch and very sunny.

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