February 23, 2000

Skiing in the Rain

Just skiing in the rain,
What a soggy feeling,
I'm soaking again

Er, sorry, and my apologies to the ghost of Gene Kelly - I couldn't resist. :-) It isn't quite fair either as the rain turned to snow about halfway up the Elk Chair, although for the most part that snow was of the heavy goggle blotting kind. I found myself having to do a thumb swipe with just about every pole plant with the result that I must have looked like I was trying out a new 'Bless Me Father' ski style. In lots of places that probably would have been appropriate, for the limb twisting, tendon tearing, knee munching glup I was skiing in was unlikely to show much forgiveness.

The conditions varied considerably though and up on the South ridge of Currie Bowl I found some stuff that felt kind of like powder. I say felt, because I could have been skiing in cocoa puffs for all I could see. Still it was pretty nice skiing and so I was encouraged when next run I tried the Concussion Chutes and found a nice untracked run in the trees. Alas it proved to be a breaking crust that didn't exactly provide the relaxing run I anticipated. Fortunately the band was fairly short and soon gave way to nice heavy porridge. I also encountered a bit of crust right off of the top of the Bear T-Bar, but only a couple of turns worth.

The moguls in most of Currie, Sunnyside and Cedar Ridge seemed pretty smooth, if rather viscous, but in some areas, the Puff trees come to mind, there were short shaved sided beasts which I did not find very friendly at all. In many places the poor visibility added an extra dimension of adventure to the bumps, but the ugliest ones I encountered were in areas where I could see. Hmmm, perhaps that was my problem. :-) The lower runs had a sort of rain corn that slipped by pretty nicely, although once again it might have been a bit heavy for beginners.

The surprising bottom line is that I rather enjoyed the conditions and certainly found them vastly preferable to ice or even those 'great cruising' days. Others mileage may vary.

At 3:20 PM, my porch thermometer is saying 3 C and I think the rain may have stopped.

It was actually much better than this sodden shot of the base area would suggest. Hmmm, I wonder if Charlie Co. would be interested in this shot for their brochure? ;-)

The ski hill generously had a large supply of body condoms available at the bottom of the lifts and these soon became the fashion rage on the mountain. This was a bigger line than any I was in and it was, strangely enough, on the Deer Chair.

It was snowing, not raining, hard at the top of White Pass, but I still managed to get drops on my lens. It would be a bit of an understatement to say it wasn't a stellar day for picture taking.