Jay's Report - December 15, 2003

Epic � Christmas Came Early

If you�ve ever flown Air New Zealand, there�s a song that is played over an action video designed to promote New Zealand. It goes like this: �This is for real��.This is for real��This is as good as it gets��.� Try as I did, I couldn�t get this tune out of my head on the weekend. With 18cm of fresh Friday night, 25cm on Saturday night, no line ups, temperature from minus 3 C to minus 5 C and freshies everywhere it WAS REAL and IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT GETS. First tracks Saturday morning on Kodiak and Boomerang were outstanding. Then Cedar Ridge opened.

There�s something about the feel of powder snow as it feathers over your knees, up your thighs and curls up your chest. You can hear the plume behind you and the air current circulating around your skis. Cedar Ridge was all of that. I skied the �old� side most of the day then moved to the �new� side. Under the Timber lift to White Pass offered soft, bouncy powder typical of mid-season conditions. I had to remind my self that it was only mid December. From the top of White Pass I circled around Currie bowl intending to make my season first descent down Tom�s Run or Concussion. But, hey, Corner Pocket was open. No brainer. The snow was so soft and plentiful; I was even able to make a few quick turns (rather than death defying ice side slipping) down the entrance of Corner Pocket. Corner Pocket is one of my favorite runs on the hill, so I�m a little biased. But on Saturday, it was soft, surreal and endless. So I did it again. On a role, I headed back up Timber for Siberia Ridge. But Morning Glory looked too good to pass up. It was.

Sunday was better than Saturday. My 7 year old daughter did amazingly well in the powder. At slightly over 3 feet in height, I only had to literally dig her out of the powder 3 times during morning. The only problem I encountered on Sunday was my kids wanting to stop for lunch after skiing from 9 am to 2 pm straight. I caved, but only because my legs were also screaming for mercy. Ski Patrol worked hard and did a great job at synchronizing the gradual opening of the hill having regard to the avalanche hazard. It was dumb luck for us to be at the top of Boom when Cedar Ridge opened and again at the top of Bear when up to Tower 6 opened in Lizard. Being at the top of the lift when a previously closed area opens is an emotional event for me. My eyes often welt up realizing my good fortune. It was all good, fresh and deep with plenty of clean lines for everyone. Skiing off the Bear Chair was amazing. White Pass was not operating early Sunday morning for a few hours, apparently due to avalanche control procedures. Lifties were advising skiers as they boarded the Bear Lift of the status of White Pass. This was a noticeable offering of good communication that was somewhat lacking last year. So when the lifties yelled, �White Pass is now open�, off we went.

First run down Milky Way gave me my first complete wind pipe clogging face shot of the year. I would have screamed in ecstasy if I could have. But all I could manage was a weak laugh and a 40 something cough. Good enough. My grin said it all anyway. Currie was closed due to the obvious avalanche risk, so for last run of the day we floated down Surprise Trees and Diamond Back. To think that only last week I was trying to organize a heli-skiing trip with some buddies this year. Now I don�t think I have to. I�ve just been. If you were there, you know. If you weren�t, you missed an epic. Christmas came early.

Jay - jay@far.redtree.com

Boomerang on Saturday

Boomerang Ridge on Saturday

Cedar Ridge on Sunday

Little Girl with Face Shots

Wallaby on Sunday