John's Report - February 22, 2006

The Good News: It�s Getting Warmer - The Bad News: It�s Getting Warmer

At noon it was 4c & the temperature held throughout the afternoon; a welcome relief from the arctic cold we experienced last week. There was an inch of new snow, the sun shone and it seemed like a good day for skiing. Unfortunately, the return of warm temperatures seems to be bringing a return of ice, crud and, potentially, death cookies. We�re not yet talking about a skating rink, it is still far from that, but if the sun and warmth continues, it will not be long before off-piste skiing will become very unpleasant.

The new side, at least in the open, is still good as the wind sift continues to lay down powdery patches. Surprize is starting to crud up as are parts of the 123's. Diamond Back and Decline, on the shaded south sides, are still OK but the moguls on top of Decline are growing, with up to four foot drops on their downhill sides.

The groomed runs of Lizard, which saw a lot of traffic last weekend, are becoming particularly icy. Freeway, Sunny Side, & Wallaby are especially so. On the other hand, Bow Trees & Bear Chutes were quite nice. Basically, anywhere the sun shines is quickly deteriorating and the shaded areas remain carvable hard pack.

Unless it snows soon, or it radically warms to spring-like conditions, the next few days are going to be tough sliding. For what it�s worth, Environment Canada is predicting snow tomorrow. If true, life will be beautiful, if not, beware.

Happy Tracks.

Taken from the top of White Pass: It seems the area between the cliff face and Falling Star is no longer forbidden territory, but is labelled "At Your Own Risk". Given the thousands of tons of snow hanging from the cornices above, I question the wisdom of this.

Looking down '3' on the 123's. A picture taken here last year at this time showed a forest of small trees.

The Moguls of Liftline Trees - skiing was still good here.

Timber Chair & the top of Puff

Top of Decline - capturing the height & depth of moguls can be difficult but I hope this gives some idea

Sunny Side as seen from Decline