Craig's Report - March 12, 2008

Vertically Variable

It was a nasty day down at the house yesterday, with driving rain and wicked winds that left me a happy hibernator. By evening it had switched to wet snow that by morning had left a centimetre or two of frozen gruel in the driveway. Fortunately, on the upper mountain this translated into ten centimetres or so of stiff foam like snow that despite the whoops of the less discriminating, certainly did not meet my definition of powder, but nonetheless still provided a very fine ride.

Alas the transition to a paste too thin to hide the clatter of the previously thawed surface occurred quite high on the mountain, which was a particular issue on the old side. In most cases, even down in the noisy zone there would still be big enough soft patches to permit a reasonably dignified descent, but route selection was important and the cookies could not be trusted to be soft.

The higher elevation of White Pass was a definite plus today and on the shady 1,2,3 side you could descend at least to the flats at the top of the Gilmar before encountering significant crunchies. On the Currie Chutes side, the skiing was still good, but rougher and once down onto lower Barracuda things became downright harsh.

All in all though, not a bad day for spring, but for all those proclaiming it to be excellent, I suggest they cast their minds back to some of those days in January. That was excellent. This was just a better class of mediocre.

At 17:00 it is mainly overcast and 5 C at the house.

The Face Lift wasn't running, but some energetic souls still headed up.

The rail park from the Bear Express.

The descent from the top of Bear to Alpine Way was delightful and the good snow did continue a fair ways further down. However well above the top of the Cruiser tuck out, things started to get ugly.

Looking down the bottom part of Easter Bowl.

The view towards Concussion from Big Dipper. By the way what the patrol call Big Dipper is actually above this and they call this part Alpha Centauri.

The top of 123, which was my run of the day as it had very nice snow top to bottom.

Polar Peak in the background from the same spot. The hike up there was open today, but I didn't see many folks taking advantage of it.

I am not even sure what this slope is called. It is on the skier's right of Gilmar and to the left of Bootleg Glades. In any event it was surprisingly good for being so low.

A passer by zips through the Cornice Chute trees. The skiing here was quite good, but harsher and not as fine as over on 123.