Craig's Report - March 27, 2008

Nice Skiing on Great Coverage

Normally by the end of March, a few areas lower on the hill will start to show some heat strain and brown spots, but this year even the most fragile, sun baked spots are still a solid friendly white. Farther up on the hill, you have to keep reminding yourself that perhaps that normally impossibly obstructed spot just might have some fine turns now. The overall snow depth at the plot of 360+ cm, is not that unusual, but I think snow depth is much greater than usual as you proceed to lower elevations. Along with the odd bit of fresh stuff to keep spring conditions in check, this makes for fine skiing.

The sun isn't totally tamed though and while it hasn't been strong enough to produce corn or slush on the South facing slopes, there is a bit of chunkiness to tell you the surface has at least been warmed occasionally. On the shady North facing slopes where I have been spending virtually all my time, you could easily be fooled into believing it was still the middle of winter. A few centimetres of new snow last night, which conveniently avoided my driveway, freshened things up nicely and while we aren't talking outrageous powder skiing, it certainly was enjoyable.

John's comments last week appear to have stirred up quite a bit of support from folks with similar views, but unfortunately some readers missed the header and thought the reports had been written by me. They weren't and indeed I might be one of the few folks who is by and large pretty happy with the current management of the hill. Admittedly I never have to use the parking and rarely partake of beer up there and I certainly share everyone's dismay at how pass prices have risen in the last twenty years. However I personally have no complaints about most of the on hill stuff, including avalanche control and summer clearing, both of which I think have improved significantly in recent years.

At 16:15 it is 2 C and snowing lightly at the house.

Upper Currie Bowl, with the top of White Pass on the left.

The view across Lizard Bowl to Sunnyside shows some of the excellent coverage.

Lizard Bowl with China Might and China Wall in the center foreground.

Looking down towards the top of the Boomerang chair from just below the Bear Chair unload. Notice that the closure rope has been moved way down the ridge allowing some additional nice turns down to Alpine Way.

The normal alder forest between lower Cruiser and Spruce is almost wide open. They did cut some wide runs through here last summer, but for the most part this is just a lot of snow.

KC Chutes at the left and Snake Ridge in the background from the same spot as above.

Looking done Decline from the entry point of the traverse across the top of the Windows Chutes. I wondered if there would be enough new snow for this and there was, but just. There were some well glazed spots, but they could be largely avoided by sticking to the steeper and shadier right hand side.

The weekday crowds were wicked - the bottom of the Timber Chair.

Timber Bowl from near the top of Big Bang. The Timber chair is just visible in the lower center.

Big Bang from the bottom. There was quite a bit of logging in here last summer, but an early season avalanche scrambled the logging debris and made it a tangle of obstacles. With those now buried, the hoped for result is now available and very nice, except for being on fish bowl like display from the Timber chair.

One of the wicked cornices hanging over Timber Bowl. Some parts have yielded to heli bombing, but some parts are still massive. Fortunately Timber Bowl has a natural catch basin below them.

The sometimes evil plunge and whoop de doo where the trail to Sky Dive et al crosses Currie Creek has been pretty tame of late, so someone apparently decided to spice it up by placing a sign edge on just about in the middle of it. The narrow main track goes just above it and there is room to get by, but it does add some intimidation factor.

Easter Bowl was still quite nice late in the afternoon. Surprisingly even lower Free Way was really good.