Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Radding Week

CF104 Starfighter (aka widowmaker), one of my favourites

The weeks before reading week were filled with dilemna: Do I want the "green light" conditions that have resulted from weeks of high pressure? Or do I want to ski some powder that will possibly fall on some very slippery surfaces?

Well I got a bit of both! Some snowfall before the weekend kept us off steeper terrain, but not out of the alpine.
Green light:

The "light" started to turn yellower the next day as trace snow at trailhead turned out to be 20cm+ of low density blower after 5km of road skinning. Low visibility kept us out of the alpine but some of the deepest turns of my life were enjoyed below treeline. My face and chest got cold from all the snow hitting it on the way down! Not much slabbing up yet, and very minimal sloughing on the buried surface hoar. Unreal!
those aren't tracks, they are trenches.

With more snow and wind, the light started to turn orange. We found that the snow was bonding well to the suncrust where we were, but apparently things were getting touchier.

After 5 days, I was averaging over 1000m of vert per day, and it was probably time to taper off for the ROAM race on the weekend.
Ultimate skiing lunch

We went for a quick tiptoe around Kootenay pass on our way down, restraining ourselves to lower angled terrain around the ridgetops with numerous recent size 2's and 3's on various aspects in the Cornice bowl in view.

One of my favourite ways to get the legs going before a race is to go skiing! Only 2cm overnight, but it started snowing heavily during the day, and we enjoyed refills on the some fun terrain in the Glory area at Whitewater (down to both the Summit and Glory chairs). Coverage was bomber, so it was fun to slay spines and steep rollovers (something you shouldn't do in the backcountry).

The roads in Nelson were quite slick and I had a couple of zesty slides, but Bill claimed it with a steep hillclimb while someone else was sliding backwards.

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