Richard's Report - Sunday, 1 July 2007 4:40:05 PM

School Holiday Blizzards

Friday was reported as being icy from top to bottom. I never got out and didn’t regret it. Actually it was a slack week for me having missed 3 days, however for the first time this winter we have had real blizzards.

It snowed Friday night and pretty much kept it up all weekend along with good winds and minus temperatures. I was on 2nd chair up Kosi Express on Saturday morning and eagerly jumped in under the chair at the top (open for the first time this year) as Ski Patrol mentioned something about “variable conditions”. Too true - some windblown powder between sheet ice. I quickly headed for the trees where the wind blown had accumulated. I’d call it technical skiing. Others referred to it as survival skiing. The groomers were the best although they had frozen marbles in some lower areas. The snow eventually softened but the best overall conditions were the groomers on Merritts.

The Basin and Karels opened and provided some entertainment – more powder between ice. Every so often I would link a few turns without hitting the ice but the visibility was poor – a very flat light on Karels as the clouds hung over the upper peaks.

Weather conditions were more unpleasant this morning (Sunday) but the best I could manage was 7th chair. Eagle Way was pretty bad. Visibility was limited to only a couple of metres at times, and bodies were falling everywhere. I turned up to the high side to let the carnage clear and when I went to ski back onto the track I fell a metre down a vertical bank, which I couldn’t see.

I got some nice freshies down the side of World Cup (which had race training down the centre). Tower 10 was very nice – creamy and about 10cms deep. On the way up for my second run I noted that the closed signs for The Bluff, True Blue and Little Beauty had all disappeared. I didn’t bother with the Bluff as vis was still very poor although I was assured the snow was very nice. I got early tracks down True Blue and that was great but it didn’t last more than 2 runs as the wetter snow got cut up and started piling into mounds. Little Beauty did last much longer and was only open to Mid Station but still very enjoyable.

I didn’t bother with The Basin due to it being only suitable to blind riders. Conditions elsewhere were pretty much the same. Nice snow up high with limited visibility and the lower slopes getting soft and wet.

High Noon - Friday afternoon
High Noon - Friday afternoon

Crackenback, same time
Crackenback, same time

Merritts on Saturday
Merritts on Saturday

Merritts view across the valley
Merritts view across the valley

Platypus Pond nearly gone (refer to previous reports)
Platypus Pond nearly gone (refer to previous reports)

Beginning of Bunny Walk – not enough cover yet
Beginning of Bunny Walk – not enough cover yet

Early tracks down True Blue
Early tracks down True Blue

Early tracks down True Blue (part 2)
Early tracks down True Blue (part 2)

The weather kept the school holiday crowds down a little but with the forecast for more of the same, the punters will have to eventually get out there and enjoy the very nice cover.

The bureau is talking about a “major cold front” on Wednesday so it should just keep getting better and better. I would like to say that already it seems better than the best of last year but that’s probably just early season enthusiasm.

Current conditions – blowing and snowing. Meanwhile Sponars is getting some nice wind fill and I would expect it should open by next weekend.

Disclaimer: 
The views and opinions expressed on this page are my own personal observations and in no way represent the views or opinions of the resort or any other person.

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