Richard's Report - Sunday, 5 July 2009 5:18:49 PM

Slow Learner

Yesterday was a bit of an anti climax to Fridayís freshies but that was to be expected and the sudden increase in crowds added a little to that. We did one on Snowgums Ė yes, the Kozi chair was having issues again first thing Saturday morning. It was a nice run on a firm carvable base with a dusting of man-made. The cold temps and wind had packed the off piste and there was a fair bit of sastrugi around.

The queue on Snowgums was so long after the first run that we went to High Noon where the snow on the bottom half was surprisingly wet. Must have been warmer than I thought. Powder Bowl was nice and the Boundary Rider exit was in perfect shape. The Ski School T-bar (Easy Rider) was open as was Antons. The mountain staff had been working hard. Valley View was finally open and had a firm but thin base.

There was a lot on activity in The Basin today with snow cats working the snow and the Tís prepared. May be we will see it open soon. The cover around Antons was sketchy in the sense that we need more base (particularly wind blown) to smooth out the gutters and cover some boulders.

The Traverse and Cat Track were good, but Sunbrowner could certainly do with more cover.

You will note a lack of photos below. I forgot my camera yesterday (just as well, considering whatís in the paragraphs below the photos) and although the sun was out today, it was really cold and I just wasnít inspired enough to take off my glove and expose my digits to the double-digit, minus, wind-chill temperatures.

The Bluff had a firm smooth face leading to firmer sastrugi and chopped snow. Likewise, True Blue and Little Beauty were very firm and ungroomed. One run on Little Beauty was enough.

This morning Lucky Phil, TraKtorman and I mostly skied the Supertrail (firm, fast and fun) and variations thereof. Rosco, you would have enjoyed it. We were half way up Kozi chair for run number five inside the first hour of opening this morning. Then the crowds thickened, especially ski school and race club causing us to slow and look for distractions. Some off piste was delightful but much was too firm and bouncy.

Upper Supertrail on Saturday afternoon
Upper Supertrail on Saturday afternoon

Upper Supertrail early this morning
Upper Supertrail early this morning

High Noon yesterday
High Noon yesterday

Close up of same
Close up of same

High Noon early this morning
High Noon early this morning

Crackenback this morning, guns-a-blazing
Crackenback this morning, guns-a-blazing

I have discovered the cause of my Friday double ejection and I learnt the hard way. I had planned to check my binding settings on Friday afternoon but distractions like organising a replacement for a terminal washing machine/dryer kept me from the ski room.

Late Saturday morning and travelling at a fairly high rate of knots my right ski simply departed from my right boot resulting in quite a yard sale on World Cup. This banged some sense into my thick skull and so, on Saturday afternoon in the ski room, I discovered that front and rear bindings on both skis were set at DIN 4.5. Just a tad soft for someone tall and over 80Kg (no accurate figures being displayed here :-) I donít know how long they have been on that setting but I have been skiing on them for more than a year. OK, so Iím not an aggressive skier but I wouldnít think I was that smooth either, especially considering the touring, the skinning, the off piste, moguls, Top-To-Bottom and other assorted races that I join in.

We saw an unfortunate skier take a very hard tumble in the same location this morning. We could see the top piece of his binding (having separated from the riser plate on his ski) accelerating down the mountain mindless of the yard sale going on behind.

Some might say Iím a slow learner but I would respond with:- a good worker always blames his tools Ė well, thatís my attitude ;-)

The current high pressure should mean much more man-made snow and the guns are firing on the top half of the resort as I type this report. Thereís not a lot in the forecasts but as we have all seen, the forecasts can change rapidly.

Thanks to all 78 stalkers on Tweeter, who are now following my ravings. Your support has encouraged me to continue with the odd tweet.

The Grump: Broken goggles, bruises, chiro bills - skiing is a dangerous sport but there's no mention of the costs ;-) Check your bindings regularly!

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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