Richard's Report - Sunday, 19 July 2009 2:44:02 PM

Second and Third Windy Days for Season 2009

Kosciuszko Express opened on time on Saturday and I believe also on Sunday – although Sunday’s weather kept me in bed a little longer than normal. ALL lifts were open on Saturday. Every time I looked at Ramshead it seemed packed with riders yet lift lines were not too bad.

All plans for going out back on Saturday were discarded when we discovered there was quite a strong breeze up top and visibility was not the best due to wind blown snow. The good side of this was the wonderful windblown powder stashes, the like we haven’t seen this season.
It was a day for the T-bars and warm clothing. Luckily I did not go out in any less than I was wearing on Friday when I was overdressed.

After a couple of ordinary runs to the village I was off to Sponars T-bar that opened first time for 2009. A very good job had been done getting the track in, considering the sparseness of areas relying on natural cover. Exhibition was simply wonderful. Groomed the day before, the wind had deposited 10-15cms of light dry snow on top. As word got out, the crowds increased to the point where I not only found a queue to get on the lift but it was scarily crowded skiing down exhibition with so many at such high speeds and with so much snow being sprayed about.

I left Sponars for the Basin and Karels and found some very nice wind drifts there as well. After a late coffee I went back to Sponars only to find the wind blown had been pushed off by the crowds (I heard it returned later). As the high traverse from Antons to Merritts had been opened, Wiamea was next on my list for some powder turns. The drift was good but you only got a handful of turns for a lot of distance travelled to get there and back.

So, back to Sponars but this time I went left at the top to Merritts Falls. Great! I could get about 30 turns from Conrod down to the rope line above the Merritts creek all in deep light dry windblown snow. I did this several times before T-bar fatigue and a nagging stomach took me away.

Sunday arrived with a fine mist of precipitation blowing through the valley and heavy fog up top. Karels was closed due to poor visibility. The snow was damp and sticky in places, probably due more to the cloud rather than R... The T-bar lines turned to marble and had many a rider catching an edge and bailing off to the side. The best that I found was probably Sponars again. The wind was slowly drying out the snow on the upper slopes. Monday may be more pleasant.

Wonderful sunset over Funnel Web on Friday evening
Wonderful sunset over Funnel Web on Friday evening

Exhibition on Saturday afternoon
Exhibition on Saturday afternoon

The wind moving snow around<BR>filling in those holes, gullies and creeks
The wind moving snow around
filling in those holes, gullies and creeks

Eagles Nest - Saturday afternoon
Eagles Nest - Saturday afternoon

Antons on Saturday
Antons on Saturday

Antons on Sunday
Antons on Sunday

Merritts at lunchtime Sunday
Merritts at lunchtime Sunday

High Noon and Sundance – Sunday afternoon
High Noon and Sundance – Sunday afternoon

The lack of photos is mainly due to slackness and not wanting to expose my fingers to the wind chill. In any case, the blowing snow wasn’t going to enhance any of the turns laid.

The forecasters have snow arriving Wednesday this week. The Frog has predicted 10-25cms. We could do with it. The off piste areas really have a light cover and there are still many rocks lurking close to the surface.

Grump: Good job on getting Kosi chair started on time each morning. Pity about the breakdown on Gunbarrel on Saturday afternoon – but, hey, thanks for the signage warning people at the top of High Noon.

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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