Richard's Report - Monday, 5 October 2009 1:51:55 PM

Big Bonus Long Weekend

Last week we had the bonus dump of the season, followed by several days of skiing to Mid Station on Kosi Express. How could we have expected what happened on Saturday?

It rained Friday night (heavily at times) but at 6:30am on Saturday morning the village was white. There was fresh snow all over and as there was no wind, even the trees were all loaded with snow as well. This was not a Saturday morning to stay in bed.

The Basin groomer had 2-3cms of fresh on top of the grooming and after a couple of runs on this with Phil and Richard (there were only a couple of others in the Basin with us), it was time to test the off piste. There was about 10cms of fresh, light snow. No wind packing and no visibility meant that the underlying rocks were going to be found the hard way. Phil and I followed Davo and Waz past Karels over the snow covered bushes and onto the Rim Run where we set our traverse track. The snow was great. As the morning progressed we were joined by Marion and The Chooks.

Traktorman, having cancelled his weekend trip, would have loved it. We skied fresh tracks from one side of the Rim to the other. I guessed I had done about a dozen fresh runs before coffee and then went back and still found another couple of untracked lines. Somehow, I managed to miss all the rocks. Not so lucky were Waz and Marion.

We downloaded on Kosi chair, unlike some seen walking out of Funnelweb and Cannonball where the thin cover would have destroyed both body and gear.

Sunday was another quiet day in the Basin. The snow was firm first up after a short overnight freeze but by the time I got to it, the snow was soft. The overnight introduction to Daylight Saving did not help me get up early. Annie and I had a few runs on the groomer. The off piste was already sticky; the low cloud had not helped.

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain on rooftops. Yea - I get to have a sleep-in. However, by late morning, with the sun occasionally shining through the cloud, I just couldn't help myself and rushed up the chair for a last run on the Basin T-bar. It was like skiing on a custard tart - soft, sticky and a little brown around the edges. I only had two sloooow runs and then downloaded. It was snowing in the Basin and there were still untracked freshies on the groomer but is was all painfully slow. I may have to wait a while before back country snows firm up.

I managed to get out on the slopes in the resort on 103 of a possible 116 days for season 2009. There are certainly many more that have out done this but it is my own personal best for in-resort skiing. There's still some touring to be had. My previous best for skiing in Australia has been 107 days, so I may still break that too.

Waiting for first chair on Thursday
Waiting for first chair on Thursday

Those big-air jumps on Antons - Friday
Those big-air jumps on Antons - Friday

North of the Basin on Friday
North of the Basin on Friday

North of the Basin Today
North of the Basin Today

Sundance and High Noon Friday
Sundance and High Noon Friday

Sundance and High Noon Saturday
Sundance and High Noon Saturday

Kareela - Saturday
Kareela - Saturday

Davo cutting the Basin on teles - Saturday
Davo cutting the Basin on teles - Saturday

Wazza off the Rim Run - Saturday
Wazza off the Rim Run - Saturday

Looking at Sponars Today
Looking at Sponars Today

How would I sum up the season? In a word 'Dry'. Definitely a drought year and when considering all things, that was probably a good thing as it meant less rain. It wasn't as windy as past seasons but we didn't get as much snow either. Personally I rate 2009 as second only to 1982 in lack of snow. I'm not really considering the last week in that calculation. The snowmaking held the season together. The difference the new snowmaking on True Blue, Little Beauty, Sponars and Antons made, was particularly noticeable. There were some issues with late starts to lifts that I hope will be resolved next year and I certainly heard some criticism about the timing of closing some lifts towards the end of the season but, hey, I got more skiing in-resort than ever before.

Thanks to Ski Patrol, groomers, snowmakers, lifties, maintenance, medical, eateries, all the shops and services, as well as everyone else who got us through another season.

While in 'thanks' mode I would like to give a BIG thanks to Rossignol, the Ski Patrol and all the sponsors of the Ski Patrol raffle. Apparently (and it is still taking time to sink in), I have won second prize in the Ski Patrol raffle - a set of Rossignol skis and bindings. Some may have wished I had won the clothing package or the Aspen trip but tough. If you read my
July 26th report, you would know that the Rossi CX80s were my favourite at the ski demo weekend - so, how happy am I? Delighted, but don't expect me to be doing any better in those races. Make sure you buy your tickets next year!

Finally, the weather report today says to expect a return to winter this week with 10-20cms of snow falling down to 1000m tomorrow (Tuesday) and snow falling the rest of the week. Just heard of a 1metre dump near Napier in NZ - now that's truly amazing.

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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