Best Start To School Holidays In A Long Time
I awoke this morning to crystal blue skies and no wind (there was snow sitting in many of the trees). The snow guns that had been blasting all night, shut down a little after 7:30am. Rumour had it that Kosi chair would open this morning but with the KT web site out of action it was all guess work.
I joined an already long queue for the Kosciuszko Express quad before 8:30 and whilst chairs were still be loaded. I made around 8th chair and watched enviously as the first up took to the Bluff, under the chair and Eagle Way.
I spotted an untracked line from the top and was pleasantly surprised when I found how deep and soft it was. I hit the groomer just to cross World Cup and then had untracked past Tower 10 to Milk Run. The lower snow was a strange consistency of frozen ice crystals rather than snow. Milk Run was hard and bumpy on a mostly man made and narrow cover. But it was Top-To-Bottom skiing and so good up top that I didn't stop to take a single photo on the way down :-)
My quads were burning. On my second ride up, I could see that ski patrol had now closed lower World Cup and lower Hump Run but there were no closed signs on Little Beauty or True Blue. There were closed signs from below the Bluff to Cannonball and it was easy to see why as that area seriously needs more fill.
My second run was also untracked at the top as I took a variation of my first run. Due to the sudden arrival of 'closed' signs we were funnelled back onto Supertrail just below mid station, which was no where near as nice as the top of the mountain.
Third time up and when we found Merritts Falls was closed, it was down an almost untracked Bushranger to cut back up the Cat Walk to Antons. When I arrived, I could see that Lynne had made first in line. We had to wait for it to open but it was well worth the wait as I found some of the nicest off piste I have skied in Australia in a long, long time. There were pockets of 30cm deep Australian-light powder in places where it had not been affected by the wind. By my fourth run up Antons I had spread across beyond Exhibition in search of the now rapidly disappearing untracked snow. I heard many punters around me hitting rocks just under the surface and decided to go back to Kosi chair.
The top of Kosi chair and upper Funnelweb early this morning
Sponars T-bar and Central Spur
Lower Sundance and High Noon
The Kosi queue before 8:30am
Meadows, grass a few days ago, finally had a complete cover of snow
Looking towards Little Beauty on my second ride up
World Cup where one's first run could be off piste
Kareela Face amazingly filled in
Merritts Creek at the Sponars culvert
Bottom of Sponars as we skated around to Antons
Unfortunately the best photo opportunity, that I actually stopped for, failed as my battery had gone flat - I probably left the camera turned on inside my pocket - der!
The wind started picking up just before I decided to come off the mountain. The Basin is due to open tomorrow and it looks great.
The ski season is now officially (in my opinion) fully on. We now await the opening of the 3 last T-bars (Sponars, Basin and Karels).