Richard's Report - Saturday, 7 December 2013 2:46:18 PM

But Wait - There's More

Following Thursday's dump came Friday's snow white resort and the start of the Cannonball MTB Festival. Both Kosi chair and Snowgums lifted down-hillers up to a somewhat snow covered Crackenback. I had an early appointment in Jindy, it was 2C in the village and there was snow on the side of the road at least half way down to the park entrance. Most of this was gone when I returned 4 hours later.

The forecasts said today (Saturday) was to be the best of it and so, after a late start, I headed out for a ski. One staffer said "you're a nut, but not the only nut - there's 2 cross country skiers ahead of you".

In a wind chill just on zero I kept my shell on until I started the final climb up the hill. The new snow was soft and in places very deep. Walking through some drifts had my boots sinking all the way to my knees in snow. I used extreme care in the areas where I knew deep crevices in the rock or creeks existed under a thin cover of new snow with no base beneath. This sort of cover can present the most dangerous conditions for both hiking and skiing. Other places held no new snow and it was obvious out on the hill that over a metre of the old snow pack had been washed away before Thursday's dump.

I started my first run on old brown snow expecting the new white to be sticky. The fresh snow was slower than the brown but not at all sticky. In fact, it was better than some powder days off the Rim Run and possibly deeper than anything during winter 2013.

When I went out late I thought I might just do a couple of runs and head back soon after but the freshies were so nice that apart from one set of 8s I set on brown snow, I actively sought out the freshies on each other run. Eventually it was hunger - lack of lunch - that finally sent me heading back to the village.

Friday: Eagles Nest and The Basin - how deep is that snow
Friday: Eagles Nest and The Basin - how deep is that snow

Friday: Antons to upper High Noon<BR>Lower Sundance with High Noon in the background
Friday: Antons to upper High Noon
Lower Sundance with High Noon in the background

MTB in snow, MTB without snow<BR>and riders taking happy snaps of their bikes behind Eagles Nest<BR>Yes it is December 7th in Australia
MTB in snow, MTB without snow
and riders taking happy snaps of their bikes behind Eagles Nest
Yes it is December 7th in Australia

View from top of Sig Hill back to Eagles Nest<BR>That drift of white just in front was 40cms deep
View from top of Sig Hill back to Eagles Nest
That drift of white just in front was 40cms deep

Looking out to Etheridge from beside Everest<BR>Club Lake Chutes
Looking out to Etheridge from beside Everest
Club Lake Chutes

The Ramsheads<BR>Looking across The Basin to Karels
The Ramsheads
Looking across The Basin to Karels

Hard to pick out the turns in the deep new white stuff
Hard to pick out the turns in the deep new white stuff

The North Face was more challenging with big snowballs<BR>generated by fresh snow on a wet grass base
The North Face was more challenging with big snowballs
generated by fresh snow on a wet grass base

It was all a bit of a shock to the wild flowers
It was all a bit of a shock to the wild flowers

That usual view from the bridge<BR>Merritts Creek is up again - and all the others as well
That usual view from the bridge
Merritts Creek is up again - and all the others as well

I managed to ski most of the way back to the walking track albeit gingerly not wanting to hit a rock or catch a tip on a shrubbery recently covered with the soft snow.

Luckily for the mountain bikers the trails were clear of snow today and of course the weather was just perfect - clear blue sky, warm in the village and cool up top.

Happy birthday Genevieve and get well soon Frank!

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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