Richard's Report - Monday, 28 July 2014 12:17:55 PM

Masters of Climate Change

With the exception of Saturday, the past week has been sunny with variable snow conditions. There were some huge snow making nights and days of variable (to say the least) snow conditions.

On Saturday it was the Masters' Race. Every year the Masters have the power to change the weather from whatever has been the prevailing weather that week, to bring on rain or gales or blizzards. Alas, this year was no different with my most unfavoured type of precipitation starting around 10:30am.

Prior to that the skiing had been a treat with Hollywood being groomed, a light dusting of fresh that softened the off piste and the groomers being softer than expected (that didn't last). I started out on my good skis and then went to the ski demos. The SkiMag ski demo day seemed to have a much wider range of skis than the past few years. I hope it went well for them.

As I "don't do rain" and hadn't been impressed with the skis I tried, I pulled stumps early. On Sunday morning (yesterday) the Masters weather had backed off and the sun was out again. The snow pack was solid. After just one calibration run on my skis it was back to demos where the Volkl crew got me onto some awesome carving skis just perfect for the rock hard groomers. I loved the RTM 81.

Late in the morning I was given the opportunity to accompany Marion, Edie, Win & Tony to DHG. It start well. We saw only 3 brumbies (I think it was the juvenile that was missing) and then the snow turned. At first it was just a thin breakable crust but it got thicker and more breakable the further we descended. The last drop was simply unpleasant. The crust was 2cm thick and once a ski went beneath the crust it took effort to bring it back up to the surface. Beneath the crust was a deep snow pack, which with skis off was knee deep.

This morning the winds started howling very early. The BOM feed that my graphs run from showed gusts less than 80phk but patroller Brett told me they had recorded 115kph. The wind chill was running around -16C and Slowbums chair was our first option. We soon ended up on Sponars where the wind drifts were best but there was still a lot of super hard pack between the sweet spots. Hopefully it will be deeper tomorrow.

Friday morning
Friday morning

Saturday morning and Hollywood is groomed
Saturday morning and Hollywood is groomed

Sunday morning and Hollywood is getting back to bumps
Sunday morning and Hollywood is getting back to bumps

Heading off to DHG yesterday - it seemed so nice
Heading off to DHG yesterday - it seemed so nice

But the breakable crust towards the bottom was a horror
But the breakable crust towards the bottom was a horror

We were glad to see the end of that run
We were glad to see the end of that run

The Masters of DHG
The Masters of DHG

It appears that a sudden rise in water level has carved away the snow pack since my last visit
It appears that a sudden rise in water level has carved away the snow pack since my last visit

Invasion of the fluoro-orange people<BR>Base depth yesterday - dropping :-(
Invasion of the fluoro-orange people
Base depth yesterday - dropping :-(

Early grooming this morning, above the Rim and on Exhibition<BR>under a pink sky and in high winds
Early grooming this morning, above the Rim and on Exhibition
under a pink sky and in high winds

Happy Birthday Traktorman for Sunday! For some silly reason I thought you would be back - not that you missed a lot :-)

Sadly I must inform you that this will probably be the last winter of Richard's Reports.

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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