What - No Telegram From The Queen?
The village was white when I awoke this morning and it was still snowing. There was 1-2cm covering the roof tops. The KT snow report said 25cm of new snow. Well, I'd have to wait before fact checking that one.
I lined up for 4th chair. The crowd was huddling in VT as the snow that was falling in the village was that unpleasant wet stuff that might mean slow or even sticky snow on the slopes. Rusutsu Peter was lined up for first chair and when he finally got through the turnstile he announced that he had now clocked up 100 days on his pass and that he had beaten me to it. He had beaten me to it by 3 chairs as I too clocked up 100 days on my pass today. So, don't we get a telegram from the Queen ;-)
From Meadows up, the snow depth looked good, considering it was all grass yesterday. The base (if you want to call it that) got deeper and deeper. I got several fresh runs in The Basin but the visibility got worse and worse and the -11C wind chill dropped even lower. Indications were that the bottom half of the mountain would have a thin layer of wet slow snow on a deep base of gravel, rock and grass.
Like many others I next headed to Antons. Unlike many others, I found only one set of tracks on Merritts Falls - my best run of the morning. Visibility got worse at Antons and anything above tree line was shocking. My traverse to Wiamea was blind. I found some nice untracked near trees on Merritts. There were no queue on any lifts once on the mountain, possibly due to the temperature, wind, blizzarding snow and minimal visibility. I found heavy snow, reasonably light snow, sheets of ice and some ridiculously deep wind drifts - knee deep drifts.
Oh how wonderful it would have been to have Sponars open and mid station on Kosi chair. But worse still, was the fact there was only one liftee at the top and one at the bottom of Merritts chair, having to load and unload people on and off Merritts Chair but they can only do one at a time - obviously giving preference to those unloading leaving those who want to load waiting...
Sundance & High Noon yesterday and then this morning
Crackenback this morning
On my way to Kosi Chair
The early starters line up for Kosi Chair
Not so good looking back up to Ski-in Walk-out corner
Meadows grass measuring point
Meadows looking great - it was all grass yesterday
Outback Phil spotted Wally first
crossing what I had been calling Chocolate Milk Run in belly deep snow on the lower Supertrail
The World Cup onsen is no more
How not to spend your day on a half speed Merritts Chair in a blizzard
There are now tracks all over the mountain but the lower ones are brown.
This snowfall may end up being the biggest of the season and if you believe the forecasts for the next 4 days, this could be the biggest snow producing system of the decade.
So, is this the 10th start to the season? No, alas it's the end of the season. I wonder what it would take to get KT to extend the season to the end of the school holidays? Now that would be service!!!