Day 25 Thur Feb 12. Whitefish 5700 m vertical (80100 total)

Spring Skiing.

The morning report made mention of some ‘irregularities’ in the grooming due to the nature of the sow. This could go down as another of life’s great understatements. The first run off Chair 2 down Hellroaring was surprisingly firm but OK, but when I headed for the top and came down Inspiration and Hogans it was positively scary at times – large frozen ruts and bumps that would just toss you aside if you gave them half a chance. Whitefish is strange mountain – it’s largely south facing, so based on aspect alone you would generally expect it to transition to spring like conditions quite regularly during the season. However the normal low temps and the almost ever present fog usually mitigate the effect. Not today.

So headed for the North side and found way better skiing. The upper two thirds or so still held relatively fresh snow, and Ridge Run – which had been such a chore on Monday – was now skiing beautifully. Did several runs down this side and enjoyment levels rose considerably. After first break decided to tackle the front side again, and now that it had some time in the sun it too was skiing far better, particularly Big Ravine, so several runs down there. There was a 30 % chance of snow frecast today but it may as well have been 3 % – although the cloud hung in about the peaks it never looked like any precipitation happening and temps were well and truly heading into the positives.After lunch figured it was about as soft as it was going to get and did a tentaive exploration into Big Face. Although nowhere near as good as earlier in the week it was still quite skiable, and that gave me the encoragement to also try East Rim Face and Ptarmigian Bowl – all great fun. Lets face it I’m a soft snow skier – if I can’t have powder then give me spring corn and soft bumps. One more run down Big Ravine – now getting quite sticky lower down – and I was done. ¬†For a day that had me contemplating an early finish after second run it ended up a beauty.

Back in town did the afternoon coffee thing and also reaquantained myself with the Huckleberry Wheat beer made right here in town. Yum. Then spent a fair bit of time working out the plan for the final leg of the trip through California.

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