8 in overnight added to the 4 that fell during the day yesterday. VERY slow drive from Kalispell – snow covered and snowing all the way. The obligatory stop in Whitefish for coffee and scone then another slow drive up the hill – bus would have been good but always seem to miss the timing. Was up to Chair 1 about 5 minutes before it started loading and queue was already pretty big so did a quick run off Chair 2 – very nice though you could feel a bit of a firm layer underneath – maybe a little r@!n last night down low?
Queue much the same for Chair 1 but at least it was moving now and only took about 5 minutes to load, and the sounds of explosions coming from Hellroaring Basin seemed to be slowing down. While still not perfect visibility significantly better than yesterday and Big Face looked pretty good from the chair, so headed for that. First few turns were pretty challenging then got into the rhythm of it and was so nice. Back to base on a nice soft groomed Toni Matt then at the top saw that Hellroaring was now open. The traverse to Hellfire brought you to a standstill several times but when finally got to the descent proper I was about 8th set of tracks down. Top section was just about perfect and didn’t have to share it with anyone. About half way down some weird wind waves and consistency started to firm up but still most enjoyable.
Up Hellroaring, down Hibernation then back up to the summit where it was overdue for elevenses. When I headed back out took another crack at East Rim Face and this time found the right line in. Sensational! From top of Chair 5 headed off for Flower Point area. Ridge Run was supposedly groomed today but still soft and bumpy when I got to it. Tried a run down Outside Road which had nice chopped up bumps. Finally back up to the summit for lunch and still the snow kept coming though were getting occasional clearing breaks.
Was going to have a crack at Elephants Graveyard then realised I could cut back to Big Face and decided to try that again. Still skiing really well but I was starting to fade. When I got down to base took one last ride up Chair 2 so I could do the long easy run around the top of the lodges back to the car park where once again I could ski to the car. Great Day.