Day two: powder!
With the Creekside Gondola down, we drove into the village and rode Excalibur up to a glorious powder morning. Our first run was full of knee deep turns and shoulder shots, crossing tracks around pockets of untouched snow. We reached the end with quivering quads and mile-wide grins, then got back onto the lift as fast as we could.
From Excelerator we headed over to Jersey Cream, where conditions on the wall were incredible: deep, steep, soft. The Rockers were in their element, floating and smearing through the snow. It’s a ski that was made for these kinds of conditions. We lapped Jersey a few times until the snow started to track out, and then headed to Ross’s where we were able to poach fresh snow lower down the run while slalom racers practiced higher up.
The weather was chaotic, lurching without warning from heavy snowfall to brief moments where the clouds cleared, broken sunshine filtered through, and we could see the winds tearing huge plumes of snow from the ridgelines higher up. We rode Peak to Peak into a dense fog that hung in the valley between the mountains, giving the appearance of gondola cabins emerging from a grey void.
In the afternoon we headed over to Whistler, where we railed a few groomers, tested our legs on moguls much too big for our weary quad muscles, and found some lingering stashes of soft snow on Dave Murray and in the trees around Franz’s. We’d planned to hit Harmony when it opened, but poor timing left us a long way back in a giant line and we bailed in favour of getting more skiing in elsewhere.
After we came off the slopes we hung out by the fireside at the Dubh Linn Gate for a little while, drinking beer and waiting for the premiere of Candide Thovex’s new film, Few Words, over at the Conference Centre. It was an excellent movie and well worth the time; more food for thought than many of this year’s counterparts, incredible ski footage (natch), and interesting insights into a skier who has always let his skiing do the talking in the past.
In spite of the persistent bronchitis and legs that really aren’t too sure what has hit them since the season started, I had an incredible day. All I wanted on the last run was to come back the next day, and do it all over again. My lungs aren’t up to that yet, but with the help of an inhaler they are slowly improving. I hope that the season will begin in earnest very soon.