After a guilt-free work at home day (very productive, in terms of work and chores), I hopped into the car at 16h30 en route to Cypress Mountain. Since yesterday morning there had been almost 60cm of fresh “powder”. In coastal BC “powder” means fresh snow–you need to get aboout 1800m above sea level and much farther from the sea itself to see real powder.
Still, 60cm of fresh snow is waaay better than the snowcone (read: ice) that Cypress was on Wednesday night.
I got on the left just after 17h15: there weren’t many cars on the road up, but a couple were clearly not kitted out for winter driving. Luckily they’d slid off the road where there was a shoulder (and snowdrift) to catch ’em: there are bits where going off the road is going over the edge. With snow tires it was easy to go 50-60km/hr with good traction. They had closed the closest parking lots so they could plow some snow out. An extra 5 minutes walk, pas grand chose.
There are two mountains in the downhill area of Cypress. I prefer to start on the side with Vancouver behind the peak: the green run is a bit less challenging and on clear nights the view of Vancouver is awe-inspiring. Tonight the view was fog and cloud. Through the ice pellets. There was lots of fresh snow–so much that the runs were almost completely ungroomed. After a couple of runs (with 1 minute waits for the lift), I found out the other side handn’t been opened at all today because of avalanche concerns. But there was a rumour that it would open soon.
I filed that nugget of info away and kept boarding. Today was only the second day with new bindings, and I was beginning to think they were perhaps not quite right…whether that’s the bindings, their settings (for heel pressure, in particular) or their position/stance on the board I wasn’t sure. But I kept going. After each run I glance over at the other side: nope, still empty chairs going up in the lift.
Until the run I saw people on the lift. So I booted my bald, fat arse over to the other side.
Below us was an untouched winter wonderland: virgin runs, groomed, “fresh corduroy” of the sort one only gets first thing in the morning–if you’re willing to queue for it. About a third of the way up, others started coming down. The snow was so soft, all you heard was a *whoosh*. Except when someone took a spill, then it was a *whoomp*. Followed by laughter or whoops of joy. OMG OMG OMG OMG!
Unlike most of the people chasing fresh tracks, I was interested in the green run. Turns out, not many people were (yet). There were perhaps 2 or 3 tracks on Collins. I could carve turns quickly and easily. I could speedcheck without any leg burn. I was breathless and I wasn’t even halfway down.
It couldn’t last, of course. Each run up there were more tracks and more riders and skiers. Didn’t matter. On the run I felt a bit rubbery in the legs, I glided towards the lodge.
I am renewed.