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Flute East Slopes: Blue Skies and Pow that Hangs in the Air # 6222

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Date: 2004.12.28
Vantage Point: Flute Summit East Slopes, just above Oboe Creek

Caption: Clear skies, arctic air, low winds, and a Christmas snowfall gave Coasters a fine end-of-the-year gift worth remembering. Many folks turned to the popular Oboe Creek area of the Musical Bumps for days and days of turns.

PhotoDescr: I'm not able to remember a Christmas Holiday with such good quality touring in the higher alpine regions. Generally calm winds and cold air kept the scant freshies we got (with the exception of the Christmas storm) in fine shape, and for more than a week, the turns were consistently good, especially in the Musical Bumps behind Whistler.

Stability during this time was good, with moderate ratings and a nicely balanced snowpack--the lightest density snow being on the top. Down beneath the storm snow, the December 19th crust was slowly being eroded by the facetting process, but little was sliding and the strength of the crust provided a reasonable base for the 35-45cm of storm snow that just seemed to get lighter as the days went by.

These turns are in some of the gladed avy slopes that run down into Oboe Creek just above treeline. Generally consistent slopes at about 30 degrees provide good skiing right down to the creek. On any given day, climbing tracks are quickly established and one can yo-yo until there aren't any beans left in the jar. Alternatively, climbing tracks also grow east towards Oboe Ridge and its eastside chutes leading to Singing Pass and Cowboy Ridge.

As the week of January 16--20 is forecast to be the antithesis of the second week of the Christmas holidays, it seemed like a good idea to post this pic so that we can all remember that at least one week in the not-so-spectacular 2004-05 Coastal ski season, was pretty good. Hopefully there will be some error in the computer models and we won't get the thrashing that's being forecast for the local hills.

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