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Dear Bob Peters

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I hope things are going well. I am at Whistler for a conference and spent the day out on the slopes before the conference starts tonight and was constantly thinking of you. That’s because today was a very fine day of wide ranging Pacific Northwest Crud conditions. Besides my kids, I know of no one else who would have enjoyed these conditions as much as or perhaps even more than I did.

The temperature was a couple of degrees centigrade and there was mostly clouds and flat light, although far from the worst I’ve seen. The groomed runs which had been bullet proof ice a few days ago I hear, had softened up and had some wet soft crud to dig into. The off-piste, much to my surprise, was without solid frozen crust. My first run (into the first Horseshoe off of the Harmony Chair (Horseshoe 7?) was pretty much what I expected, very crispy crud with a hint of softening. As I slipped in off of the steep side entry I heard a muffled crunch that said things could be much worse - It was right then that I started thinking about you.

Next I headed over to the peak chair and into Whistler Bowl. Here the snow was somewhat softer and I could just hear your building interest in the day as the potential range of conditions was starting to be exposed. On the way down they had the boundary line moved in so that a lot of the normally open semi-steep variable terrain on the way to the Red Chair was now out of bounds. Based on the number of tracks, the fact that this is normally open terrain that must be controlled, and that avalanche conditions in general are stable right now, I went beyond the boundary line (they have open boundaries) and headed to the Red Chair through at least 3 or 4 more combinations of interesting terrain and snow features include narrow creek gulleys with running water, bumps (of which there were intermittent sections popping up all day), a few rocks to avoid (but definitely avoidable), etc.

As the day progressed I went the “back way” around to Bagel Bowl and there found “fresh” heavy/crispy/corny/slush with only a few boarders’ tracks. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could cruise through these conditions with big, fast (for me not Evan) turns without catching an edge or having my skis pulled apart by what otherwise appeared to be tricky snow. And this leads me to another thing:

The Metron B5’s were just awesome in all of this stuff. I think they handled this wet, cruddy, crispy to soft Pacific Northwest snow with unbelievable aplomb. I think I can fairly say that in these conditions they would even outperform the Pocket Rockets. With their extra weight and stiffness, huge sidecut, float, short size, and stability they seemed pretty much like the perfect ski for these conditions (unless you go way big, but then you sacrifice greatly on the more groomed slopes and bumps). I know you have a modicum of interest in these skis but until now I didn’t think you would go for them. While they are an unbelievable versatile ski (the most versatile I have ever encountered) your versatile skills doesn’t make them as attractive to you as they are to me. However, the performance they demonstrated in the crud today suggests that if you were to try them in such conditions you might just be hooked.

Anyway, later in the day I went back to Whistler Bowl heading the “front way” through the “boundary” line, around left under the cliffs to West and Bagel Bowl with more of the same results as I had previously found there. The day ended up on a few semi-slushy and bumpy - previously groomed runs - enjoying the sidecut on the B5’s. Through it all I couldn’t help but think about how much you would enjoy this skiing.

Best, Si
post #2 of 2


Hi, Si.

I've been spending the last few days in Heaven (er, Iowa) visiting family. I've been offline the whole time.

This sounds like an absolutely delightful day. Any skiing experience that involves running water is truly the right kind of skiing. I wish I had been there.

Also, I have now tried a pair of Metrons, although not the B5. Andy got a pair of Metron 11's and I skied those for a few runs last week. They were 172 (or 174 or whatever) and *I* was on my 188cm Inspired's, so there was a monumental gulf between the two skis. The Atomics were really, really fun and worked very well in the mixed crud we tried. I still haven't tried the B5's, but those 11's seemed like a remarkably versatile ski. How many ways can you say "quick"? They make nice round turns.

Thanks for the note and if you're still in W/BC, have fun.

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