Golden – The trucks and trains are a constant, but the mountains sure are beautiful.
I spent this past weekend in Golden, and got to ski at both Kicking Horse Resort and at Rogers Pass. I’d only skied at the Resort once before, and it’s the long fall-line bump runs that I recall. I skied on the Saturday after opening day, so missed out on the top to bottom powder runs (by all accounts a great day) but got some fresh lines into Fuez bowl when it opened. Otherwise the mountain had a great cover of chalky snow. Those who sometimes denigrate the place (myself included) usually cite the general lack of snow and poor coverage on the technical terrain, but neither seems to be an issue this year, with a well compacted 125cm base. It’s obviously an avalanche prone snow-pack, and boundary closures seemed justified by crowns down to dirt in alpine bowls adjacent to the resort. It’s a very different terrain layout (an aspect of a range) than I’m used to (a 360 degree mountain), but there’s certainly lot’s of it, with a great selection of steep chutes, and the top to bottom groomed runs were a (leg burning) ton of fun. I’ll be back, and look forward to exploring more of the terrain, both in the Resort and the extensive side-country.
It was bitterly cold on Sunday at Rogers Pass, with a arctic winds blasting from the North. Fortunately Grizzly Shoulder was protected from the wind and actually quite pleasant in the sun. The snow in the open glades was light and dry, and relatively untracked . Most alpine areas looked to be getting wind scoured.
Cabin near Edgewood.
The contrast between open grasslands, and dramatic mountains to the East and West make the Rocky Mountain Trench a visual feast, and driving south from Golden this crystal clear morning, it was looking it’s best. My friends in the East Kootenays lament the development tide that has transformed many rural communities into dormitories for Albertan weekenders, condos and trophy homes spreading like a virus across the landscape. The worst of it is certainly being flaunted (Radium and Invermere), but it’s not ubiquitous, and the stretch from Golden to Edgewater still seems to have retained it’s bucolic charm.