Monthly Archives: November 2010

Skiing around.


Remote release as I crested the top of Powderfields
It’s been dumping all day, with perhaps 10cm of accumulation. Strangely there seems more in my driveway than on top of Granite, but accompanied by a bit of wind it has filled in most of the old tracks, and because it’s setting up a little with the mild temps, the rain crust is now a non-issue.

Powderfields
Main Run is still by far the best option for a safe and snowy descent, but as the snow accumulates I get curious about what else might be skiable. Yesterday Karen and I had a pretty clean line down Jumbo. I tried Powderfields into Paleface today, which other than a scratchy grovel through the cliffy middle section (though I didn’t have to take my skis off), was quality powder skiiing.

Centerstar – looking good and skiing well.
It seems with this latest snow, any of the open moderate terrain that has been brushed recently is worth a try.

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Training on the Hill


Mts Grey and Kirkup
For those of us addicted to an active lifestyle, the in-between season can be frustrating. Most years it gets too cold and snowy to ride one’s bike (for me anyway) sometime in October , but the ski season doesn’t get going in earnest till mid December. This year I bought a month pass at the local gym to keep in shape, but I’ll chose skiing, no matter the conditions, over the gym anytime. At Red Resort a weird (in that it didn’t seem to get that warm) rain crust from Friday has made made for challenging turns (especially yesterday on Back-trail), but also is providing enough extra substance to enable floating above the schnarb on most of the open terrain. We looked into skiing Links today, but sensibly stuck to Main Run.

Papoose Bowl

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49 Degrees North


Ploughing the Fields
49 Degrees North is a small ski hill (not even close to being a resort) about an hour and half south of here in Washington State. They opened yesterday, with enough new snow to pique my interest, so Elise and I made a day of it. All the lifts were running, but it was dead quiet on a bitterly cold and snowy Thanksgiving, and most runs were closed. Fortunately the (friendly laid back) patrollers weren’t enforcing closures, so we farmed effortless boot deep untracked powder on empty intermediate slopes from start to finish.

Elise – New skis and a big smile.

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Cold and Crusty at Whitewater


Challenging Conditions
Yesterday, despite temps somewhere south of minus 20 degrees, not including wind-chill, we headed to Whitewater for a couple of laps. The snow in my yard is still light and fluffy, but at higher elevations the wind must have been howling, because we soon realized there were firm wind-crusts on all aspects. At about three quarters of the way up Ymir bowl on wind-loaded aspects, a 20-30cm wind-crust was cracking and settling, so we skied from there. Medium radius survival turns on a variable breakable crust were very challenging.

Warming Up
It was cold, but manageable with lots of gear on. The construction debris fire at the lodge was most welcome.

Good Early Season Coverage.
Though at that point I was pretty keen to head for all-you-can-eat fish & chips in Nelson, we did another lap on the Summit chair area, which because it had been skied so much recently, made for much better skiing (but still wind-crusted). What the wind has done is blown snow into the ditches, creeks, and holes, making for much improved (and more supportive) coverage. Things are looking good for Dec 4th opening.

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Early Season Conditions at Red


Elise on Ruby Tuesday
Inspired by some great turns yesterday at Whitewater, I was pretty curious what was going on up on Granite. Elise and I skinned up Main Run, and the snow was pretty thin (perhaps 40cm) and unconsolidated until we reached Buffalo Ridge, which has great coverage. From the top we skied towards Southern Belle, which looked treacherous, and continued down Boardwalk to Ruby Tuesday which looked good, and was until we started punching through to the ground about 50m above South-side Road. We kept on the road from there, until heading into the bushes on Corky’s Field, which wasn’t actually that bad. It was a fun outing, but I’ll probably wait for some more snow before heading up again.

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First Turns for 2010/11


Cam on Goat Slide, Ymir Bowl.
After weeks of obsessively monitoring the limited information available on snow conditions, it seemed time to take a chance and get amongst it at Whitewater. We did a couple of laps on Ignitor – Bonanza, and found nothing but easy powder skiing in 60-80cm of creamy supportive snow. Seeking a little more adventure, we then headed into Ymir Bowl, where there are plenty of places to avoid, but we had great skiing with a protective crust down 40-50cm on Goat Slide. Here’s a short vid of Cam on Ignitor.

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