For the past 3 weeks (though it seems longer) a huge and entrenched high pressure has redirected the Pacific Northwest storm track far to the North and South of us. 3 weeks of cold clear weather has made for great ski-touring conditions, and yesterday at Kootenay Pass was another glorious day of bouncing turns through untracked boot deep hoar frost and facets.
Even skiing at Red Mountain hasn’t been too bad, for despite extravagant efforts to fence skiers into only a couple of crappy groomed runs, with a little extra effort and creativity it’s been possible to traverse to some good quality early season powder skiing without getting busted.
Finally now the storm track is forecast to return for Christmas and I’m hopeful that we’ll be wallowing in powder by New Years. But as the new snow accumulates on top of a deep layer of faceted snow created by the December drought, safe skiing in the backcountry will require considerable good judgement for quite a while. A good time to exercise caution and enjoy powder skiing in-bounds.