Dropping into Powderfields, not a track in sight.
It can be challenging to love Red Mountain. The spectacular incompetence and unrealized potential drives me to tears, and the snow gods are often pretty stingy, but days like today make up for it. Only 5cm of new snow overnight, and wet and gloomy in town, but up above the clouds it was smooth powder skiing in the sunshine, and only a handful of smiling people to share it with.
Monthly Archives: January 2012
Ymir Yurts have a couple of rustic ski touring yurts, located in the Nelson Range between Wildhorse Catskiing and Whitewater ski resort. I just spent a week guiding a group of Swedish skiers and boarders out of the Yurtopia Yurt.
It was snowing and blowing almost the whole time, with nearly 50cm of new snow over the course of the week, making for constant trail breaking, and the perfect powder skiing experience the group had traveled a long way for.
Saturday was a powder-day at Red Mountain. A modest 15cm overnight, but with a little extra substance it smoothed out and softened the terrain for our first real top to bottom charging of the season. It seemed like every skier in the area showed up to play, and compounded by an inexplicable 40 minute delay in opening, 30 minute lift-lines made for slow laps, but there were plenty of fresh tracks for all.
Red Mountain has had enough new snow this week to make the skiing pretty fun, but nothing really substantial yet. In contrast, it seems just about everywhere else in the region has been getting puked on, so we headed to Kootenay Pass yesterday for a deep powder fix.
We found consistent knee deep powder everywhere we went, making for perfect turns and energetic trail breaking.
The forecast is calling for 30-40cm tonight. Bring it on!
Not everyone that comes to Wildhorse is focused entirely on getting in lots of vertical. As ski-tourers know, putting in some extra time and effort can provide big rewards.
On the Summit.
I recently got to show around a couple of our regulars, who wanted to make the most of a rest day on their annual cat-skiing trip. We snowmobiled to the top of our road network, climbed to the summit of Wildhorse Peak, and skied the long, open, and otherwise inaccessible South face in perfect conditions.
The South Face
With plenty of boot-packing, traversing, and side-stepping required to link it all together, the whole experience was a major work-out for guys that don’t regularly do this sort of thing, but they toughed it out and had a great time.
After a busy stretch of cat-skiing work at Wildhorse, it feels good to be back on the lifts at Red. For the past couple of days we’ve had top ups of new snow, periods of brilliant sunshine, just the usual small mid-week crowd, consistent coverage on all the terrain, and I’m stoked to be skiing top-to-bottom laps with my friends.
The outrageous price ($21) of Nachos in Rafters and the amusing video (linked here) that is circulating widely has the local skiing community both laughing and despairing. I wonder what sort of spin Red’s marketing geniuses will put on this latest PR disaster?