It’s been quite the weather roller-coaster of late. A week of snow, followed by a couple of days of warm and wet, now cold and clear. The Rossland area has become a virtual skating rink, unsuitable for much beyond the gym. With low expectations we headed Kootenay Pass today for some early season reconnaissance. Despite the minus 18 degree temperature, the bright sun was warming(we stayed in the sun), and the wind negligible. The warm-wet has created a supportive 20cm thick crust (with wet snow underneath) at all elevations, but miraculously topped with up to 25cm of creamy light powder. The crust eliminated most of the usual early season hazards, and the powder skiing was smooth and easy.
Heading for the Highway
It’s been snowing in Rossland. Red’s claiming 58cm in the past week ,so I thought I’d give it a try. With racers busy lapping the strip of fenced-off man-made snow on the T-bar, Red was looking as though it might have enough coverage so I started up the face. I was soon sinking into the bushes, so veered back towards the T-bar, eventually being drawn to the bare strip that had been excavated for the snow-making water-line. I skied from part way up back-trail, and by staying light avoided punching through to dirt. With significant snow in the forecast, it’s only going to get better.
Freeze-up on the Center Star Gulch Reservoir
With fall surfing and biking trips complete, now comes the patient wait for skiing. We’ve winter temperatures here in Rossland, but just a dusting of snow on the ground. Red’s making snow, with enough stockpiled to put a few turns together if one were desperate. I’m still getting out my bike, but not having embraced the fat-bike craze, every ride could be my last. Skis are tuned. Pass is in hand. Storms are coming.
Snow-making on the T-bar at Red.