Monthly Archives: December 2014

Driving in Ski Boots


It can be a challenge to stay warm skiing on these minus 20 degree mornings. Obviously having appropriate gear is key, but I find that dressing fully in the warmth of my home and raising my core temperature before venturing out, makes a huge difference. This involves driving in my ski boots. which I actually do everyday regardless of the conditions. When the topic occasionally comes up in conversation, people invariably respond that such a practice is either impossibly difficult, irresponsible, or illegal, which is all nonsense.  I don’t find driving my manual truck is even slightly challenging (no different than heavy work boots and likely easier than high-heels), and there is nothing in the motor vehicle act (which I just browsed) that even mentions footwear. It’s only a 5 minute drive to Red, but I’ll often drive an hour to Kootenay Pass in my touring boots. If nothing else I’m sure not to forget them.

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51cm of new snow in the past 3 days has improved things quite a bit. Still a few bushy sections to negotiate, but if the lifts were turning we’d be skiing powder top to bottom.


Filed under Red Mountain

Opening Day


It’s  week later than scheduled, and only the T-Bar, but ski season has started at Red. I arrived about 10 to 9, expecting that some keeners would have lined up early, but was the only one. Eventually a few people showed up for easy soft groomer skiing, with heavy snow falling all day. After 10 laps I was pretty bored, so toured up for a run on the Cliff. Off-piste the 10cm of heavy schmoo from yesterday had frozen into a punchy crust and was topped with perhaps 5cm of new snow. I wasn’t sinking into the alder, and the turns were ok.

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Southern Belle


We skinned up Main Run this morning, and skied down via Southern Belle – South Side Road – Short Cuts – Center Star – T-Bar. 10cm of new snow on top of rain crust, dirt, bushes and open water made for reasonable white-out skiing in the areas that had been brushed, and sheer survival elsewhere.

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Filed under Backcountry, Red Mountain

Still Waiting for Snow


Hiking around Nancy Green Lake with the Redheads


Afternoon Light over the Rossland Range.


Touring into the Birthday Chutes seemed like a good idea.


Poor Skiing Conditions in the Rossland Range. A good work-out though.



The T-Bar slope is looking good for opening, but nothing else.






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Warm, Wet, Blah.


Jubilee Park Field.

With freezing levels at 2400m and rain for the past couple of days, skiing conditions have turned abysmal.  Even though it was just going to be the man-made snow on the T-bar, Red Mountain have postponed their scheduled opening, and what little snow there was elsewhere in the Rossland Range has been washing away.  When things cool down overnight Thursday it’s possible the higher peaks might get enough snow above the frozen mank to be be ski-able, or else take the bike out of storage.


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From “Stupid Deep” to “Red Sucks” and now “It’s All Hype”, Red Mountain has utilized a succession of hip and ironic memes to sell the Red experience to the world.  I’ve been researching this stuff for Skadi Lodge, and it seems that’s what all the marketing gurus recommend these days, but to my way of thinking being ironic and stylish as you hype up your product is still hype, and it feels disrespectful. My sensibilities may not be a good guide to Red’s market, but I’m going to trust that there’s still an appreciation out there for authenticity.


Filed under Red Mountain

Lunch Box Laps


Woke to rain in Rossland. Drove through slop, which transitioned to snow only 100m below the Pass. Wet snow fell through most of the day. Set and then lapped a close proximity skin-track. The heavy, boot deep powder skied better with as much speed as possible in the misty low-tide conditions.


Twas a Birthday Tour.



Feel your way, sans goggles.


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Wolf Ridge

IMG_1340Another day spent wandering through the mountains, and skiing powder with friends. The snow-pack is still  pretty thin below 1800m, with lots of open water on the approach and obstacles in the forest. Up high conditions are as good as they look.




My Favorite Line.



Filed under Backcountry