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Snow on the Way

NOAA Forecast for 6000′, just south of Kootenay Pass.

Snow likely, mainly before 10am. Cloudy and cold, with a high near 10. Wind chill values as low as -9. Southwest wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Sunday Night 

Snow. Low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -9. Breezy, with a southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 16 to 21 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.


Snow, mainly before 4pm. High near 24. Breezy, with a southwest wind 18 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Monday Night

Snow, mainly after 10pm. Low around 22. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.


Snow. High near 30. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible.


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December 15th. 

Stewart, pic by Joel.

Another day lapping deep cold untracked powder lines with friends. 

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We got a little more adventurous in our choice of terrain today. Lots of open water and obsticals below 1700m, but it all worked out. Snow surface conditions are exceptional.

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First Turns 

After three weeks road tripping through the mountain biking trails of the US Southwest, I’m stoked to arrive home to skiable snow conditions. It’s still conspicuously green and snowless at lower elevations, but snow has been piling above 1700m, which is perfect for Kootenay Pass. Cars in the parking lot at the Pass were overflowing into the brake-check lane on both days this weekend, which had the RCMP from Creston concerned, but we didn’t have any issue getting fresh tracks on some of our favourite early season lines. The well consolidated snowpack is 140cm at 1800m, and is skiing well on more open lines. 

Elise on Baldy Rocks.

Jordy on the Crags.

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Winter Forecast

Cliff Mass is calling for a normal winter.

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Winter 2016


With my season of work on the trails is winding up and snow accumulating on the peaks, skiing and the winter ahead is increasingly on my mind.

It’s been quiet summer at Red Mountain Resort. Construction activity on the partially built Josie hotel was conspicuously dormant through the entire 2016 summer construction season, though periodic press releases assure us that everything is proceeding to plan.  In marked contrast to the impressive amount achieved the previous summer, there seemed only a minimal amount of clean-up of and improvements to the ski runs, and only a token amount of belated brushing of the ski terrain. The only significant  investments seem to have been unavoidable repairs and upgrades to the aging lift infrastructure, and rumors rife in the community speculate that Red’s major investors have turned off the money supply. Despite their challenges, Red have spun their precarious financial situation into the basis for a brazenly hypocritical but remarkably successful crowd funding campaign, “Fight the Man, Own the Mountain”. Offering such a transparently poor deal that I have trouble conceiving why anyone could think otherwise, it’s nevertheless generated an incredible amount of free publicity and over $4.6 million in reservations at last count. In a time where Trump could be President, I guess anything is possible.

After abandoning my own plans to develop a commercial backcountry skiing lodge as un-viable, but still highly motivated to somehow provide accessible and affordable backcountry lodging, I’ve been mulling over what to do next. Now, along with a couple of co-conspirators, I’m in the process of setting up a new non-profit society to plan, fund-raise, construct and operate basic backcountry skiing huts in the region. We’ll be releasing details soon.

I just read that the long dispute over the status of the Glacier Park Lodge has been resolved, and that Canada Parks will now be demolishing the building and redeveloping the site. It was a creepy dive of a motel, but I do have fond memories from back before Roger’s Pass became the busy ski-touring Mecca that it is. My dirt-bag ski-bum friends and I would have the Pass to ourselves, pestering the highway maintenance staff for forecasts, bivying in the heated bathrooms of the Visitor’s Centre, drinking beers with soldiers at the artillery base, poaching the hot-tub at the hotel, and with the highway closed for blasting – trenching the deepest of powder lines through the trees.

It’s snowing wet flakes outside my window right now, with a 40cm base building on top of Granite it won’t be long before we’re sliding on snow.


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Leaving the Vortex

Since early December life has assumed the quality of ritual, almost entirely focused on powder skiing in my local mountains. Now I’m headed into Fairy Meadows for a week, with huge terrain and snowpack to explore, and multiple storms headed our way.



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