Sunshine and easy skiing powder made for a beautiful day of sled accessed touring in the Norns. In the shadow of recent instabilities we kept our objectives moderate, but the turns couldn’t have been any sweeter.
Storms keep rolling in from the Pacific, in what is proving to be one of the wettest winters on record. As is common in March, conditions fluctuate widely, varying by elevation, aspect and the hour. I’ve been obsessing over the forecasts, calculating how to be in the right place at the right time, enjoying boot deep powder, carving groomers in the sunshine, and everything in between. With heavy rain pelting on the roof and depleting the snow banks my yard, chillaxing (a term currently favored by my nephews) with coffee is the call for this morning.
Sometimes you get exceptionally lucky. Our group of 16 flew into Ymir Lodge after over a meter of new snow in the previous week, and 25cm the night before. Then the sun came out, temperatures held, and we shredded incredible powder lines for 7 days. The Rossland Range was visible in the distance, yet we were in another world, living the dream of ski-touring every day, eating and drinking like royalty, and enjoying the company of a great bunch of friends. Ymir Lodge isn’t quite as fancy as some of the much more expensive hut options, but it’s comfortable and spacious with everything you need, and the amount and quality of accessible terrain is hard to beat. I’m told there’s availability through March.
It’s been over a week since we’ve had any fresh snow , so finding some preserved powder on Northern aspects was a bonus at Kootenay Pass yesterday. Travelling was fast and easy, so we covered lots of ground, linked up a few descents, and got to ski a new (for us) line into Lost Creek. The Southern aspect back to the highway was a painless mix of crust and skiable schmoo, and we finished the day with beers courtesy of the generous couple who provided our hitched ride back to the Pass.
It seems like it’s been socked in and snowing most of the time lately. My regular Thursday ski touring buddy and I have achieved almost nothing this year, because every Thursday has been a powder day on the ski hill (with another one forecast for tomorrow). Not that I’m complaining. I’m totally satisfied lapping my favorite lines at Red in powder, but it’s not been conducive to blogging. Yesterday the sun finally came out, and it was a beautiful change.
Back from another incredible trip to Fairy Meadows. Exceptional powder skiing conditions (over 60cm of new snow fell over the week) in alpine bowls, steep trees and pillow lines, with picture book views, showing around and getting to know a fun loving bunch of weirdos from all over.
Skiing in the New Year, shredding powder in the Rossland Range.
It seems the endlessly snowy weather pattern we’ve been enjoying has come to its inevitable end. With high pressure entrenched, the sun is shining above valley cloud, cold temps and light winds are preserving deep light snow on all aspects, and unlimited powder skiing is there for the taking.