Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 65 a short report

And the reason that today's report is short is because my skiing day was very short, in fact just about an hour. Keen followers may remember that last Saturday I headed back to the UK for Lynda's mum's funeral with the intention of flying back on Thursday and skiing all day today. Things went according to plan right up to the moment I landed in Calgary from London yesterday afternoon. The final hop to Cranbrook was delayed 4 times and then finally cancelled due to the poor weather. I had to overnight at the Marriott in the airport and couldn't get a flight until around midday today. The result was that I got to the hill at 3 o'clock just in time to have a couple of runs up in White Pass.

I do not intend to make any comments on what has been happening while I was away as I only ever comment from first hand experience. There has been significant snowfall (118 cms in the past 7 days) and the base is now a much healthier 256 cms. Against that back ground then by definition there has been some very good skiing but the surfaces have been badly wind affected and much of the hill closed for avi risks so it hasn't been all beer and skittles.

I noticed three big changes from when I left - a much bigger snow base, much warmer temps (it was +3 over most of the hill) and a significant rain event which has left a rain crust to well above the White Pass load. Of course I only went to the New Side and Currie Bowl was closed so I have only seen part of the hill but such things as rain crust will be the same no matter where you ski.

In indifferent viz and the odd snow flurry I hit Puff which was soft on top and rather crusty lower down before heading up White Pass. The Gun bowl was nice and soft so I tracked out to Surprise Trees which were really ugly rain crust where the snow had been washed off the trees. I just had time for a couple of White Pass loops which were soft on top turning to rain crust and then it was time to finish. I thought the Knot Chutes may have improved but not really. The traverse in was still very rocky and the Tight Knot was a tricky slabby surface and wind affected. We dropped Lower Surprise with no great expectation that it would be much good and it wasn't. It was rain crust all the way but luckily some earlier traffic had bumped up the surface so you could at least use the terrain to get air to get your skis round in the crust.

All in all a disappointing return after all the reports of awesome skiing. The hill either needs a few cms of fresh to cover the crust or a big warm up to soften it. I don't really mind which. All my jobs except one have now been done and I am ready to resume skiing. The one outstanding job is shovelling the back deck which is about 6 ft deep in snow and the hot tub not visible. That's going to be a couple of hours work so not something for the first night back. Holiday weekend crowds tomorrow so must make an early start.


  1. Welcome back. We were able to ski the amazing powder in your absence and I thought often of how it's unfair that you missed it, given your dedication to skiing even in the shirty conditions! I hope a new snow cycle moves in and gives you some great conditions.
    And I hope you find your hot tub again.

  2. Thanks, just made my day to discover the leak in the roof that the strata company is supposed to have fixed is still leaking in a big thaw. So a lot of today will be taken up getting that sorted out.