Monday, 10 February 2014

Feb 10: And the weather turns

It started just like the last few days, clear...
Somewhere near the terrain park, 11 AM
...groomed, cold (-16° in the village, -19° on Divide at 10 AM), and fairly light winds. But looming on the horizon (and slightly visible in the above photo) was cloud. The forecast was calling for it to cloud up and start snowing during the day.

We went in for lunch in cold and sunshine. And in that hour, it socked in and started...


The village, 1:30 PM
Okay, the snow was really, really light. But its the first snow I've seen in over a week.

We reversed our normal strategy of Goat's Eye in the AM/Divide in the PM based on the assumption that it would sock in early in the afternoon. So in the afternoon, we were over on Goat's Eye in the light snow and... sun...
Looking up at 3 PM
...while it was snowing and socked in in both the village and up on Divide.
Looking the other way
The Stonehenge automated data tells me that very little snow accumulated before 5 PM, which does not surprise me at all. The flakes before then were microscopic.

Since then, however, the snow has started falling in earnest. As I type this at 9:30 PM, almost 6 cm has fallen -- and the temperature has risen to -11°.
The 9:30 pm Stonehenge plot photo
Now, I have dissed forecasts in the past and will continue to do so. But the current ones are suggesting this snow will continue until noon-ish Tuesday, then we will get a break, and it will start snowing again early Wednesday morning.

Bring it on, I say.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Feb 8: See Yesterday

Note: as my site remains down, here's today's ski report

Aside from being slightly cooler than yesterday (highs in the village -17° instead of -14°; highs on Divide -19° instead of -16°), today was a carbon copy of yesterday. Same sun...
The village, 11:45
...same powder remnants...
Assiniboine Trail, 12:20 PM 
Looking at Divide base
...same "dust on crust" in Bye Bye Bowl...
Untracked, but...
...same exposed rocks in Bye Bye, too.
Not something you want to hit
There was hardly anyone here today (for a Saturday). And my feet nearly froze off after 2.5 hrs in the parking lot, where it was REALLY cold this morning.

But it was a great cruising day, especially in the sunny places in the afternoon, and the utter lack of wind made it actually feel "warm" while you were standing still. Everyone dressed properly seemed to be having fun; we had some frostbite cases, but not that many. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Feb 7: Zoomin' the Groomin'

Note: The site is down again, so my ski report is here.

It has been a bitterly cold week. My plans for skiing Monday and Wednesday were dashed by -30° or lower temps up at Sunshine each morning -- though amazingly, I went out and volunteered servicing grizzly bear monitoring cameras on Tuesday down in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park where the temperature started at -28° and never got above -22°.
The Galatea Bridge. Not Sunshine. Suffer.
But since we're working tomorrow, and I want to be prepped for guests, we braved the cold and headed out today. It was in the low -20°'s in the morning in the village, and warmed up to to -14°. Riding Goat's Eye before noon though was quite chilling -- but pretty. It started a bit overcast, then cleared by about 11.

Sunshine has not reported any snow this week but I can prove some fell, though not much.
A couple of cm's on the grooming on Wildfire
And this snow fell overnight, since in many places it was on top of the grooming.

And the grooming was awesome. Given that there has been no snow since, oh, forever ago, the hill has had a chance to groom, well, nearly everything. On Goat's Eye, they have recently groomed everything EXCEPT Freefall, Silver Afterburner and Hell's Kitchen. So the cruising is just fantastic, and that tickle of powder on top made for hero turns.
In the afternoon, the sky was clear, the wind low, and it felt a bit warmer. The snow that fell overnight was readily visible but no deeper on the upper mountain.
That's fresh snow on Assiniboine Trail
Looking back from the same spot
We tried a trip in Bye Bye Bowl. The new snow helps, but is just not quite deep enough to cover the freeze-thaw chunks that are still there from our warm patch two weeks ago.
Freshies in the Bowl
So it was a day to rocket up and down in the grooming -- and on the upper mountain, they have once again obliged by grooming nearly everything, including Boundary Bowl.

So if you're coming this weekend, bring along your racing/carving skis, dress warm, and come prepare to zoom (safely, I hope).