Coming out of early February, we’d been working to reclaim conditions on the lower groomers, which had firmed up after excess moisture and cold temperatures in the first week. I spent last Thursday and Friday on a course, involving advanced ski technique on mid and lower mountain groom, which provided a good test for the results. Working high speed turns down the likes of Skyline and Fritz’s left no doubt that the groomers are back to their best over this past week, after a few little top up snowfalls and some stellar work from our snowstylists and their feline companions. The grip was so evident, I compared it to a toddler holding a toy, and then it had me thinking back to physics class and co-efficient of friction, before viewing the beautifully combed grooming through the lens of a stable of Arabian horses!?! There’s that ‘life experience’ shining through…. A good snowfall of 8cm over Tuesday and Wednesday this week keeps that fresh feel in the corduroy set and gives plenty of product to play with until the next snow comes…
Snow overnight (I love seeing these images while doing the AM report!) gives way to sweet groom - Feb 13
Through the weekend we had that beautiful groom, but baby, it was cold outside! With some of the lowest morning temperatures this season, it was all about wrap up and warm up breaks, and not for the first time in my winter career, I was rueing not having bought shares in a handwarmer company! The benefit of the pure wintery chill from the arctic wasn’t just for the groom grip, but also off piste. Plenty of the powder from the early February snowstorm remained untouched, and we kept it in the deep freeze so it wouldn’t deteriorate. Therefore, a week and a half after the big snow and we are still getting boot deep turns with very little hunting – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel!
Taynton magic... Ok, what's the next run? Pick a line, any line!
Into the mid week, we thankfully warmed a bit to more seasonal weather and, being on the warm side of the Rockies, that means averages in the minus teens overnight ranging to highs near or above minus ten during the day – perfect skiing temperatures! Combine that with the new snow on existing powder, and I was itching to get into a few pieces of what we call ‘varied’ terrain – ie: trees, bumps, steep and deep! Playtime in the Zone found big, soft, powdered bumps in Trigger, some loose and windpacked snow in Elmo, and loose snow through the trees of Fat Chance. Sidewinder is holding some fairly deep snow through the lower section, and also on the ‘Sidebock’ face opposite. White Room held far more untracked powder lines than I’d expected on Wednesday, with boot deep turns in plain site from Stumbock’s, just inviting a shred! I’d heard good stuff all week about Heli High too, but figured that with no hiking required, it would be pretty tracked out by now – sometimes I like being wrong! An early cut to skiers right of the ridge and open season on Heli Face gave a chance to seek rhythm, with some hop turns helping release the planks from their powder envelope.
Fresh snow on the trees in lower Sidewinder and for 'Sidebock' beyond - Feb 12
Once again, it seems that we are likely for snow into the weekend, with models in agreement that clouds should roll in Thursday night, delivering some falls on and off for Friday through to Saturday evening. While amounts are always difficult to call, the current best guess as at midnight Wednesday puts it at 5-10cm. With it being Family Day weekend, I say pile it on – we want you lot to share in the fun out here! The popular playgrounds of Founders and Sun Bowl will be happy to entertain you, but of course, I implore you, don’t forget about that long, lonely ridgeline out the back – someone should really go and ride some of that stuff!
Loose powder in Heli High - Feb 13