You’ll often hear it from locals: “we just need to get through the busy holiday period, then wait for the next snowfall to restore the hill”. Not this year folks! We’ve had plenty of snow during the past week and those thoughts are somewhat redundant…
‘Happy New Year’ was an earlier exclamation, but I really meant it once Jan 3rd rolled around! We had 10cm overnight to 6am and there was more on the way through the day – another 15cm as it turned out! The reset switch was well and truly flicked, and the powderhounds enjoyed a morning going at it before another switch turned off everything! The heavy snow and wind had caused a tree to fall on the main electrical line supplying the resort – something that, in the words of Henry Higgins, does “hardly ever happen”! The contractor crew had us back online inside two hours, but just to be safe only Mile One, the Village Gondola and the surface lifts ran for the remainder of the afternoon, which meant that much of the powder on the upper and mid mountain had hardly been skied since 11:30am…
More snow and strong winds coming into the morning of Jan 4th gave another 14cm of snow up top and combined with intense wind loading, gave the Avi Techs another morning of hard work in the outback office. Following the lack of traffic the previous afternoon, much of the mountain had over a foot of new snow to play in once the safety work was done mid morning, and the crowd went wild: RAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Check out the pic below of local young shredder Lewis Turgeon enjoying his Xmas break and pounding some pillows that day!
The mild weather on the lower mountain that day caused a little crispy crusting for the Discovery / Toby elevations once temperatures dropped overnight, although our grooming team did one heck of a job restoring those lower sections over the next few days. Meanwhile, all the grooming on the upper and mid mountain was cruisers delight, with Stumbock’s, View, Schober’s and Rollercoaster all gaining large plaudits over the last weekend of the holiday period. I got some sweet powder turns on a lap in Ktunaxa on the Saturday, with nice soft pack bumps in Funnel. We finished off the weekend with a crazy, blizzardy blast that came and went in about 40 mins, disorienting skiers high on the Monster plateau, and making it difficult for our young racers to see gate to gate on Old Timer! Wind packed snow on all elevations was the way we carried through into the new week, while the 4cm groomed in made for some rather groovy corduroy. The ripple effect has been in play on the groomers both underfoot, and in that people are spreading the word about just how good they’ve been for carving clean lines!
The call has been to go exploring lately, because the mountain has plenty of quality to offer throughout the regions. I’ve spent the last couple of days getting some laps in through most areas on the mountain, and found lots of fun around the fringes and down the cut runs of View, Sun Bowl and Founders, just popping in and out of trees, or ripping speedy turns down the middle. I met up with a couple from Sydney who were up for a mid-week scout about on Wednesday, and had the pleasure of showing them through the Extreme Dream Zone and a bit farther out in Taynton. Having had another 4cm overnight, things were generally soft and slow, and the thought of the floaty feeling when leaving from a massage came to mind! We found untracked lines much of the way through Elmo and then down into Dunes. Tacky rode likewise on the way out to Champagne, and next up was a jaunt through the trees and into the open spaces of Whitetail. Once again, finding fresh turns wasn’t at all difficult, and once the fall line mellowed a little, you could really charge through the powder!
By Wednesday we were showing an even half metre of snowfall for the previous 7 days! Ok, enough said now: I’d rather be out on the planks! It’s smooth sailing throughout, and it’s up to you to leave the corduroy or powder in your wake.