18cm in a 48hr period just prior to the New Year was a welcome treat, but the accompanying windstorm was, initially anyway, not! It got pretty howlin’ up top, and folks were finding their lee spots frontside, rather than deal with the blowing wind and snow. However, wind loading being what is, all was soon forgiven as I called “some spots around the Zone and Taynton probably realizing up to and exceeding half a metre!” on the next day’s report. It seems that was pretty accurate, as I heard reports of young kids getting caught up in deep snow, trying to get down through Cauldron.
I know I talk a lot about snow, but snow alone doth not a mountain make! We’ve also been up to some summer maintenance; not just to the mechanical assets, but to the slopes themselves! Say hello to our new AEBI slopes mower.
I saw it in action one day on Powder Trail, and it was not messing around! Think of it as what every domestic ride on mower would like to be when it grows up! This beast is an impressive work horse that makes short shrift of alders, and other vegetation, by churning through and cutting them a good ways down on our main trails. There were a few runs that had been needing that attention for some time, and the benefits are pretty clear on many of them. It’s just another way we’re looking to improve the overall experience: that’s what we mean by “There’s more to the mountains”!
The New Year was foreshadowed with our annual torchlight parade and fireworks display, and the pleasant evening brought the crowds out to celebrate. Seeing the quiet start on New Years morning, I’m thinking the celebrations didn’t stop there either! I gave a little Jan 1st entertainment in the report after some Barry Manilow inspiration:
With thanks to 'Copacabana':
"It was a ski hill, it had just one run,
but that was 50 years ago, and now it's a biggggrrr show,
It's grown to 10 lifts, a massive mountain,
Taynton all round to Ridgeback,
A big ol' bowl of Double Black
We've lots of green and blue
For newer skiers too
Black runs, steeps and glading
Good for all the crew!
Here at Pano, Pa-no-rama
Much snowier than Havana!
Here at Pano, Pa-no-rama
Skiing's our passion, it's always in fashion
Here at Pano, the place we love."
Even now during the busy traffic period, I still hear from local regulars that they can go out and find some turns in untracked powder in the top of Taynton’s vertical, and off fall line. Lower in the drainages the snow is more tracked and packed, but still soft, although some decent sized bumps keep the legs working right until Landing Strip. There are other stashes around the mountain too, and the majority of the natural snow on tracked and packed runs has been riding nice and soft. On top of that, the snow has been falling lightly throughout the day, and we have some decent new snow coming in overnight as I write. Maybe another powder day to add to the several in December?! Happy New Year indeed!!!