Figured I post this TR for those of you who have trips planned up to BRC this month. (many booked through groupon)
It's definitely a low snow year all over, and while not hit as bad as other places, BRC's terrain is a bit affected. The snow quality was surprisingly good, just a few hours north of the areas I'd been hitting previously with rain/ice crust issues. It did happen to snow the entire drive from Spokane the night before, but only resulted in about 3 or 4cm in Rossland by morning. If it is snowy when any of you are headed up, keep in mind the highway between Kettle Falls and Northport can get kinda sketchy, but still no 4x4 needed. Overall there isn't quite enough base up there to cover timber, brush, stumps, or to allow them to build many cat roads. Additionally the recent snow drought (old tracks not yet covered) and rising avalanche conditions limited our terrain selections.
I stayed the night at the Red Shutter Inn, directly next door to the BRC office. It was a nice (and cheap) place to stay, but no quiet hours and a little loud until very late on weekend nights. It was nice to walk out the door to board the bus in the morning to the staging area. Makes logistics pretty easy -- though resort lodging was just another block down the road.
Two cats went out the day I was up -- which I think was a first for the season. BRC can run as many as 4 cats during the busy season on a good snow year. I booked an "Expert" cat, though all the other skiers in the party were catsking for the first time. They were decent skiers and all fully stoked, even though there was a lot of traversing for lines, dodging brush and stopping to regroup in thick forest. I did had a good time, but having a better idea of how good it "could be" I ended up pushing my 2nd day back to later in the season.
It does look like there is a series of storms lined up starting Sunday night for the area. So conditions could drastically improve in a matter of days..
BRC last season in early January: (pic courtesy Pete No. Idaho)
BRC this season in early January (on my trip):
I also took a helmet cam, and put together a clip of a typical run that day. As you can see lots to dodge (including a tree between the legs!) but still soft enough snow to have a little fun.
Edited by spknmike - 1/12/12 at 3:16pm