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Southeast BC Interior Options - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Went up today, biggest problem was GETTING there. Road hadn't been plowed, I tobogganed down the hill on my oil pan or something, managing to keep the nose pointed straight ahead. Reached the intersection at the bottom, still no plow. Plowed the road for about a mile with the oil pan some more. Reached the asphalt, road had five inches or so, meaning practically clear, since the last plow. (The earlier stuff was over the top of my knee high Sorels). Got to the resort an hour after I left the house (normal 16 minutes). Then the lots were so full, I had to hike about ten minutes to get to the lodge. Lift lines were long, so tried a run over in the Chair Two area first, hoping they'd shrink a bit as the other set of chairs normally running on days like these were not. Came back, no change. Got in line, about fifteen minutes to load. No lines on the back, but still blasting elsewhere. Moved over to Flower Point, took some runs there, still blasting. Now exhausted because it was knee deep on the groomers, and not as light as usual, decided to make my way back to the lodge. Still blasting. Heard on the way down the daughter had managed to high center her car cross ways in the drive way and I wouldn't be able to get to the house, so didn't hurry. Finally got to the locker room, changed, heard that after two hours of digging, she was unstuck. Headed home. A half hour later, arrived at the dirt section of the road, still not plowed. Arrived at hill to house, still not plowed. Called plow guy. Waited for him to arrive and plow. An hour and ten minutes after that, was able to get back to house. Time to get home, hour and forty minutes.

And it's still snowing. Not entirely sure I'll go tomorrow. I think they were still blasting when I left.

I think the bushes will be covered by now.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Went up today, biggest problem was GETTING there. Road hadn't been plowed, I tobogganed down the hill on my oil pan or something, managing to keep the nose pointed straight ahead. Reached the intersection at the bottom, still no plow. Plowed the road for about a mile with the oil pan some more. Reached the asphalt, road had five inches or so, meaning practically clear, since the last plow. (The earlier stuff was over the top of my knee high Sorels). Got to the resort an hour after I left the house (normal 16 minutes). Then the lots were so full, I had to hike about ten minutes to get to the lodge. Lift lines were long, so tried a run over in the Chair Two area first, hoping they'd shrink a bit as the other set of chairs normally running on days like these were not. Came back, no change. Got in line, about fifteen minutes to load. No lines on the back, but still blasting elsewhere. Moved over to Flower Point, took some runs there, still blasting. Now exhausted because it was knee deep on the groomers, and not as light as usual, decided to make my way back to the lodge. Still blasting. Heard on the way down the daughter had managed to high center her car cross ways in the drive way and I wouldn't be able to get to the house, so didn't hurry. Finally got to the locker room, changed, heard that after two hours of digging, she was unstuck. Headed home. A half hour later, arrived at the dirt section of the road, still not plowed. Arrived at hill to house, still not plowed. Called plow guy. Waited for him to arrive and plow. An hour and ten minutes after that, was able to get back to house. Time to get home, hour and forty minutes.

And it's still snowing. Not entirely sure I'll go tomorrow. I think they were still blasting when I left.

I think the bushes will be covered by now.

Sounds good.  We got a very wet additional 12 in today.  Settled and wet.

post #33 of 53
Red and Whitewater just recieved a bunch of new snow; biggest dump of the season. Fernie got a bit as well. This 3 mountains recieve much more snow then Panorama or Kimberly. Okanagan still seems to be winning.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post

Red and Whitewater just recieved a bunch of new snow; biggest dump of the season. Fernie got a bit as well. This 3 mountains recieve much more snow then Panorama or Kimberly. Okanagan still seems to be winning.

 

Yup. A quick review of western Canada ski resorts reveals the best coverage right now is at Sun Peaks, Revelstoke, Silver Star and Big White.

post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

 

Yup. A quick review of western Canada ski resorts reveals the best coverage right now is at Sun Peaks, Revelstoke, Silver Star and Big White.

Trend continuing with the current storms. 48 hours snow totals in inches:

Big White 23

Revelstoke 18

Whitewater 17

Apex 16

Silver Star 14

Sun Peaks 14

Red 11

 

The Canadian areas east of those listed above all report in the 6-8 inch range of new snow.

We could use some of that down here.

post #36 of 53

You'll have to get lucky the way things have been... Hopefully the season turns around in a hurry but it's been pretty terrible throughout most of the pacific northwest, at least here in BC... 

 

This winter's pattern, at least in southern BC has been: one or two days of snow, followed immediately by high winds or rain in the Alpine; then dry and very cold for a week. Southern BC (Coast to West Kootenays) just had a massive powder dump yesterday, followed by a pineapple express less than 12 hours later that turned it to rain and temperatures above freezing in the Alpine... Now the forecast? You guessed it! Another week of dry cold.

 

I would say the Pacific Northwest should probably be skipped in El Nino years; especially taking climate change into consideration.  I'm working on at Whitewater renowned for deep cold smoke powder and since the start of December, we've had a postponed opening, a mid week closure and a handful of good snow days.  Maybe 5?  According to locals it's the worst season since the mountain opened so far...

 

Yes, it could turn around in a hurry but the current weather patterns since the start of November has been almost clockwork. "Snow event -> wind or rain event -> dry cold"  Only elevations above 2000m have been spared form most of the rain and warm up. Fernie and Whitefish may not be hit by the big snows of this latest system, but it may also escape the warmer temperatures.

 

 

post #37 of 53
? But we were. 20 inches in the last two days, 28 in the last week. 72 inch base. 100% open.

post #38 of 53

After a 14" powder day yesterday, today Sun Peaks got light rain (drizzle), 3/4 the way up the mountain and wet snow up top.

 

One thing though, Sun Peaks doesn't get as much snow as some of the other mountains, so when the mild weather hits SP doesn't get as much rain as others.:D

post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

The Kootenays aren't doing too well with snow.

Can you clarify...  Most Kootenays areas have 50"+ base (panorama at 36" is an exception)  I'm thinking about the Kootenays as a possible spring skiing location and I was thinking these base numbers looked good for early Jan.  Am I missing something?  I wont book until at least Feb so there is time to watch the snow fall more.

post #40 of 53
Usually the Kootenays have a lot more snow by this time and the snow pack is more stable... this winter has seen big swings between record breaking warm n cold fronts. Less consistant precipitation and more of it falling as rain at high elevation... March is usually awesome but with this winter it's hard to say... we need a more normalized weather pattern.
post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

Can you clarify...  Most Kootenays areas have 50"+ base (panorama at 36" is an exception)  I'm thinking about the Kootenays as a possible spring skiing location and I was thinking these base numbers looked good for early Jan.  Am I missing something?  I wont book until at least Feb so there is time to watch the snow fall more.


50" is not great for this time of year. Plus, you have to consider what the base looks like, and where they're measuring. For many of these resorts, its 50" at the summit, not at the base. Since early November, we've had big dumps followed immediately by rain or other pineapple express phenomena...Last week at Fernie, for example, even though it technically said a 147 cm base (so a little over 50"), it was a sheet of ice, really skied out, bare patches, and rocks and grass sticking out in places. Up high in the bowls it was better, but really skied out and icy from the crazy wind we've been having so far this winter. I haven't been skiing since the big storm this weekend, but I know that a lot of places also just had rain immediately following the storm - i.e. Big White. etc. We've had a really weird early winter - massive dumps followed by massive winds followed by rain. If you go further north, its better - Kicking Horse, Revy, Banff all seem to have missed out on the warm  temperatures after snowstorms. Though I think it has been above freezing in Revy the past 2 days. If you're going later on in the season, I would wait to book and go with whatever looks best. Generally though, I would say that the best snow conditions in the Kootenays and Rockies here are Feb - April. Tons of snow. Early season is usually dry, just not this pineapple-y.

post #42 of 53

I'm going to buy a pineapple and sacrifice it.

post #43 of 53
Quote:
Generally though, I would say that the best snow conditions in the Kootenays and Rockies here are Feb - April.

That's a good description of Alberta/the Rockies, and Kicking Horse/Panorama have a similar profile of cold weather/gradual snow accumulation but excellent preservation.  What I usually consider the Kootenays (Fernie/Red/Whitefish/Schweitzer and nearby areas) are usually best January/February due to abundant snowfall, while spring can be variable with the lower altitude and in many cases sunny exposures.

 

The wild card with the Kootenay areas is rain, and no one should know that better than I after my unfortunately scheduled trip right after the Tropical Punch of January 2005. These areas get the same storms as Washington State (Fernie and Mt. Rainier are 80% correlated), and when we see what a problem the Washington areas had with rain, barely getting open by Christmas, it's not surprising that the Kootenay areas shared some of this pain.  

Quote:
 I'm working on at Whitewater renowned for deep cold smoke powder and since the start of December, we've had a postponed opening, a mid week closure and a handful of good snow days.  Maybe 5?  According to locals it's the worst season since the mountain opened so far...

I was wondering about that. 115 inches snowfall since Nov. 1 but still not 100% open.  Whitewater's base is higher than most of the other places, so rain is usually less of an issue, but I guess this year is an exception so far.

Quote:
I would say the Pacific Northwest should probably be skipped in El Nino years

Skiers from other parts of North America should envy PNW winter storminess.  The typical hit to snowfall in El Nino years in the Northwest/Northern Rockies of both US and Canada is in the 15% range, which leaves many ski areas in a 300-350 inch  range that is still more than most places.  The tendency for El Nino years to be warmer than average is more of a concern, so maybe you want to look more at the higher vs. lower ski areas.  At any rate the current El Nino is weak, so not really the reason for this weather IMHO.  And recall that Tahoe still sucks more so far this season than anywhere I can see in western Canada.

post #44 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

  

I was wondering about that. 115 inches snowfall since Nov. 1 but still not 100% open.  Whitewater's base is higher than most of the other places, so rain is usually less of an issue, but I guess this year is an exception so far.

Whitewater is no more than so-so this year by its usual standard, but many places would be ecstatic if they had as much on the ground as Whitewater does now.

 

Whitewater requires a lot of snow to be 100% open. I tend to think its just getting good when the claimed base is in the 80" range.

post #45 of 53
Whitewater lift services from about 1450m to 2050m roughly I believe... problem is the 3 pineapple express storms that have occurred since the late Nov have brought the freezing levels to 2000m. Followed by a week of dry cold. Big White, Revelstoke and Kicking Horse are fairing better due to higher elevation lift service. Terrain below 1400m has been pretty shit since the start of the season. It's been staying cold enough in the rockies but those resorts have seen little precipitation. And of course It's been way to warm on the coast.
post #46 of 53

Can anyone tell me the best place - or a few places - to get good forecasts for the interior BC?  I live in Washington state and posted previously about cat ski options up there.  After reading this thread I would also be interested in a trip to the resorts up there with the possibility of a day or two in a cat or helicopter.  We could be at Red Mountain/Big Red Cats in under eight hours and just a little longer to get to some of the other resorts/operations (factoring in decent driving conditions of course).  However, I would want to have a good handle on the expected weather and conditions before embarking on that long of a trip.  I'd love to find access to at least a good 3-4 day forecast, but up to a week out with decent reliability would be even better.  Pretty easy to find forecasts for the US, but I'm having trouble finding one for that area.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

post #47 of 53
Quote:
Whitewater requires a lot of snow to be 100% open. I tend to think its just getting good when the claimed base is in the 80" range.

This is precisely the local input I've received at Taos, which seems to offend the New Mexico locals here on Epic.  Whitewater is steeper and rockier than most ski areas, but it's hard to claim that it's steeper or rockier than Taos. And it's not under dispute that Whitewater averages ~50% higher snowfall than Taos.

Quote:
Can anyone tell me the best place - or a few places - to get good forecasts for the interior BC?

I'd like to find the equivalent of OpenSnow up there too.  I'm sure snmhanson knows that the Washington State weather tends to show up 1-2 days later at Schwetzer/Red/Fernie. 

post #48 of 53

Whitewater is also in a very densely vegetated valley; so there is a lot of plants. creeks and bush that needs to be covered.  It's currently a natural terrain park... The base itself isn't bad, but it's mostly ice top to the bottom right now; another 20-40 cm and if it manages to stay fairly cool without hurricane winds then conditions in the interior would be quite good; just have to ride conservatively and watch out for many hazards.

 

Overall things could improve in a hurry if we start getting into a more normalized/stable weather pattern with a a bit of snow... problem is the entire season has been a steep roller coaster around here so far.

 

I just use these the environment canada forecast; it's fairly accurate over a 3-5 period; I compared it with individual mountain forecasts.

 

Right now I believe Cat and heli-skiing operations up in the mountains north and between kaslo and new denver are said to be quite good... If you can get above 1900m the snow is quite nice, below that not so much! 

post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
 

Can anyone tell me the best place - or a few places - to get good forecasts for the interior BC?  I live in Washington state and posted previously about cat ski options up there.  After reading this thread I would also be interested in a trip to the resorts up there with the possibility of a day or two in a cat or helicopter.  We could be at Red Mountain/Big Red Cats in under eight hours and just a little longer to get to some of the other resorts/operations (factoring in decent driving conditions of course).  However, I would want to have a good handle on the expected weather and conditions before embarking on that long of a trip.  I'd love to find access to at least a good 3-4 day forecast, but up to a week out with decent reliability would be even better.  Pretty easy to find forecasts for the US, but I'm having trouble finding one for that area.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

 

Most of the B.C resorts have a link on their website to a weather forecast. Or use the Weather Network for the nearest town.

post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
 

Whitewater is also in a very densely vegetated valley; so there is a lot of plants. creeks and bush that needs to be covered.  It's currently a natural terrain park... The base itself isn't bad, but it's mostly ice top to the bottom right now;

I've been up to Whitewater in July. The willow is 7 feet (or more) tall, and there is water everywhere. The insects are Alaskan in quantity and aggressiveness.

 

People from the east would laugh to hear you call what Whitewater has now "ice." It is crusty, noisy and obnoxious, but it is not ice by the standard of any place that makes artificial snow. I can still set an edge on skis that haven't been tuned since some time last year. There are patches of true ice on the lower Glory cat track.

 

And, to be clear, despite what we consider to be inferior conditions, there are no dirt patches between the bumps or anywhere else. Plenty of brush, though.

 

But no, it's not the lift-served cat skiing conditions that we expect at Whitewater.

 

As for being a natural terrain park, that's absolutely correct. Many of the boulders are 6-10 feet in diameter. They are covered with snow, but the resulting snow covered mound sticks out of the surrounding terrain by several feet. Actually hitting a rock with your ski is not really a problem. They do make great obstacles and features to play with.

 

For people who haven't been through it before, it's hard to believe that these things will get groomed under once there's enough snow where they occur on otherwise intermediate runs.

 

Additional "features" include fallen logs, root balls and 8-10 foot trees which will eventually disappear. It's kind of amazing to watch a small glade just vanish as the season progresses. For now, these things add interest to low-angle slopes.


Edited by jhcooley - 1/9/15 at 2:10pm
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
 

Can anyone tell me the best place - or a few places - to get good forecasts for the interior BC? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

 

Most of the B.C resorts have a link on their website to a weather forecast. Or use the Weather Network for the nearest town.

Try snow-forecast.com. It is conservative and realistic. The link for Whitewater is: http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Whitewater/6day/mid

post #52 of 53
I love

http://www.mountain-forecast.com

And

http://www.snow-forecast.com

Because they have weather for specific mountains, and ski resorts, at different elevations.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
post #53 of 53
Conditions have improved and will continue tobe good until Sat when a fourth pineapple express arives and brings us spring conditions for 3-4 days; freezing level forecast to hit 3000m. Well below average snow pack; we will need a lot of snow following the next warm up likely to make a trip worth while
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