K2 was the Kootenay tenure re branded a few years ago.
Correct. I was there 3 days in 2002. The second day it was raining in town and they said they couldn't fly because the water on the heli blades might freeze when they ascended. TR's, old so no pics:
It was a fairly average trip by my experience, which means excellent snow but some weather constraints. It would definitely have been above average without the down day.
Because out of the 10 trips, 2 will be the best skiing conditions you will ever see in a lifetime, 4 will be decent - worth paying for, 2 will be lousy - not worth paying for, and 2 will be total shit." I totally agree with him.
As noted in the catski thread my experience over 66 cat days and 30 heli days is better than that:
I agree with the 20% epic, peak experience conditions.
I say 50% vs. 40% for consistently good and well worth paying for.
I have experienced 5% total shit. If you're getting 20% shit long term you're not doing your homework about choosing locations/time of season IMHO.
And I'd say only another 5% mediocre, not worth paying for.
The other 20% is typically a mix of good and not-so-good conditions. You may have to traverse/ski through some breakable crust/variable snow before you drop into sheltered powder. More often, particularly in the heli, the bottom 500+ vertical runout to an open flat area for pickup can have nasty snow even there was good powder up higher. Whether that's worth paying for is personal opinion. I know I come off here as the perennial skeptic in ski trip planning, but once I'm committed and actually skiing I tend to look at the glass being half full in situations like this, my 2015 trip at Mustang being a good example.
At K2/Kootenay nearly all the skiing will be in the trees. Especially in January when Selkirk weather tends to be gray even when it's not snowing. Rain incidence from my observations over the years seems to be random. The most destructive rain in 2005 was during the 3rd week of January. However, January is the safest month in terms of avoiding melt/freezes at low altitudes/sunny exposures, so for this particular operation I like the January timing.
In terms of conditions, I like to choose an operation with extensive terrain in both alpine and the trees, because fairly often the weather/conditions will favor one but not the other. K2/Kootenay and Mica Creek are heavily skewed to the trees. The Purcell Mountains, home to Purcell Heli and RK which I have skied, but also the CMH Lodges at Bugaboos and Bobbie Burns, are heavily skewed to the alpine. Galena by reputation is one of those with the alpine/trees balance that I like to see.