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Gondola at Lake Louise - Page 2

post #31 of 43
It looks like Sunshine's Gondola was down today as well. I was up in Edmonton so I couldn't have gone anyway. Now tomorrow I can ski so if they don't have Sunshine up and running I guess I'll check out the gondola construction at the Lake personally.
post #32 of 43
Years ago (when I was driving cats there) we used to groom Paradise bowl from time to time. I actually never did it myself just day guys (so they could see). That was before winch cats but it all ended when one of the guys ended up doing donuts all the way down.

We also used to groom Lynx and Raven from the top and I had the dubious honour of grooming the summit lift line down the headwall. All without winches and generally without incident.

Larch was a once a week affair and usually involved a great deal of snow being moved by 6 cats and 6 to 8 hours to do the whole thing right. Wapta was another favourite of mine to groom and generally saw our cat crew on the lift at 8:15 the next morning with the 223s on. Eagle Flight was another push job involving hauling collected snow out of the hollows at the top and just above the Springboard pitch.

There are a lot of things that could be done to improve skiing for the general public without new terrain. Once again playing follow the leader is the HUGE money and resources spent on half pipes and terrain parks. Small hills need terrain parks to attract visits, big mountains are a terrain park and that's why people come. I don't think Sunshine even has one and they have kicked Louise for skier visit increases solidly for 5 years or more. Kicking Horse has also taken lots of skier visits without benefit of a pipe or park.

Skiing down Juniper or Men's Downhill is barely a viable option anymore as you are cut off by parks and pipes. How many people use those things and how much do they actually spend? It drives me nuts thinking of years ago trying to beg a bit of hill space and a couple of passes with a cat to run a race. Now it's weeks of multiple snow guns and hours and hours of shaping jumps and pipes not to mention welding rails and special equipment to groom pipes. How many use those things vs how many ski the rest of the mountain? Why does my lift pass subsidize this huge expense for a small portion of jibbers?

BTW what tiny little ridge are you refering to? The shoulder of Richardson or onto Rodney's ridge or some other spot.
post #33 of 43
At the Lake first thing this morning. The Gondola looked set to go with a maze and what appeared to be ticket checking staff at the ready. Alas, just a fake out. The ticket checker on the other lift said they were going to open it today 'but changed their minds'. Family Day long weekend, President's day in the states and from the sounds of it mid term break in the UK, not to mention Sunshine closed half of the weekend. I can't think of a good reason to have a second high speed lift off the bottom on this the busiest weekend of the year. Another impressive showing by Lake Louise management.

I'm starting to think they should just call it the boondoggle express.

For the amount of snow around Larch is in horrendous shape. Groomed flat but gravel strewn on every pitch. They're making snow but there is a lot of snow on the edges waiting to be pulled out and spread instead of cats chewing down to gravel and spreading it through the snowpack. Good snow elsewhere.
post #34 of 43
Yesterday at LL, they made the public service announcement in the lodge that the gondola would be open today. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it wouldn't be opening today (although I was assured that it would be running tomorrow).
post #35 of 43

Well at least one gondola is working

Sunshine gondola was back up and running today, but it looked like many people had gone elsewhere rather than take the chance. The hill seemed amazingly uncrowded except for lunch in the day lodge. I suspect everyone must have gone to Lake Louise, because they all showed up on the highway in their SUV's and pickups when I was trying to drive home. A steady stream of traffic from Bear Hill (Scott Lake Hill) to Stoney Trail.

Five centimeters of fresh snow for first runs this morning, sunshine for the first three hours and then light snow in the afternoon to start getting ready for tomorrow. I'm glad I passed on the chance to ride on Louise's pre-enjoyed gondola. With Larch gravelled and the front side icy, is there anything worthwhile to ski right now? (I still have this Louise card to use.)

Did the RCMP have a check stop at Louise? They had one set up just at the end of the access road in Sunshine as I was heading out.
post #36 of 43
No checkstop, they usually alternate so maybe the Lake tomorrow. There's lots of good skiing at the Lake just not really Larch. I had a good run on the front of summit and Whitehorn 1 as well. Flight chutes were good as well.

The Lake wasn't really that busy either. I figured they all went to Sunshine.

No chance to ride the new/old gondola yet. I don't see my ski patterns on the hill changing any time soon. Someone else can be the guinea pig.

I'm told the Sunshine gondola got fired up yesterday at around 10:30. Would have been a good spot to hit yesterday I would guess.
post #37 of 43
Originally Posted by gnjantzie
The hill seemed amazingly uncrowded except for lunch in the day lodge.
today sunshine held untracked snow for two hours longer than it did last saturday

with the snowfall continuing throughout it was the best day for soft bumps this season.

ps: what was that freak snowstorm in calgary in the pm? 10cm in 1 hour in the north part of the city? radio announcers were going nuts calling it the 'snowstorm of the century'
post #38 of 43
Originally Posted by L7
I'm told the Sunshine gondola got fired up yesterday at around 10:30. Would have been a good spot to hit yesterday I would guess.
not that early -- people were hiking up to the top yesterday after having gone to louis (only to find it very crowded) and back.

lifties were giving hotel guests rides in ski-doos on the way up, with standish and angel lifts working.

they had a chance to clean up really nicely after last weekend's dump -- tracks were in amazing condition this morning, only the continental was windswept, but it calmed down at noon. with constant snowfall amounting to 3cm (judging from the accumulation on my car)

as others mentioned, the roads were crowded. the hill wasn't as bad as last saturday, reasonable for a pre-reading week sunday...
post #39 of 43
Well Hallelujah the gondola was up and running today. Seemed popular as it had a subastantial line up this morning and still when I came down in the afternoon. Mind you both times it was stopped for prolonged periods which tends to build lines. I don't really get it as I don't really want to take my skis off to get on a lift. But then I don't really want to go where that lift takes me either.

I'll say this although it wasn't generally a very busy day for a holiday monday there was NO ONE skiing paradise or TOTW or summit either. I guess they were all frollicking on the new/old gondola. If that's the effect the thing has maybe I will like it after all.

Summit was mostly socked in at the top from midmorning on but holes in the cloud kept making it to Paradise and every run I did was in good light. dusting of snow with some blow over. Generally a fine day albeit a little brisk early.

I'll let a couple of hundred thousand trips get made up that gondola and if no problems I'll give it a go and report back.
post #40 of 43
Originally Posted by L7
Generally fine albeit a little brisk early.
Texas translation: "Cold as hell, but still a lot of fun!"

..Glad to hear that Gondola didn't effect the good stuff for you!
post #41 of 43

Maybe tomorrow

I reconsidered my plans to spend Valentine's day skiing without my wife (probably a good move on my part), so it looks like I'll have to make the decision tomorrow as to whether to try out the new or the old gondola. I may just have to see what the conditions are like online before I leave, either that or flip a coin. :
post #42 of 43
Haven't you been reading this thread? If you go to the lake you can ride the old AND new gondola all in one ride. I think Sushine would have been pretty poor light today but I wasn't there so don't know for sure. Not sure of weather yet.

Feallan It wasn't actually THAT cold. Well maybe to a texan. I did have to wear at hat though and that's an indication it's getting pretty cold.
post #43 of 43
One thing the gondola is good for is downloading. I took a fall in Paradise Bowl and injured my calf. After gathering up my equipment, limping to Ptarmigan, and riding up, I had a nice, comfortable ride to the bottom. It was much better than limping down on one leg, or riding down in the sled. I guess that's just one of the little side benefits to the gondola.

I found the temperature at the Lake to be quite pleasant on Monday. Sure, it was cold when standing in line in the shade, but on the mountain, in the sun, it was very comfortable.
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