Apr 12: Sun, then not, then sun

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seeing less and less accuracy to the ski area weather forecasts I pay attention to lately. Today was supposed to be overcast all day with the possibility of snow through the day, according to both Snow-Forecast and EnviroCan. Well, it was an almost bluebird day when we arrived, and what looked like convective clouds started showing up around 10:30 AM.

10:45 AM. Looking towards Assiniboine

By noon, it had basically socked in and started snowing VERY lightly (which only lasted an hour).

12:15 PM. From Standish. Note the blue stuff on Assiniboine Trail

By 2 PM, it had cleared up, and was sunny again.

2:00 PM. Coming down from Ecstasy

2:30 PM. Divide from Sunshine Coast

But it’s been like that. At the start of this week, Sunshine was forecasted by every forecast I follow (and David Spence from CTV Calgary) to have 2 big snow events: on Tuesday/Tuesday night, and Thursday. Neither materialized. While it was dumping in Calgary on Thursday, Sunshine got… 2 cm — vs the 17 cm that was forecast. Tuesday’s “10 cm” forecast was 5 cm when all was said and done.

Back in this post, I told you not to chase weather forecasts — but that’s what I’m doing these days, since as I have noted, I’m not a spring skiing fan. I was hoping for a nice powder dump that would be a temporary return to winter — like, say, back on April 18, 2014.┬áThat was a big powder dump that resulted in me breaking my leg (okay, not THAT kind of powder dump).

Today was not that day.

Conditions are mostly — no, exclusively — spring freeze/thaw. Add a bit of powder to that, and you get “dust on crust”. The BEST conditions I rode today were basically dust on crust. Here are a few examples:

1:00 PM. Dropping down to Divide from Strawberry

My partner in the same space

The BEST, bar none, “dust on crust” and overall skiing conditions, were on the Goat in what we call the Powder Triangle. It’s the space skier’s LEFT of Sunshine Coast and Old Chute, and skier’s RIGHT of Raptor. It was not fab, but it was close.

2:25 PM. Me, having fun

More of the same

Other spots that featured nice “dust on crust” stuff included:

  • Borderline/Creek Run
  • Skier’s RIGHT in the upper section of the Bunkers
  • The upper sections of Standish Face
  • SkiGazm (skiers RIGHT of Old Chute)

The lower half of the Goat softened a lot this afternoon, so there’s the place if you want spring corn conditions. That, and the sloppy (if mostly well covered) ski out.

I noted that blue stuff on the lower part of Divide in a photo caption above. There was a Ski Cross race there today, and you could watch folks do this.


Though if they weren’t that good, they did this.

Not the best landing

That course blocks off all of the access to Assiniboine Trail (and the nice powder that lives over there) BTW.

Here’s hoping there’s good powder coming soon — though no forecast I’m looking at says it’s coming. So here’s also hoping those forecasts are as wrong as today’s, too.