Jan 4: Deep and delicious

Sunshine got a lot of snow since I was last here on Monday.

That’s like… 40 cm.

I found a spot to check just what fell overnight.

That’s a solid 20 cm.

So powder was EVERYWHERE…

10:10 AM. Sunshine Coast.

…and it was a blast to ride. My “run of the day” was dropping into a line over 1 m deep of untracked. On the downside, snow jammed up inside my jacket (not to self: you have a snow skirt inside the jacket. Use it.)

More Sunshine Coast

It was just dumping all day, too, so I expect even more fresh stuff for tomorrow.

12:00 PM. The splotches are snowflakes.

The viz was really an issue today; the light was so flat, anything above treeline was quite the challenge. In addition, all that snow had to go somewhere when the folks enjoyed it — everything had turned into moguls by 2 PM, including Dell Valley.

Apparently, the Sunshine road was closed this morning between 4 AM & 5 AM when they used the Gas-X system to do avi control on the Bourgeau slide paths. Be aware the road will be closed for a bit tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon for helicopter control. There was a chopper flying around Sunshine today, though I didn’t hear many avi bombs go off; not sure what he was doing. The chopper got “up close and personal” with the Wild West area while I was riding Goat’s Eye. Here’s something you don’t see that often.

11 AM. Yep, that’s a chopper (with a long line) over Hell’s Kitchen. Taken from the confluence of Raptor & Old Chute.

This storm has been a classic Chinook event. It’s not snowing east of Canmore; it’s +9° in Calgary. I had just ~5 cm to shovel today. In the 15 km drive past Banff this morning, the roads went from bare to snow covered, and it has been just dumping in Banff and Lake Louise for 48 hrs now. Yes, Lake Louise Ski Area got an astonishing 76 cm between 7 AM Thursday and 7 AM today (35 cm of that fell by 3 PM yesterday); Sunshine was happy with 33 cm in 24 hrs, of which 21 cm fell overnight. And as I type this at 5:30 PM, it’s still coming down — there. Not here. The dry line is the park gates.

It’s also been a warm event (like most Chinooks), so temps on the hill were in the -4° range all day. This has made the powder a bit wetter and heavier than I’m used to, but a guest told me today it was falling as packing snow at the top of Revelstoke Thursday, so we’re better than most. Tomorrow should be a little cooler.  The data I’m looking at suggests this storm will peter out around midnight, and tomorrow should be — dare I say it? — a bit sunny.

Powder + sun + Saturday = crowds. Expect it to be VERY busy tomorrow, so get thee to the hill early. It was pretty darned busy today; my trip up the Sunshine Road took me 20 min from the TCH, and getting to the parking lot at 9:15 AM put me way in the back of the lot (though I never saw a lineup all day).