Nov 18: Cloudy but “cool” (in the fun way)

Mostly overcast skies with hints of sunshine made for a day that was fun but not nearly as spectacular as yesterday. Often, on days like this, I won’t take photos when it’s grey and claggy (who wants to see photos of nothing?) so don’t make any assumptions about how great the day was from my select few sunny pics.

It didn’t really dawn sunny; I was up in the village from 8:45-10:30, and it’s mostly looked like this.

9:50 AM. Throngs at Angel.

Poking around the hill preparing for tours, I found more tracks in my powder stashes, though there is still some lightly-tracked powder to ride. I found this particularly impressive: look how high folks have been traversing on Viking Ridge and Hill 205 trying to get fresh lines.

10:50 AM. From Red 90.

While folks continue to work hard to get freshies, there are still freshies to be found, though anything that’s easy to access is basically trashed. Except…

10:50 AM. I was by this spot at 3:00 PM, and it looked no different (except it wasn’t sunny)

I took a tour out today; one gentleman from Toronto and two folks from Calgary who have ridden Sunshine for several years. On my tour, I took the latter two to at least 4 places they have never skied before, and my new Toronto friend into powder, which he had never ridden. It would have been nicer to have been sunny, but we all had fun anyway. That tour got me all over the mountain, and the places that are still bony include:

  • the lower 1/3rd of Wawa Bowl and Tin Can Alley;
  • Birdcage, where they were making snow today;
  • the top 5 turns of Piste Noir and Red 90;
  • the backside of Standish is not bony; there are just big exposed rocks you have to watch for;
  • the front side of Standish (Standish face, mostly. Very visible from the chair);
  • the top 5 turns in the high traffic zone on Banff Ave below the top of Wolverine and Jackrabbit

Many of those are as a result of traffic, meaning they’re fine early in the day but more challenging later (especially Piste Noir and Red 90).

The best pow on the hill remains Bye Bye Gully, Assiniboine Trail, and upper Little Bunkers. The best cruising is World Cup Downhill, Highway 1, Jerry’s Run and Packers/Pilgrams.

Here’s the latest scoop on the ski out: the hill stopped vehicle use on the ski out as of today, and snow making equipment was being moved onto the usual spots (top and bottom of B-Line, closer to the base) late today. A couple of good snowmaking days and the thin spots will start to fill in. Speaking to Patrol, there’s still a ~1 km stretch that’s really very gravelly, so they have work to do. I’m thinking it may be open later this week if the snow forecast for Thursday/Friday comes true.