Yesterday, I was expecting awesome conditions at Lake Louise since they were reporting 39cms in the last 7 days. I wasn’t disappointed. I say it was powdery because there were no fresh tracks and even the tracked up snow wasn’t that deep. But there was a good surface of new snow and the turns were outstanding.
It’s a good thing I didn’t have time to put in my report last week because conditions last Sunday were the worst I’ve seen all year. It was very icy on the front side, Larch chair was closed funnelling the Family Day crowds onto the Ptarmigan chair, and one of my favourite runs, Ptarmigan Trees, was nothing but boiler plate moguls. It was overcast, windy and cold at the top. The only decent run I found was Brown Shirt where the snow was surprisingly fluffy. Many of you have experienced Louise when it’s crappy on the front but pretty good on the backside. But as I said, “it’s a good thing I didn’t put in a report”, because the snow started falling on Monday and there were a few sweet powder days at Louise last week.
But that was last weekend… This Sunday we had sunshine, blue skies, minimal lift lines, fresh powder, no waiting for a table in Temple Lodge, no wind or cold, happier lifties, and lots more fun. We still found the best snow on the back side although we didn’t explore it extensively. I was told that they opened the last chute on Whitehorn on Sunday morning so a few lucky ones enjoyed fresh tracks days after the snow stopped. But as you can see the snow was still wonderful on the back side of Whitehorn.
The snow up high was still light and crumbly. In fact, despite the abundance of sunshine it was cold enough to prevent melting anywhere on the mountain. I think it was around -5C so it never felt cold but I wasn’t rushing to unzip my jacket either. I would have to say that’s about the perfect temperature for great snow but still warm enough that the chair rides were comfortable.
We didn’t hike the Stairway To Heaven but many people were heading up and over. I’m 100% sure they weren’t disappointed. We spared Jess the hike because she’d already hiked up two tower lengths to the summit after getting bucked off the platter. Good on her though, it was her first attempt at the platter and after several tries she made it out of the starting chute to the cheers of the onlooking skiers. As many a snowboarder know, riding the platter is no easy feat. But it was worth the effort as the view from the top was spectacular and once again the snow on Brown Shirt was the deepest and least tracked on the mountain.
Paradise Bowl was looking super fine but all those moguls are pretty hard on me when I’m telemarking. Some telemarkers are amazing in the moguls but my style goes completely out the window and my legs are generally done when I ski something the size of Paradise. It sure looked inviting though!
The only moguls I attempted yesterday were in Ptarmigan Trees. After last week’s disappointment I had to find out if the week’s snow had saved the day. There was plenty of snow in there and I would’ve had a great time on my DH’s. But the bumps were a little too big and too fast for me to really enjoy it on the tellies. I’ll try again when it’s boot deep.
I think as recently as my last post I’ve lamented over having to ski Larch. But on Sunday conditions were fantastic and the pitch is perfect for showing of my cool telemark turns. Well, at least I think I’m cool The Larch chair was running on one engine as the other has been sent to Calgary for repair. This meant the lift was running at half speed and they were only loading two at a time. But I think that’s why the snow was still great on Larch, Larch Poma, and Wolverine.
Old Ptarmigan was a bit crunchy on top but the snow got softer towards the bottom. There really wasn’t a lot of fresh snow left on this run. The skier traffic had compacted into the icy surface that was there the week before. But the run under the Ptarmigan chair looked pretty decent and people seemed to be having fun in the bumps.
As usual we skied Meadowlark for the last run and it was nice and carvy from top to bottom. Last weekend Meadowlark was the only run I found on the front side that wasn’t a sheet of ice. Yesterday, it was a lot softer except for the steepest sections where the good snow must have been scraped down to the bottom of the pitch.
It was another excellent day at Louise and my eighth day at the Lake this year. This is a big improvement over last season when I didn’t ski until March. I hoping to get in a few more days this season but due to events beyond my control I may be tied up with personal matters for the next few months. I apologize if my reports become more and more sporadic but I promise to submit them whenever time perhaps. I hope March is a great ski month for everyone and that the snow starts falling in epic proportions.