Anyone who read my last post will know that I was expecting a lot of fun on our Backside Tours weekend at Kicking Horse. Once again BST delivered the goods. Great energy (and alcohol consumption) on the bus down followed by some hard core partying in Golden. I’ve been doing these trips for years and it’s only been the last couple that I’ve stopped making the trip into town at night. My liver thanks me! I stayed with the wiser and more mature crowd and only had to assist two of my companions who were falling down drunk (one Friday and another one on Saturday).
But we were truly there for the skiing and that was a pleasant surprise! KHR hadgreat accumulation a couple weekends ago but not much had fallen since. I was expecting the worst. I spoke with some colleagues today and both Sunshine and Louise were starting to get skied out and scratchy this weekend. Honestly, I was expecting the same at Kicking Horse.
But the conditions were still excellent! On Saturday morning the skies were an ominous grey and riding the Gondola the visibility was so poor I exclaimed, ‘this is gonna suck if we don’t break through!’ Well we broke through just as the gondola entered Bowl Over and it was an incredible blue bird day. Kicking Horse is known for this kind of weather anomaly but you don’t always get it.
As a result we spent the entire day lapping the Stairway To Heaven chairlift and ripping up the Crystal Bowl (which I will now rename the Sun Bowl – because that’s what it was all day long). First thing in the morning it was still pretty hard pack and definitely crunchy in the trees under the chair. But by noon the entire bowl had softened in to spring skiing. We hit the bumps in Sun Bowl then traversed over to some sweet and smooshy turns through the trees. On most days I’d find doing the same run all day a little too repetitive but then sun was glorious and I couldn’t get enough of those effortless turns through soft powder.
I talked to a guy on the lift who had just come from Super Bowl. He said they had the entire bowl to themselves and the snow was better than Sun Bowl – loose powder and much less sun affected. The only drawback was that you couldn’t see two feet in front of you as you skied down to the village. We took his advice and saved that for the last run of the day. It was total pea soup and you really just had to feel your way down.
On Sunday, we had almost an identical day. The cloud was thinner and lower in the valley and that made skiing down to the Gondola much more feasible. But it was a few degrees cooler (-3C instead of +1C) so we decided to stay in the Sun Bowl for another day. However, I was able to see Blowdown / Show Off when we skied it and the coverage was really good. Lot’s of soft powder and loose snow. I’m guessing that Fuez, Bowl Over, and Super Bowl were excellent. The snow would have been a bit lighter on the shady slopes.
I’m not sure how long conditions will stay this great at Kicking Horse. As it cools down this week the sunny side of Super Bowl will become a lot less enjoyable, especially in the trees. But the stuff that wasn’t sun affected should still be awesome – and that’s Fuez, and the shady sides of Bowl Over and Super Bowl, plus pretty much the entire bottom half of the mountain.