While listening to The Peak on my way home from work this afternoon they reported that the temperature was -21C in Calgary with a wind chill of -32. The roads were covered in snow and it was whipping sideways in blasts of fine white grains. I was hunched over the wheel because after 10mins only half my window had defrosted and I figured it would be fine by the time I got out onto Glenmore Trail. It was still a quarter frosted when I got home. The purpose for me coming home at lunch was to walk Rio so I bundled up in my polar fleece snow pants, 800 fill down puffy with a down sweater and my fleece jacket, my -30 rated Baffin boots, down mittens, and a polar fleece lined wool toque. I was impervious to the cold except for some exposed skin on my face that came close to getting frost bitten thanks to a bitter wind coming off the Bow River. Rio on the other hand had his winter fur and seemed quite comfortable – he even walked into the river – twice.
“So what has this got to do with skiing?”, you may ask. I agree that it’s a shameless attempt to justify posting a picture of my dog. But it also speaks to the conditions that you’ll be skiing in this weekend if you venture out to Sunshine or Louise. Tomorrow morning the forecast is for -24C with a -36C wind chill. I think even Rio would start to get cold after an hour in those conditions. If I wore all the gear I described above plus goggles and a face tube I could handle 2 or 3 runs pretty comfortably. My feet would be frozen solid but otherwise I’d probably be over dressed.
Why am I even discussing the insane notion of skiing in -36C windchill? How about 32cms in 19hrs? How about amazingly dry and fluffy powder? I was out shovelling about 20cms of fresh snow a couple hours ago and it was incredible hero snow – the kind you dream about. You’ll also have the whole mountain to yourself. The Men’s World Cup training run was cancelled today due to too much snow. For those of you hearty enough to venture out on an arctic winter’s morning, the turns will be spectacular. You’ll be hitting knee deep magic and hooting as you float through the trees. You’ll be talking about it at the office Christmas party! And you’ll be talking about how freaking cold it was.