Went out to my car this morning in Banff to find that a huge cornice had developed off the back edge of the roof from all the wind last night, making me wonder a) how much fun the drive to Lake Louise was going to be, and b) how much fun avalanche control was going to be this morning, since wind always contributes to elevated avalanche hazard when accompanying new snow, making things a little more exciting.
The drive was certainly interesting, with ten or so trucks and a few cars in the ditch and whiteout conditions. I made it, thankfully, as did our avalanche forecaster, and now starts the task of getting the mountain open for the day. When we arrived at 0700, it was still snowing hard, as the following photos show (compare the photo of the quad to the similar shot in yesterday’s post):
We’ve received well over 20cm since the storm started, with still more forecasted to fall. Despite the windy overnight conditions in Banff, it was a different story in Lake Louise with not much wind of note overnight and currently calm conditions at mountain top. This means that we’re likely going to find a whole lot of blower powder all over the mountain, especially since current mountaintop temperatures are around -24C with no wind chill.
So, dress warmly, drive carefully, enjoy the long-awaited powder conditions, and I’ll provide updates once the morning’s avalanche control work is done.
Woke up in Banff this morning to one or two cm’s of new snow, wondering if the Lake got anywhere near what was forecasted…
Well, it did, and as of 5:00am, we’d received 12cm at our back side weather station. It’s been snowing since, and now there’s about 15cm of new snow at the base, with more up high. The beautiful thing? There wasn’t any wind, which means avalanche control should proceed quickly, and more importantly, the snow will be evenly distributed all over the mountain, making what should be a great day of powder at the Lake.
With the snow forecasted to continue until Monday in some models, things are looking up – way up. The holiday crowds have eased off, and there should lots of great snow to enjoy for the rest of this week.
Happy skiing !
The weatherman came through for us again last night and this morning, dumping a nice new layer of Rockies powder for all to enjoy. Our remote weather station this morning reported 19cm of new snow in the previous 24 hrs, with most leeward slopes in the alpine areas getting more than 20cm. The new snow was accompanied by wind, but luckily there was no slab or wind crust to spoil the fun. Skiing conditions were great all day long, and were made better by the opening of Whitehorn I for the first time. While still rocky around the top 1/3, there are great lines lower down, especially on the skier’s left side of the run, which spills over into Adrenaline for a nice long powder run. Skiing was also great in Brownshirt and Crow Bowl, and by the end of today there were still unskied lines to be found.
Some photos from today:
Now let’s hope the weatherman is right about the snow that’s supposed to come later this week…