For those lucky enough to be at Lake Louise today, conditions did not disappoint, as skiers and riders venturing onto the the upper mountain were greeted with great early-season conditions. Early season in Lake Louise usually means rocks, but for those not too worried about a few new dings in their bases, there were lots of powder turns to be had. While the Snow Safety weather station reported 4cm of new snow overnight, the wind was once again our friend as amounts were often greater, especially on the backside. The following photos were all taken today:
If you feel like you missed out today on some great conditions, fear not – tomorrow marks the day we open Boomerang for the first time, and in case you missed the photos in previous posts, here’s what it looked like today, which is also what it will look like right before we open it Saturday morning. With only a little work to complete before the gate drops, be there early to ensure some epic turns:
While Boomerang is in terrific shape, the approach through Windy Gap is still bare, and will require that skiers and boarders remove their planks and do a short walk to get across the flat rock patch. After that, it’s in great shape all the way to Paradise chair. Also opening Saturday morning will be Outer Limits, which is always a solid early-season performer. The long permanent snow fence has done its usual magic and created a nice wide drift to enjoy, as shown in the photo below, taken this afternoon:
The Mountain Operations team has been working at full tilt getting all of this new terrain ready, and while they may be tempted to pause and enjoy the fruits of their efforts, they’ll continue working to get even more terrain open. Look for Paradise Bowl and Crow Bowl, among others, to open in the next few days.
Reminder: the new Ptarmigan chair is still under construction, so for those going back side, Paradise chair represents the only means of returning to the front side of the mountain. All upper mountain terrain (as the patroller will tell you before loading Top of the World lift) is ‘experts only’, and there remain many marked and unmarked hazards. Tread lightly in places of less snow.
Enjoy the weekend !
Denizens of Wiwaxy – rejoice! The recent snowfall has answered our prayers, and we’re poised to open three more lifts by the time this weekend rolls around.
Our avalanche control, ski patrol and trail crew teams have been working hard to prepare the areas whose openings are iminent. There are miles of area boundary and avalanche area fence to set up, along with all the signs that are placed along them. The trail crew is removing and replacing snow fences that currently block runs. Snow cats are busy pushing snow around and packing what base already exists. And finally, our fearless snowmakers are blasting a few more areas lower down that still need another coat of the white paint.
At the moment, the plan is to open both Top of the World (TOW) and Paradise Chairs on Friday (Nov 21), and the Summit Platter on Saturday (Nov 22). From TOW, you can access Home Run on the front side, and Saddleback on the back side. The only avalanche closure accessible from Home Run is for Flight Chutes, which is east of Home Run. There is also no access to the Sunset Flats area, which is where the World Cup course is being set up.
Going backside, Saddleback leads to Adrenaline (Whitehorn II ‘A’ Gully), Hourglass, and Split Rock. Avalanche closures are in effect for the remainder of Whitehorn II, and for Kiddie’s Corner.
From the Summit Platter, frontside access is via Outer Limits back to the base of the lift, and backside access is via Boomerang, which is in fantastic shape. The photo below was taken this afternoon, and the only visible tracks are those left by two ski patrollers setting up the avalanche closure along the top of Whitehorn III (the tracked section at the bottom was done by snow cats, making for an easier time on the flats). Once the closure line for Brownshirt and points beyond is set up tomorrow, those patrollers’ tracks will be the only others. Our intention is to leave Boomerang in pristine condition, so the lucky skiers and riders who get there at the right time will have a nice long powder run without crossing or seeing other tracks.
A few notes of caution: IT IS STILL EARLY SEASON ! While we’ve received enough snow and have done enough avalanche control work to open the runs listed above, we still have a shallow snow pack, and you should be prepared by bringing rock skis and keeping aggressive skiing in check until you can be certain of the conditions. A face plant in powder can be amusing, but not when you land on a barely submerged rock!
Also, you must obey all avalanche closures as they exist. They are not open to interpretation or negotiation. For example, Boomerang is open, and Brownshirt is closed. While they are adjacent and look to have identical conditions, Brownshirt is closed because it leads into avalanche terrain that has not been sufficiently controlled. Once control work has been completed, it will open, but until then, please stay out.
Remember, we have a long ski season, and a measure of restraint will help ensure you stay healthy enough to enjoy every second of it. I’ll be out there, and I hope to see you, too!