Opening Day at Lake Louise

It’s the first day of the 2009-10 season tomorrow, and the day many have been waiting for is finally here, barely more than a month after closing our summer sightseeing lift at the end of September. The summer lift has had its cabins removed, and it’s now ready to go in winter mode. Cold temperatures have kicked in, providing a couple of epic nights of snowmaking.

The venue for opening day is the traditional route from the top of Glacier Express to the base – Bald Eagle to Wiwaxy, and then onto Easy St. at the bottom. Three rails will be set up on the left side of Easy St. and will remain there until the next temporary park opens on lower Wiwaxy in a few weeks. Once the World Cup and NORAM races have ended, we’ll make some snow and open the permanent home of the terrain park in its usual location on Easy St.

With the warm temperatures that were forecast for this weekend, we wanted to be sure we had the run ready by today (Thursday), since the daytime high temps were expected to climb well above 0C, and snowmaking would have to stop. Two cold nights ensured that we’d have the snow to build the run in plenty of time.

So, there I was cruising down some nice fresh corduroy this morning, checking out the handiwork of the snowmakers and groomers. The sun was shining, and there was not even a hint of the masses that would be on the run tomorrow. It was a very brief moment of calm in what has been the busiest week of the busiest month of the year, and we’re all looking forward to the big day.


A crew of snowmakers arrives at the base after a cold night on the mountain.


Juniper on its way to becoming part of the World Cup downhill course.


World Cup net monkeys at work on Men's Downhill.


Meanwhile, on the still closed upper mountain, snow continues to gather, thanks largely to our good friend, the wind. The trail crew is hard at work setting and moving fences, and the avalanche control team is now out daily starting the control work required to eventually get terrain open. Some places it’s possible to travel on skis, but others it’s not. Either way, crews are getting to where they need to be, and the work is getting done. Dave Petch, an avalanche control team member, took the photos below on October 30th, and there’s little question things are coming along nicely. If we get the snow that’s supposed to fall for the next few days, we’ll be skiing these places sooner rather than later.


Snow fences cover Home Run.


Snow fence at work, forming big drifts on Summit.


Patrollers stand on the Wave.


Whitehorn I looking whiter every day.


Paradise Bowl.


Trail Crew walks back to the top of Summit after working in Windy Gap.


Control team and dog Chollo approach Windy Gap.


Boomerang, anyone?


One Comment on “Opening Day at Lake Louise”

  1. Mike P says:

    I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Paradise bowl with it being full of Volkswagen-sized ice moguls of death!

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