Boomerang Open

If all goes according to plan, Boomerang will open to the public for the first time this season later today (Sat). The bowl itself has been loaded with snow for a while now, but a few things have prevented us from opening that terrain sooner.

First were the open creeks at the end of the outrun flats, at the Hump. It’s the only way to exit the area, and there needed to be enough snow to fill in the creeks. Also, we’ve been faced with the same avalanche conditions that exist elsewhere on the mountain – conditions that have produced large avalanches in much of our alpine terrain, thanks to the rain crust and layer of faceted crystals formed in October.

Similar to the results we saw a few days ago in Whitehorn II C and D Gullies, the avalanche teams were working their way along the hike to Upper Boomerang, throwing shots to control the slope along the way. When they arrived at the top of Brownshirt, they saw that almost the entire slope had avalanched, likely from one of the shots thrown earlier hundreds of metres away. The avalanche also reached into the skier’s left flank of Shoulder Roll, and based on these results, the avalanche teams had to do more laps through the area to ensure they removed the risk, and to set up the long fence lines that are needed to control this large piece of terrain. The fence line that divides Brownshirt from Boomerang and Shoulder Roll had to be placed on steel rails pounded into the ground, since the snow in which they usually sit had all slid away.

Skiers traveling to Boomerang may notice that F and G Gullies of Whitehorn II look to be in great shape. True, there’s lots of snow in both of those gullies, but they are subject to the same crust and facet layers that exist elsewhere, and it’s now almost a certainty that those will slide as well in the near future – whether naturally or as the result of explosive control work. Hard to watch, but necessary so that the run can rebuild with a more stable snowpack.

So, for those who have their hearts set on skiing some of this terrain, do not only watch for snow in forecasts, but also for wind, since these are leeward slopes, and wind is instrumental in filling them in with snow.

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5 Comments on “Boomerang Open”

  1. steven szelei says:

    We got a lap in on Boomerang this afternoon…mmm, mmm good up top! …until we hit the second pitch (shoulder?). ROCKKKKSSSS. Just about got destroyed! Had to side step down about 150 feet. The entire thing had ripped out skiers right of the closure line i(nto brown shirt) but there was just enough snow to cover up the rocks. Might be a very good idea to put up a little bamboo or a few warning signs. Just a thought.
    Other then that thanks for all the hard work getting the goods open!

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Steven,

      Glad to hear that Boomerang treated you well, but not so glad to hear about your rocky experience lower down on Shoulder Roll.

      The skier’s left third of Shoulder Roll avalanched a few days ago, along with most of Brownshirt, during intial avalanche control work. I’m not sure if that’s where you had your encounter with rocks, or if it was in the traditional spot just below the wave that forms on Boomerang. Shoulder Roll is a black diamond run, and we do not mark rocks or other natural hazards on black runs. An exception to this is in unusual circumstances, such as an avalanche that removes much of the run’s snow. Before Boomerang opened yesterday, we marked the edge of the slide area with yellow ‘CAUTION’ signs on bamboo. The rock patches that usually exist below the wave do not get marked.

      I suspect that you did not see the caution signs either because the visibility was poor (as it was for much of yesterday), or because you were on another part of the run where no signs existed. I know this won’t heal any scrapes you may have gained on your skis, but I just wanted to let you know a bit about our marking policy. Please let me know if you have questions.

      Chris

  2. CT says:

    Got a lap in with Rocket and crew before it opened. Didn’t hit a thing, thanks boys!!

  3. Ralph says:

    Does anyone know if the Giant slalom corse runs will be open to public dec 6-11 ? Was closed the whole week last time on vacation and that kinda sucked ! I want to ski the whole hill this time. Hope the race is over and runs cleaned up !! Thanks Ralph-Ontario

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Ralph,

      The race course will be in use up to December 11. The last women’s World Cup race is this Sunday, then the NORAMs take over the following week. That means the run won’t be open to the public while you’re here, but most of the rest of the mountain will be, as we’re enjoying one of our best openings ever. Having said that, the start for the super G races is usually lower on the mountain than that of the downhill, which means the top part of the course will become accessible during the week.

      Chris


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