20cm in the Last 24 hrs

It’s still dark here in Lake Louise, but it looks like the skies are clearing, and with 20cm of snow on the upper mountain in the last 24 hours, it appears we might be in for a repeat of Tuesday, where the combination of sunlight and new snow made for a fantastic day. Yesterday was also one for the books, and the poor light didn’t stop people from enjoying fantastic conditions – November or not! Temperatures have cooled somewhat since yesterday, but are expected to rise again over the weekend, accompanied with the chance of some more snow tomorrow (Sat).

The training run of the World Cup men’s downhill was cancelled yesterday due to the heavy snow, and crews have been working all night to clear the track in preparation of today’s – the last before the downhill and Super-G races this weekend. During World Cup, Glacier and Top of the World chairs open long before sunrise, and I arrive at work to see the resort already bustling with activity. There’s a helicopter parked right outside my office window, and with it coming and going, I’m always checking to make sure wy windows are tightly closed, otherwise the office would get a nice new coating of snow with every take-off and landing.

With yesterday’s snowfall, some slopes that had avalanched on the October crust and facet layer are well on the way to recovery. Avalanche control teams were able to ski on the bed surface (the top of the snow upon which an avalanche slides) in Brownshirt, and provided the weather cooperates, that area should open in the near future. And although still a little bony, Whitehorn I is also coming along.

There has been little to no wind in the last day or so, so all of this new snow is sitting there waiting to get blown around by the wind, whenever it decides to show up. We can expect significant changes once that happens. Leeward slopes will fill in, and avalanche hazard will also increase with the added load and potential for slab conditions. The avalanche control team will have their hands full, but it’s all for the greater good, and we’ll soon be able to enjoy the fruits of their efforts.

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