New Runs and Lifts Open for the WeekendPosted: December 11, 2010
What a difference 25cm of snow makes!
Following a storm that was a bit of a surprise and dropped 25cm of snow on Lake Louise over the last few days, the mountain has undergone an enormous change with the number of open runs increasing from around nine to almost sixty. While early season conditions still prevail on un-groomed runs, this storm provided the threshold amount of snow to allow a significant increase in the amount of available terrain.
Similar to the last storm, this one came with little wind and produced low-density snow that once again offered not much support. However, the depth is now enough to support skier and snowboarder traffic in more places than before, allowing us to expand our terrain.
Friday saw the start of things with the opening of Top of the World, with access to the front side. All runs in the Grizzly Gully and Sunset flats areas were open. Today, the Summit platter opened in the morning with access to Outer Limits, which was quickly joined by Boomerang, Sunset, and Skyline. In particular, Boomerang was in great shape, and the first bunch of skiers to hike the ridge were treated to nice long lines of soft, deep turns.
Also in the morning, most back side runs accessible from Ptarmigan chair were opened, including Ptarmigan, Raven, and Exhibition. The Ptarmigan chutes will remain closed until sufficient snow has fallen and avalanche control work has been completed.
Just before lunch, the Larch chair also opened, giving skiers access to Marmot, Wolverine, Lynx, Larch Poma, and Larch. The flatter terrain proved to be a bit of a challenge due to the deep snow making it difficult to move with any speed. A winch cat spent the night on Larch run, and was able to provide four or five passes of soft corduroy over the length of the run.
So – what does the future hold? Well, a lot of it depends on whether the big storm that’s currently in the forecast keeps coming this way, and how big it is when it gets here. One forecaster says that 20-30cm of snow over higher terrain is not unreasonable by midday Monday. the weather system that’s supposed to bring this snow has just hit the west coast, and has so much moisture in it that there’s confidence it will have enough left over after crossing mountain range after mountain range for us to see significant snowfall.
If the snow does materialize, the brief pause between storms will work to our advantage. Heavier weekend crowds have an amazing effect on snow compaction, and by the time Monday (and the snow) rolls around, we should be well on our way to having a nice firm base in place in many areas on the mountain for this snow to fall on.