15+cm of New Snow Since Yesterday

It just keeps coming down here in Lake Louise, and skiers cannot believe their good fortune at enjoying yet more outstanding conditions on the mountain. Around 15cm of snow has fallen since the lifts closed Saturday, and there may be no end in sight.

There is also no end in sight to the foolishness on display by some skiers and riders as again today people were entering closed avalanche areas in search of powder (which was plentiful everywhere else on the mountain). Patrol was first notified this morning of a skier-triggered avalanche in one of the ER7 Gullies, which have yet to open this year. Without confirmation of anyone buried or injured in the slide, control teams had to drop what they were doing and hightail it to that area, expecting to perform a search of the area in case there were burials. Luckily, before they arrived at the site, the reporting person and the skier who triggered the avalanche were located, and confirmed that nobody was buried. Even once it was confirmed they were the involved parties, the two skiers were very evasive when being questioned by patrollers. Patrol called off the search and resumed their control work for the day.

An hour or two later, the avalanche forecaster was travelling to Flight Chutes with two RCMP dog handlers in search of a good place to conduct an avalanche rescue practice. Since there was a slide in that area yesterday, they could use the debris from that to hide objects that would simulate a buried victim. Upon arriving at the area, they discovered two sets of tracks entering the closed area, and just inside the rope, another, newer avalanche. Once again, skiers were ignoring signed closures, entering hazardous areas, and triggering avalanches. Upon confirming that no one was buried in the slide, they all bid a hasty retreat and went elsewhere for the rescue scenario.

Later in the afternoon, two skiers reported that they had triggered an avalanche in the area around the cliffs in Maintenance, which is outside the ski area boundary and receives no avalanche control. Patrollers went to investigate, but found no sign of anyone buried or otherwise in trouble.

Somewhere out there are a few folks who should be thankful to escape both today and yesterday with nothing but a soiled pair of underwear.

For those who enjoy skiing in open terrain, it has been dumping furiously all day at Lake Louise, with no signs of letting up. Monday promises to be one for the books!

Outside my office window - 4:45pm Sunday


5 Comments on “15+cm of New Snow Since Yesterday”

  1. Steve says:

    Going to be coming to the Lake for the first time this season tomorrow… looks like I picked a solid day to drop in.

    I’ve mostly hit all the blue runs at the Lake last season with some blacks like Men’s Downhill. What terrain would you recommend tomorrow if say I wanted to push myself on some more “entry” level black runs given all the new snow?

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Steve,

      I think Men’s Downhill is still a good choice for an ‘entry level’ black run. We’ve kept the cats off it witha ll the new snow, so it’s got the nice long steep pitch with lots of powder. After that, head into the alpine and check out Paradise Bowl (which you can see from Paradsie chair), then ride the Summit platter and choose any of the runs off the top. If visibility is poor, stick to runs below tree line.

      Enjoy the snow!

  2. Steve says:

    It was an epic day! I cut first tracks in Paradise Bowl, actually took a wrong turn and submerged down to my waist!

    Visibility wasn’t great so at the Summit I dropped down the front. Hopefully I can scope out Whitehorn sometime this season.

    Fingers crossed for more snow in the future. 🙂

  3. Daffy says:

    Great reporting and great conditions at the lake this past weekend!! I wonder why people can’t it through their heads that a closed area in the Alpine is closed for serious reasons!! Thankfully they all got lucky and managed to not get buried or trigger a slide and bury other people below….what would the patrollers do to these culprits if they were caught?? I hope it’s more than take their day ticket away?? I think a few people need to made example of to show how serious the consequences are….just my thoughts…

    I also noticed on Saturday that the White Horn Gullies slide to the ground when bombed…is there any hope for them this season??

    keep the snow comin!!

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Daffy,

      Although it may not sound like it, the WH2 gullies sliding to ground is the best chance they have of ever opening. To quote our avalanche forecaster, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry”. That is, it’s hard to see the results of a huge storm end up at the bottom of the run. At the same time, with the instabilities that existed in the snowpack, it is what needed to happen. We need to give that area a chance to rebuild with more favourable stability.


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