Not Quite 30cm

Leaving Banff this morning after brushing the new snow off my car, I was hopeful on the drive that the height of new snow would increase as I approached Lake Louise. Alas, it was not to be, and the forecasted 30-55cm overnight failed to materialize. We did get 8cm at our weather plot near Pika corner, however, which means skiing conditions will once again be fantastic, especially as the new snow sits on top of the soft snow from a few days ago. With light winds blowing during the night, the new snow should cover the mountain in a nice even layer, and places that saw good conditions on the weekend, will be even better today.


2 Comments on “Not Quite 30cm”

  1. Peter says:

    Hey, any chance of a double black diamond opening sometime this year. I’m itching to ski some steeps! I’ve noticed that Castle has now opened all of their chutes and Sunshine opening more of the chutes on Goat’s eye.

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Peter,

      We’re trying to open as much as we can, but there are a number of factors that determine when terrain, especially the double-blacks, will open. From earlier in the season, there exists a rain crust, which provides a smooth sliding surface for snow on top, and a weak layer of faceted crystals, which offer little support to overlying snow and can be easily triggered by additional loads such as skiers or new snow. When these problems exist, sometimes the only chance a slope has to develop a stable snowpack is to have all its snow avalanche and then rebuild with subsequent snowfalls, ideally without any instabilities. Also, with the near-record snowfall we experienced in January, avalanche control teams spent most of their time controlling already-open slopes so that they could remain open and safe. This meant less time in yet-to-open terrain, which for the most part are big areas that need lots of work.

      Having said that, there are a few of our back-side steeps that are getting closer. Crews are concentrating on ER3, ER7, and B & C Gullies of Whitehorn II. With a forecasted easing of snowy weather this week, crews should be able to spend a lot of time in these areas, and more openings should result shortly after.

      Thanks for your comment – hope that helps.


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