Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 30/13 - Trail Groomed

Hi Crew...Cooper, Sommer and I went out marking trails - I took three photos so you can see the variability in the snow...groomed trail, ungroomed and in the trees and then wolf tracks but you can see the ski in the photo is just sitting up on the snow...yet on the sides I would float along. Curt and Boone went grooming. They groomed from our place to Corbin highway and also the B Road. We got about 5cm of snow out of that last snowfall. Kate and Ezzy were up in Limestone today and said it was snowing and covering in tracks but that it was windblown so pockets of snow then thin and spring like. Sara, Tyler, Rhonda, Matt, Ola & Tyler and Tristen of the Betties crew went up a there two days ago and said it was windy and thinner than we expected but that it was still a really good day of riding. Climbing up stuff and finding those pockets of snow blown into the trees. They probed and it was only 1-1.25m which is half of what we usually have. Don't know if Flathead was groomed today but everyone said it was in good shape over the past few days. The creek crossing at the start of the Barnes trail is an ice highway on the up mountain side. Its difficult. Our B short cut road is the same where the flood washed away the the bridge (lucky we can take a trail around that). No new snow expected down here but bits of snow up top and a lot more towards Fernie and south on the Flathead. I believe I heard that the backside of Rolling Hills was really good for snow. Hope that helps you plan. Oh we decided to try to keep all the beds in the Summit Log cabin while still giving you guys a full kitchen table. The double bunkbed has been taken out of the kitchen and a table added with 6 chairs. The beds have been put upstairs in the loft. Now there there are two queens, two doubles and two twins up there. Its tight but I don't expect you guys spend much time lounging in bed out here. We hope to invest more in to the Summit and improve that arrangement - everything is possible - it just takes money right and after a flood year....well its on the list. I will get photos posted and put on the website soon. Bring your poker chips - its a big table! Cheers - V

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dec 27/13 - +6 then Snow

Hope your Christmas was great! We have had warm temps here and it got to +6 today. Yesterday Cooper and I rode to Tent and it was windy and very little snow up there. Beware the rocks on slopes like that. The trail was in good shape and reports from Corbin are that the trail is still very good there too for snow pack and no major washboarding. Good cause we can't groom when its this warm. It started to snow this afternoon - big flakes but has let off after only a couple of cms. It is supposed to snow the next three days with daytime temps at -2 and night time at -11 which is needed. Snow is sticky and icy in spots. Further down the Flathead the snow improves. In the avy bulletin for south rockies it reports a size 2 avalanche in Harvey triggered by a skier so you can see that some spots are going to be touchy. Limestone has been good - not full of pow yet but you are able to climb and enjoy. Winds are supposed to pick up as the temps swing a bit but they should settle down as the temp stablizes. Just a note about trail is better for the trail if you DON'T ride "ducks in a row". It packs the trail better if you ride the edges, zig zag where you can and not be going into oncoming traffic. If you ride following each other directly it makes a dish or concave spot in the trail and ridges on the sides and it gets rougher faster so vary it up a bit and do your groomer a favor. If you are looking to tune up your riding skills then give Weir Boondocking Ltd a call - they can teach something to anyone! Enjoy your riding - 250-423-9034. Cheers - V

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dec 22/13 - Flathead Groomed & Reports from Limestone

Good Evening and it is a good evening. We got our 6cm of snow out of that last snowfall and then we have had a skiff of snow here and there since. Its -7 tonight and headed to zero Monday with light snow. Curt groomed the Flathead and our trail has been ridden and is getting nicely packed but not rough. The snow on the trails is good but off the trail and even in the alpine - Limestone - there are some thin spots. No powder riding but still good for early season there and some of our guys here rode it a few days in a row. Had reports that York Creek you don't want to venture off the trail much unless you have a sweet spot you know of. Generally though it was very thin. Atlas has some nice spots accessible with someone who knows where to go ie: Dean's Park but it is picking your way through trees so if that isn't your bag then you aren't going to get to see the deeper stuff up that way. Condolences to Taylor Elliott's family - we were sure sorry to hear the sad news. Thank you to all the sledders and volunteers that made a point of keeping their eyes open looking to help find a fellow backcountry enthusiast. Curt went out and groomed the Flathead this morning. The bottom photo is the snow bridge he built on the Barnes trail over the first creek. Our bridge was washed away and although the flood graduated the banks, Curt said the ramp going up the mountain on the other side of the creek was an ice ramp. Hopefully this helps. For everyone who appreciates a groomed trail, volunteer hours and equipment it takes to provide that - please show it with a donation, trail fee or membership. Membership numbers keep areas open. Trail fees keep trails groomed. Cheers - V

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dec18/13 - Warmer temps and light snow

Good Morning, Temps have been anywhere from -2 to +6 here with light snow up top and a freezing level of about 5500-6000ft. Lots of sled trailers hunkered in at the Rum Runner after a day of sledding. No big powder sledding but guys are able to get everywhere. Right now the temp is -1 and will be -3 to -10 during the day over the next four days with 5-10cm of snow expected in the next 24hrs. Just lightly building almost daily. Avy ratings are low below treeline and moderate above due to a nasty layer of hoar frost about 40cm down. With all the wind from the warming trend, snow has been blown around and the wind loaded pillows on lee aspects could be reactive. Watch out where those pillows start to thin out - that is where the weakest parts are and could trigger slab slides. Lots of fun riding out there in safe areas. Make sure and buy a club membership/pass to help out with grooming in the areas you ride most. Snow looks the same as my last photos. We haven't been out much just trying to get everything up and going and recovering after that 10 days of -30! Cheers - V

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dec 10/13 - Bit of Snow falling

The Holiday Train just pulled up. Hope everyone gets a chance to see it and donate food bank items. Its pretty cool. You can see the snow moving in over the mountains to the west and we have a bit falling. Its -9 and no breeze which is a welcome change from the past two weeks. Temps are getting warmer and warmer over then next few days and we are supposed to get a little bit of snow - the alpine will get more for sure. The guys riding this weekend said there were still spots where the base wasn't thick but that it was coming. So still beware the stumps as you carve into the snow. They were climbing stuff like crazy having a good time in areas that looked safe down Corbin/Flathead. Trails are in really good shape. Get your club memberships and help kick off grooming programs. We are open all this week and weekend but after that we are booked from the 21st to the 7th. Cheers -V

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dec 6/13 - Taylor Elliott is Missing!

This is for anyone out riding this weekend in the backcountry. Taylor has been missing since Sunday and he is an experience backcountry traveller/hunter. Please keep an eye out for him and if you find him please call emergency services or use your SPOT. Temps are still extremely cold as it was -35 last night and -33 this morning. Afternoon temps are going up to -25 but we have no wind so if that picks up....well last night there was a windchill warning for our BC side of -40. Now Saskatchewanians will scoff at that but out here it seems colder with the humidity so take all the precautions you can and stick together! Be careful out there gang - V

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dec 4/13 - In the Deep Freeze

Temp is -20 right now and Friday its supposed to be -26 at night but then the system moves off us and temps start back up into the negative teens. Photos are of the Corbin Country Club Bombi and the other photo is out the window of the bombi while Curt was grooming the Flathead to Rain Gauge and back this afternoon and evening. He said there was 2ft of fresh snow on the trail. A small group of riders went up into Rain Gauge and came back and went up the Barnes entrance and back today. Still bottomless but when it warms up this should start to bond and settle. Right now with the cold temps this new snow will sit on top of weak layers - check out your South Rockies bulletin. You can see the sugar layer and a layer of hoar frost when you shovel snow right now so beware when you are riding in the trees and alpine right now. Guys are asking if you can ride from our place and absolutely yes you can. We are booked this weekend sorry. For those of you considering Christmas/New Years, we are booked from the 21st - 6th. We have some chunks of Feb booking up now too. Also - Cooper's BCA pack could not be refilled. There is a recall on them so if you own one - pull the cord and take it in. Word was that we send it back and they fix it or send the bag and a chq for $200 to BCA for a new avy bag. We will be going the new route. Curt calling BCA tomorrow to get the exact details. To any of you young guys wanting to start riding out here my advice is TAKE AN AVALANCHE COURSE and PRACTICE WITH YOUR BEACON. I cannot stress how important that is - decision making needs to be ruled by caution/education so you live long enough to get experience and get good at riding in the mountains or better yet - don't end up watching your buddy or guide get buried. Okay gang ...Lets Ride! Cheers - V

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec 2/13 - BIG SNOW-Schools Closed

Well it has arrived and its still snowing and the schools are closed. We have -2 and 30-40cm of snow! Will give you another update later today but its supposed to let up late this afternoon/evening and then go into the deep freeze. Check your avy bulletins - the safety rating is now high and considerable as result. Keep your snow chromosome in check when you go out and look up before you rip around but man there will be some great snow in the trees and on the edges of the lakes....remember though all the warm temps we have had so watch those lakes. By the weekend and all that cold weather, lakes will be safer. Curt will be grooming our trail and the Flathead on Wed. Cheers - V

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dec 1/13 - Cotton ball Snowflakes

Just thought I would let you all know ....its snowing! Huge snowflakes and its zero out. I was searching through weather reports and we will get two systems hitting the area tonight. One out of the West and one out of the North so both sides of the Divide will be getting snow. Let you know how much we got tomorrow...Cheers - V

Dec 1/13 - Snowfall Warning for Kootenays & Fernie

Evening sledders, Snowfall warning for 20cm to hit Fernie area by tomorrow. We saw a bit of snow this morning but only a few cms and the temp was at +2 most of the day. Winds are gusty with all this weather fluctuation and that makes for wind slabs and loaded lee side pillows up in the bowls so beware those thicker smooth surfaces found as lee side deposits. Beware the scouring and thin weak points by rock outcroppings. Tree wells are 40-100cm deep in spots with all the snow being deposited and redeposited. Wind loading is occurring increasing tension for failure with pressure/side hilling cuts. There are some nasty layers of facets out there with the temps all over the board. Its going into the deep freeze this week with forecasts Tues-Fri for -20-27 YIKES. Thats cold out here. Avy report says we are to get snow on the East side of the Divide also so Corbin/Flathead sounds like it is getting some regardless of the system. Read your avy reports, watch the weather forecast and I hope you got some new warm layers or are getting some by Cyber Monday. Check your gear and practice with your beacon. Lots of stuff to do if you haven't already. Cheers - V