Friday, January 31, 2014

Jan 31/14 - Wishing for more Snow

Howdy crew, well we only got about 5cm out of that last snowfall and in Limestone they were saying it had about 10cm of fresh. Heartbreak, Rain Gauge (the north bowl) are getting ridden out but not sure about going to the right bowl of Rain Gauge. Winds have ravaged those faces and everything outside of the trees is set up hard where exposed. Limestone is always fun - lots of traction there now with this weather. It got to -24 last night and was up to -16 by 9:30am. Got to -8 today and likely going to do a less extreme version of those temps again in the next 24 & 48hrs. No new snow on the horizon til Monday....get doing the snow dance you guys! We are going to go further back up into Barnes Ranch and see if we can find some softer deeper stuff there. Curt groomed the Flathead on Tues or Wed - sorry forgot which day....and our trail is really set up and getting rough. This wasn't enough new snow to fill in with the groomer and our groomer isn't heavy enough to take down the bumps even with the blade on front. Curt groomed it to Corbin but thinks we may need the bigger heavier groomer to break up what the heat from earlier last week caused. Its ride-able by all means but not floating along and our backs are getting old and so we are getting picky-er! LOL. We will see what we can do about that. Curt made some really good snow bridges on our trail and the one that wouldn't work he built a wooden bridge for and put it in place tonight. He also rebuilt the snow bridge going up into Barnes meadow. Cooper, Adam, Cody and Tanner all having the garage tonight doing some wrenching. Been some carnage with all three groups of guests. Our other guests are headed to the Crow Snow Riders poker run to the North Shelter from Atlas so if you want to have a fun social ride head up there tomorrow! Also a bit of etiquette in the not hang with a group of sledders unless they invite you and absolutely do not climb above them or ride exactly where they are riding. There's lots of room out there guys and one group may not be interested in your climbs nor in digging you out if you cause an avalanche on them. The photo is from Limestone and it shows you what the snow depth looks like on open slopes. Cooper said you could still side hill and there were a few fluffy pockets of snow in sheltered spots but that its well set up under that 10cm of light stuff. Happy Hunting! Cheers - V

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jan 29/14 - Snowfall warning on both sides of the Divide

Morning crew. So it is snowing. Started out with flurry type snow but is now thicker and bigger flakes at -2 with decreased visibility up top. Supposed to get about 10-15cm of snow from the Crowsnest Pass side and also the West Kootenays side and I would expect more than that up in the alpine. It is set up underneath and in windy spots its hard with now fluff on top but in the trees it is sink up to your thigh easily deep. Is it the big pow we talk about when it snows 2-3 feet? ....nope. I am pretty specific about that so people have the right expectations but I seem to have had a few calls stating the "snow is bad out there right now hey?" and perhaps I have been too conservative in my descriptions. Its go anywhere... almost, climb up even if you should not, get stuck in the trees all day and hit some icy or hard spots on the trail on one bend then at the next, boon dock across some sheltered blown in snow kind of riding. But not what I would call big powder anywhere consistently yet and not spring riding either. View our photos from previous years and you will see shots of big powder around 3rd week in Feb and in March even the beginning of April. Remember, if its big pow then you are not climbing like you imagine you would and if it is spring riding then you are not carving it up like you imagine you would. McCall ID has some great fluff right now - check out Timbersled videos on youtube. Depends on what you want, how many people you want to be in the area with and how far you want to drive. Just thought I would tell it like it is here and photos from this weekend will help demonstrate our conditions. We are looking forward to getting out there - nothing wrong with this snow. Supposed to be -3 to -6 during the day and getting cold at night around -13 to -18 all weekend. Keep up to date on your avy reports for South Rockies and if you want a poker run there is one at Atlas staging in the Crowsnest Pass on Saturday. There have been french film crews from France out filming in the area to take home to show winter recreation opportunities here including snowmobiling. Our March is starting to get some bookings so if you know you want a date out here, give me a call. Cheers and get outside! V

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jan 26/14 - Flurries

Morning Crew, flurries at present and -1. Likely get a couple cms out of this but mostly snow will be moved around by the wind. Supposed to snow again/flurries on Wed and temps for the week should be between -1 to -9. Our crew out riding trails said the pipeline was getting rough. Our trail is ok but needing a groom which it will get this week and also the Flathead will get a groom. Thank you to everyone who contributes to the trail grooming - never understood the an expensive sled, haul with expensive truck and trailer and then don't buy a club pass or donate to the trail grooming or buy a daily pass. Think about what is invested at the riders end and the grooming end and how much a groomed trail is worth at the end of the day. Also grooming ensures areas stay open. So again - thank you to those that buy passes. Avy report is starting to look better. When it got warm, solar triggered avys were reported occurring naturally. Beware that deep week layer of wind slab atop sugar - its getting deeper so climbing and kicking rock is not a good thing - it will be big if it gives out over a thin patch you have just put pressure on. Cornices are still a big concern also. If something has avalanched take a look beside it - has the adjacent snow come down too or is it simply next to come down...also look up...a cornice may not have anything to step down onto to create a bigger avalanche but that cornice may be rock and ice and super hard and could take out trees on the way down and be like a car hurdling toward you so its just as dangerous. Not to discourage anyone just to tell you to always be aware - don't let your guard down and take the time to really look at the area you choose to be in before ripping it up. We have some events coming up in Feb so check your Fernie Snowmobile Association and Crow Snow Riders websites. Grooming updates are on them also. Not too late to sign up for avalanche courses and there's a free Backcountry Workshop open to everyone for free at the Causeway Bay Hotel in Sparwood on Feb 6 from 7-9. Great opportunity. Happy sledding! V

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jan 22/14 - 5cm of new snow & counting

Nice to wake up to this! We are at -2 and have 5cm of beautiful fluffy dry snow and its supposed to snow til this afternoon. Not expecting a big dump of snow but as long as we get some that is good. Temps for the week support keeping it to with the high being +2 by Friday but sticking between -1 and 1 mostly so that is great. Don't let this new snow pull you up into places where that weak layer is having to support a heavy wind slab. Stick to the trees and enjoy the fluff. Cheers - V

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jan 20/14 - Photos from the trees in Limestone then Jerome's Bowl areas

Thought I would get you guys some photos posted. This is from Saturday. Hope everyone has checked out the avy bulletin and is searching out the snow in the trees and staying off the faces as avalanches are big and heavy right now. Flathead trail is in really good shape and our trail is holding up really well too even though temps have been warmish and we have had lots of traffic on it. Watch for moose on the trail - I had two pop out on me and the guys said that down the pipeline (where its getting pretty roughish) they had one pop out there too - eyes up gang. Nine Mile up Alexander was super reactive on the weekend per reports from sledders up there and from Zacs Tracs video on the South Rockies Forcaster's blog so keep an eye out if you are headed that direction and stick to low angled slopes. Castle was supposed to be pretty good but has seen a bunch of riders as of late. I believe last year we went almost a month with no new snow and a bunch of areas were getting ridden out - might be in for a touch of that - the close stuff will see the most action but if you hunt I don't think you have to go far to find decent snow. Adjust your expectations though - not much big pow to be found just yet - it is likely in "secret places" far off the beaten path. We have a lot of work this week so I may not have a bunch of info for ya on my blog. I will try to update it if weather or riding conditions info comes in. Til then....ride safely and "know before you go". Cheers - V

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jan 19/14 - Snow in the Trees

Hi Gang, temps are running -2 to +3 over the course of this week with a bit of snow forecasted for today and Wednesday. Limestone is fairly ridden out, Heartbreak got a lot of wind and Jerome's bowl was full of snow, there was about 2 ft of fresh from the photos the crew showed me. Cooper and Curt were out and said Jerome's bowl was the best. They saw lots of natural avalanches and a bunch of stuff has come down. When you check your bulletin, click on the South Rockies title and it will take you to the main page if you are looking on your phone. Special warnings are out for the Rockies and a few other regions and if you go to the South Rockies forecaster's blog there is some great video of Lori and Randy with Zacs Tracs doing a compression test that illustrates what it has been doing out there and what you can expect it to do. The trees are the best place to play right now and low angles with your terrain traps in mind. I believe the Crow Snow Riders poker run is coming up on Feb 1st and the Corbin Vintage run is the 15th. The Canadian Avalanche Association with Teck is putting on a FREE Backcountry Workshop from 7-9pm at the Causeway Bay hotel in Sparwood - everyone welcome! Our Feb is totally booked up now with only the Divide cabin available the last week of Feb. Happy Trails & Trees - Cheers, V

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jan 16/14 - Flathead groomed

It has been a slow warming here the past few days but as you can see the snow is holding up. We are headed out tomorrow for a big ride with Shawn and the Timbersled group and I am getting a lesson from Rhonda and Matt on my our new sled - I am very excited about that. There is some hero snow out there, some getting stuck to your thigh snow in willows and some trees and everything in between but no fluffy pow. Curt groomed the Flathead yesterday and he said he had never seen it blown in that much before - its excellent. Remember to donate to the trail grooming program. Avy bulletin says watch out for solar heating and the weakening of big heavy cornices that if they fall could be heavy enough to trigger the deep weak layer and bring down big sized avalanches. The natural cycle should slow down now aside from that. So look up! Our Feb is almost entirely booked up and then March 10th on is available so if you are thinking about calling for a cabin better plan ahead. Thanks gang - sure is great to have you want to stay with us. We have really enjoyed our guests! Cheers - V

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jan 11/14 - Update from Guests

Hi Crew, the guests are exhausted and vibrating from having an awesome day up in Barnes and Limestone. Snow is super sticky down here and the snow falling up top was not lighter as expected - still was fairly wet but they were carving and boon docking in waist deep snow! Visibility restricted afternoon riding down to being able to see 10ft infront so they dropped down and had more fun in Barnes Meadow. BEWARE the huge cornice is still looming overhead on that Barnes Meadow face that came down sometime in the past few days. They said the Flathead trail is holding up and if we can get some colder weather then Curt will try to get a groom in on next week. It was +3 today and its supposed to -2 tomorrow then going up to +8 on Wed! So little signs to watch for. This morning the snow was so heavy it was booming sliding off my roof - my roof isn't very steep to some of the stuff people want to ride out there so think about the similarities. Also mentioned in the avy report which holds Alpine at High risk and working its way down to moderate over the next few days, there will likely be signs of sluffing on steep slopes which is the mountain giving you an early warning sign. Also I would guess that there might even be pin wheeling with it being kinda wet. But man it will get heavy with all this new wet snow. With this warming trend happening so fast you will see changes from morning riding to afternoon riding. Check out the Forecaster's Blog on to see the conversation about why they are concerned about those weak layers not holding up to the additional weight. But again - meadows are a ton o fun on days you should leave the climbing alone - there's all kind of terrain between Corbin and Fernie that makes it easy to switch up your day plan. We are getting stuck in the yard with this snowfall and more snow/rain mix is supposed to keep coming tomorrow, tapering off on Monday with sun for the end of the week. Hope this helps you plan your trip and be safe! Cheers - V

Jan 11/14 - 20cm of Snow Expected - Almost there!

Good Morning! Well that front that was supposed to leave us with 20cm of snow showed up last night and today. We have 10-12cm down here already and it is wet and heavy here. Likely lighter up top but visibility today is going to be limited. Still snowing. Its about +3 today and going to -3 tomorrow and then +4 Monday with snow all three days. That is going to cause some serious snow instabilities so avoid being in areas with cornices hanging over top of you and run off areas. The guys were in Limestone yesterday and said the Flathead trail wasn't too bad, Barnes trail was rough but Limestone had 4ft of carving snow. They said that the big ugly face in Barnes Meadow came down big time on its own (not while they were there) and had run out farther than usual. Guess what....its kinda East facing. So the tell tale signs are consistently letting you know to pick your terrain carefully. Still lots of fun to be had. Pipeline has seen a fair bit of action but there's still lots of good snow in the trees. Been too warm to groom over the past few days - yesterday was zero. Its snowball snow. Check your avy reports, wear your gear, know how to use it and support grooming programs. Cheers Gang -V

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jan 8/13 - Light Snow and rising temps

Hey snow junkies....we are getting some light snow...5cm was in the forecast and we are getting that up top for sure. Around 3pm the Jason, Ben and Johnny came back in from sledding and said it was snowing and closing in up top. We have about 2cm of fresh down here. Its zero going to -3 tonight with snow daily in the forecast for the next week. Temps over the next four days will be between -1 and +6 depending on the different forecasts I refer to. Light snow expected daily. Just to inform, if you go to and check out incident reports you can go check out the back country skiing incident that occurred on the weekend and see photos. Avalanche bullentin is still warning about East facing slopes and this occurred on an East facing aspect. Conditions are rated as moderate but that weak layer is still there even with temps stabilizing and hopefully consolidating the snow pack. Beware the rocky outcroppings K? We are booked til Monday the 13th. We have the Divide and Log open til the 16th but then we are booked again for the weekend as Shawn Luhning and his Timbersled crew and Rhonda and Matt from the Betties take over the resort til the 20th. After that we are wide open til the 29th. Hope that helps you plan a spur of the moment trip out here. Cheers and safe riding! V

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jan 5/13 - Frozen!

Morning....cold here. Went from +5 two days ago to -20 here and -28 just outside Coleman. Brrrrr. But in true form for the weather trends here this year it is supposed to get to -2 by tomorrow and +2 and snowing by Thursday. After that 45cm we got another 5-10cm depending on the spots and it blew a bit two so it would have redeposited some of that in trees likely. Guests rode Pipeline and word had gotten out and its a bit rough. My father-in-law and brother-in-law rode to Corbin highway on the A road (McCool Pass) and they were the only ones on it after the big snow and it was still snowing and not blowing on that trail. They said it was fantastic! Megan and Cooper heading out to check out some close spots so as not to get too far away and frozen. Megan will take some photos and I will get them posted tonight. We are booked now til Thursday but its supposed to snow again then and we have the Divide and Flathead open til Monday the 13th. Log is available Sunday the 12th til the 16th. Highways are a bit icy but if you check up your speed a bit you can get to where ever you want to go. Start booking off your weekend for the The Betties Newbie Ride in Elkford on Feb 15th at 9am - its fun and educational so you can justify taking a weekend for yourself girls. The Corbin Country Club will run their vintage poker run I believe the 15th or 16th of Feb but not the long regular poker run as we cannot groom the whole course due to flood damage. The Fernie Griz Days & Snowarama are Mar 1. A big Timbersled crew are here on the 16th of Jan. Enjoy the start of 2014! Cheers -V

Friday, January 3, 2014

Jan 3/13 - Photos from today

Here's some photos from Duane and the Boys from today!

Jan 3/13 - 45cm of SNOW!

We have gotten 45cm of snow minimum on the trail! Cooper and I took some guests down the B road to continue on to the Pipeline and we boondocked the entire way out and most of the way back! It was awesome. Forgot the camera though. Wade...remember that time on B road when we didn't even go any further - we just played in the open spots? Thats what it was like today. Even more snow on the trail to Corbin. And sorry gang we are booked til Tuesday. Avy reports are high but the meadows are great to play in. Snow was blinding it was coming up over the hood and plastering your face. Almost stuck three times! Castle had gotten 25cm at 5am and here and there it has continued to snow on and off. The Pass was closed for a stretch in the morning and Hwy 1 was closed for a stretch by Brooks also. Supposed to get more snow tomorrow but then we hit some -17 temps at night so that slows up snowfall then its supposed to warm up again beginning of the week. Our guests on the Pipeline said it was fantastic and deep snow - never been stuck so much and love it so much. Happy 2014! Cheers - V

Jan 3/13 - Still Snowing!

Good Morning! Whoever is doing the snowdance....we thank you. It snowed on and off last night but this morning visibility is very low here and up top. Might want to ride the lower trees. -1 today and snow expected through to Monday but it is supposed to dip into the -17-19 after that. We have about 15cm of snow so far and counting. Flathead was groomed a few days ago and trails are all in great shape. Trail up to Barnes is rough per usual but this snow will help. Have an fantastic day sledding! Cheers - V

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jan 2/14 - Happy New Year Snow Falling!

Good Evening! Its Snowing! Big Flakes. Its -1 and supposed to stay that way for the evening while it snows for the next three days per the forecast. South Rockies are supposed to get 35cm of snow and timing is good as it was getting to be spring like conditions on slopes exposed to wind. Our guests said the trees by the Notch were fun and Limestone was good climbing for first time mountain riders - lots of traction, good base and they could get everywhere. Cooper found some floater snow deep enough to carve in down in the meadows by McClatchie. I took the photos almost 2hrs ago and we have 4cm of wet heavy snow already. Check your avy bulletin - ratings are going high as the new load will likely pressure that persistent weak layer (PWL) to release and start a round of natural avalanches. Maybe lay low playing in open meadows or in areas you know really well and can spot changes or concerns easily until this has a few days to settle after the 72hrs. Pipeline may be fun to ride with new snow on it and the trees should be good too. Timbersled riders are here tomorrow - fun fun fun! Curt sold his XP and bought a new SkiDoo! Congrats Ty on your first mountain sled! Ride safely and have a blast! Cheers and Happy New Year! V