Friday, February 28, 2014

Feb 28/14 - COLD & Blowing

Well it is -19 and the wind is blowing down here as it drops to -28 tonight and then sits there sunny and -26 tomorrow. We have snow forecasted daily except for tomorrow. It goes to +2 by Tuesday. CRAZY! We only got a few cms out of the snowfall today and that has been redeposited by wind. Snow is great in meadows and trails and trees though. Curt helped Terry and George today weld the bombi at Corbin as the blade broke badly in the middle. Terrible day to do it but thank god for those guys gettin' it done! This is what your club volunteers do on their days off. I have photos but they won't upload tonight. Even my computer is bucking the cold weather operations! Anyway - enjoy the snow and beware the terrain you ride on as those weak layers are still there and these temp swings cause new situations in snow bonding. Cheers - V

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Feb 25/14 - BRRRRR!!

Hi Sledders, we just back from Arizona and OMG another cold snap - what the hell? Farmers almanac said it was going to be a cold winter but I thought one -38 cold snap was it. LOL. -28 today but going to +2 on Thurs then back down to -18 to -12 during the day on the weekend and snow forecasted for Friday. Snow is in great shape here but while we were gone there was a report of a size 4 avalanche in the Lizard range - that is HUGE! Lets all go home from our sledding vacations okay. Seriously - climbing this year is just not a great idea until these conditions change in the weak slab layers that are in the snowpack. Read your bulletins carefully, go to the Forecasters Blog on the website and listen to the pros have a conversation about the snowpack. They are sledders too so they are coming at it from a sledder perspective now. Meadows will be awesome. Work on learning how to bend and recover those new suspensions. Fernie Snowmobile Association had great snow drags and there are photos on Raven Eye Photography if you want to see them. They are calling to beware of avalanche risk on their website also. They are grooming Coal Creek/Morrissey 3 x per week and Hartley will be groomed when avy risk is reduced they are saying. Please Please Please support their grooming program. If you ride in from the Pipeline and then enjoy a groomed trail, find a way to drop off a donation or buy a club membership to show support and get as many names on club lists for the government to see that we are represented in the backcountry. Fernie club is having their Snowarama Sunday March 16 leaving from Coal Creek at 10am. Be safe and have a blast out there - lots of riding still to be done for this winter. Our March is filling up. Cheers - V

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


OMG it is amazing snow! It has been snowing steady all day and still tonight - huge flakes! There was 45cm of new snow on the trail around 2pm and by now and easy 60cm. Curt blew out the yard yesterday and is going to have to do it again tomorrow. Snow now forecasted for all week except Friday. Temps at +1 and staying in that -2 to +1 daytime til Sunday when it gets a bit cold again. I was boondocking on the trail easy and the bikes were loving it today. Likely more than this up in the alpine - didn't bother going up when this was all awesome down here. Heard an avalanche on Tent when we were stopped on the trail west of Tent. New snow load will be bringing stuff down. Slabs were easily giving way, propagating and sliding just on the cuts we were doing on the slopes adjacent the trails at low angles so beware. Hit the meadows - you will be plenty stuck! We are booked til March 10th and have family and friends here resort-sitting while we are gone for a few days. So we won't be answering booking requests til Tuesday ok. Get out sledding any way that you can and be safe! Cheers - V

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feb 17/14 - Another 10cm and still Snowing

Howdy, just a quick update - my truck with the trailer back of photo was clean as of 10;30 last night and we have gotten another 10cm of snow and its still snowing steady. Kids had great time at Fernie Ski Resort yesterday - clear skies and lots of snow. Its +3 today with temps of +1 to -1 for daytime almost all week and still snow forecasted for Tues & Wed. Curt blew snow yesterday and has to do it again today. Get out riding! Check your avy reports before you go but I tell ya there will be snow everywhere out back now. Tyler commented yesterday that they went to Barnes and nobody had been in there....I just had a ton of guys there so the snow has filled that all in...he also said that Alexander was thigh deep. Good News! Thanks Tyler! Cheers - V

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feb 16/13 - Snow Snow Snow

Wahoooooo! Was at the Betties Ride yesterday in Elkford and had an awesome time!!! There were 93 riders. We broke off in groups of 7-8 riders with a guide and sweep and headed off to different spots. Gathered for lunch of hotdogs, pop/water and chips and then headed out with our guides for more. We rode fresh untouched 6" to thigh deep snow all day! Thank you Matt, Tyler, Bev, Trevor, Jackie, Justin, Megan - my group - we had such a great day. I highly recommend coming to the ride. Also this morning I woke up to 10-12cm of snow and it is still snowing with 10cm more snow expected today. The temps are perfect at zero degrees today and temps to be between 3 and -4 all week with snow daily til Thurs. The Corbin Vintage Run had about 35 people which was less than 50 or so we had last year. Everyone had a blast though and Cooper and Sommer won the Rat Rod award. They both now have 1970 Snow Cruisers. We are booking for March 10th now. Avalanche report is high and considerable and we saw slabs releasing just from vibration yesterday so beware - this new snow load will be causing that weak slab to easily release. Ride the cut blocks and have a blast and give this new snow a week to settle in. Cheers - V

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feb 13/14 - A bit more snow today

Morning crew, we ended up with about 10cm fresh in the yard and they said there was 15-20cm fresh up in Barnes Meadow/Limestone yesterday. When we drove out of the yard the wind had created 30-45cm deep drifts on our road though. So lots of loading happening up in the alpine. Today we are at +2 with temps looking better for the week at -1 to +1 instead of over the +5s. Snow forecasted daily. We got another 6cm overnight on the flat here - Curt blew out the yard yesterday, and there is no wind but wind is expected just not as strong as yesterday. Had some more guys ride Atlas and said it wasn't very good....on that tour you have to know how to get into some more difficult spots that have great snow usually but all the easy visible spots are thin still. One of our guys broke though the creek in Barnes Meadow. We have seen this happen a few times and he was up to his shoulders and sinking so take a tour of that area first before you start ripping it up. Creek is moving under the snow. Dig out the vintage and come to Corbin or load up for the Newbie ride at Elkford with the Betties this Sat. Cheers - V

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Feb 12/14 - Here it comes...Snowing

Good Morning, Good is snowing and getting heavier as I sit here so my photos aren't doing it justice. We only have about 3cm on the ground but I can see that is going to pick up quickly. It is blowing in from the west. The west coast is supposed to get hit with something like 100cm in the next few days. Temps are supposed to be in the plus' all week with some getting to +5 or +6 but still with snow forecasted. It did this last year too at the Corbin poker derby. Remember you will have some nice snow but you will still hook up on the hard slabs at the bottom of this new stuff so bumpers and pipes still beware lolol. Nothing like cutting a deep carve then hooking up and hitting that lone tree you weren't concerned about. Enjoy and check your avy bulletins before you go. Cheers - V

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feb 11/14 - 8cm here, double that up top

Hi Gang, quick update. We had a couple of skiffs of snow the past few days, 1cm, 2cm and then 8cm last night with double that up top. The snow that fell is really nice. Guys found really soft snow with a hook up base about a foot down at Rolling Hills off the new cabin. We have a system moving in and should get 15-20cm daily for the next three days but there will be extreme winds tomorrow and then tapering off daily to Friday. Avy bulletin is High chance of avalanche and on our drive to Sparwood today I noted pinwheeling on radiant exposes slopes, dry sluffing on shaded slopes and saw propagated hard slab cut lines on steep areas so there are conditions for multiple triggers and I also noted huge wind blown cornices built up on lee side crests and if those weaken and come down they could start those deep hard slabs moving which would collect everything on its way down. Just that kind of year - very exceptional. So lower angles, searching for honey pot spots is the way to go for the next few days to see what shakes out of this new weather system. Corbin Vintage poker derby is on Sat and so is the Elkfort Betties Newbie Ride so lots to do! Trails will be groomed and marshalled for this weekend. Cheers and thank you whoever was doing the snow dance! V

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Feb 6/14 - BLOODY COLD!

Hey Sledders - its damn cold here! Its been -28 to now -33 almost for a week! (Norms for now are -1 high and -12 low!!!)Its supposed to break today and start coming back up to seasonal norms but jeesh! 30% chance of snow tomorrow - I would guess trace at best. Thank goodness its not windy. Supposed to snow on Sunday when it goes up to -13 daytime high and -20 nightly low but I doubt it will be much either - guess its better to gain even a little then lose snow. Monday same thing but temps going to -4 then -1 so we may get some snow worth mentioning out of that - we'll see. I will let you know. Tough thing is is that its like this all over. My friend's farm south and east of Pincher is a balmy -20 right now. Snow is set up pretty well everywhere. If you know a local with "secret secret" spot then cuddos but that is even getting rare as time passes and that gets ridden too. Snow is very ride-able, don't get me wrong, but don't go watching powder sled videos before heading out on your vacation. Bring scratchers - one of the guy's Polaris sleds was heating up because its so set up riding trail not because of ice on the trail. Can't get big groomer til it warms up. These temps just cause breakdowns on equipment so if you can let it I feel bad for the Sask crews here right now....came from cold, hit the cold snap here and guess where this snap goes....follows them home to Sask again. Bummer. Been there guys! I feel for ya. Install the new Canadian Avalanche Centre app on your phone and go to Observations on the bottom left then click "View Observations" and click on the most southernly pin between Cranbrook and Lethbridge. Enlarge the photo and you will see that the snow pack this year is-just not an honest pack with layers that will "heal" or "mend and play well together". See the nasty little weak layers and all the load between them? When you go into complex terrain the bulletin used in conjunction with the avulator tool will tell you that risk is still greater even though it is "moderate" in the bulletin for the alpine. So don't consider the bulletin permission to "Go for it". Its just going to be one of those season where you learn the sweet spot on your running boards and learn to carve and bend your sled on the hard stuff, hold your edge and ride trees. Make it a mission to search out new territory on the low angles cause you can get there right now without being stuck every 20ft. If you find that great little meadow that people seem to have ignored then guess will be full of snow too when it does snow and it will be fun to try to get to to. Bundle up, check your hand warmers, maybe even put that windshield back on (hee hee) and head out in search of terrain you will want to hit on your next trip or next year. Also prepared to start a fire incase something breaks down. Carry a rope too. You won't believe how important those things will seem on a casual innocent breakdown when you and a buddy are left while someone goes for the truck. Hang in there...V

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Feb 2/14 - Barnes Ranch photos as promised

Here are the photos of the boys carving it up....taken from a helmet cam and clipped from the video so enlarge them and look. Wish I had more but hopefully you can see. Harley and Neil took the Timbersleds out just a couple kms from our place and dropped into some fresh snow but it would be too tight for sleds - said they had a blast side hilling. We are now all parked infront of the Superbowl - Go Broncos....better get at it, Sea Hawks are leaving poop on your lips! Cheers - V

Feb 2/14 - Boys found snow

Morning, I hope to have photos from yesterday's ride tonight as the boys are out sledding again and have video of yesterday and need to snap a few photos off of it to put on the blog. It is -14 right now...brrrr. Not good snow weather but we are getting super light snow off and on right now and supposed to get trace amounts tomorrow. Temps are going to be around -8 to -18 by Tues then back to -9 daytime by Friday and at night it supposed to be in the -20 peaking at -25 on Tues then back up to only -20 by Friday. Our trail is rough! It is hard on old backs so we have called in the big bombi for early in the week. We have 20 riders go out and back just yesterday which would take its toll on a trail regardless but with no new significant snow and our groomer is not heavy enough we can't fix it. So Curt and Coop took Cody, Tanner and Adam to Barnes Ranch and found snow starting at 10cm fresh at the ranch to 50-60cm deep in the meadow! They had an awesome time whipping donuts and ploughing snow with trenches sometimes 4ft deep. I saw their video and it was really good snow but for climbers there wasn't any of that. Rhonda and Matt reported from Elkford and said it was the same hard pack no fresh there that we are seeing in the bowls that have exposure above the trees. So the pockets of snow are out there but if you are a climber you are going to have to hunt farther and more remote and then be very aware of the weak persistent layer. All the easy, close, standards are getting lots of riding. I hope to have photos tonight for ya. Crow Snow Riders had about 55+ riders and the trail was in great condition and it was a sunny day. Congrats to the club on another well run poker derby. Photos are off some of the sleds and trailers here today - two trucks/trailers had already left. Just showing those who haven't been here yet that yes there's lots of parking and yes your sleds can park at your doorstep. We had the Cranbrook, Yorkton and Walt Healey Crew and friends here. Happy sledding - V