Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jan 31/15 - Getting a bit of Snow

Well it's not quality snow falling but it's snow none the less. A couple of cm so far and still snowing. Visibility up top will be limited while it keeps up. Wind was up this morning - has dropped offa bit but will likely be windy still in the alpine.
You will ride some dirt at the end of B road if you ride that. They are logging but it's no biggie, dip in and out of snow till you get to the gate then there is snow all the way to Pipeline entrance.

Got guys keen to be out on sled regardless of conditions. So if that's you then go sled. If up want powder there are none here sorry. Cheers - V

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jan 28/15 - Concrete Snow

We went for a ride today. We rode our trail which was smooth but had spots of dirt/rock at lower elevations. The flathead is rough and of course the trails to popular riding areas are rough also but not  unusually so.  We rode Limestone, Jerome's Bowl and Fire Lake. Snow was hero snow, concrete but we could go everywhere. There is a chance of Flurries for Sat & Monday but not a forecasted amount to be able to say there will be a significant change in conditions. We have guys that have cancelled and guys confirming they are coming still. It is what it is. Temps going to the -8 range.  We had a good day just being out on sleds but it's not for everyone. Cheers- V

Jan 28/15 - cooling Down Still Snow to be Ridden

Morning, it is -4 and forecasted to go to +6. Snow in the forecast for Saturday.

Here is a screen shot of our guys in the Flathead cabin - yesterday on the Pipeline. They rode from our house and B road had logging right at the end that they had to dodge some gravel but otherwise it's spring riding and they said they are so glad to be sledding and not sitting in cold brown prairie. The other cabin hasn't found snow yet - Curt said trailer to Flathead, go 9km and turn left and go up. It can be that easy. So, we have snow. We DO NOT have powder. Don't ask me for it in the same sentence as "is there snow in your yard". You Are going to need scratchers, you Are going to run into bare patches on the trails at lower elevations or directly on the pipeline, you Are going to ride spring conditions "hero snow" and be able to go everywhere. You Are Not going to be cold. My guys that are having the most success are having a blast being able to sled, relax and hunt new areas cause they can get to them, and have drinks at night. Funny how guys want to ride in June like the pros.  This is like April riding. So adjust your expectations and come have fun sledding or wait for it to snow and then drop everything and come that very day to have a chance at it before everyone else.  Cheers - V

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 26/15 - Flathead Available Feb 17-22

Just a quick note.,.,we didn't lose our snow today and I just had a cancellation for the Flathead cabin from Feb 17-22. We have the Divide cabin open for that time slot also.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jan 25/15 - Warm Temps =Spring Riding Conditions

Ok I finally got photos loaded. These are the yard at noon today. It got to +9 today and it's headed to +10 on BC side and +13 with wind warning on Crowsnest side. Temps then dropping to +5 and the to -2 and flurries on Fri/Sat. We will likely have gravel spots in the yard by mid week but the trail will have snow. That being said, there are lots of sleds out so trails are getting rough and the trails to alpine are super rough. The guys are saying there's lots of riding out there and my last group said Limestone was a blast and they got stuck lots and want to come back for spring riding in April.

I would love to tell you it's snowing huge powder while still having perfect bluebird visibility with no avalanche risk. I have been sledding mountains for almost 20 years and never had that combo. So it's warm, trails are rough and bring scratchers - but ride to the top of everything, see all the places you won't when it dumps snow and hey, be out sledding instead of not. I gotta's the snow where you're at? Cheers - V

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jan 18/15 - Still Snowing 10cm So Far

Well I wish I could show you photos but the kids used up my internet (thus no update since the 8th) and Google won't upload my photos - sent me back to Jan 1, 2005. Jeesh - ok bitch session over as it is SNOWING!  yahoo.  We needed a injection of snow as the alpine trails were getting super rough per guests.  Now for locals - the alpline trail is just "a bit rough" so you place yourself on the relative scale.  Curt groomed the Flathead on his first day off of work, groomed our trail and did some trail maintenance on his second day off and blew snow in our yard on his third day off.  Now he is at an avalanche two day course and will be heading back to work tomorrow.  It takes a bunch of guys in clubs all over here like this to keep our trails open and accessible let alone groomed.  Every club is responsible for their own grooming, purchasing and maintaining their own equipment and negotiating with land owners and corporations like Teck out here to be able to keep accessibility to your favorite riding areas.  Its not a money making venture let me tell ya.  Many members contribute from their own companies or personal bank accounts to purchase and repair and maintain equipment.

 Snow is reported as pretty good or better than expected by riders who ride here lots and trailer from Sask - thank you Elvis for the report.  We woke up to 5cm of snow and its snowed another 5cm with 30cm total forecasted.  We had another 5-10cm about 4 days ago.  Temp is +2 and supposed to go to -12 tonight and hover in that -1/+1 range over the daytime for the coming week with -7 freezing temps at night.  Still snowing significantly.

Get the app from because there is excellent alpine specific weather on the app for each area you choose to ride.  On the phone weather bug it is saying periods of rain but when you go to altitude that can change to snow quickly.  We are NOT getting rain at 4500ft.  Visibility up top is going to be low so don't get into areas where you don't know what is looming above you.  With this new weather the avalanche risk increases and in our area "Lizard and Flathead" (we used to be South Rockies) the risk is now at Considerable for below treeline and High for treeline and above treeline.  Give it a few days with the stable weather settling in and snow will bond and conditions should improve.

Curt and Cooper are at the AST 1 course again this year.  Take the course - its fun, its great to meet other riders and talk about riding areas and it will improve your decision making. The course will  make you aware that you are in the Backcountry and although it is more accessible to a wider range of people than ever,  it has risk and with the right tools,  you can mitigate dangerous situations.  Don't ride here without a beacon, probe and shovel and without knowing how to use it.  Thinking otherwise is truly now an old fashioned school of thought.  Zacs Tracs provides AST courses and Companion Rescue courses all over Saskatchewan, Manitoba and BC.  They even do quick classes for awareness at snowmobile shows.

Sorry for the long blog - I will try to upload some photos tonight after they are backed up and I will have info from Fernie and Corbin.  Cheers - V

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jan 8/15 - Flurries

Morning sledders,

It started blowing early this morning and now its windy with gusts.  We are getting the flurries but not a real decrease in visibility. Its -7 and going to -1 by Sunday with more snow that day.  This is good - no big dumps to unsettle everything on a slope - just a steady increase in snow depth.  Need to watch for pillowy wind deposits as those put weighty pressure on the weak layer about 90cm down.

Just a quick update.  Hope your weekend sled trip is planned! Cheers - V

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jan 7/15 - Steady bouts of Snow - more on the way

Hi Gang,
We have had steady bouts of snow with 5 to 15cm daily for a few days now.  Supposed to have flurries tonight and tomorrow with more snow on Sat.  Temps didn't get as warm as predicted and the snow here was unaffected.  Its -9 tonight and supposed to be around that -8 to -10 all week with -1 forecasted for the weekend on both sides of the Divide.

Guests report very good trails - they had some wind up top yesterday but not today and that the Flathead is a bit rough the first 5km but worth it as there was 5ft in the trees of unridden snow up in the alpine.  They said it was coming over the hood in places that hadn't been touched.  Curt had to blow the yard out on Monday before they could take the trucks up to the cabins.  They are super pleased and said they want to come back in March if that helps you gauge a possible trip.

Been getting lots of calls for reservations - for winter and for summer.  My Feb is looking almost full although we have NO bookings for week and weekend of Jan 12th - 18th (and there is a Zacs Tracs AST 1 course on in Fernie that weekend).  Weird as there is good snow and warm enough temps here.   I am starting to get bookings for March now too so if you know you want to come in March you better call me.

Safe riding, fun outside! Cheers - V

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jan 5/14 - 10cm or better and 15 more to come

Evening Crew,

We easily got 10cm and it blew around in spots so there's more than that in some places.  You can likely a 5cm or better for alpine riding.  We are getting light snow today at -9 currently and forecast is another 15cm and -15 tomorrow then Chinook Wednesday with -1 on BC side and +9 on Crowsnest side - jeesh!  Snow is light and and airy. Temps going to -5/-6 on weekend with partial sun and cloud.  Perfect!  I have the Divide cabin open this week & weekend.

Grooming hasn't started on the Flathead but the Fernie club groomed on Jan 2nd.  Please be aware that there is logging in the lower Flathead AREA and there have been snowmobile staging areas plowed out by Canfor at 16km Lodgepole, 42.5km on Lodgepole, 47km on Harvey and 57.5 on the Harvey.  They have a camp at 82km and there will be avalanche maintenance  in the Harvey so watch for signs.

Fernie Sno Drags are Feb 7th!

Watch for avalanche  (Fernie club) reported a rider being buried up to his neck at the Notch.

There's a course with Zacs Tracs Jan 16-18 (a couple of classroom and field sessions) on in Fernie that you could likely get in on

Cheers - V

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jan 4/15 - Happy New Year Snow!

Evening Crew,
Sorry I was away for a few days.  In that time we have received 10cm of new snow on Friday/Saturday and are getting hit again tonight with more snow - we already have 5cm and its supposed to snow all night so I am going to guess and say we will get 10cm down here.  Its snowing right now and getting warmer and heavier.  Its -16 and its been really cold the past couple of days.  Its heading to zero on the BC side and plus 8 on the Crowsnest side by Wed with snow forecasted on either side of that.  Should be interesting.

Well just wanted to give you a quick update that it was snowing again here.  I have the Divide cabin open all week and weekend otherwise I am booked.  Check out Summit Creek Cabins on facebook for some weekend photos posted by guests.

Cheers and be safe out there! - V