Northern Rockies/Alberta Calgary Area 2018/19

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Mike Rogers, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    Were they tickets or notices to buy a pass...or else!

    Generally, Parks is happy for you to buy a pass and will accept this over a fine.

    I don't know how many of these notices are actually converted to fines, but if it gets in the system, you would likely have to pay. I don't think it would be much different from a speeding camera.
     
  2. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    Last time i saw someone writing it up, its an official ticket form that would be used for any violation, taking down your vehicle license info, but a box had warning circled and not fine circled.
    Additionally they will occasionally setup mobile checkpoint out of a van to check you in person, which seemed to happen on weekends (they also setup purchasing to take payment right there if you didnt have one)
    In typical Canadian fashion there won't be an additional fine if you buy the pass.
     
  3. ADKmel

    ADKmel Turning Skier

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    Some were circled- "Warning buy a pass, others like mine had the "Fine" box checked and the warning wasn't circled.
    I did have a pass, and next morning on the way skiing I went to the 'welcome station' and showed my pass and ticket to the ranger said he would "take care of the ticket and clear my license plate" . I assume if I didn't stop I'd get a fine and or ticket.
     
  4. Poolskier Vinny

    Poolskier Vinny Red Bull Athlete Wannabe Skier

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    Been away since mid-January skiing Japan and then at Big Sky for the gathering so haven't really skied here at home (AB/BC/etc.) for a bit... so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted about the local hills...but today we hit up Lake Louise.

    The good: Beautiful temps. (Heard its been brutal cold here lately so a nice change apparently) Clear sunny skies. No wind. Felt like spring skiing.

    The bad: Holy crowds batman! Yikes. I guess today was one of the warmer weekend days so maybe that added to it. Big lines at park pass booths too on the way into the park.

    The ugly: My buddy blew out his binding (Look 14’s) midmorning. Fortunately we were currently on our way back down (and on easy/no consequence terrain when it broke) to the shop to fix our other friends snowboard binding that she was having some issues with. How crazy is that? At least he was able to one-ski his way down the frontside and get a rental set for after lunch.

    The skiing: Frontside base lifts were jammed in the morning (and a lot of the front looked hardpacked/glazy) so we bolted to backside. Hit a few laps of Paradise. Cornice bowl was really nice. Lapped that twice...but the main paradise bowl and under the lift etc was pretty firm skied-off moguls with a few rocks thrown in. Better to ski the left boundary line and hit the gate then traversed waaaay left where we scored a couple of fresh lines.

    Fenceline gully was ok... best snow was not in the throat but high on skiers left as you dropped off the nose. East bowl and east bowl trees had some good snow.

    Crowds found us and we headed to Larch and Ptarmigan. Very crowded there too. We did one lap in rock garden. Pretty hard and crappy. Traverse in was sketchy.

    Best snow was whitehorn and gully areas. Soft chop but with variable pack/occasional sharks/hard bumps/sections underneath so you needed to ski with that in mind. Fewer ppl tho for sure.

    While the hill could definitely use some fresh snow infills...overall still a fun day out with friends.

    Off to Sunshine tomorrow so we’ll see how it’s holding up.
     
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  5. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I will concede that we always had winter tires on our cars, which is pretty standard if you live in Alberta.
     


  6. ADKmel

    ADKmel Turning Skier

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    Final Report. We found Lake Louise to be the best pitch but super busy (everywhere) last Sunday. As I posted before the surface was like skiing the East not what I came for. I did like the pitch and had fun on the back side and ripping the race trails. But there were too many rocks/roots for me to venture into the trees. The 2nd Day we skied Sunshine we thought it was easier pitch than LL (Sunshine's Delirium was not open) The Surface was much better, not as many rocks poking thru in the bumps and not scratched off. We liked all of Sunshine,mostly because the people are more spread out. We liked the bumps and all of the big groomers. We Skied something off every lift. I will say Sunshine is an odd Mt. very surprising to start in a parking area where you can't see the Mt then take the long gondola up to the village. We thought it was really cool to suddenly be in the Valley w/the Mts on each side and trails everywhere!! Our 3rd Day we went to Norquay.. We really Loved Norquay. Small Mt but No people and excellent pitch, we lapped Mystic lift and we got a lot of vertical here! We skied everything open except all the bumps off Great American they were quite firm. Our 4th Day we went back to Sunshine and had snow showers all day. Lovely day.. but because of poor to zero vis the top of Goat, Teepee and Great Divide were totally socked in, so we skied every run on all the other chairs and had a great day. We found plenty of fresh snow to leave our tracks. I only had 1 week (next time I will stay longer) we planned on skiing 6 of the 7 days but the brutal cold kept us off the MT 2days. The consolation prize wasn't too awful; just sightseeing is amazing, we hiked into Peyto Lake to see the Glacier and drove into Emerald Lake and hiked around there, we drove about 1hr into Jasper National (Ice fields just too far) and we walked thru Banff Fairmont and all over the Banff town. Canmore was a good spot to stay just a short drive to the Mts, eating we enjoyed Rocky Mt Flat bread, Crazy weed and Iron Goat.
    The views took our breath away. Every where you look is postcard worthy! You locals have a very awesome place to call home!! I can't wait to go back.
     
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  7. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Glad you had a great trip. Weather in the mountains is always hit or miss. That said when you hit it right in Banff the skiing is magical. I will be there next month so hoping for great snow :)
     
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  8. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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  9. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    Lake Louise got a bit of a refresher. With some favorable wind, you might find some nice skiing in the back side.

    The best snow and terrain is usually found on the runs off the Paradise Chair (ER3, Paradise Bowl, ER7, and ER7) and the backside of the summit (whitehorn 2 gullies, whitehorn 1 and the browshirt area). Flat light can be an issue in this area, but it is usually worth it, even in low visibility.

    We skied Castle on Saturday and found the chutes to be quite nice. Skied Fernie on Sunday and Monday. The northern faces were very good, but the southern are starting to get into the melt/freeze cycle. We concentrated on northern facing terrain and had a blast. There were very high winds on Sunday and Monday, so there were plenty of wind sift refreshers.

    We might ski Louise on Saturday. We have a motel room in Golden on Saturday night, so we are deciding between Louise + Kicking Horse or Kicking Horse x2 for the weekend.
     
  10. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    Skied Kicking Horse Saturday and Sunday

    There hasn't been much snow in the last 7 weeks, and it shows. The hill has bumps in chutes that are normally smooth and huge bumps on the normal bump runs. Despite the drought, coverage is very good.

    he northern aspects (Redemption into Fuez, CPR into crystal, t1 into bowl over, and (presumably) t2 into super bowl) held cold winter snow. There's melt freeze on the southern aspects, but they soften early and the high traffic areas are not getting sloppy. We found some "hot pow" in a lesser skied southern glade...it was heavy!

    Lower mountain is firm but edgeable in the morning, and soft in the late day...getting sticky at the bottom on our last run.

    For sidecountry, ozone north held good snow, but not much untracked.

    T2.5 and 3 had some untracked, but the snow was variable, light pow in shaded aspects, and a breakable crust in the sunny aspects. This one might not be doable after the forecasted heat comes. The lower parts of T3 are low angle, but there's a lot of overhead hazard, and getting into them will be dangerous with a warm snowpack.

    So, we will see how the heat changes the snowpack. It's spring now, I hope it doesn't get too hot!

    We need more rules like this one....it seems to be ignored though

    mar 186.jpg
    T2 Hike
    mar 187.jpg
    CPR north
    mar 18.jpg

    Ozone north mar 182.jpg
    Ozone North
    mar 183.jpg
    Ozone North
    mar184.jpg
    Ozone North
    mar185.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  11. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Mike you are making me homesick ogsmile Hopefully they get some cold weather and nice snow before we arrive on April 5th. I have a long term forecast that looks promising but those are never super reliable.
     
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  12. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    The forecasts have been wild this winter. And the weather has been really strange. A couple of weeks ago it was too cold to run lifts. Now we're drinking beer in t-shirts. Spring skiing is fun though!
     
  13. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I had the same thing in Alta/Snowbird last week. First four days were cold with tons of snow the fifth day was super warm and sunny luckily we hit the good POW in the morning on the sunny side of the mountain and skied in the shadows in the afternoon :)

    Hoping for a swing back to the cold snowy weather in Banff so I can get my ski on :)
     
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  14. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    Back from Banff last night and a quick skim review;

    Banff area in general - just awesome. The town, the views, the culture - loved everything about it. Might be a bummer with the legendary summer crowds but for a crowded holiday winter weekend it was great.

    Day 1: We had a really bad travel day flying United through Houston (never again and never again). Non-weather related delay, missed connection, switched to Air Canada, bags lost, 22 hrs door to door so we got in late, with no gear (another never again, had heard for years never check your boots, since I'd never had a problem made the appeal to probability mistake and lost). So days 1 and 2 were full rental kit including horrid boots. Hit Sunshine - pretty good snow, soft most places, skied the main wide open bowls off of Lookout Mountain, and a few off Standish. No idea what we were doing, yet . . .

    Day 2: 1st day of a 3-day guided thing Big 3 does. Worth it. Lake Louise, caught a surprise powder day. They reported 1 cm overnight but had to be more, a lot more, the way it was skiing. We hit the whole mountain, 1st trip past the back bowls entrance, closed, bummer, but then we saw folks going in and went back - opened around 1 PM and we hit it for several laps. Fresh tracks! Knee deep a few places even, especially deep in the chutes. Apparently it hadn't been opened for a couple days and had banked 20+ cm - whooo hooo! Def our best day of the 4.

    Day 3: Norquay. Saturday. Youth ski races all day. Still we loved it, especially the 'double black' side off the strange 2x4 chair North American. Loved that territory, but it was pretty thin in spots. Surprisingly not skied out though, go figure, we managed to find the softer stuff thanks to the guide. And the views of Banff and mountains from there - amazing. We split time between NA and Mystic.

    Day 4: Back to Sunshine, bigger group for 2x guides (we'd been 'private' the previous 2 guided days, just me and a buddy) - and we skied almost exclusively Goat's Eye, which we'd somehow not even found on Day 1. Another great day despite not having snowed in a bit. Plenty of soft bumps everywhere. Good trees. Hit a few laps of Standish as well.

    Helped our gear showed up end of Day 2. I ended up taking a stupid jerry-of-the-day candidate side jump off the return trail Day 1, totally misjudged it and went a$$ over ears. My face and left side broke the fall, no problem. Dealt with bruised ribs and low core strength rest of the time so curbed it a little. Too old for that sh . . . need to remember my age and capabilities better.

    Anyway - loved it, will be back. Thought it was a great family trip option.
     
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  15. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    P.s. @Mike Rogers sorry didn't get in touch, with our travel implosion and full days didn't have much time to meetup, especially with the guides. Next time!
     
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  16. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    hey @Mike Rogers could you expound on Northern vs Southern faces - I'm looking at a map of Fernie - will be there next Friday - and it *appears* there's a north side and south side to about 4 or 5 shoulders coming down to the base area? Any particular runs or lifts you'd recommend? Thanks!
     
  17. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    You have the right idea.

    Fernie's marketing team loves to sell the "5 alpine bowls". In reality, most skiers who prefer more challenging terrain will enjoy the ridges between the bowls the most.

    Note: Before the late 1990s, Fernie only included the Lizard Bowl, Boomerang, and the Cedar bowl. This is the "old side". Anything served by the Timber Chair, White Pass Chair, or Polar Peak is considered to be the "new side"

    I typically start my day on the new side. Take timber up and ski either "Big Bang" the open area dropping from Siberia Ridge to the White Pass load, or Mitchy Chutes: the trees to the skier's right of Big Bang. The trees between Big Bang and timber Lift Line can also be nice. Big Bang and Mitch face north. Big Bang is best access via a short sidestep, skiers right of the timber chair. This leads to a high traverse from timber to Siberia Ridge. Alternately, you can climb the entire ridge (obvious bootpack), but there is little advantage unless you are skiing "morning glory"

    There are 2 north facing options from white pass. If you want to stay on the "new side" you can drop "Gotta Go", "Cobra Rock" or "Anaconda". To get there, you need to traverse along the ridge that seperates Timber Bowl and Currie bowl. For Gotta Go and Cobra Rock, take the high traverse, which is about halfway down the knot chutes. It can be a bit rocky on the ribs between the chutes, but it goes. You have two choices here: 1. Hike to the top of the Knot Chutes (south facing) and catch the obvious traverse line halfway down, or 2. follow the rope line that runs skier left of the whitepass until you see an opening marked with a "double black". This is the start of the high traverse.
    To get to anaconda (5 chutes and skiable trees between them) take the lower traverse (high works too). This runs at the base of the Knots and is signed.
    WIth either choice, you should try to catch the cat-track below the fans. Take this until you get to the bootleg glades, or even better, the trees beyond bootleg, but before diamond back, for another shot of north facing goodness.

    If you decide to drop into lizard, you will need to take the "reverse traverse". Jump on the catrack heading into Currie and follow the ropeline on your left. You'll wind across the bowl and come to a sign warning of steep terrain. Keep going Stay high if you want to drop the saddles...they're signed and obvious, except for Lone Fir..for this one follow the sidestep up and beyond from "saddle". It is usually worth it.
    If the saddles aren't looking good, traverse all the way across currie to get to the front 3 runs (skydive, decline and stag leap). From here, a short sidestep to your left will lead to to Easter Bowl, part of the Lizard Bowl, and possibly my favorite run at fernie. The trees skiers right of this are also quite nice. Another option is to ski "decline" a bit, this is the left branch of the front three, and then jump into the trees on your left to link up with the Window Chutes. The trees between all of the front three runs go, and can be really run, though only left of decline will give you northern aspects.

    The Elk Chair is painfully slow, so I think the best way of getting to the old side is through the Saddles, Easter Bowl, or Window Chutes. These runs you can go back to Timber or link up with the bear chair.

    The bear gives you the best access to Cedar Bowl. Unfortunately, the best parts of Cedar (Snake, Gorby, and Steep and Deep), face south. Maybe it will offer good corn? Out of bounds, you can drop from snake ridge into the Fish bowl. This faces north. There is avalanche risk, but a groomer has packed down the path back to the resort, so it is an easy return via bootpack if you don't have skins.

    The Boomerang area forms a min-bowl, with good northern shots off Boomerang Ridge into Cedar. Look at King Fir and Cedar Ridge, and from the Bear Run into the boomerang area via the Bear Chutes. The Boomerang run itself tends to stay in the shade.

    "kangaroo" from the haulback and "freeway" in the Lizard bowl are usually ice-bumps. I would avoid these unless you are in the mood, or if it is hot.

    For melt-freeze, the southern faces might provide some good corn. Look to ski Mars from Siberia Ridge into the Siberia Bowl.

    Knot Chutes into Timber or the Suprise Trees (just drop south instead of north when going to Anaconda).

    Polar Peak or Concussion drop south into Currie. Pick whatever line looks good.

    Sunnyside drops south from the Bear run into the Lizard Bowl, and Deep Space drops South from North Ridge into the Boomerang mini-bowl.

    Snake is your southern choice for Cedar.
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    It has been unseasonably hot since Tuesday. I am skiing Fernie tomorrow, so I will report back on the conditions. I know there have been a number of closures recently, but hopefully the snowpack will be more stable with cooler weather and cooler nights.

    I feel like we missed normal winter temps. It went from -30 in all of February to +15 in mid march!
     
  19. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    Awesome info, thank you so much @Mike Rogers - agreed on temps it was so nice in Banff last weekend, and yet we still found great snow in the right places, especially LL back bowls. That was top 3 - maybe 2 ski day for me this season (I'm an under 20 day guy from the SouthEast so . . . you know)
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    I skied Fernie both days this weekend.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but last week's summer-like temps have really done a number on the snowpack.

    But we will start with the good.

    First, coverage is still very good. Fernie isn't a particularily rocky hill, and the snow if very deep in places, and more than adequate top to bottom.

    Secondly, the groomers were skiing nice with a hard base and soft top. Popular mogul runs were also very nice, even the dreaded Kangaroo and Freeway runs were soft.

    Third, the north faces we were able to access, like 1,2, 3s were firm enough for great skiing.

    But the bad:
    Many of the steep south facing slopes have slid. There were two sizeable slides on the Knot Chutes, and some big ones off Polar Peak.The Knot Chutes slid to ground and are likely done for the season. It's bad enough to lose fun terrain, but the slides impact so much more.

    The traverses to the "gotta go" and "anaconda" runs were closed because of the Knot Sildes, and the "reverse traverse" accessing the saddles, easter, and the front 3, as well as consussion, were also closed.

    Big Bang was closed form the top all weekend, and had a total closure most of the weekend. Even Currie bowl from White Pass was closed by Sunday afternoon.

    It's hot, and we aren't getting overnight freezes.

    The areas that had little traffic were heavy slop, so we picked some different areas to ski.

    Highlights were the Boomerang Run (slush bumps), Cedar Ridge (into Cedar Bowl), and lower Easter (accessed from a traverse from Bear).

    With colder weather in the forecast, I hope they can get the reverse traverse going again, and the traverse below the Knots to Anaconda.

    So, lots of hope.

    Plus the Cat skiing ops run at higher elevations than the resort. And with good freezes, we might get some corn!

    Still a fun weekend, but it feels like the beginning of the end.

    I doubt I will be back to Fernie unless they get a huge dump....maybe for the last weekend party.

    I will be concentrating more on Lake Louise and Kicking Horse now.

    Slide in the gun bowl
    liz slide gun bowl.jpg


    Full view
    slide from bottom.jpg


    Knot slides
    knot slides.jpg

    Polar Slides
    polar slides.jpg

    Polar Peak

    Polarpeak.jpg
     
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