Mostly Soft, occassionaly Slushy Snow

New Snow 1 cm 7 Day Snow 87 cm Snowbase 153 cm
Alpine Temp -2 °C Valley Temp +1 °C Conditions Soft / Slush


The skiing was surprising good today, considering the rising freezing levels and the variable visibility. I am surprised to see the WB website state the conditions as ‘hard packed’. While you can still find the odd piece of hard pack / ice in the high traffic areas (dating back to that extreme cold stint we had), overall the snow is soft, even becoming slushy like spring snow down low. In fact, I was finding the snow so wet/slushy that it was beginning to ‘grab’ my skis and slow me down (since I have winter wax on my bases).

Still, it was fun to rip around the groomers, and it is pretty much safe enough to play amongst the trees. I would not suggest flying through the trees, due to the marginal base, but if you are content to pick you way through, you can find some nice turns in there.

I skied Whistler mountain today – I had planned to head over to Blackcomb via the Peak to Peak but was having enough fun I decided to stay on Whistler. I found the whole mountain in good shape, with a lot more runs being opened up, and the few remaining ones being pretty close. The groomers have been busy, with virtually all runs being smooth and they have even done passes over the closed runs getting them ready to open.

There was one major fog/cloud layer around mid mountain (Started just above Red Chair and down another 100 vertical meters on Creekside – Started just below Olympic Station for roughly the same distance on Whistler side). It was pretty thick making it hard to see. Above this, the visibility was pretty good , nothing fantastic as it was a cloudy day but good enough to ski comfortably at speed.

As for the upcoming freezing levels around the 3000m mark – not good news. At first it will be fine, like today it will be mostly slushy snow, which is a lot of fun to ski on – but not ‘winter’ snow that we want (ie powder!!) The temperatures will be mild, which is what a lot of people like (who really likes being cold??) just remember to use ‘spring’ wax on your bases….. The bad news comes when the freezing levels begin to drop again, normally this results in the mountain ‘freezing’ and we end up with a lot of ice / real hard patches. This would be (mostly) avoided if we get snow while the levels are dropping. So as usual, who knows what the future holds, if only we could control the weather (we would probably end up destroying the earth faster….)

I made another short video today, but due to the cloudy conditions it is so-so to watch. It is on the first pitch of the Dave Murray Downhill, and when the camera pulls back you can see the start gates. The Dave Murray Downhill will be the run used for the Olympic Downhill event. You can see the snow getting sprayed in some of the turns – pretty soft…. If you want to see a couple of photos from today, look in the photo gallery.

[hana-flv-player video='http://whistlersnowreport.com/video/UpperDaveMurray11Jan2009.flv'/]

Comments

  1. Hi Greg

    Do you know if there is anywhere in WB that I can hire a helmet camera from? Cant find anything on the interweb.

    Thanks

  2. Hi Dan,

    I thought the only place you could rent a helmet camera in Whistler was at the Foto Source store, so I gave them a call. I have a friend who works there, who tells me they looked into renting some this season, but the hassles of broken/stolen cameras overcomes the benefits. They do sell the model called VHoldR for approximately $300.
    To the best of his knowledge, no one rents helmet cameras. Sorry.

  3. Thanks Greg

    The VholdR retails at £270!! ($485) here in the UK!
    I think I may be tempted to buy one at that price.

    Cheers