At some point in every ski season I have to do the inevitable: go for my last ski trip, which I did yesterday(Wednesday).
Knowing that it had snowed profusely on Sunday and Monday at Lake Louise, I took a chance, thinking Moraine Lake Road may have been groomed, and I hit it lucky.
The tracksetting appears to have occurred on Monday because there was already some fresh snow on the trail. The temperature was +6°C at 2:30 pm and the snow was wet but still reasonably firm.
I could see the tracks were well skied-in, so I used my zero skis. It ultimately proved to be the wrong choice. As I was climbing the big hill at 3.7K, I came to a sudden stop. The fresh snow got deeper and was not skied-in very well. With my zero skis, that’s a recipe for disaster, resulting in serious clumping and no forward progress.
I had no choice but to turn around. I had a pleasant return trip with no mishaps despite there being lots of sunny/shady areas on the descent.
I drove over to the Great Divide where I could see that no grooming had occurred and there was lots of deep snow on the trail. A skier who was just finishing said it was a slog.
Less snow but lots of readers
I guess this will go down in the history books as the winter of low snowfall, warm weather, meltdowns, pine needles, icy trails, and rain. The perfect storm of poor conditions. I still managed to log 1301 kilometres of skiing, which surprisingly, was only 66 fewer than last year.
We had a nice stretch of good/excellent conditions between Dec 1(right after that 50 cm snowfall) until Jan 23. My log book shows that I skied 40 times during that period, with only a few blips in early December from the first minor meltdown. I skied the Tyrwhitt loop with Ray, Mary and Keith on Jan 23, and that was, for all practical purposes, the end of the good skiing. Any good conditions thereafter were the exception rather than the rule.
Thank you for reading my blog this past winter. Readership was up a whopping 35% over last year but I’m not taking a lot of pleasure in those increases because I realize it was because so many skiers were searching for any trace of skiable snow, and my blog was the place to find it. Gone are the days when you could simply drive out to a trailhead and expect to find snow. Believe me, I’d rather have fewer readers and lots of snow.
I’m so looking forward to early November snowfalls!