There’s no sugar-coating the poor skiing conditions of the past winter. It feels like we never got into high gear, and now it’s pretty well finished. The lack of snow, and the numerous rains and meltdowns took their toll on our trails. Chuck sent the photo of the earliest crocus ever from his hike yesterday at Yamnuska.
I received some weather statistics from Ray Perrott that will illustrate how warm March has been:
“I’ve been looking at Environment Canada’s weather statistics for Banff. It seems like March 2015 is the warmest March since 1992 (which was actually nearly a degree warmer – must have been terrible skiing that year).
Just a few stats:
March days with max temp above 10C: 2015 – 14; 1992 – 19; 2014 – zero
March nights with min temp below -10C: 2015 – 5; 1992 – 0; 2014 – 17
So, you can see that 2015, like 1992, was bad for skiing, and 2014
was really good. I hope that 2016 is like 2014!”
I can empathize with all those who are restricted to skiing on the weekends and having to accept whatever conditions exist at the time. I consider myself pretty lucky, being able to get out on the trails immediately after a snowfall and grooming. Nevertheless, I still missed skiing on some of my favourite trails.
One of the disappointing aspects of this past winter was the lack of variety. I’m referring to the many trails which were skiable for such a short time. For example, I would normally ski on the Ribbon Creek/Kananaskis Village/Skogan Pass trails around a dozen times. This year was a meager 2 trips and I didn’t ski on Skogan Pass even once. I never had an opportunity to ski with Tessa on Hay Meadow or to Troll Falls.
The trails in Banff were skiable for a very limited time. I’m referring to Goat Creek, Spray River, Cascade Valley, Healy/Brewster Creek, and Redearth Creek. I skied those trails 17 times last winter; this winter, only 11 times.
I’m looking forward to many trips to Skogan Pass and Goat Creek next winter, and I’m hoping we’ll have lots of snow on the Ribbon Creek trail system, and maybe even the return of Ribbon Creek itself!
I’m thrilled to have my own reserved parking spot for next winter at Pocaterra Hut. Update April 2: April Fool’s!