Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 31/11

It was -33 this morning. YEP! Then it went to -15 and now it is headed back down for the evening. The snow is not suffering at all. Jeremy and Cole - our guests met up with the Greg Hertz gang (from Medicine Hat Harley Davidson) and were riding Heartbreak. Jeremy said there was TOO MUCH SNOW! LOL - wore out his shovel. Greg called me to tell me it was EPIC snow. That North face is prime to come down - very loaded with snow so avoid it. The trees were fantastic. Both groups were really impressed by the snow. Terry Shepherd probed it and found 8ft on Friday and it has snowed at least 3ft since then up there. The guys said there was a foot of fresh on the newly groomed Flathead on Sunday. Greg and his group went into Rain Gauge and that first south wall had come down taking mature trees with it so look up before you go through. They said that the safe places in the middle were again EPIC but the winds were chilly. Thanks for the updates Greg!

Weather is supposed to trend warmer by Wednesday. Pipeline which was pounded out will be prime right now. I am guessing the cut blocks in Alexander will be deep too. Curt home tonight and this time he won't miss out on the fresh snow. Cheers!V

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 29th

Just a quick note - it has been snowing hard all day and still tonight at 10pm it is blowing and snowing. I have been blowing snow in the yard and we have 6-8inches easily of new snow. My guests say there was not much wind in Heartbreak and 3ft of snow - powder. They were there most of the day and did not tear enough up so they are headed back tomorrow.

Roads are slow going. Weather is around -14 and it is blowing down here but in the trees it is calmer and warmer. Supposed to keep snowing tomorrow. Watch for avalanche updates and enjoy the meadows and trees - fantastic riding in safe areas. Cheers! V

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Report: Jan28th/11

They said it was going to snow this weekend and all weekend. Right on time. It started snowing early afternoon and has now let up at 10pm but looks like up top is still getting it. We have 2-3 inches down here and more in the forecast. Perfect for the Crow Snow Riders poker rally this weekend.

We haven't had any snow for a few days and it has been mild but not as warm as those few days a couple of weeks ago. I would say its set up and spring riding and would take a bunch of snow to be called "powder" anywhere - like 3ft. So the trade off is that you can go a lot of places you couldn't when the snow is super deep. You need to check avalanche conditions in the areas you ride and read the whole report not just the spreadsheet of high to moderate. There are plenty of safe places to ride. Corbin groomer will be out this weekend we are told.

We are booked solid from the 21st to the 26th of Feb which is the Feb break out here. Starting to get bookings in March, if you planning a trip. Cheers - V (OH - hi Mary Jo! I know you are reading this! LOL)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Report: Jan26/11

Hi - it is +3 here today - no new snow over the past few days but -3 & -4 predicted for weekend with snow for a couple of days. Should be excellent weather for the Crow Snow Riders Poker Derby! Groomer has been out in the Pass.

Corbin Groomer now fixed and will be out grooming for this weekend on the Flathead.

Avalanche report for this area looks good - check out for south rockies. As always though beware because these changes in weather from hot to cold to hot and lots of wind creates weaknesses so read the entire report to get a good understanding so you can make the appropriate terrain choices. Wear a beacon and let people know where your group is riding. Have survival equipment - we always say "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it". Cheers! V

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 24/11

The Calgary Snowmobile Club came for the weekend and what a weekend! This group had the big fire going, fancy snacks and lots of fun. Curt groomed and for the first time he groomed the B road which we have never done before. I had to go pick him up at the Corbin Hwy because he was pretty sure he could not make it back through the coulee. Found out the Bombi fits in the horse trailer yahoooo. Anyway the group reported back that the pipeline was almost unbearably rough. (as info for those who don't know...the pipeline does not get groomed although there has been talk of it -been lots of traffic on it) They did however find good snow in the trees and enroute to Wheeler Creek. We had beautiful weather after having super high winds.
Curt and Cooper went out Sunday and played in a little spot just off the trail - it is usually thigh deep but you can see what the conditions were like from Cooper in the first photo. Curt was dreading the Flathead as it was soooo rough last week but it had gotten a little bit of snow and wasn't completely awful for rough - still pretty bad but that will soon be corrected when the groomer is fixed and back. They found another 6 inches of fresh snow up in Barnes meadow and at Limestone and had a lot of fun - Cooper's favorite place to go.
Saskatchewan people have a tendancy to connect. Out in the middle of Limestone Curt saw two people stopped so he went to check on them to see if everything was okay and it was and a conversation started. Of course it was Dennis Kaltenbruner and one of his employees of Calgary. Both Curt and I grew up with his grandparents in Rouleau - hell I lived beside them - Ken and Mary. Small world. Well Dennis - Curt was floored all night and day and could not believe it. He really enjoyed meeting you. He forgot to tell you that Ken made Cooper a little wooden trike that he tried hard to ride the wheels off of. Hope to see you out here on the motorbikes!
I have been asked about the special avalanche warning. If you read it, it is an across the board warning about weak layers, setting up and loading but you still have to go to the individual areas to get more specific information. Our area report is actually showing less risk than it was a few weeks ago but the combined info still warns that the highmarking, cornices and complex slopes are not to be messed around with. (See "Slab" on the area report as of today - read all the info not just glance at the risk spreadsheet) The info combined from both our area report and the special warning gives you the "WHY" certain terrain is not worth the risk right now. Know before you go. The meadows, cut blocks, trees have lots of snow and will test you just fine. If you haven't taken a course but want to start learning the lingo or want a refresher then go to the online course at . Hopefully it will motivate you to take a course to learn more - put the information off the avalanche reports into perspective and give you more of a working/riding knowledge so you make better choices about what you are going to ride, what you are not going to ride and why. Have fun and be safe - Cheers, V

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 20/11 Alexander Area

-5 when the guys left this morning to ride and they decided to ride out on our trail and around to the Alexander area. They were looking for Racehorse but never really found it and played in huge cut blocks and trees and said it was fantastic! Foot of fresh snow without the serious melt we had at our house and south of us. They were only about 12 miles from our place and said the ride in was 1/4 as rough as riding the Flathead - very bearable. Trails were a bit hard down low but the snow above 6000ft was in great shape. Trees were "awesome" and they stayed away from the big climbs. They said they would not be able to tell you exactly where they went or how to get there. Just let the snow and openings lead you wherever and you will have a good time.
Heard that the winds are so strong that you cannot see the road and semi trucks in the ditch everywhere between Lethbridge and Cowley and that they closed the road at Pincher. Winds pretty strong up in the Pass - up top in alpine it would be nasty wind I think.
Crow Snow Riders Poker Derby Jan 28 & 29th and their Snow Drags Feb 26th - plan for them now! Cheers-V

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 19/11 - Lots of Info

Trails are extremely rough! Flathead is painful - we have been so spoiled with all the grooming that it was tough sticking it out on the first 5km (it improves steadily farther you go down it) to make it to Barnes turn up but it was a very good day up in Limestone. Groomer is taking more work than originally thought and will NOT be out by this weekend so its only gonna get worse. Makes you appreciate Corbin Country Club grooming all the more. Pipeline is really bad also - its the warm temps that made the trails crusty and hard.
Was-17 start of the morning and was -10 by the end of our riding. Warmed up as you went up.
You will need scratchers on the trails. Curt was overheating on the way out on the Flathead.
Snow improved the farther up you went and at Limestone there was 6 inches of fresh on top of a firm base (not completely hard). In the trees there was plenty more.
We ran into James and Thomas (pictured in orange on the XP and blue on the turbo'd Nitro). Good guys from Calgary out for a day ride - grew up hanging out and riding with relatives in Crowsnest Pass. They went on to Rain Gauge and to all our surprise said the snow was deeper and softer and very good in there! Much improved from pre-dump of snow when it was wind blown to the rocks. I cannot tell you how safe it was in there except that they said not a bunch has come down on its own - and it will. These guys are experienced riders and I would not call Rain Gauge "a safe area" in these recent weather conditions but if you know where NOT to ride then you could check it out - stay in the trees in the middle best bet.
We went on to see if Elliott Lake had gotten snow and if all the big cornices had come down. Neither. Surprised that it wasn't full of snow - and everything was still up on the rock. Not safe and not really big boon docking worthy on the lake either.
Barnes Meadow has some open creek slush and the new snow there was not quite enough to cover old tracks yet. Didn't look like any of it had been rained on up there but the heat over the past few days certainly shrunk the big snowfalls days earlier.
Curt and Krauss going to try either Fernie area or McLatchie/Shepp Creek area tomorrow.
Over all - once we got past the trail we had a really great time climbing up in Limestone - playing and getting stuck in the trees. Good day. Our guests Ron, Ron and Mike from Red Deer really enjoyed that area also - something for everyone and safe with incredible vistas. Cheers-V

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 17/11

Quick update. Got to +6 today but majority of day was +4. Our snow is still here. Was snowing a bit this morning and this afternoon briefly. We still have not had rain where your wipers are on. -12 today in Coleman 10 mins away. Roy reports that up at the mine it was snowing huge flakes. I will have reports from sledders up in the Barnes area by tomorrow afternoon and I think the snow up there will be lighter than down here. We have not gotten the rain or quite as high of temps as Cranbrook area. Calgary was -31 today. Highway was good. The snow in the yard to drive on was almost to the "gonna get stuck" softness. Supposed to snow this week.

All I can say is beware the avalanche conditions are prime for big heavy wide and deep slides but the meadows should be fun as we have had a bunch of snow prior to this. We have the doublewide only available this weekend. Still have openings for the Crow Snoriders Poker Rally the weekend of the 28th. Cheers - V

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 16/11

Well we finally got the rain - just lightly drizzling on and off nothing major. At 7:00am it was snowing and +3. Has been overcast most of the day - likely snowing up top or nothing at all. Cooper and Tanner went towards Alexander and on the powerline found fantastic snow - lighter than in the yard and on the lower trails. Sorry - they spent all afternoon ripping it up - nothing left untouched LOL. Trails are still good but it won't take long with this weather to make it rough and it can't be groomed at these temps.

Supposed to be between -6 and +3 all week with flurries and possible rain. Was told that at West Castle it was raining but they had gotten around 45cm of new snow recently.

Snow all coming off the roof so hopefully there will be natural releases in the alpine and the conditions for safe riding will improve. Beware the snow is super wet heavy and if you are tempted to do much climbing the consequences would be very big. Look up.

We have availability for the Crow Snow Riders Poker Rally Jan 28th and 29th still. Cheers -V

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 15/11

+3 today.

Crazy. Not windy beautiful out but of course the snow was heavy. We had a group head out this morning and cut trail all the way to Corbin. They said as soon as you got a 1000ft up from us (which is about 3km down the trail) the snow got lighter and lighter so not as much melt up top but still heavy overall. Another group went to the pipeline and said it was pounded out a bit so they got off it and played in the trees. Lots of snow! Watch the avalanche reports they are forecasted high risk everywhere but meadows and trails. We should see a lot of natural releases over the next week. Feb booking up but end of Jan has room for bookings. Groomer for Corbin should be fixed and out next weekend hopefully.

Crow Snow Riders Poker Rally Jan 28th and 29th - register at Rum Runner in Coleman 9-11am - should be great!

Gotta tell ya....Harvey and Wayne were out from Regina and first time riding in the mountains and first day out they are riding the trails behind us in the afternoon. On the Chinook Road or better known and the road from the Welcome to Alberta sign into the "campground" area at the base of Tent Mtn....out of the ditch.....head down and full on charge....came a sheep and nails Harvey's sled front corner leaving hair in the plastic! That is an absolute first for us! Never heard of it happening before but he was really lucky, minimal damage and they managed to get the heck outta there before the ram tried it again and he was gonna try it again! Harvey was in disbelief when I met up with them at the highway! Congrats Harvey you have a great "sleddin in the mountains" story! Cheers - V.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 14/11

First photo is of today -20 and blowing and nasty windchill and snowing but icy snow. Second photo is of yesterday where it got to -2 in the evening and snowed huge all day big flakes and I blew out the yard all day. The banks at the back of the yard from blowing snow are 6ft tall in the first photo.
Forecast is for -2 to -4 and snowing tomorrow and all week. Possibility of some rain in there too but mostly snow - it would be snow up top either way. Avalanche report is not good. The trails and meadows are the only reasonably safe place to play right now and for the next few days especially with it being so cold, lots of snow and then really warm again - all over the board. I was on the trail with friends from Regina and cutting out the bottom of a very small convex slope caused a minature version of an avalanche propogating from a bush across a wide area and sliding down like a slab. This was again a minature lesson and we stopped and examined its properties to show what a two story avalanche would look and act like.
Barnes, the meadows by the Notch, Rolling Hills are examples of areas that will have tons of snow and will be safer riding choices.
Flathead is a bit rough but will be blown in and have more snow on it daily. Groomer track came apart and is being fixed for about $10,000 tomorrow at Terry's farm by volunteers. Your donations to grooming go a long way in helping clubs groom and maintain groomers. Thank you for contributing and buying memberships. If you ride to the Wrangler's cabin from the pipeline please make a contribution to the Fernie Snowmobile Club, memberships are also available at Ghost Rider Motorsports. Cabins require many volunteer hours and club fees to maintain.
Traffic on highway is slow but steady. Visibility is average but it is getting icy. Plows are out in force. Cheers! V

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Report: Jan12/11

-15 today and snowing! 5-6 inches of fresh snow as of today and that is on top of 3ft of snow acquired up top per riders over the past weekend. Watch the avalanche report - Temps are warming up but has not hit the -5 yet they predicted for today but definitely an improvement from -26 yesterday. Visibility will be limited up top. Only the log cabin available this weekend. Alpine meadows will be amazing. Cheers!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 8/11

Still snowing like crazy here - it is -4 but it is supposed to get colder this week by 10 to 15 degrees but...supposed to keep snowing. We'll see. Visibility up top will be difficult today but this will be erasing all traces of weekend sledders. Curt blowing snow to get ahead of it. We have about 5-6 inches down here. Elk were here all night and this morning again. Pincher Creek was bad enough that 4H was cancelled - no hauling today and one of the guests said it was a tough drive last night through there also. Let it Snow!

Snow Drags in Fernie are scheduled for same weekend as the Vintage portion of the Corbin Poker Derby Feb 19th- a lot of fun to be had on that long weekend so come on out! Also the Know the Snow event in Fernie was sold out - good job!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 7/10

Just a quick weather update - has been -2 most of the day and was snowing but it was wet by the time it hit us but now it is snowing down here too - has been snowing up top all day. Elk - in the background (actually there were at least 6 in this group) have been down for a few days now because of the weather up top likely. Roads are still good between us and Crowsnest per Curt. Snow has shrunk down here but not losing much and trail has softened up. Cheers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 6/11

Howdy Gang,
Well we have a storm brewing. Over the past few days the Roger Mohr group have torn up Limestone and said the trees were great. They went into Shepp Creek they believe & McClatchie and said the snow was fantastic. Rain Gauge and Heartbreak are suffering from wind and the snow has been blown thin but that means that Elliott should be good. Reports from jour other guests that Rolling Hills was really good but today it was snowing so hard up there they couldn't see at all and they concurred with the Mohr guests about McClatchie being really great. Our trail is getting worn til about 500ft out and above us and then it improves steady for snow quality. Flathead groomed last night. Temps were +4 down here today and snow held really well and it is snowing a bit tonight - Elk are in the front yard. Friday, Sat Sun are supposed to be snowing with -2 degrees and 10cm forecasted for tomorrow. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 4/11

This was the shot from this morning going through Fernie (was like this at our place too) - snowing alot - the photo doesn't really do it justice. Snowing like this all the way to Kalispel, MT and back this evening - roads were 70km/hr speed south of Eureka, MT and much better by Fernie but we likely got about 5 inches - more in some spots south of the border. Warmed up too. Was breezy this morning as a result of the warming. Got home too late to get a report from the guests - will have an update tomorrow.

Fernie Snowmobile Club's Poker Derby is Mar 5th this year - the same as Griz Days in Fernie. Know the Snow night is Jan 7th in Fernie - the info is in a previous blog. Corbin Vintage Run & Poker Derby is Feb 19th & 20th respectively. Read the avalanche report - big differences between Lizard Range and Elk Valley area. Snow is really good here! Cheers-V

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snow Report: Jan 2/11: Avy packs

Happy New Year! It went into the deep freeze here -27 but then by the afternoon it was -15 for a couple of days and now warmer. No new snow in two days but the stuff that is here is in really good shape. Supposed to progressively get warmer to the weekend where -2 and snow is forecasted.

Trent from Walt Healy in Calgary dropped in to pick up Curt and Cooper's canisters for the Sno Pulse and BCA's new Float 30. Cooper had never deployed his so we thought he should see what it took and he learned you have to pull hard downward and not sideways to deploy it. If you have an avy pack you should try it out to ensure everything works and to experience it before you have to do it. (I love the SK flag in the background!) Thanks Trent!

George - want to thank you too for picking up Cooper's sled for tune up! Corbin Poker Derby is the weekend of Feb 18th. The 19th is the Vintage run and Feb 20th is the regular derby. I only have the New Cabin available for that weekend so if you want it call me quickly! Cheers -V