Friday, March 29, 2013

Mar 29/13 - Fernie, Rain Gauge & Our Trail

On the 27th, Sam, Dan, Brenda, Curt and I took a birthday ride from Fernie's Coal Creek Staging area and went to the new cabin, Rolling Hills and Wranglers Cabin and out onto the pipeline. We had to be back so it was just a ride to see what snow was like and it was in really good spring shape. There was plenty in the trees between the two cabins and the pipeline from Wranglers towards the Notch looked to be and felt pretty ride-able. The Pipeline north towards our place gets super rough and the creeks are getting wide and difficult. The Rolling hills was fun - set up with lots ridden but still many a line left to try. Today Curt, Cooper, Sommer, Dan and Brenda took our trail to Canyon Creek Falls for hot dog roast and the trail was thin right out from our place but improved as they went. It is done though. Better to trailer around and forego the bone rattling. Curt was thinking about grooming it one more time but he said after today with +10 temps and +10 to +17 forcasted for next week (-1 and zero for the evenings) that it didn't seem worth it anymore. Cooper going riding with Shawn and Austin from Timbersled next week and then he thinks he is going to put his wheels back on his bike to hit Koocanusa. There still is plenty of snow up in the bowls and Kent from Regina said they found lots of decent snow up in Rain Gauge and had a really good day sledding. They trailered around to Corbin. The crew is at Corbin this weekend riding also. Again we are going to close up the cabins on the 15th even though it tends to snow the last weekend of April. Wanted to send you some photos to show you what to expect for snow. Nice sledding with one layer on! Cheers - V

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mar 23/13 - Report from Guests etc

Hi - thought I would update you on my reports from other riders and guests. Rain Gauge has been thoroughly ridden out by the Sask guys! The Ski Doo 2014 demo ride has one more day down the Flathead and they have all been a few places too. The Pipeline is rough with a few sketchy creek crossings (they have been open most of the year but they are MORE open now lol) but three peaks past the Notch the snow was at least a foot deep in Fresh snow and three feet deep in places UNRIDDEN. Wind had affected certain slopes leaving others that were protected in beautiful shape they said. Trail is holding up here and the Flathead is rough the first 5km but not as bad as it was and of course continues to improve the further you head south. Fernie got 40cm of snow over the past two days from most reports. It stayed -1 here and was really cold over night last night so that is good. Read your avy reports and be aware of changes in the snow over the course of the day. Still getting glowing reviews from the owners of new Ski Doos and Polaris. I sure loved riding that Cat of Rhonda's too. Technology is sure improving riding styles - kinda the way short skiis do for old knees! Keepin you in the game and the young crowd just looks amazing on them! Cheers - V

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mar 22/13 - 10cm overnight

Morning, it was snowing in Fernie last night - couldn't see the hill but the drive there and home at 10:00pm was fine (except for Elk on the road of course) but as soon as I got home it started snowing hard here. We got 10cm (4 inches) and it is still snowing this morning. Haven't spoken to the guests to see what Limestone was like but you could likely double the amount of snow we got down here compared to what it would have gotten up there. Fernie reported 30cm of snow yesterday. Roads here are open - traffic is moving fairly normally and plough trucks were out super early this morning. It is -6 right now and supposed to snow all weekend with a few -11 overnight temps to hold the snow. Heard Moose Jaw is in lock down - no traffic in or out! Sask is getting pounded with snow! Gotta Run - Cheers - V

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mar 20/13 - Test Ride the Doo in Rain Gauge

It is snowing - has been all day! Cooper and I headed out to the Test Ride and our trail has 2-3 inches of fresh snow on it and it is in really good shape. I rode the 146 SP and I couldn't stand riding in on the trail (Flathead is groomed by the way). It is narrow and darty but that is super nice in the deeper snow. So you sacrifice on the trail just beware - its to be expected but don't go rippin on your new Doo til you have spent some time going slower and bonding with it. It was really windy up in Rain Gauge but in the trees it was pretty good. There is about 6 inches of fresh on a slippery layer underneath. There were lots of trees getting shook from being hit. Dave and Ty from A&E Racing were there to host. This is a sled I would have to spend some time with because it is completely new riding style and I over crank it all the time. I was so cautious with it because it leans so easily I was afraid of whipping from one tree well to another due to my slow response time. Don't need the throttle as much - it doesn't trench. Easy to get on its side and easy for me to get back upright when I fall over on it! It makes me want to ride better instead of retire. Temp is +2 and snowing steady and supposed to keep daily for a few days. Cheers - V

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mar 19/13 - Jackson Hole Hill Climb

Afternoon Sledders, it is -1 here and it was -18 well into the morning. Snow is holding up in the yard. Just a note that the Jackson Hole Hill Climb is this weekend I believe. That is a fun town. Also the Ski Doo Demo days have been going on all over the place and they are in Corbin starting tomorrow morning and through the weekend. We only have the Summit Log cabin available for this weekend and next weekend we only have the Divide cabin available. We have some cabins booked during the next few weeks too. We will be shutting down the cabins April 15th this year and heading off on vacation while our family babysits the resort so if you want the cabins one last time this season give me a call. It isn't a reflection on the riding - just on what time we could get away. I will post photos tomorrow from the alpine so you can see what the conditions are like. Cheers - V

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mar 18/13 - Snowing Steady

Photo doesn't really show it but it started snowing about 40 mins ago and we have a cm and it isn't letting up. It is -2 and the snow is supposed to taper off overnight with temps going into the -10 overnight and back up to +2 Tuesday afternoon. Next week is above zero and snowing. I don't care how it gets here! LOL. Up top is getting it too. Cheers - V

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mar 17/13 - Evening update on Snowfall

Well its 8pm and Curt, Cooper and Sommer went out for a rip on the trail. We have gotten between 20-25cms and it is still lightly snowing now. We had to blow snow and plow. When I looked at this photo I thought jeesh I thought there would be more snow but Curt said it was down low on the trail still from our place, in kinda of a poor spot and that the farther they went the deeper it got. So the bowls will likely have gotten around 30-40cm at least - that is my guess from a few years of comparing snow in the yard to snow up 2000ft and given the forecast for apline temps etc. It is -8 and snow is in the forecast daily for the better part of the week. Traffic on the highway is slow going but visibility is good. The snowfall warning of earlier today is now off the weather network. Happy Saint Patrick's Day - Cheers - V

Mar 17/13 - Happy St Patricks Day Snow Storm!

Yahoooo Snow! We have about 15cm of it so far with it not looking like it is going to let up at all this morning. It snowed heavily for a brief amount of time yesterday and then started up last night but I was away so I didn't blog it till this morning and I was pleasantly surprised to see it hadn't quit. We had gravel and grass in the yard but not anymore. Up top will be amazing. Just watch your avy report and still choose your terrain carefully but enjoy enjoy enjoy! I get to demo ride the new 2014 Ski Doo on Wed morning so I am even happier! I am hoping they groom the Flathead then with these cooler temps and snow. It is only -1 here but it is supposed to be going to -9 tonight and tomorrow morning then it will climb back up to zero and keep snowing. Next week is warmer in the zero to +5 but still snowing a bit. We will likely get some rain down here next week if those predictions hold but it will be cold enough to snow at elevation. Chris you called about coming on Wed - well you must have been keeping the faith! Sorry I was a bit of a doubter about the weather. Cheers - V

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mar 15/13 - Weather Report on Avy Bulletin

Hey Gang looks like we have a bit of daily snow in the forecast for the next week. A cm here, a cm there but Sunday says 5-10cm. Temps down here were +8 today but if you look at the avalanche bulletin for South Rockies you can see what we saw when riding up in the alpine. Apline temps are -5 to -7. Snow above 6000ft. Rain and mixed precipitation below that. You have to check out what the temps are doing in the alpine because it can be very different than what you see on your truck rear view mirror gauge at valley road level. Look up as you are driving into the mountains don't fret over seeing grass in the ditch. Not always is that an accurate representation of what you are in for a few thousand feet above that. I am hoping that more people are using the avy bulletins as more of a reference for weather forecasts/observations than just what the current avalanche rating is at different elevations. There's a ton of info in there and links to forecaster's blogs to explain their reasoning too. I am starting to give in to those negative thoughts that maybe this is it for our commercial sledding season but hey anything can happen and has before - Until then it is spring riding conditions. Be assured I will tell it like I see it but I hope you use a few resources to make your destination decisions than just the weather app on your phone - and I mean if you are coming here or any other place. Cheers - V

Mar 15/13 - +8 Clear Skies

Hellooooo! Okay we have had +10 yesterday and 15 mins away ran into -5 and -7 all the way to Lethbridge to return home to +8 still in the evening here and Fernie was -4 last night so inversion happening. Today it is clear skies and +8 with snow melting (with some sanding assistance) in our yard. I haven't been on our trail in a few days but I am going to just say start thinking about just trailering and saving your aching muscles for riding the bowls instead. BUT IF YOU WANT SNOW....GO TO SASKATCHEWAN! Seriously it is a full on blizzard at Rouleau south of Regina today. I would post the photo from the farm as of 30 mins ago but I don't want to confuse people and have them think it is here. I think Curt is posting it on his facebook (again not Summit Creek so to avoid confusion) so if you are his friend check it out - 10ft of snow there. I would be calling Nipawin and seeing what the conditions are like there! Up here on the Divide you will be riding spring conditions with snow setting up. We did not get rain above 6000ft but did get rain below that per my message from two days ago. I apologize to the guy I was talking to about how to get to Corbin this phone battery died and I waited for him to call me back (I have another phone) but he never did. Hope you find your way! Guys just bring your fly rod and sled in the morning and when its getting hot and things are getting sketchy then go fly fishing in the afternoon! Cheers - V

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mar 13/13 - Limestone

Wade, Curt and I trailered to Corbin (just to save some time and sore muscles) and we went up into Limestone (knowing the avy rating for alpine). The Flathead is rough but the snow was mushy so it was a bit more forgiving. We could see wet avalanche evidence on the dirt slopes driving on the highway and some up in Barnes Meadow and Barnes Lake (which we rode past on the far side). Up in Limestone there was heavy snow but it looked untracked so there must have been over a foot of fresh in the few days before which had consolidated to a 15cm of unridden snow. It was a lot of fun. Tried Wade's new 2013 Ski Doo and it is bendy! I got it stuck. We were good up in Limestone which was above 6000ft. When we came down into Barnes and when we hit the trail then we started to get rained on a bit. The photo is of us up in Limestone and then one of our yard which is around 4600ft and spitting with water running. Temps are supposed to be warm with the freezing elevation higher. Temp is +7 here but was +4 at Corbin Staging. By Sat it is supposed to get to the +1 to +4 range with snow forecasted for Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues. It is better than spring riding up there - you could dig in and get stuck if you didn't stay on it. Cheers - V

Mar 13/13 - Crow Snow Riders Poker Derby on 16th

Hi - I just wanted to add that the Crow Snow Riders are having a Poker Derby staging at the York Creek staging area on the 16th - this Saturday. Registration is at Blairmore Legion Friday night between 7-9pm or you can register at the York Creek Staging area Sat morning between 9-11am. There is a social planned for Sat night. They are looking for volunteers for the check points too if you have volunteer. Contact Andrew Bokkel at or call at 403-201-5887. Joe is out giving it a groom today to be ready for the derby on Sat. Cheers - V

Mar 13/13 - Rain Down Low Snow up Top

Good Morning, Curt, Wade, Kate & Ezzy were in the Rolling Hills yesterday and said it was snowing so hard they had problems seeing. It was fairly ridden out everywhere they went (both cabins) but said there was 10cm of fresh snow with more coming down steady. Think we may try it again today as the alpine is high risk right now and when it was warm a few days ago, slopes with solar aspects were releasing and pin wheeling. Give it a few days to settle or for the slopes to clean themselves off. If you are driving to the mountains you will be worried at the below 6000ft elevations with all the precipitation but fear not. This is common this time of year and 90% of the time it is snowing a thousand feet up from where you are on the roads. Just look up at frost lines if you can. The avy bulletins let you know what is expected for weather at different elevations too. Get doing the snow dance gang. I have had inquiries about quads and side by sides lately and I want to tell you....please do not take them down GROOMED TRAILS that cost clubs money to groom. You will not be well received by sledders. In May you will have snow and road to play on - please hold off til then. The sledders are more forgiving then - they are still riding in areas but accept that the trails will not be groomed then. When you do start to quad - it is always appreciated if you help clear trails on your travels. Cheers - V

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mar 9/13 - Flathead Groomed

Hi Gang, I have been riding and busy in the evenings so this report comes a bit late. George groomed the Flathead last night and OMG what a difference. Can't believe how much improved the trail was. there were approx 50-60 sleds on the trail going into all the bowls that have been accumulating snow. I thought that even the trail into Barnes was better with the bit of snow we got. We only got about 8cm of snow down here at the Inn and Fernie got a big dump out of that last weather system. The Flathead area got 15cm for sure and put that on top of a bunch of unridden snow and you have nice consolidation, some traction but still carve worthy. Limestone saw a lot of action today but they said it was in good shape. Only part of the Barnes Meadow face has come down. Stay off it - there are better things to ride safely. We saw some solar triggered avalanches that had fallen by 1pm today in Rain Gauge but there was lots of safe places to play and the trees were FUN! Note to guy on the hill at a time and please don't go pull a climb above other people. There's lots of room to spread out and have a good time. Our one set of guests rode down the McLatchie past the Barnes Ranch access and up in cut blocks where they said there was a foot of unridden snow. They said they know of lots of little spots where nobody has been so go explore. Friends and guests that rode Fernie said the trail was great going in but took a bit of a beating by days end but still a pleasure til the last 2km which is normal. They were in cut blocks and said they had lots of fun - snow was set up but they took advantage of the traction. Sure there are lots of little places with unridden there still. Friends were in Atlas yesterday and said there was an avalanche - no fatalities and I don't have location or anything I just mention it to remind you that slopes are letting go and become more unstable over the course of the day depending on what direction it faces and the temps so never let your guard down and make good choices. What you pass up riding today you may be able to ride next week. Elkford got a big dump the other day per the crew from there. As for temps it is +2 right now at 9:20pm and alpine temps are running cooler - predicted -6 range. Winds are supposed to pick up a bit and we are supposed to have warmer temps on the way but also a bit of snow on Monday. Rode with Matt, Rhonda, Shane, Kari (sorry if I spelled it wrong) and Cooper today and we are sure we will get that big dump at the end of March LOL. Our trail is icy for the first 2km and then it gets better but it is starting to get rough - don't ride the middles - tear up the sides. It is still very ride-able though and if the temps can hold at -5 we can get a groom in. Need a bit more snow to really make an improvement on it. One creek is a bit trecherous to cross but okay. Thanks again to George - The Flathead was a pleasure to ride and I can't believe how well it held up with all that activity on it today. I hope the donation box is full. A note about that....its not just grooming you support by throwing in your contribution...its a vote. Its a vote to keep riding areas open. So vote when you ride a groomed trail with a donation or vote by buying a membership. Check out photos on Summit Creek Cabins facebook page. Cheers Gang!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mar 6/13 - Two days of Clear Skies

Sorry for the gap in reports but I have been out riding ALL DAY for two days. Limestone three days ago had a good 30cm of untouched snow from the last snowfall and about another 10cms of fresh. It was great and the sky was clear. We played all day with no signs of unstable snow on the convex terrain or in the trees. The snow really changed at 6000ft as we anticipated. Rode to Packhorse Creek Outfitters yesterday and the trail from our house starts out icy. It is beat up pretty well from all the guests back and forth on it this weekend and we need some new snow in order to groom it and have any results. It is ride-able but you need SCRATCHERS! If you are riding the Flathead is really really rough and for new riders it is demoralizing. If you know you are headed to alpine and have knowledge of the price you have to pay to get there then you will suck it up and go but I wouldn't ask beginners to try it and expect them to want to go again the next day. Hopefully it will be groomed this weekend but I cannot confirm that. We rode down the Flathead and it improved a bit just before Heartbreak access and steadily improved to Rain Gauge access with signs of a couple of inches of new snow. Once we got to McLatchie it was all smiles and really nice but you can still feel the base and that it has had traffic. Just before Pollock Creek the trail has seen some small sliding filling in a few spots but is still fine for a beginner to be able to traverse safely. The Packhorse Creek avalanche run out has not come down across the trail in a long time and there looks to be some wind deposits on the lee side up there that will eventually let go with more snow or warmer temps. Be aware crossing that and use the procedures for crossing from your avalanche courses or by doing the course online at under training. B road is getting rough but still in good shape - I would ride that without hesitation but Curt, Harley and Mike said the Pipeline was super rough with lots of open creeks and I cannot imagine that that has improved at all over the past three days. Looked like only a few guys had been into Heartbreak and that wasn't yesterday and I didn't look hard enough at Rain Gauge - but I don't think anyone was in there. Remember those two bowls can be very dangers so choose your terrain in there carefully with all these weather changes. Last time in last week the cornices were ripe to come down but the trees were Verrry Niiccce. Weather: It is cool out with slightly overcast sky at -2. Temps supposed to be in the -5 range to +1 over the next 4 days but not swing drastically. We are supposed to get more snow over the next few days also with 1-5 cms a few times so hopefully 10-15cms of snow over the next 48 - 72hrs and another 5-6cms on Mon -Tues March 11/12th. So if you are coming....scratchers are really important and be prepared to tough out the rough trails to get to the sweet spots. Fernie is grooming and if you catch it right the snow will have fallen and you can get fresh there too before it gets ridden out. Crowsnest Pass reports from riders say York Creek is really thin but if you go back into Atlas it was not too bad. Some areas in Atlas are great but very technical to get to and ride and usually if you are riding that stuff you know someone close to the source to get more detailed info from. Okay so have a great time riding and Curt...congrats on your new Bike and Timbersled kit (Cooper has a permagrin)! Cheers - V

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mar 3/13 - Blizzard

YAHOOOOOO! It was snowing so hard today even down here that I couldn't see the CPR shack across from us. We got a couple of inches here at 4600ft but up in Barnes and Limestone the gang had an awesome day with 40cm plus new snow (16inches) and said it was not the wet stuff we had the past couple of days. It was Timbersled heaven. Rhonda and Matt Down from The Betties came out and rode the Timbersled kit and had a blast. Our trail was even better snow-wise the further up you went on it. Trails are still basically pounded from the warm temps, rain, new snow - can't groom in that but the snow in the riding areas are completely worth it. I was cleaning hoooo. Our guests that left and our guests on their way are stuck in Lethbridge where the roads are closed so watch your road reports, I guess Calgary is not that good either. The Pass is open and clear - snowing up top but just another day here now - was snowing like mad earlier but its settling in now and traffic has been steady and at a regular pace. Keep doing the snow dance gang! - Cheers - V

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mar2/13 - Evening report on Limestone

Shawn, Russ, Greg and Cooper rode from here on the Timbersleds and Roger's crew trailered around to Corbin and they said the Flathead was rough but not unbearable like I thought last week. Softening up. Its +5 and just started spitting again tonight. Below 6000ft it is slushy, soft and wet but above that the guys said the snow was heavy and wet but still really deep (up to their waist in spots and bottomless and about a foot and a half of untouched) and a bunch of it was untouched. They said the trail into Barnes wasn't that bad and that Limestone was unridden. Only these two crews and a couple other sleds were in there today. They loved it and said they had a great day. Roger said there was lots of natural avalanches coming down in Barnes and that they could hear constant whumpfing in Limestone later in the day so they called it quits. Be wary - slabs will be so heavy they will let loose and the consequences of even a shallow start would be huge by the time it stopped especially if you are in any kind of terrain trap. Try shoveling this stuff! Curt and Terry worked on the groomer and got it fixed. They took it down the trail to make sure it was working and to try to knock a few tops down but it was only rolling small volkswagen car sized snowballs off to the side so they quit. Curt said the lot had a lot of vehicles in it staging. Will let you know how the other bikes found Fernie staging to be today when they get back. Rhonda Down from The Betties is here tomorrow to ride. No stopping the hard core riders! Cheers - V

Mar 2/13 - Rain down here, Snow at 6000ft

Well it rained down here all night and yuk our yard is sticky, a bit slushy, hard to drive in 6000ft it was snowing like crazy. It was +5 yesterday and supposed to be around that today but snowing all day tomorrow, Wed and Thurs/Fri. The guests went to Rolling Hills via Wranglers Thurs and then another group went Friday and said the snow was amazing in the trees and it was snowing alot yesterday. They are headed there again today and another group is headed to Corbin. They are on bikes at Corbin so they are not worried about the Flathead being so rough as they know the snow up in the bowls will be fantastic. Curt off to Corbin to help repair the groomer with George and Terry and if they can knock down some of the ruts they will. Temps supposed to return to that +1 to -2 range tomorrow and most of the week. Our trail is icy but we can't do anything with it til it cools down and snows a bit more but it was groomed twice recently so its as good as it can be. B road got rough but we can't groom it yet either with these warm temps. So suck it up at lower elevations because the snow is waiting for you to get up to it. Cheers - V

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mar 1/13 - Rolling Hills, Pipeline, Warm temps

Curt, Harley, Mikey and I trailered to the Fernie staging area on Wed and rode in to the new cabin....BEAUTIFUL CABIN! That is the first time I have seen it and you guys did a wonderful job there..thank you. There was a couple of inches of fresh on the trail but we thought that the Rolling Hills would be rode out. It wasn't. We were in the trees with the snow thigh deep - unridden, and we played in the trees behind us in the photo all afternoon. Snow was coming up over the hood. It was an excellent day and the trail in was great. Our guests rode the trees close to us with their snowbikes and said it was waist deep and they had an excellent day too. Curt, Harley and Mikey rode the pipeline as we heard it was pretty good except that the creeks are more open than usual. I guess the first portion off the Corbin hwy access before it hooks up with the Coal Creek access (also from the Corbin hwy) was great but then after the merge it was really really rough. Curt said the lower elevations are not very good and so after 20 mins they came back and played in the small cutblocks and gullies close to home in a couple of feet of untouched snow. Everyone managed to get stuck. Ran into Andy and Shantelle Weir of Weir Boon docking Ltd. and they have a business teaching sledders to ride. He can teach any level of rider something to improve your riding experience. I am going to get a link on our NEW WEBSITE (hope you guys like it). If you are looking to get the most out of your sled trips then give them a call and put in a day of lessons (he knows all the great areas to ride to challenge you) and then rip it up on the rest of your trip. How many times do you go on a ski trip and start with a lesson on day one so that the rest of your trip you are not struggling to ski well the way you did the year before. We took lessons every trip. Was a great way to tune up and dial in. I think its a great idea and hope to get a lesson in with them next year - I am going to plan for it. As for our website I have a KMZ file that has way points on it but let me tell ya....buying a map to put it all in reference is still important and it is another way to support grooming. You can map your trip on your rhino garmin and come back to the cabin and plug it into the tv and review your trip while discussing what you are going to ride the next day! Today....the temps....oh my....its +5 right now with a warm breeze. Don't panic. Snow is holding in there - not crusty on top but it is contracting while staying soft. We are supposed to have +7 on Saturday but then snow on Sunday with temps going back to the zero to +6 range. Supposed to snow Wed too. So we are teetering on more snow. If this is "in like a lamb" then maybe we will have the crazy snow at the end of March beginning of April like we did the past two years. Our trail is still absolutely fine to ride. If it warms up a bunch then I advise scratchers. Curt was going to groom B road which is something we do a few times only but it is too warm now to do that. Will have to wait for cooler temps. Hold onto a few vacation something nice for your wife you can jump on the big dump of snow when it comes! Cheers - V