We have seen a promising start to the season here on the BC coast. After last year’s challenging snow conditions (and lack thereof) there are lots of eager skiers searching for their early season powder fix. One lesson learned from the 2014 season was to never pass up and opportunity to get good turns in.
With that spirit in mind, we set off on a couple of exploration missions. The annual November 11th Remembrance Day shuffle was uneventful. Grabbing some fitness and shuffling the feet around served to get off the couch, make familiarize ourselves with our gear and systems, and to pick up the powder wagon (aka. snowmobile) from the doctor in preparation for some deeper exploration later in the week.
What did we find on our first foray into the snow? Well about 50cms of snow in the Elfin Lakes area with some good crust action. To top it off, lots of hidden hazards.
The weekend served up the first trip to the Duffey Lake Road region and a chance to give the sled a good shakedown after some major repairs. With reports of snow depths of over a metre in the western range of the area, we took to the eastern side to poke around on a staple of our winter touring tenure. The snow was still a low 65cms but a packed-in road made for quick travel to the high country.
A dig in the snow revealed the same layers present that we found a few days earlier in Squamish. Indication of a large rain event wide spread in the major areas of the coast. Something to watch for in the future. The layer cake that is our snowpack, is just beginning to form and these early season recons can give valuable information for terrain and area choices later in the winter given the avalanche hazard during those times.
The turns were short but the days out in the mountains are always worth it. I don’t have high expectations of stellar powder turns in the early season skiing, moreso think of it as building fitness in preparation for the bigger and deeper days later on. Now snowmaker, bring it on!