Well I expected cold when moving out to the Rockies but the past two days redefined the word entirely… Apparently Banff hit record lows set 80+ years ago in the past two days, Sunday waking up to -32 C, and Monday was -41 C, which hit -42 C by 9AM!!! Luckily there was no wind so if you were properly layered and kept active it wasn’t that bad aside from beards / eyebrows freezing within minutes, not to mention beers turning to slush halfway through drinking them…
And what better way to stay active than to head out to our secret mini-park to continue building the jumps? Some considered us crazy for doing this in -30 to -40 temps, but there is nothing better than shoveling a ton of snow to keep you warm and energized. Due to the extreme cold testing our jumps / features wasn’t really an option as they had to set properly, but things are starting to come togethor and look pretty sick… Will post some pics soon of the progression as it’s been a work-in-progress, starting with milk crates and palletes ‘borrowed’ from the industrial area… We swear we will return them in the spring.
With 15 days put in so far including 3 fresh pow days, it’s been a killer season so far and I can’t complain. Tomrrow we are hitting up Kicking Horse for the first time, so pretty stoked about that and will have a post about it for sure.
Frontlipped has been kicking out some good stuff lately now that Jason has the net again, so check them out – also look for the Lake Louise opening day post that I contributed 🙂
Lastly fingers crossed for TJ Schnieder as he took a pretty harsh bail after launching the biggest air I’ve ever seen at Sunshine on Dec. 2nd… I was up this day but working, and didn’t realize his crew was up there, too bad as it would have been fun to shred with them. They sure picked a good day as we had 20cm of fresh that morning – it was epic.
Have been using a few websites lately to keep a check on conditions in Banff, as just knowing how much snow is falling is not enough for obsessive types like me. Resort websites will tell you recent snowfall, and predicted weather which is great, but the more advanced snow-blog type of websites tend to have more accurate predictions for skiers and boarders. It’s almost as if people who don’t like snow run Theweathernetwork.com as it’s often reporting less than ends up happening.
Skireport.com is a nice one, found it while searching Google widgets as it has a nice add-on for your iGoogle homepage.
Features: The site gives you recent snowfall, snow conditions including primary and secondary surface layers, and the ability to post first-hand reports on the conditions you experienced. It appears to me moderated as well to ensure quality, although a lot of the comments steer away from actual mountain / snow conditions and end up complaning about the bus, or the snowboards that apparently cut them off. Nonetheless, you will get the occasional well-written review, usually by a local who knows the hill or general ski-bum type enthusiast.
Coverage: Seemed to have almost every resort I looked for, even a lot of the small ones here in Ontario. Weather links only work for American resorts as they use an american website, and most of the lesser-known resorts had few (if any) first-hand reports. Though it seems to be a fiarly new website, from what I can tell. Hopefully this gains popularity as it could really take the guesswork out of it.
The european-run Snow-forecast.com is a recent gem I discovered, providing incredible amounts of detail, with a more accurate 6-day forecast than I have ever seen, and for the past few weeks it has been spot-on for accuracy.
Features: 6-Day detailed forecasts at peak, mid, and low elevation for most resorts, complete with temperatures, wind speed and direction, freezing levels, and subscribers can get even 9-day forecasts for this. Also my favorite feature is the bi-weekly snow blog, which prettymuch breaks down conditions for the world’s top ski zones with reports and predictions. Also a first-hand report option here too, and of course while you will get some rubbish, this site seems to have been around longer so there are a lot of regular posters and enthusiasts who travel a lot.
Coverage: Appears to be european-run, so I noticed that a few Canadian resorts were lacking, mostly in Ontario. They have the snow blogs for that though, which give a breakdown of the best areas.