Is it worth skiing this weekend? Nov. 10 Conditions Report / by kevin hjertaas

A little update on conditions in the Rockies and what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks. 

Basically there is nothing skiable below 2000m which means likely the only place you can skin up from the car is at or near Bow Summit on Highway 93N. So that’s what we’ve been doing. 

 Martin Lefebvre finding powder on Observation Peak, Nov 2, 2016

Martin Lefebvre finding powder on Observation Peak, Nov 2, 2016

We’ve spent a couple days at Bow Summit hiking couloirs and trying to get in shape for the Nov. 26-27 Rockies Training Camp. The skiing was variable but there were some legitimately good turns out there.

There isn’t a ton of snow anywhere, but it is enough to link up some lefts and rights. Depending on aspect and elevation, we’ve been finding anywhere from 40cm to a meter. The good news is that it is really well consolidated for this time of year around here and even the areas with 40cm or even less are carrying a skier’s weight and keeping you off the ground. 

 Harley Hegnauer climbing a couloir, Nov 1, 2016

Harley Hegnauer climbing a couloir, Nov 1, 2016

We spent one day skiing the western aspect (read wrong aspect) of Observation Peak and found a melt/freeze crust down about 20cm that kept your skis off the ground. Still very little coverage over there so you need to find wind loaded pockets. 

One other factor to keep in mind is that most lakes and streams are not yet frozen. I did notice a few cars parked near Crowfoot Glades so maybe people have found a way across there. 

 Ross MacKimmie enjoying the view of Bow Lake, Nov 4, 2016

Ross MacKimmie enjoying the view of Bow Lake, Nov 4, 2016

This week all the snow we’ve skied has been wind affected. No powder turns for us, but hey, it’s skiing and linking any turns this time of year is a bonus. And we’ll happily take it.

 Martin Lefebvre and Ross MacKimmie on Cirque Peak, Nov 7, 2016

Martin Lefebvre and Ross MacKimmie on Cirque Peak, Nov 7, 2016

We’ve also put in a few days exploring different aspects of Cirque Peak and found some fun lines for the Dec. 29-30 Rockies Hunting Couloir Camp. This might be the trip we are most excited about this season, so book your spot now!

 Ross MacKimmie shredding a chute, Nov 4, 2016

Ross MacKimmie shredding a chute, Nov 4, 2016

Conclusion: Don’t go out skiing this weekend unless you enjoy great views, exercise and traveling through the mountains with friends. So, see you up there!

*Want to get your season started on solid footing? Join us for the Rockies Training Camp. It’s a chance to brush up on backcountry safety and avalanche rescue while lapping the best skiing out there. We’ll pass on all the efficient travel tips we can to make this your best winter ever in the backcountry. Drop us a line if you want more info: MTNGuiding.com/contact/

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