We've had a good start to the season here in the Canadian Rockies. The early season snow fell right side up and has allowed the local ski patrols to get some of the freeride zones open much earlier than usual - Delirium Dive enjoyed its second earliest ever opening and has been consistently providing the goods ever since.
Unfortunately it's not been such a good start for yours truly: a shoulder that likes to go walkabout has put a dampener on things and has me avoiding bumps, jumps and drops like the plague - guaranteeing a local surgeon at least one job at the start of the summer and most likely giving ski patrol plenty more reduction practice over the coming months.
Nonetheless there is powder to be had. The snowfalls have dropped off in the last couple of weeks with the resorts generally reporting only a few cms at a time. As usual though the winds have been doing their thing - turning a couple cms into many, refreshing the good spots and providing much coveted faceshots for those who know where to look (and those willing to dodge the lurking cheese grater rocks). Here are a few snippets from Kyle, Cory and myself :
A couple days ago saw the particularly early opening of two areas in the Dive that are often not deemed skiable till March/April time. Milky Way and Cream, a couloir in the farthest reaches of the area, were cracked by patrol and so Kyle and I decided to go check them out first run on Wednesday morning.
As expected conditions were marginal with a few banks of jagged rocks to traverse and some loose scree to navigate. The skiing in both also matched the warnings of patrol - "highly variable". Cream especially was a filthy mixture of wind crust and grabby wind slab that tried hauling your skis back at every turn. The terrain made up for the conditions though - being able to get into such lines before Christmas is always a treat and these early season reconnaissance missions are just whetting our appetites for more. We've got five months left to bag them in blower. Keep posted...