Powder, Powder and more Powder
24th November 2011 | Lisa Young, Lake Louise
Sadly for us in Europe it is not falling in The Alps but in Canada. A PlanetSKI reporter, Lisa Young, is in Lake Louise on a snowsports boot camp. She has a knack of turning up in the right place at the right time.
Snow fell all day yesterday and overnight. At the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, I woke to find deep snow piled high outside the hotel and heavy snow still falling.
For November, there’s an unusual amount of snow so early in the season, so our Boot Camp changed slightly to take full advantage of the fantastic snow conditions.
I am taking part in a snowsports boot camp in the Canadian Rockies and have been blogging about it elsewhere on PlanetSKI.
Our planned Boot Camp ‘Gate Clinic’ session, learning to race between gates, was cancelled and instead we skied deep powder between trees.
Good decision. Much more fun.
At the bottom of the mountain the temperature was around -5C, at the top it was below -10C.
An early start today, but well worth it as today is First Tracks morning at Lake Louise ski resort.
At 7am we bundled into our bus and headed to the resort for the First Tracks program that allows people to hit the slopes half an hour before the general public and have the resort to themselves.Today we took full advantage of the fresh deep powder that had been falling for the past 24hrs and still was not letting up.
30cm and counting.
We had the resort to ourselves, if only for half an hour, but even when the lifts opened up, there were very few skiers or boarders to be seen.
That’s the great thing about skiing in Canada, you never have to wait in long lift lines or dodge skiers on the slopes, they are generally quiet and with lots of wide open runs.
At the moment just under half the ski area is open.
Lifts operating are the Glacier Chair, Grizzly Gondola, Top of the World and Summit Plateau lift which shouldn’t even be open this time of the year, but there’s been so much snow.
The international ski teams who are at Lake Louise for the men’s World Cup Super G and downhill events this coming Saturday, were not so thrilled.
There’s so much powder on the course, that the day was declared a ‘Powder Day’ and all race training and test runs were cancelled. I did though spot a few professional racers enjoying the powder.
The World Cup takes place at Lake Louise at same time every year. It’s the first downhill race of the season and this weekend it’s the men’s races followed by the women’s races the following weekend.
The course starts up on Speed Gully, right down past Sunset Flats, Tickety Shoots, Wee Waxy and a run called Men’s Downhill, which is a very steep part of the mountain.
Then they head into Juniper and then runs into Easy Street at the end of the course.
Darren May is a British ski instructor originally from Malvern in Worcestershire and is working his third season at Lake Louise.
He is currently training level 1 instructors.
“The Canadians have an expression for great powder days like today, they call it a ‘Blower’ a perfect day to ski and why people come to Canada or North America to ski fresh powder. There’s another saying ‘No friends on powder day’, on a day like today you forget your friends and head for the fresh powder. It’s not champagne powder, the snow today is heavier, we have deep snow with powder on top that blows over your shoulder as you ski, hence the phrase ‘Blower’,” says Darren.
To have such conditions this early in the season is quite unusual.
It’s the same weather pattern as last year, that brought such great snow to Canadian resorts around New Year, but this year it’s here in November.
Many are predicting a fantastic season.
Word has it that the La Niña weather pattern will throw an awful lot of snow at Canadian resorts this season.
A well-deserved dinner was waiting for us at Baker Creek Bistro, well worth a visit for quality, authentic fresh Canadian cuisine.
And to stock up some energy for another day in the powder…….
Lake Louise ski resort facts:
And if you want to know about the Baker Creek Bistro then here’s its web site.
For the spirit of the mountains