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Old 05-16-2013, 02:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know what to tell you about El Niņo next year. Usually with El Niņo years, southern areas are more favored. One of the worst seasons and one of the best seasons I have seen have been during El Niņo years in Colorado. I suspect it is much the same for Northern areas. Keep in mind the weather services have yet to be predicting it for this upcoming season. I haven't seen anything indicating they are thinking El Niņo for this season. It is very possible we'll see a neutral year or even another La Niņa year which of course favors the Northern spots.

The problem with planning for a pow holiday is that even in the snowiest spots, it doesn't snow all the time. You are hoping that you timed it well for a snowy cycle. I just missed the prime week by a few days on my last trip. I got six out of 9 possible pow days, but the first three days was the recycled variety. The last three days is when the cycle set in and nuked. I should of shown up then and stayed for the following week. Nothing I can do about it...

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Old 05-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmmm... met someone from Vancouver at a congress today. Discussed a bit about my travel plans and he warned me, that there's a problem with little snow every 4 years cause of the El Niņo. Last time it was during the Olympic games, so next year would be the next occasion... does this also affect the Calgary area? After kite holiday without wind I couldn't stand pow holiday without pow
That's bullshit. Nina and niņo effects are not that cyclical.

It's possible to have snowless periods anywhere, western Canada at the right time of year your odds are very much in your favour of fresh snowfall. If you do cat or Heli they have lots of terrain and you'll see untouched snow for sure.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That's bullshit. Nina and niņo effects are not that cyclical.

It's possible to have snowless periods anywhere, western Canada at the right time of year your odds are very much in your favour of fresh snowfall. If you do cat or Heli they have lots of terrain and you'll see untouched snow for sure.
This. If you're doing eastern BC / Alberta Rockies area make yourself flexible between Banff/Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Fernie and go to where the snow is.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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+1 on Lamps n killclimz, dont fuss bout ElNino/SO, its not certian to happen next season and the correlation of ENSO to snowfall is weak, at least in the interior of BC.

i think you're best bet is to target the Columbia/Kootenays. Fernie is a bit isolated on the south end of the zone, it can be really good (deep pow) or really bad (frozen rain crust). im biased but the north end of the zone seems to be more reliable (Revelstoke, Rogers Pass, Golden) and you can sneak over to the Rockies if things turn out better there. Try to allow some flexibility if you can. Feb / March are most reliable for snow, into April can be really good too, with less people.

id give a +1 to Mustang, Chatter Creek, Baldface and Retallack for cat skiing. revvie is heliski central, Eagle Pass and Selkirk Tangiers have 1 day seats or multi day packages.

resort styles
KHMR has endless OB (out of bounds, slack country), more than anywhere else around here, some of it is easy to intermediate, alot of it is expert and it really helps if you know where youre going (or hire a guide), there's easy lines right next to hard ones and lots of non skiiable terrain and it's hard to know whats what trying look in from the top.
Revvy has some nice easy OB with lots of mini golf features (short steep / cliffy options), and a handful of advanced to expert big lines, as well as longer tours of any difficulty
Whitewater has some OB, mostly trees but also Ymir peak, Fernie has some too, maybe a bit more traversing than you'd like.

for straight up touring (backcountry) Rogers Pass is Mecca but theres other areas around Revvy especially, and the Rockies are good in the spring
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This. If you're doing eastern BC / Alberta Rockies area make yourself flexible between Banff/Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Fernie and go to where the snow is.
Yeah, I'd go to any of the above, whoever has the most snow. Plenty of accomodations so things won't sell out, only get a little pricier if you leave it late. You can always find SOMETHING.

Alberta is more consistent than the BC rockies (Kicking Horse, Fernie, Revelstoke) but when it snows in BC it SNOWS...

I have NOT been into the sidecountry at any of the resorts around here (out of bounds but lift accessible) except for one run at Nakiska which used to be the Olympic run in '88.

For off-piste, in-bounds stuff, my favorite is Fernie followed by Lake Louise.

They both have tons of in bounds stuff that is rugged, steep, treed, powdery, etc. Rocks, cliffs, chutes, pillows, glades. These are all in bounds in avalanche controlled and patrolled areas. Personally without avy training this is my favorite stuff to hit. It's fantastic!

I'll post up some pictures later of good in bounds stuff at the various resorts around here.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'll post up some pictures later of good in bounds stuff at the various resorts around here.
Very appreciated!

Haha karkis, I didn't intend to move to Canada, got only 2 (max 3) weeks holiday although... there're good research groups over there... hmmm... an overseas postdoc would look good in my cv... thanks for all the recommendations! Will look into them.

Where would you recommend to set our base? A central town inbetween and hire a car or better move from resort to resort and book rooms in the resorts? Remember, I'm Swiss: >200km is a long distance journey for me

If you'd got -say - 10 days for resort sidecountry/guided trips, where would you settle your tents? (one week is already fixes for cat)

Last edited by neni; 05-16-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Haha karkis, I didn't intend to move to Canada, got only 2 (max 3) weeks holiday
aw yah i didnt mean you should do ALL that, just puttin out options....

cuttin thru that list i would drop fernie and or nelson (unless you settle on Island lake or Baldface for cat skiing), each could be good for a couple few days if you're in the area but theres more variety and options further north.

golden and revvy are 150 kms apart and theres a whole world of options between the two.

in a nutshell, from the choices you offered:
-Skeena, you're kind of in the middle of nowhere, if it's good your all set, if not you have a long way to go to other options

-Island lake, fly thru calgary, spend a couple few days in fernie and go up to golden, rogers pass, maybe a trip to revvy if the eastside is dry, and go back to calgary thru the rockies.

-Baldface, fly thru Kelowna, spend a couple few daze at whitewater and red, go to revvy, rogers pass, maybe sneak over to golden if the westside is too warm.

i'll find some photos here just now....
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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id give a +1 to Mustang, Chatter Creek, Baldface and Retallack for cat skiing
So how would you rate the experience needed for Mustang? (still a bit intimidated by their skill demand)
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lamps View Post
That's bullshit. Nina and niņo effects are not that cyclical.

It's possible to have snowless periods anywhere, western Canada at the right time of year your odds are very much in your favour of fresh snowfall. If you do cat or Heli they have lots of terrain and you'll see untouched snow for sure.
I'm gonna have to 2nd this. Not only is there no "cycle" upon which to build a predictable pattern, but there is also no way to know whether or not a neutral, la, or el will hit OR miss your spot.

Plenty of places have got dumped on during (insert any "nina" variable here), while others have been skunked.

IMO the only usefulness of such long term broad stokes forecasting is for farmers and the gov't branch that regulates and subsidizes it (and I question that but i'm not a farmer so i dunno).
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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kicking horse backcountry (slack country) check out
A Guide to Backcountry Skiing Golden BC - North
theres the south end too on that site but there's more options and less consequence in the north bowls.
i dont have much G.side photos on line but heres a couple from back in the day...



its mostly a bunch of G/nar with some really nice chutes in between


RMR slack is alot of this kinda thing

a bit of this kinda stuff

mini golf means you can usually go over, or around it

black diamond means up to about this kinda thing

double black is from something like that to something like this


but honestly for a commercial ski operation when they say advanced they mean they dont want to have to pick you up all the time in terrain thats 35 - 40deg trees and maybe some chutes to 45, but they would check you out before they tee those up
i suspect that when a Euro says 'advanced' they mean a bit more than when a Canuck says it... you Euros are crazy after all


Rogers Pass is all kinds of goodness






and tons more....
check out rogers pass 411 sample guidebook
i think the north side volume will be out in print this fall, its just an e book now, $25CAD on that site.
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