Wheres all that spring time pow? Ski touring in the rain.
Typical April weather here in the interior of BC dictates at minimum, a handful of powder days. So far this year however spring feels more like summer and we’ve had no significant dumps of any kind. The law of averages stated that the Pow has to be coming at some point, but the advancing calendar and El Niño may have it other wise.
Tired of waiting for ideal conditions we headed up to ski Ymir Peak at Whitewater Ski Resort. The worst of the week’s heat had subside and with cloudy skies and rain predicted for the day figured it would be cooler and the snow pack a little more stable for shredding. It was a little startling to see well over 1/3 of the snow pack melted away and more like 3/4 of it on sun baked south aspects. What wasn’t a surprise however, were the number of wet avalanches littering Ymir Bowl and running to valley bottom.
With storm clouds threatening, we started placing elevation behind us as we headed up Bonanza ski run on the way to Blasters Ridge. Within the first 100m Jason one-up’ed my find of a dime in the parking lot by discovering a crisp new $20 bill laying in the snow. Rather than pocket it, he proposed the idea of Burritos at El Taco after our ski. Not a bad idea at all.
Once we reached West Ymir the ominous clouds turned to rain and our waterproof gear came out. Up until this point we’d been ski touring in just T-shirts and soft shell pants which were both quickly becoming saturated. While we geared up we quickly lost sight of our objective, swallowed up in a shroud of cloud. The clag had set in and our hopes of taking in views from the summit of Ymir Peak were quickly dashed. Plan B: Stay low in the bowl under the cloud cover and ski over to Scob’s Knob where we could decent with better visibility in the trees.
After waiting for a brief respite from the dreary grey that surrounded us, we headed down and were pleasantly surprised by how good the ski quality was. Not so wet that brakes were involuntarily put on between each turn and not too sun cupped that you couldn’t find your rhythm. The only down side of the day was that fact that the faster you descended the wetter you became. At valley bottom we retreated to our car satisfied with the climb and the outcome of the day, proving that neither the lack of a summit or the sunshine was required to make spring skiing enjoyable. Plus, we had burrito’s waiting for us in town, compliments of some kind sole with very loose pockets.
Get out and enjoy it while it lasts!