Ridge Dec 19 2008
It's been a pathetic start to the Coast Mountains ski season. After the epicness of the past two seasons some letdown is expected but this has been a downright disappointment. Two long weekends at Rogers Pass has kept me sane. After an artic air mass hit Vancouver, hung around for the past week and 10cms dropped in North Vancouver, Sharon, Gregor, Tyler and I headed up to Paul Ridge to check things out.
Unfortunately snowpack is still lacking. I didn't bother to probe for snow depth at Red Heather Meadows but HS was 70cms just below the top of Round Mountain on a SW aspect. Temps were approx minus 17. Skies were cold and clear. S aspects are the best snow but S aspects off Paul Ridge lack sufficient snow for much skiing. N faces off Paul Ridge (the traditional 100m - 150m shots) are wind-blasted. No marked surface hoar development. Good coverage on the ski - in and ski - out. Of course, beautiful views given the clear skies
Stability is GOOD but that happens when you have no meaningful snowpack. Watch for open creeks in Meadowskipper Meadows above the Red Heather shelter.
Road is driveable with AWD cars. Cartwheel corner is not icy at the present
The only hoar/ice-crystals I saw forming
Sharon modelling the MEC Fusion jacket and Osprey Switch 36 pack
Heading up to Round Mountain
Lee with Garibaldi in the back.
No wind on Paul Ridge; Mt Garibaldi in background
Tyler making the most of it
Gregor really making the most of it
Gregor on the N facing slopes - about 5cms of 1f windslab