Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:50 pm

longshanks wrote:because after that length of dry spell, even the Cat operations will be scrambling to find fresh lines.

Yes. That's why it's worth investigating how much acreage these places have relative to the number of cats skiing the terrain every day. Altitude/exposure of the terrain matters too, although much less so in January than in later months. It's somewhat difficult to get a good fix on these issues without actually seeing the terrain in person though.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby flyover » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Just booked RT tickets to Spokane for a trip to Nelson/Rossland from 3/6 to 3/10.

Also just booked a single day with Valhalla for 3/8. (I know 2 days would be a better value w/out the beacon drills on the 2nd day, but I couldn't justify the extra $ this year).

The plan is to stay in Nelson and count on at least 1, maybe 2 days at Whitewater. If the weather cooperates, we may consider a day at Red as well. We'll likely ski Schweitzer on the last day, just to reduce our post-skiing travel time, but should have the flexibility to ski Whitewater or Red on our last day if the conditions are too good to pass up.

I must confess I am stoked.

Anyone have any tips on reasonable lodging/dining in Nelson?
flyover
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby socal » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:11 pm

flyover wrote:Just booked RT tickets to Spokane for a trip to Nelson/Rossland from 3/6 to 3/10.

Also just booked a single day with Valhalla for 3/8. (I know 2 days would be a better value w/out the beacon drills on the 2nd day, but I couldn't justify the extra $ this year).

The plan is to stay in Nelson and count on at least 1, maybe 2 days at Whitewater. If the weather cooperates, we may consider a day at Red as well. We'll likely ski Schweitzer on the last day, just to reduce our post-skiing travel time, but should have the flexibility to ski Whitewater or Red on our last day if the conditions are too good to pass up.

I must confess I am stoked.

Anyone have any tips on reasonable lodging/dining in Nelson?


I've got some suggestions. Was in Nelson and skied whitewater, cat at Valhalla , and Schweitzer last winter. I'm in Jackson hole this weekend but I'll dig some stuff up next week or so.

I can't stress enough that if its snowy that drive times are really long. It was a storm and we averaged probably 25-30 for 100 miles from Nelson to Sand Point. Slow going.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
socal
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: LA

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:05 am

Valhalla seems to be the one place with a good reputation that you can get just a month or two so ahead. I reserved Feb. 27-28 and also took their lodging package for 3 nights as we'll be at Whitewater the next day. With 2 people I'd recommend that, but if traveling alone I'd use priceline, hotels.com, hotwire etc. to get something cheap.

The Hume Hotel where NASJA stayed in Nelson is a historic site, worth checking out. I also had a nice Sunday buffet brunch there on my drive from Spokane to White Grizzly. That trip was in your exact time frame last year, hope you get the snow we did then. Nelson has good restaurants. NASJA had a dine-around night and everyone was quite pleased. Trip Advisor is often a good source for dining, we've been using that in Switzerland.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby socal » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:27 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:The Hume Hotel where NASJA stayed in Nelson is a historic site, worth checking out..


That's the one. Stay there 100%. Right on the Main Street with a cool bar inside and good food.

Good food all over the town. Everything's organic and fresh. I thought I'd be eating big game, I asked the hotel person what types of food the town specialized in, thinking it would be moose, elk, etc , she said pretty much anything organic.
socal
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: LA

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Admin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:44 pm

socal wrote:she said pretty much anything organic.


Heh! That's Nelson, all right! :lol:

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk 2
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9969
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby flyover » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks socal and Tony.

I'll take a closer look at the Hume.

Tony Crocker wrote:Valhalla seems to be the one place with a good reputation that you can get just a month or two so ahead.


That was my conclusion after doing some online research. I found two other cat operations in the region that do single-day trips. Of the three, after considering the terrain, snowfall stats and reputation for professionalism of all three, in my semi-educated judgment, Valhalla seems like the best bet.

Tony Crocker wrote:The Hume Hotel where NASJA stayed in Nelson is a historic site, worth checking out. I also had a nice Sunday buffet brunch there on my drive from Spokane to White Grizzly. That trip was in your exact time frame last year, hope you get the snow we did then.


We're hoping things won't be starting to warm up just yet by March 8. We tried to make the previous weekend work, but just couldn't make our calendars align with Valhalla's.

I have only been intermittently checking Whitewater's snowfall numbers online over the winter, but after an impressive start to the season, snowfall over the last three or so weeks has been a little less inspiring. Any thoughts about how the region is doing for snow this winter Tony?

Here's another question. I've become a big believer in flexibility in the pursuit of the best conditions. I understand that if conditions are optimal for skiing around the region, drive times will be much longer. This raises a bit of a dilemma with regard to Red. I've formed the impression that recent snow is more-or-less a prerequisite for decent conditions at Red. I also understand that Red gets significantly less snow than Whitewater. On paper, at least, it therefore seems to make sense to either:

(1) base ourselves in Nelson and run over to Red if the conditions warrant the drive, which looks to be about an hour to an hour-and-a-quarter; or
(2) grab lodging options on a night-by-night basis rather than booking ahead.

Based upon socal's descriptions of the drive times, it sounds like Nelson to Rossland and back for a day of skiing could be a lot more total time in the car than 2-3 hours RT. Does anyone have any sense as to how difficult it might be to turn up lodging vacancies on a last-minute basis in Nelson and Rossland?
flyover
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Marc_C » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:11 pm

flyover wrote:I've become a big believer in flexibility in the pursuit of the best conditions. I understand that if conditions are optimal for skiing around the region, drive times will be much longer.

Having driven around the region this past September on a climbing trip, I found that drive times were generally longer than expected even on dry, snowless roads. The roads are winding, two lanes, sometimes narrow (especially right around Nelson). Google maps time estimates were actually pretty accurate.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3173
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby socal » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:26 pm

I'm pretty sure you could easily book Nelson lodging any time. Town seemed really dead in the winter.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
socal
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: LA

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:06 am

flyover wrote:snowfall stats

????? I've been cat skiing all over B.C. for 15 years and it's not easy to get verifiable info from the elevations where you actually ski. I have actual data only from Mustang, Chatter Creek and Great Northern and a credible estimate based upon a fairly detailed conversation with Brad Karafil at White Grizzly. I failed to get Baldface's data last year despite skiing there for 4 days. That said the location of Valhalla's terrain makes me believe that 450 inches would be a reasonable estimate.
flyover wrote:after an impressive start to the season, snowfall over the last three or so weeks has been a little less inspiring. Any thoughts about how the region is doing for snow this winter Tony?

The 3 dry spells, 1st and 3rd weeks of January and current week have been very widespread in the West. But western Canada is one of the few regions still above average and also the region where those dry spells have not been as bone dry as the southern regions.
flyover wrote: I also understand that Red gets significantly less snow than Whitewater.

Yes, average 263 vs. 397 inches.
flyover wrote:I've formed the impression that recent snow is more-or-less a prerequisite for decent conditions at Red.

Red's forte is very steep tree skiing. Spacing of those trees on the north side of Granite is adequate for deep powder but in packed snow with bumps you need to be an elite level skier and in exceptional shape to ski those lines fluidly. It's pretty slow going for me. Granite is also a 360 degree mountain and the Powderfields which have better tree spacing and slightly mellower pitch face southeast.

I will be in the region, hopefully posting TR's, from Feb. 18 - Mar. 2, the last 4 days being Valhalla, Whitewater and Red.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby flyover » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:19 am

Thanks for the helpful replies Marc_C, socal and Tony.

Tony Crocker wrote:
flyover wrote:snowfall stats

?????


:lol: OK, "stats" was a poor word choice. I should have known better, especially considering the audience. Words like "claims" or "guesstimates" would have been better choices. I actually noted that of the 3 operations I researched, Valhalla actually makes the most modest claims about annual snowfall on their website (276" at treeline and 360" in the alpine). However, I also found suggestion in several places around the web that Valhalla likely enjoys average annual snowfall closer to Tony's estimate.

Tony Crocker wrote:Spacing of those trees on the north side of Granite is adequate for deep powder but in packed snow with bumps you need to be an elite level skier and in exceptional shape to ski those lines fluidly.


Now you've piqued my interest. No way on earth I'm an "elite" skier, but having grown up skiing mostly in the northern greens, especially at MRG in my teenage and college years, I have much more lifetime experience skiing steep bumps and tight trees than I do skiing powder. Like everyone else on FTO, however, the whole purpose of my western trips is to ski powder. I'm just looking for best options should our trip coincide with a dry spell.

Tony Crocker wrote: I will be in the region, hopefully posting TR's, from Feb. 18 - Mar. 2, the last 4 days being Valhalla, Whitewater and Red.


I'm looking forward to those reports. I've really enjoyed your TRs from Austria/Switzerland.
flyover
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:19 pm

For elite level tree skiers. Red Mt. is the best lift served place I've ever seen, and I believe admin and JSpin, who are more qualified in that department, will agree. If that's what you want in powder, try White Grizzly:
http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2012/0 ... e-grizzly/
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby longshanks » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:52 am

Tony Crocker wrote:For elite level tree skiers. Red Mt. is the best lift served place I've ever seen...


Best on the Planet!...and not just the North side of Granite Mtn...Captain Jacks (formerly Short Squaw), Cambodia, The Slides, Poochies, Powder Fields, Jumbo, and War Eagle Trees on Red is really special...
Attachments
War Eagle Trees looking down Red.jpg
War Eagle Trees looking down Red.jpg (32.81 KiB) Viewed 3621 times
War Eagle Trees looking up Red.jpg
War Eagle Trees looking up Red.jpg (24.17 KiB) Viewed 3621 times
User avatar
longshanks
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby flyover » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:04 pm

Uggg. Sounds like its raining in the Nelson area with the freezing level predicted to go as high as 2200 meters tomorrow.

The avi conditions also sound pretty frightening: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/bulletins/l ... y-boundary

Upon further reflection, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this cat skiing stuff. I'm not a gambling man and I'm WAY more anxious about this pineapple express horror show than I would be if I hadn't already dropped a chunk of change for a day with Valhalla on March 8.

Looking forward to some on-the-scene reports from our man in Nelson.
flyover
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Who's booked 12-13 trips already?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Skiing on our trip has been outstanding until today. There was a lot of snow last weekend and every day through Thursday was overcast with a few more inches here and there to top things off. Thursday was our cat ski day with a small local operator Wild Horse and the snow was still deep and fairly light on all exposures other than direct south. Whitewater on Wednesday was excellent, very soft from Monday's leftovers.

We had been seeing the forecasts of the predicted warmup this weekend for a few days. Rain being part of that warmup was a more recent prediction. We had breakfast in Nelson, drove to Red as we're in Rossland tonight. The rain was in the early morning today before we got to Red. We skied 10:30 - 2:30 with a lunch break. Snow was heavy all the way up though not too bad skiing in the trees on the upper 2/3 or so of the Paradise runs. Tomorrow rates to be really bad with crust if there is any overnight freeze, so we are changing plans and doing our long drive towards Bozeman tomorrow. We also had scheduled Schweitzer for Sunday. Schweitzer clearly got the same rain event, so it doesn't make too much sense to hang around to ski there. Snow is predicted for Saturday night but only 7cm at Red with another 8cm forecast Tuesday night.

Whitewater's base elevation is over 1,000 feet higher than Red's. Do more of your skiing up there if Red doesn't get enough snow to resurface. Valhalla is farther north, should get more resurfacing snow (predicted twice as much as Red both Saturday and Tuesday nights). If weather allows them to stay in their upper elevations, supposedly as high at 8,000, skiing could still be fine there.

We were scheduled tomorrow at Big Red Cats. Big Red gave everyone scheduled tomorrow the option of a rain check good for 2 years. They may decide tomorrow morning not to run at all and give everyone a rain check. In our case the booking had been made only 2 days earlier, had not been charged yet and they let us bail out at no cost. This generosity was probably influenced by our unfortunate mixup with Valhalla. I will post the gory details of that later.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use