Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:21 am

Coming out of 3 days at Mustang Snowcat I probably needed a mellow day, but nice weather and snow inspired me to ski 24,600 vertical of Kicking Horse’s demanding terrain. There was little new snow, but it had snowed a foot in the past week. With KH’s lifts and topography the powder may get tracked out but it takes a very long time to pound it down to a firm surface, so in most places the snow was soft and forgiving. Only below 5,500 feet did the snow start transitioning to hardpack, and by that point you can be skiing groomers. On the upper terrain even the south facing snow remained packed powder. This has been true in all but one of my 7 January/February visits. From Golden here’s the early morning view of the mountain, with mist hanging in the valley below.
IMG_8593.JPG


Weather was high overcast with sunny breaks. The clouds must have been fairly thin, because flat light was not much of an issue today as it can be on many of the upper steeps. Temps in the mid-20’s were warmer than usual but not enough to melt/freeze the snow. View of Blue Heaven from the top of my first gondola.
IMG_8594.JPG


As usual I dropped into a steep bowl for the first run and skied to the Stairway to Heaven lift, then took a cruiser lap on that chair. View of the chair and south gladed side of Redemption Ridge.
IMG_8595.JPG


View of Eagle Eye restaurant and north side CPR Ridge from top of Blue Heaven.
IMG_8604.JPG


After the groomer and gladed runs on the Stairway chair I hiked the ~5 minute stairs + bootpack to the top of White Wall. Looking over the edge:
IMG_8612.JPG

This is serious no-fall terrain, and since the visibility was better than it looks in that picture I found a reasonable entry and carefully skied down the sustained 40 degree run, probably Last Chance on the trail map. View from below:
IMG_8614a.jpg

I skied just to the right of the large rocks at left. 3 skiers are in the far right of the picture.

More skiers are coming into Feuz Bowl here:
IMG_8617.JPG

These entries do not require hiking the stairs/bootpack.

The exit from Feuz Bowl has been groomed for a few years now. Riding the next gondola I was informed that there is a road cut around to the saddle between the Terminator 1 and 2 peaks. This took about 5 minutes with a couple of short walks to reach Super Bowl, which I had not skied before. View down Super Bowl:
IMG_8620.JPG


South facing slope of Terminator 1 dropping into Super Bowl:
IMG_8625.JPG


North facing slope of Terminator 2 dropping into Super Bowl:
IMG_8624.JPG

Hiking either of those peaks is ~400 vertical, looks similar to hiking Utah’s Baldy Peak from the Snowbird side.

The Terminator exit trail is left ungroomed and was thus in mogul formation stage.
IMG_8628.JPG

But with relatively low skier traffic they were widely spaced and the snow was soft and enjoyable.

The next gondola I skied on the south side of CPR Ridge
IMG_8631.JPG

The exit trail Liberty was similar to the Terminator exit.

I then skied a north side CPR chute to the Stairway chair.
IMG_8634a.jpg


I skied a Stairway groomer, then went out Redemption Ridge to this chute into Feuz Bowl:
IMG_8636.JPG


I took one last gondola, traversed under it farther than before to reach a south facing line that had seen less skier traffic.
IMG_8637.JPG


Kicking Horse established a solid base on its steep terrain in December, but the locals said the snow got scratchy in a relatively dry January. There was a big storm around February 10, and with a few refreshers the skiing has been very good since then. This is a good time to check out Kicking Horse’s abundant steeps, probably matched only by Whistler in western Canada.
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: 10099
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Postby SnowbirdDevotee » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:35 am

I appreciate the report. Makes me want to get back there someday and hit what I missed.
SnowbirdDevotee
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: Poconos, Pa

Re: Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:31 am

Tony Crocker wrote:Only below 5,500 feet did the snow start transitioning to hardpack, and by that point you can be skiing groomers..

Can you remind me how much of the vertical falls into that ^^ category?
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3485
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Base is 3,900. Top of the gondola is 7,700. Top of Blue Heaven is 8,033. All of the technical terrain is above 6,000. Lower than that is cut trails either groomed or moguls.
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: 10099
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Kicking Horse, B.C., Feb.21, 2017

Postby Anthony » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:10 pm

KH is starting to become my home western mountain . If you are skiing the bowls on skier's left, ski down the far left in the old whitetooth area ( the original hill) and you will find great ungroomed terrain. Great place to go when visibility is poor. Chair in this area only runs on the weekend.
Anthony
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: Montfort , Quebec


Return to Western North America

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