Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:51 pm
The forecast for Sunday April 8, the last day of our trip, called for about 4 inches of snow, with slightly warmer temperatures at LL. However, in town on Saturday night, it was snowing pretty hard when we went to bed so we were optimistic it might snow a bit more than forecast. Just in case of an unexpected powder day, we set the alarm for about 30 minutes earlier than usual and laid in supplies for me to make a big breakfast for all.
Unfortunately, overnight my daughter's cold got worse and she woke us up puking at about 5 a.m. So, my wife and I made a plan to split the day and she was nice enough to let me plan to have first shift. Before we went back to bed, I set the alarm for a bit later in the morning, as I thought I would simply grab a bite on the run, rather than waking everybody up by making breakfast. However, when I woke up and turned on the coffee maker, my daughter popped out of her room and insisted she didn't want to miss her last day of skiing for the season. That's my girl! Her cold seemed just as bad, but her nausea was gone and she was hungry. So, after she and I convinced my wife it would be best if all of us skied our whole last day, it was back to Plan A, including the required big breakfast. All of this meant we didn't get on the snow at LL until a little after 10 a.m. It turned out that was OK, as it may have snowed a bit more in town than it had at the Mountain, although the 2-3 inches of new snow certainly helped to freshen things up.
The front side was very busy as there was some huge youth racing event (or events) going on, involving multiple courses and ski teams from resorts all over western Canada. It was also clear that the lower half of the front side had finally softened the previous day and refrozen overnight. We took a front-side lap off of Top of the World, mostly just to assess the snow and warm up and then went over to the backside and took a lap off of Paradise. The top half of the Paradise lift and everything above it was in the clouds, so we migrated down to Larch.
Larch had evidently not softened up the previous afternoon and refrozen over night and all of our runs there provided good packed-powder conditions all the way down to Temple Lodge and the base of the lift. Larch was also pretty quiet. It seemed like the weekend crowds were really sticking to the front side.
We finished the morning with a front-side run with a couple of stops to spectate along the race courses.
In the afternoon, my wife and daughter decided to take it easy and do some cruising. We made a plan to meet at the end of the day and I went looking for some steeper skiing. Unfortunately Whitehorn was completely in the clouds. Fortunately, only the top couple of hundred vertical feet of Paradise was in the clouds, so I spent a couple hours skiing the lines skier's left of the lift. E.R. 6 and Big 7 were particularly good, because the presence of a significant vertical rock band added enough contrast to mitigate some of the flat light. By about 3 p.m. I could swear I almost had the whole of LL's backside to myself, as the only other skier I saw was a guy who was lapping Paradise bowl, over and over again, apparently enjoying the bumps there.
When Paradise closed, I was almost shocked to discover it was still very busy on the front side. Skiing down the front side everything below the bottom of the Top of the World had softened up.
The base at end of the day was a bit of a madhouse, with several race award ceremonies going on at the same time.
Before returning to Calgary to catch our flight home, we made a little more time to knock around town on Sunday evening and Monday morning. It was clear that spring break was finally over, as town was significantly mellower than it had been throughout the rest of our stay.
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:25 pm
Sounds like you had a good trip. What a life to get two ski trips to Canada in a season!
I had requested a timeshare trade into Banff for Sunday-Sunday week after Mustang figuring that my wife could fly to Calgary and shuttle to timeshare a night before we get out of Mustang. But Pugski Gathering at Big Sky will be starting that same time and my wife has some ski buddies in the group that frees meet to ski the steeps so if looks like I will be meeting her at Bozeman or Missoula on my way South. Maybe we can meet in Banff in April when temps will probably be more acceptable that late Feb. Have you thought about getting Ikon or Mountain Collective pass to use at LL/SS and other places? They had great prices for children although that may have already ended.