Apex Alpine, BC, Feb. 21, 2019

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Apex Alpine, BC, Feb. 21, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:29 pm

From Osoyoos near the US border we drove nearly two hours to Apex. The Okanagan Valley lived up to its “Banana Belt of Canada” reputation as it was sunny with little snow on the ground and from the US border to Penticton vineyards and fruit orchards are everywhere.

But once we get into the mountains the familiar Great Gray North returns. View approaching the parking lot here:
IMG_0773.JPG

Temps were in the 15F range while it was barely below freezing in the Okanagan Valley. There were occasional snow flurries in the morning and a few sunny breaks in the afternoon.

Apex gets less snow than Big White and Silver Star but has much more favorable primary northeast exposure. In general Canadian snowfall has been below average for the past 6 weeks while most storms have centered on California and Utah. So we noticed that steeper pitches on runs with more evidence of traffic had scraped off patches.

As for that skier traffic, on a Thursday we didn’t see any. There had been 6 inches of new snow on Wednesday, and a lot of it was still there once we started exploring.

We had been skiing some challenging terrain at Crystal and Stevens, so we eased into this day with warmup groomers on Ridge Run and Chute. We then headed south from the top from the Quicksilver HSQ into the “Wildside” where we had skied a lot of powder with flyover and John in 2016. This time we pushed a bit farther on the Hang ‘em High ridgetop run and first tested Gunslinger. The south facing runs had the expected firm subsurface but skied OK because the new snow was only lightly tracked.

We next tried the more mellow pitched Glades but I pushed too far right and hit the exit Grandmother’s Trail too soon. We did get a short steep pitch below a curve in the trail where we could return to it.

While skiing Hang ‘em High we noticed that several steep chutes dropped off its north side toward the top of the slow Stocks chair. View of some of those from Stocks:
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Tooth and Tusk have direct entries that are narrow straightlines but we found a side entry to Tooth, where Tseeb just made his first turn here.
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Lower down on Tooth there is new snow with a soft subsurface as few people had skied it.
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We returned to the HSQ, view of its steepest section here:
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We skied in this area quite a bit on the big powder day in 2016, but it looked more scraped today.

The 10 black or double black runs far skier’s left are north facing but usually heavily mogulled, so I was skeptical of their condition after a sustained period of only occasional new snow. So we first entered the gladed area above Magnum.
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The black Magnum sign is on a tree at right. Tseeb is standing next to a wooden sign reading “Best Day Ever.”

I continued down to the lower and steeper part of Magnum.
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Note the occasional greenery sticking out due to somewhat low tide conditions. But they held down traffic so the snow surface was better than on more deeply mogulled runs. Tseeb skied the narrower next run skier’s left, Gromit.

We took a short lunch break. Apex makes some good sandwiches for a very reasonable price of about $6US. After lunch we first skied a Juniper/Spruce groomer. Then we returned to Hang ‘em High’s north side to look for more powder. Here’s Tseeb in upper Essendale:
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And here at the bottom:
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For our last run we went far skier’s left, where I skied Buckshot while Tseeb skied the longer Dirty Harry.

We skied 20,600 vertical. We probably skied as much powder on Day 2 after the storm as we did at Stevens on Day 1 because Stevens was hopping and Apex was in its usual deserted midweek condition.

We were on the road around 3PM as it’s nearly a 4 hour drive from Apex to Revelstoke.
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
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Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10174
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Apex Alpine, BC, Feb. 21, 2019

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:23 am

What are the stats for Apex: continuous vert and average yearly snow, etc.? From the top pic, it looks in the 1,800-1,900 foot range?
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Re: Apex Alpine, BC, Feb. 21, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:56 pm

The Quicksilver chair is 1,900 vertical, services 99% of the mountain, so you can get a lot of vertical. Flyover and John got over 30K on the powder day in 2016. It's 2,000 vertical from top of Quicksilver to bottom of Stocks.

Apex claims 228 inches season snowfall, which I think is accurate.

Apex is on my short list of interesting but very uncrowded ski areas. But I'm currently enjoying Castle Mt., #1 on that list.
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: 10174
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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