Spring riding is ON! Fun slushy lines down in the trees at lower elevations and great booter building
snow in the alpine. Bring your sunscreen this weekend cause if the sun peeks out, it’s gonna be HOT;
20cm of fresh snow is forecasted throughout the week and weekend with freezing levels staying
between 950 and 1700 meters.
There’s been a few really close calls lately. We ask you to please remain vigilant with your safety and the safety of others in avalanche terrain. Always check Avalanche.ca before you ride and be prepared and aware.
Another scary avalanche caught on video from March 13 in Gorman Lake. Here’s an excellent blog from Sleddermag.com about it.
Grooming and Fee Schedule
Thanks to Jeremy Guy and Black Lung Welding, the new and custom ‘handmade in Golden’ BBQ is done and up and running at the Quartz creek cabin so bring something to grill up for lunch; propane is supplied by SledGolden and hauled up in 20 pounders so please remember to shut it off when you’re done.
Grooming and fee collection is still in full swing but the snow is a little thin down low on some of the trails. Fast Cat grooming is doing some great work farming the snow off the sides and keeping it smooth.
The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)
This time of year adds a couple more variables to the day to keep in the back of your mind: cornice
failures and crevasses on glaciers. Throughout the winter, wind deposits snow on ridgetops forming
cornices overhanging the slope that can be as big as a house. Prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun
in the spring weakens the cornice and can cause it to fail and fall onto the slope below potentially
causing an avalanche. When traversing ridgetops where a cornice is present, stay close to visible rocks
or trees on the opposite side of the ridge the cornice hangs over. Or if there isn’t enough room to stay
away from the edge, stay off the ridge altogether. Putting too much weight (from a sled or even walking
to the edge to look over) on a cornice can cause it to break off and you could be in for a bad day.
Sledding on a glacier can provide incredible aesthetics, but also provides different dangers to be aware
of; crevasses can be big enough to swallow a house and are disguised by potentially thin veils of snow
blown in by the wind. The good news is that glaciers and their dangers are fairly predictable: the
prehistoric sheets of ice are on the move (very slowly) and as they slide over convexities the ice is
stressed and cracked causing a crevasse. Along the edge of the glacier where the ice meets the rock is
also home to glacier stress and crevasse danger. As the head of glacier recedes away from the stagnant
ice, a bergschrund is formed and can be a large obstacle capable of swallowing a snowmobiler.
Overhead danger is also present in the form of seracs (large towers of ice) that can topple over without
warning and either cause an avalanche on the slope it overhangs or fall directly on top of you. If you are
unfamiliar with the layout of a glacier you are going to be sledding on, it is best to familiarize yourself
with the area to identify potential dangers first, hire a guide, or stay off it all together. Along with
avalanche training, glacier travel requires rope rescue and crevasse assessment knowledge; luckily there
are courses available but are more for skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers but the basic skills are
still the same.
Support Our Sponsors
As the mechanized ski season at Chatter Creek ends they open the lodge and their terrain up to sledders;
wide open alpine and glaciers await every skill level. When a day of sledding ends, first class
accommodations await in the rustic log lodge.
Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges