Conditions Report: Welcome to Winter (Deep AF)

Conditions in Golden have been wild to say the least. An incredible amount of snow has fallen in the last week and we’ve been busy trying to cope.

Quartz Dec 23 | Rider: Aaron Bernasconi | Photo: Tim Grey

Avalanche conditions have been very high and are forecast to continue. There’s a SPAW (Special Public Avalanche Warning) in effect for our area and these conditions have also caused some grooming operations to be delayed according to risk accessed by our forecasters. As the temps cool and the sky clears we can get back regular grooming. This latest storm has coincided with the start of official winter and conditions are no longer ‘early season’. Please keep reading to know more.

COVID Protocol:

Just in case you didn’t know there’s a pandemic happening.  The latest orders, restrictions and advisories for Covid 19 are here for both BC and Alberta .



The club has posted our COVID protocols here

Please advise yourself and abide by all provincial public health advisories. Sled Golden has a strong contingent of local members and participants and we are focusing on serving them during this time.


We got absolutely pounded with a series of storms this week and anywhere from 100-130 cms has fallen in the last 4 days. We know it’s sacrilege to say it’s too deep to sled, but when you step off your machine and you sink to your nipples, it’s a serious mission to get back on. That being said, yeah, it’s awesome out there right now. The storms came in with wind and so the alpine is full of drifts and windskin snow. Cornices grew like crazy this week and many are weak, so be cautious. Below treeline is where the bounty is right now. If you find yourself an untouched pocket, be prepared for the white room.

Snow and Weather

There’s almost no snow in the forecast (2cms), but that’s ok, we don’t need it. The best part is that the sun will be out but it will come with a cold price to pay. It’s been quite pleasant this winter so far but the alpine will be dropping into double digit cold temps this week.


Straight up, avalanche conditions should be taken very serious right now. There’s a SPAW in place that should be read by everyone going out.

Please check for all updated avalanche forecasts.

Are you new to the backcountry?

Check out Avy Savvy, a newly launched program designed to be a precursor to the Avalanche Canada Training program.



Major snow load, avalanche restrictions and warmer temps during the storm are a recipe for bumpy trails no matter how much effort we put forth. It doesn’t take a lot of sleds to whoop up a trail under those types of conditions but things are looking up. It looks like we should be able to complete our scheduled grooms through the holiday season. Many thanks to our grooming ops team who had their hands full this week.

Trail Area Conditions Reports

Quartz Creek

Conditions: Very deep where untouched
Grooms scheduled: Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun.
Fees: $25
Parking: Main parking has been repeatedly plowed this week.
Road: Groomed from parking lot.
Additional notes: A lot of traffic in Quartz and a lot of snow.

Gorman Lake

Conditions: Very deep where untouched.
Grooms scheduled: Wed, Fri, Sun.
Fees: $25
Parking: Park at upper lot.
Road: Road is in rough shape. Very icy and bumpy.

Silent Pass

Conditions: Very deep where untouched. Wind skin in the alpine.
Grooms scheduled: Wed, Sat.
Fees: $25
Parking: Please DO NOT park at the 27. Please park ON THE ROAD (not in the turn around) at the 30 km. Please keep the turn around free at the 30km so that trucks with trailers can turn around.
Road: The loggers working west of the 27 km point have asked us to please NOT park at the 27km. We’ve made a good turn around at the 30 km mark but ask that people do NOT park in the turn around. Reminder, give loggers the right of way. Call your KMs on your VHF radio! Channel RR-3
Additional notes: Still easy to find fresh.

East Quartz

Conditions: Very deep where untouched.
Grooms scheduled: Nothing this week
Fees: $25
Parking: See Quartz Creek.
Road: n/a
Additional notes: We made no attempts to groom E Quartz this week. Hopefully next week.

Old Man

Conditions: Likely deep.
Grooms scheduled: Next Monday (tentative).
Fees: $25
Parking: See Quartz Creek.
Additional notes: We put our first groom into Oldman Monday Dec 7. Still too early for a grooming drag.

Westbench Trail

Conditions: No information yet.
Grooms scheduled: None.
Fees: $25
Parking: Park at Gorman or Quartz
Road: n/a
Additional notes: WBT is not a continuous trail this year due to logging operations. You can ride from Gorman to just before Wiseman Corner. You can ride from Quartz to Oldman. For both sides, it’s a there and back trail.

Weather & Avalanche Conditions


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