March 24, 2016 – Golden BC Snowmobile Conditions and Conditions Report

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.



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Avalanche Safety

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 before you ride and be prepared and aware.

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A scary sledder triggered avalanche in Gorman Lake this week.

A scary sledder triggered avalanche in Gorman Lake this week.

Another scary avalanche caught on video from March 13 in Gorman Lake. Here’s an excellent blog from 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:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday  ($25/rider)

Gorman Lake

People have been driving to the 14km parking lot and also parking at the 3.5 km lot. The road to the 14km is icy in spots. We encourage you to take great care when driving these roads.

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

Silent Pass

Please note that the McMurdo cabin is not part of SledGolden’s management agreement, nor is it for day use AT ALL; the cabin needs to be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society.

Grooms: Thursday (afternoon), Saturday evening
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday  ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to McMurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.


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

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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

phone: 250.344.7199

Golden, BC