After our annual pilgrimage to Second Wave on Lonsdale, we’re geared up for another year of snowboarding. Truth be told, we’ve been by the store quite a few times in the last month…
As always, we got some great advice & great prices from the guys there – nothing beats having real boarders help you get geared up. I’m pretty excited about my new Cartel bindings and youngest son is sporting a new pair of Custom bindings to go with his new Clash board. The new board and bindings are a treat – he usually ends up with his older brother’s hand-me-downs. This year both he and I got some new-to-us hand-me-down boots courtesy oldest son’s (still) growing feet.
Now – about the snow.
After a great start things seem to have gone into stasis – not that I’ve got any big complaints about the blue sky. But a couple of days of heavy snow on the local mountains would make us all smile – and get those boots off laundry room shelf and strapped to a board where they belong.
It was foggy so I thought I’d try some vintage looks.
This tree is right at the top of the Lion’s Express chair. We watched with amusement today as a ski instructor spoke to his class of about 8 kids, all gathered round near this tree. 7 of the kids were paying rapt attention, but the 8th was facing the other way, wacking at the snow covered branches with his ski pole.
We had an insane run at Cypress Mountain this morning.
I’ve boarded in foggy conditions before, but nothing like what we encountered this morning on the first run. MB and I were excited to be making first tracks again, but it became immediately obvious after we stepped off the Lions Express chair that it would be slow going.
It was totally nuts. I couldn’t see more than 2 metres in front of me, and subsequently was going dead slow. What I could see was pretty much just white on white. Goggles didn’t help, and other boarders (very few of them) loomed into sight at the last minute.
I quickly discovered that when you can’t see, your sense of balance gets totally messed up (d’oh).
I found myself sliding sideways across the hill when I thought I was going down. I wiped out a number of times on simple turns even though we were on a green run (after bailing off a blue). What if found was that I had no sense of how far I was leaning into the turn, and no proper sense of when to pull out.
Very very disconcerting, and a bit frightening. I can certainly see how people get lost and disoriented in white-outs or heavy snowfalls.
At least it’s not raining.
Looking back towards Guest Services as we walked back to the car
The heavy snowfall the last couple of weeks is the prime topic of discussion on the lifts. Everyone agrees the conditions are the best they’ve been in years. Even though the season got off to a sketchy start, the last 2 weeks has brought fresh snow almost every day.
The Cypress Mountain road this morning, well before the first big hairpin. Early this morning they were stopping cars to check for winter tires or chains, but the road seemed to me to be in better condition today than the last few times we were up.
Loads of powder everywhere. We hit the first lift up again today.
Great snow on Cypress Mountain this morning. MB and I managed to be first into a couple of different areas and enjoyed carving through the powder. There’s a ton of snow and the temperature is just above freezing – so it’s pretty comfortable riding except for the heavy fog this morning.
We head up for opening and usually bail by noon when the lift lines start to get too heavy. Nice to live so close.
So you just spent a couple hundred bucks on some super cool Oakley goggles, eh?
You just know they’re going to spend more time bouncing around in the trunk getting scratched up than on your head, right ?
Time to put the DIY back in boarding, don’t you think ?
These babies MB is modeling have plenty of air vents, they don’t scratch easily, and if some random wood splinters came flying at you while you’re doing some sick moves on a double-black-diamond – no worries.
All that and more, for just $9.95 CAN at Lee Valley Tools.
Yikes. GB and I went up to Cypress today, even though we knew the only lift open was the Easy Rider chair which services the bunny hill (Runway).
I was really surprised to see how little snow there is on the mountain. Thanks to last week’s pineapple express, there’s no base left what-so-ever, even though the web site says they have 61 cm at mid-mountain. You can see from this picture at the top of the Easy Rider lift that the terrain above is pretty much rocks.
When you drive up you can see most of the way up the mountain, and there’s very little snow up there – the runs are all showing gravel or grass through the light dusting of snow. I actually think there was more snow in mid-October than there is today.
I gather they’re hauling snow up from the parking lots to keep the bunny hill open, which means it’s festooned with bits of rock and gravel. So if you’re going up, better buy some P-Tex. Better yet, leave your good board at home.
It sure brings home the vagaries of local weather. Last year, most of the mountain was open by mid-November.
I’m disappointed to hear the forecast calls for clearing tomorrow. Damn. We just need a couple of days of snowfall like we had a couple of weeks ago and we should be good to go.