By New Year, La Nina was in full force and everywhere in the Pacific Northwest was getting dumped on. This included Red, but unfortunately, Red needs a fair bit of snow to cover the shrubbery low down, and the cliff bands up high.
Still, a good foot of new the day before we arrived certainly helped the situation (pics here). Saturday dawned cold and clear, and it took us no time to figure out that the crowds the day before had been small. There was boot deep fluff – true BC champagne powder – everywhere begging to be mined. Papoose Bowl was superb, Beer Belly deep and Booty’s Run virtually untouched. The cliff bands around the back of Granite took some careful navigation, but the reward was thigh deep at times. A bit of base damage was inevitable, but hey – skis can be fixed!
Sunday was blessed by 6 inches more. Another fine day of exploration around Granite and the trees on Red. Unfortunately the trees were full of hidden snags as the cover was still a little thin, so great care was required. This discouraged me from going too far off the beaten track alone. But there’s so much terrain at Red, it wasn’t a problem.
No more storms arrived for our last two days, but the temperatures hovered at -10C and much colder up high, meaning the snow remained pristine. Much bump practice ensued, and even a bit of high speed cruising on New Year’s Day. This is always a top day to be out on a hill, as you’re guaranteed to have wherever you are pretty much to yourself. minor New Year’s Eve restraint pays big dividends.
Another 2 feet on the base would’ve made this a perfect trip, but it’s pretty hard not to have a superb time at Red Mountain.
Day 11: 7,315m, Day 12: 8,690m, Day 13: 7,325m
Day 14: 6705m
Season totals: 14 days, 6 powder days, 100, 800m vertical