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Why the West Kootenay Ski Resort Openings Were Better Than They Looked

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Either Mother Nature is going through menopause or Old Man Winter is going through manopause. The weather is alternating between blistering cold and raging hot flash e s. This has created a Kootenay snowpack which resembles what you find lining an old freezer. Resort skiing has shot off like an alder grove, which is essentially what you will be skiing through. But those who were skiing this last weekend at Whitewater or the night of November 28th at Red weren’t disappointed. Here’s why.

  1. There are jumps everywhere. In the middle of groomers, cat-tracks, and slow-zones. In the summer, these jumps were once stumps and rocks, but with 30cms of frozen Slurpee on top of and 15cms of pow, the uphill landing possibilities are endless. There is no better training for a season than being bucked into a root-wad or creek-pit every twenty feet. After each run you feel like you’ve just been on a date with Jian Ghomeshi.
  2. New Lifties. Each chair load is like a game of Russian Roulette with your ass and calves. Will you get a great load or sodomized by a foreigner? Either way is a great weekend.
  3. Everyone in the Kootenays who have concerns about deforestation will find satisfaction in the amount of alder Red and Whitewater are cultivating. Local herbologists know its benefits like lyphatic drainage, blood purification, and fighting diseases such as Tuberculosis. Come get your exposure to this local and organic substance as it slaps you in the face and scratches your goggles while you pick your way down the mountain. It’s also fun to watch people get their brand new gore-tex outfits shredded by it. It’s like skiing down a hill while ripping up $20 bills as fast as you can.
  4. There are children starving in Africa. Sure the weather is a bit warmer, but we need to remember how good we got it. Call World Vision, buy these kids a plane ticket, take them to the ski hill and see if they complain.
  5. If you can ski this you can ski anything.
  6. The skiing is actually really good up high. If you can get above 7000 ft or so, you are above the alder and the freeze/thaw nonsense. And if you can ski the lower mountain, the alpine will be a breeze. Snow has filled in as deep as 1.5 meters in places and snow is light and fast.
  7. It’s gross in town. It’s been a mix of cold and dry and warm and wet. Finally we can be up high above the clouds and doing something besides sitting in coffee shops and complaining about how bad the skiing must be.

Get out there. It’s not that bad, and when it gets really good, you’ll be ready. Right now is the best cross-training for great skiing you can have. Stop complaining and start shredding. Are you a powder skier, or actually a skier?

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Ymir Peak hasn’t looked this skiable this early in the season in a long time. This picture was taken at 7000 ft. The snow is nicely preserved, but don’t tell too many people. As you can see, no one is skiing it.

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