It's back! - First tracks of the season claimed on Mt. Crowe

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
October 25th, 2010

The ski season unofficially kicked off this past weekend with a bang, literally.


At 4:20pm on Sunday afternoon a window pane rattling thunderclap shook Rossland before dumping several hours of heavy hail on the Golden City. Starting Saturday afternoon however the snowline has dropped significantly in the Rossland Range. Lowering from 1800 meters on Saturday to 1300 meters by Monday 15 to 20 cm’s of snow stuck to the ground as far down as Hanna Creek on Highway 3b. For the early birds out there, the snowy worm was waiting to be had.


After waking up each morning it was forecasted to go below zero hoping to catch the first glimpse of snow, me and my two snow buddies – one female, one furry – headed up to the Nancy Green Summit Sunday morning in hopes of getting a hit of our favourite white drug. Escaping the cold and wet streets of Rossland for an above-the-fog snowy paradise the season’s first hike around in some substantial snowfall. That’s where the snow season started for our family. The ski season was still a day away.


Following up that first hike in which thoughts of “You know you could almost cross country ski on this,” filled our heads, this snow starved Rosslander (after a quick check of the BC Highways Webcams) headed out, cross country skis in hand on a ski or bust mission up Mt. Crowe.


Following some minor bushwhacking from the highway up to the Old Crowe Rd, the skiing was fantastic for a first taste of the winter to come.


Ok, I’ll be honest, the conditions on any other day of the winter would have been considered terrible, but for a skier that hadn’t been on snow since a late spring ski tour on June 1st, sliding with only minimal rock and twig contact hit the spot. Of course that spot was about a mile wide and widening.


My own personal stoke meter had accelerated beyond the normal seasonal anticipation that always kicks in on the first morning you can see your breath outside. Seeing a few of Rosslander’s core young skiers shuttle snow from the arena to their rail setup in Jubilee Park this week, sessioning their short strip of snow in the rain sent the message loud and clear ; it’s officially ok to start thinking about skiing again.


Now that I’ve had that first taste of sliding on snow back on my tongue and six km of cross country glissee behind me, I’m afraid my thirst for all things snow has not been quenched but rather my stoke-ometer has been driven off the charts.


With a forecast showing cold and wet weather in the higher altitudes for the rest of the week, here’s an early season cheers to our beloved snow god Ullr, a thanks for an early season preview of things to come and a high five to my four legged ski touring companion for a long awaited rip on a snowy mountainside.


If there’s one message to take from this past weekend it is that the ski season has arrived for those willing to seek it out. Bring it on Ullr, we’re ready for your spoils!

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