Editor Watts skis Canada

14th January 2010, by Editor Watts

A busy Saturday in Silver Star

A busy Saturday in Silver Star

My Friday flight from Heathrow thankfully took off on time and I arrived at Silver Star at around 7.30pm Canadian time (3.30am UK time). The next morning was cloudy with light snow and we skied the mainly intermediate terrain on the front face, including the lovely wooded runs of the Silver Woods area (which only opened a couple of seasons ago served by a new fast chair).

And another chair to the top of the Atridge area has also improved the quantity and variety of terrain available, including some quite steep open faces. The whole ski area was completely uncrowded – we frequently had the trails to ourselves, despite this being a busy Saturday with the locals out in force and 10-minute lift queues for the main Comet sixpack; the reason is they have 118 separate runs served by just three main chairs.

Then I went to Big White for two days. Sadly, the resort lived up to its nickname of Big Whiteout. Sunday was basically freezing fog, which resulted in frozen droplets on your goggles so that skiing anything steep was impossible (for me anyway). But Monday was a great day for skiing, with snow starting Sunday evening and continuing on and off throughout Monday; so there was fresh powder on the trails, though you still could not see much.

Dave found powder in the trees in Big White on Monday

On Tuesday I was skiing Fernie for the afternoon; not a pleasant experience because it was raining bottom to top. But by the end of the afternoon, it had turned to snow at the top and the forecast was for falling temperatures. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Wednesday saw me snowcat skiing at Island Lake Lodge, near Fernie, and staying at their plush remote lodge, reached by a 30-minute snowcat ride from an isolated car park near Fernie. On Tuesday, the snow had been so wet that only snowboarders cat skied – skiers gave up. But 20cm of new snow fell at the top overnight and we had a great time cat skiing on Wednesday. Thankfully the forecast is for colder temperatures still and continuing light flurries of snow.

Another report soon.

Dave with the snowcat driver on Wednesday

Dave’s Canadian trip was organised by Frontier Ski, a tour operator which specialises in Canada and can tailor make a holiday with any combination of resorts that you’d like.

See: www.frontier-ski.co.uk

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