Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Mt. Chester Early Snow

It was mid December and Kananskis got a bit of snow. I decided to shake off the cobwebs and try out a new pair of skis and boots. First maybe I should discuss my sweet pair of boots and skis I aqcuired at a very reasonable cost. Through a couple of my favourite channels, Kijiji and Second Hand stores.

First off I am renowned as a bit of a scavenger. I tend to peruse my local value village once every couple of weeks and have found stellar deals; Helly Hansen Jackets, toques, and other great ski clothes.On this particular day I was skunked, until I cruised by the shoe isle and in the corner of my eye I caught what could only have been the dull black sheen of italian leather ski boots. These things are beauty touring/light telemark boots. The price tag was $20. These things had been used maybe once or twice. What a find!

Then I decided to look over Kijiji to see if I could find some skis. for $250 bucks there were a pair of Rossignol BC125 skis with targa accent G3 bindings. Wow! I picked these bad boys up in a clandestine parking lot transaction, and I needed to try them out. I didn't have skins, but they have positrack bases (fancy french fishscales), so I was able to do most accents except for very steep ones.

So off we were early Saturday morning through the mountains to the trailhead. The parking lot was huge and there were onlt a half dozen vehicles there. mostly skiiers looking to get up quick for some runs. But the large parking lot was a bit ominous.

The old man and I, wearing gear for the same purpose but of very different eras headed up the hill. The trip up was steady and longer than we anticipated. I just randomly looked up the trail online, but wasn't completely sure about how long it was or how much elevation gain there was. We climbed for a little over an hour, then we got over the steep part and a meadow opened up.

We carried on for a while along the flat and then across the lake. The snow was thin and windblown on the slope people where people were ascending to make some turns. The crowd was pretty thick, and I didn't have skins to climb up the steeper slope. So the decision was to watch for a bit, then go back down. On the decent I enjoyed some turns through 20 cm of fresh cold dry powder and avoided trees and upcoming tours of snowshoers and skiiers. The downtrack is separated from the uptrack, likely due to so many people using the trail. Luckily with my fat light telemark skis I was able to make nice turns down the old logging road.

The parking lot was now full and we jetted out of there in the early afternoon.

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