Sunday Snow

Sunday Skiing in the forest on Hollyburn Mt.
Looking over N. Vancouver towards 2nd Narrows Bridge

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There has been an enormous amount of precipitation locally this week. At low levels that means the days have been dark and rainy. I know that in the high country there has been a mix of snow and rain. This year’s amazing snowpack continues to increase.

Sunday promised some sunny breaks. I could see that the temperatures dipped overnight. That means that the snow had been wet, and then froze to ice or Styrofoam.

“No earlier than the 10:35 ferry!” So, with a leisurely start, it was noonish before we reached the snow. When we parked, it looked like fresh fluff by the van. I hit it with a ski pole and a few ice crystals scattered. It was hard.

There was a bit of sun, and it was gradually warming. Do you know Hollyburn? By the time we’d skinned up to the top of the nordic area the places that had received some sun had softened a little. We decided to sit down, visit with the ravens and the folks who came by, munch some food and enjoy looking at the mountain.

My buddy suggested that this day we don’t follow the usual snowshoer’s track up the hill. Their new sport is bum-sliding, and this year a surprising number of people are carrying plastic sheets. I can see that they are having fun, but it makes the hill even more difficult for skiers. We decided on an off-piste route up through the trees.

Skinning up a steep slope among the trees is challenging and fun. The trick is to find a route that is possible (not too steep) and still provides economy of effort. Every wrinkle in the terrain provides obstacles and opportunities. We had our part of the forest all to ourselves.

I stopped at a bench that was a bit more open and where there was an airplane view of the city to snap that panorama.

All the while the snow was softening. Just enough for the ski down to be a delight.


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