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Chasing the Powder this season

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
And your location arc is limited by driving distance.

Personally I’d just book a weeks heli or cat skiing in BC.

Job done.


Any change from £10k?

That’s a lot of weekends in Europe...
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BobinCH, sure.

But lots of crappy weekends in Europe with no powder and duff ski buddies if surely, per powder metre^2 (squared because it’s vertical descent multiplied by powder depth) must be more expensive than that one heli trip.

Which you ought to do at least once anyway. If you don’t do it this year you’ll be at least a year older when you do Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
under a new name wrote:
@ed48, I do hate to be negative, but this sounds like a recipe for (at least social) disaster.

Why would you yourself choose to limit yourself to the lowest common ability?

And organising such things is usually a total pita.


Ive started this topic in September to have enough time for discussion, any suggestion are welcome.

About the group ability, how do you think it should be done better?
Imagine, there will be a group of people who never skied together before, what we say about our skiing abilities not always true in reality, so at least at the beginning, we should start with something easy and then we will see.

>And organising such things is usually a total pita
Interested in your experience, why?

>Personally I’d just book a weeks heli or cat skiing in BC.
Never done this before, but very interested, how do you book the heli to be sure it gets to the powder days?
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under a new name wrote:
@BobinCH, sure.

But lots of crappy weekends in Europe with no powder and duff ski buddies if surely, per powder metre^2 (squared because it’s vertical descent multiplied by powder depth) must be more expensive than that one heli trip.

Which you ought to do at least once anyway. If you don’t do it this year you’ll be at least a year older when you do Happy


Don’t remember many crappy ones last season! I’ve put my money down for a heli-trip this year but it’s a very expensive lottery with no guarantee of better skiing than on the local hill... fingers tightly crossed!
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I’d say different abilities are manageable if people are game and fit. Although you don’t really know until you ski with them so his point about dropping weaker skiers who can’t keep up makes sense
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ed48 wrote:


About the group ability, how do you think it should be done better?
Imagine, there will be a group of people who never skied together before, what we say about our skiing abilities not always true in reality, so at least at the beginning, we should start with something easy and then we will see.

>And organising such things is usually a total pita
Interested in your experience, why?



People on sHs tend to get to reasonably good or at least modest about describing their ability given there are some good skiers about and many will at some point or other have skied with very good skiers.

The PITA is the herding cats effect - in any group there will be a divergence of opinion and preferences. At least by making no 1 objective pow chasing you eliminate a number of variables such as must be 3*+ or ski in/out and some of the more divaish stuff.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@ed48, need a real,keyboard to answer fully and I’m off to lie in the sun bynthe council pool Happy

@BobinCH, haha for sure. I always seem to be away on powder days.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ed48 wrote:
>Personally I’d just book a weeks heli or cat skiing in BC.
Never done this before, but very interested, how do you book the heli to be sure it gets to the powder days?

Er, well every day is a powder day, assuming we're talking BC not Europe.

Which is why although I have watched the thread I've nothing much to say on it. If I want powder, I pay for it.
I've ridden plenty of European powder, but it's not where I go to get the stuff on tap.
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@philwig, as usual, +1
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
ha ha, yes, Im sure there is powder somewhere in bc even today! Smile
January 2017 snowfall in cm
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4AG1vfo8eZyPT2KM9

nowadays everyone can check historical snowfall from different sources
From historical weather on https://www.onthesnow.co.uk/british-columbia/ski-resorts.html
or https://www.weatherstats.ca/ or https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datasets/GHCND/stations/GHCND:CA001108906/detail

enjoy
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@philwig, You've done a lot more skiing in BC than me but I just want to mention to anyone that has not been there that it's not always guaranteed/on-tap. I had a week at Last Frontier a few years ago and we could only ski on 3 or 4 out of 7 days that I stayed at the lodge, and there were not any real powder conditions when we could ski (there was rain crust up to quite high, and very wind affected above that). Torrential rain at the lodge. It may have been the worst week of their season that year - but it can and does happen. I think that was first or second week of March, at Ripley Creek.

The cost of the trip was equal to at least 10 long weekends in Europe.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@musehead, that happens. I spent a week at TLH where we skied two half days due weather.

A chum who does 2-3 weeks a year had a year where all 3 weeks were crap.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think it's a brilliant idea and would get involved if I could, but the nature of my work means I can't get leave at very short notice unfortunately. Would love to see trip reports if you do go.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

And organising such things is usually a total pita


What @Dave of the Marmottes says. The larger the group the more likelihood of someone complaining about something. And if you all haven't skied before...

Group levels? No easy way to solve that. Bear in mind that guides will also take it very easy until they establish skill levels. Which may mean some very gentle first days.

Given the original idea, that of chasing powder, I think you are compromising this.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The first trip may have a few niggles but surely the idea is to have a "band of brothers" who get to know each other over time?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Layne, I am modestly sceptical that that's really possible to sustain .
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Layne wrote:
The first trip may have a few niggles but surely the idea is to have a "band of brothers" who get to know each other over time?

You seem to have forgotten half the population. Or is the discussion sufficiently "blokeish" as to put off anyone without a Y chromosome?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Scarlet wrote:
Layne wrote:
The first trip may have a few niggles but surely the idea is to have a "band of brothers" who get to know each other over time?

You seem to have forgotten half the population. Or is the discussion sufficiently "blokeish" as to put off anyone without a Y chromosome?

That's why I put it in quotes, it's just a turn of phrase.

Jeez, you woment are so sensitive Toofy Grin Skullie Laughing Laughing wink
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Layne wrote:
Scarlet wrote:
Layne wrote:
The first trip may have a few niggles but surely the idea is to have a "band of brothers" who get to know each other over time?

You seem to have forgotten half the population. Or is the discussion sufficiently "blokeish" as to put off anyone without a Y chromosome?

That's why I put it in quotes, it's just a turn of phrase.

Jeez, you woment are so sensitive Toofy Grin Skullie Laughing Laughing wink

Yeah, you get that way when you've spent a lot of time being overlooked for fun activities and have to fight your way in and then hold your own by being better than most of the others. Just sayin'.

The OP is not discriminatory though, so this isn't a dig there.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
leggyblonde wrote:
@ed48, No sharks on the meadows of Leogang but I take your point!

Im a potential if snowboarders are allowed


Leggyblonde - there's a snowboarder group from Hampshire that do exactly this, wait for the snow and then head out last minute by car for 3-4 days to wherever the snow looks good.
Usually the French Alps and often to the smaller resorts where the off-piste often remains untracked for days. They are all about the riding not the apres.
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In September 2009 I returned home to Wales to look after both my parents, skipping two winters on Hokkaido.

My brother would fly in from the States every couple of months to give me 4-5 days off. Once my Dad went into care I could take longer trips.

I would be trawling the forums and snowforecast the week prior to my time off and a couple of days before my departure I would book my flights to the airport closest to where the best snow conditions were.

It also coincided with the coldest & snowiest winters in S Wales in 30 years.

I managed 6 trips to Europe and 1 trip to Hokkaido between February 2010 and April 2011 and scored powder on each trip.

The number in brackets after the place indicates the number of days skied.


November 2009 - Brecon Beacons National Park (1), Wales

December 2009 - Brecon Beacons National Park (2), Wales

January 2010 - Aberdare (1), Brecon Beacons National Park (5), Wales

February 2010 - Wendelstein (1), Spitzingsee (1), Sudelfeld (1), Germany
Brecon Beacons National Park (1), Wales

March 2010 - Brecon Beacons National Park (1), Wales

April 2010 - Brecon Beacons National Park (3), Wales

May 2010 - Zermatt (1), CH; Chamonix (1), France

November 2010 - Brecon Beacons National Park (2), Wales

December 2010 - Aberdare (2), Brecon Beacons National Park (2), Wales;
Glacier 3000 (1), Verbier (1), Leysin (1), CH; Courmayeur (1), Italy

January 2011 - Popova Shapka (8 ), Macedonia

February 2011 - Brezovica (3), Kosovo; Savin Kuk/Durmitor (2) and Kolasin (1), Montenegro

March 2011 - Kiroro (6), Rusutsu (2), Noboribetsu (1), Niseko (4), Sapporo Kokusai (1), Hokkaido, Japan

April 2011 - Narvik (3), Norway; Riksgransen (1), Sweden

Skied 20 days in Wales; 27 days in Europe; 14 days in Japan

Of the 41 ski 'trip' days, 35 were knee deep or deeper powder days.

The combined cost of the 7 trips was comparable to 1 week of heliskiing.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mike, thats impressive stats, didnt know one could ski in the Wales. From the other hand, the heliski evangelists will ask you to convert this into vertical drop meters and calculate the cost for 1 km drop Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ed48 wrote:
Mike, thats impressive stats, didnt know one could ski in the Wales. From the other hand, the heliski evangelists will ask you to convert this into vertical drop meters and calculate the cost for 1 km drop Smile


Lots of great skiing to be had in the UK if you can just drop everything and go.

Not sure how many vertical metres of powder you'd get on an average week heli-skiing, but I'd be very surprised if 6 days of heli would work out more than 35 days lift accessed.
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@Mike Pow, my memory is poor but I think my best week was 192,000 feet. Definitely 176,000 feet but I think a later trip topped it.

So that’s about 58,500m.

Divide by 35 gives 1,671m per day.

Which isn’t a lot, even if skinning.

But, and it’s a big but, almost each of the 192k was virgin, bottomless, elevator powder on a pretty seriously steep gradient. (We did a couple of Alpine runs which means average gradient was a little less steep.)

Would I do it again?

Yes. My third trip, Galena CMH was just so much more fun than anything else, 95% trees, really quite consistently steep. You wouldn’t want to ski most of the pitches on ice.

Could is be replicated/bettered in Europe if you drop the hat and travel? Of course. And a lot cheaper.
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@ed48, just out of curiosity - how do you envisage the transport / driving out side of things working.

I'm thinking someone has to have the car / van, sort insurance for other drivers.

Then does the same guy drive out every time ?

Then there's the issue of snow chains / snow tyres / roof top box etc as hopefully you'll be needing those.

I still think flying and car rental might be the better option.

French AutoRoutes are getting very Health & Saftey now when fresh snow is falling as we've seen in various Armageddon (though that usually happens on a Saturday) threads.

Few years back we were down to one lane around Dijon for 200km and kept to 30kph.

But whatever you end up doing best of luck


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 10-09-18 17:11; edited 1 time in total
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under a new name wrote:
@Mike Pow, my memory is poor but I think my best week was 192,000 feet. Definitely 176,000 feet but I think a later trip topped it.

So that’s about 58,500m.

Divide by 35 gives 1,671m per day.

Which isn’t a lot, even if skinning.

But, and it’s a big but, almost each of the 192k was virgin, bottomless, elevator powder on a pretty seriously steep gradient. (We did a couple of Alpine runs which means average gradient was a little less steep.)

Would I do it again?

Yes. My third trip, Galena CMH was just so much more fun than anything else, 95% trees, really quite consistently steep. You wouldn’t want to ski most of the pitches on ice.

Could is be replicated/bettered in Europe if you drop the hat and travel? Of course. And a lot cheaper.


Totally understand the quality over quantity standpoint, I choose ski the flat, short runs of Hokkaido after all Wink

Due to the mostly mid-week trips I took / trips to lesser visited resorts I skied plenty of premium untracked powder, far in excess of 1,671m per day.

But if I had the dosh I'd splash the cash on a bird.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@slowboarder, interesting! Do you have a contact at all?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
under a new name wrote:
@Mike Pow, my memory is poor but I think my best week was 192,000 feet.

So that’s about 58,500m.


Jesus - what did that cost?!?!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Weathercam wrote:
@ed48, just out of curiosity - how do you envisage the transport / driving out side of things working.
But whatever you end up doing best of luck


Ive been driving to the Alps some time ago, now last few years Ive been mostly flying. I do have ski box, root rack already (for cycling), and thinking about winter tyres. The problem with driving that it takes a lot effort and when I finally arrive at destination, Im totally exhausted. Ideally it should be daytime driving, which means need to spend almost 2 additional days just for driving. Probably for the short skiing trip its not very rational.

I would agree that flying is most sensible option. Ideally, it will be nice to have someone with the car, already permanently located in Geneva, also keeping the ski equipment there.

Regards
Ed


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 11-09-18 5:08; edited 3 times in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ed48, wouldn’t last minute cross channel car transport also be rather pricey?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
@ed48, wouldn’t last minute cross channel car transport also be rather pricey?


This is the fair point, they will be expensive for the prime time (middle of the day) too. Possible the solution would to book ahead and them re schedule , I think they dont change for re-scheduling.

Im thinking now, if its possible to make the flying cheaper. Flights to Geneva usually (for the low season) hold £50 mark almost up to last minute.
The flight Thursday evening and Monday evening return. It would be ideal to keep all equipment already in Geneva somehow, which safes a lot of money and makes approaching the airports easier by the public transport.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BobinCH, extra vert is the cheapest heliskiing you can do unless you are philwig.

It is charged at the rate they refund unused vert (a number they logically keep as low as possible) so it’s more or less marginal operating cost.

Sigificantly cheaper than the “packaged” vertical.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
10km per day for 6 days in a row, thats must be also physically demanding!

In the Alps, you could find about 400m tree runs, realistically 10-15 runs per day, which give you 4-6km drop per day. Of course, the quality of the run is different.
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Quote:
Leggyblonde - there's a snowboarder group from Hampshire that do exactly this, wait for the snow and then head out last minute by car for 3-4 days to wherever the snow looks good.
Usually the French Alps and often to the smaller resorts where the off-piste often remains untracked for days. They are all about the riding not the apres.


Hey that's us Very Happy

Basically if your not phased by long steep drags, long traverses, the odd hike and can ride reasonably fast without stacking then your more than welcome to board the Powder bus.

Im also in the market for joining other groups and happy to consider specials eg, guided days, splitboarding and possibly heliskiing but hopefully by going last minute when the conditions are on there would be no need to hire a heli.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@PowderPup, interested! I actually like difficult drags because it means fewer people get access to the goods at the end...

I'll send a DM
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leggyblonde wrote:
....interested! I actually like difficult drags because it means fewer snowboarders get access to the goods at the end......


Laughing

This morning was on a par with a good powder day here on the South Coast.

Solid 30mph wind and great conditions, whether you were kiting or windsurfing, amazing how many people rearranged their work diary, and might well do a second session late afternoon.

I kite with a surfboard riding the swell out the back and transitions on the inside whilst other mates ride Twin-Tips and go for big airtime (consistently into double figs 10m+).

Twas a good day, and you don't have to worry about it getting tracked out, just the wind easing rolling eyes

Also as @leggyblonde, appreciates better than being on a road bike when it's this windy!
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Weathercam, yeah with bikes we can plan a long time in advance, with boards (and skis) being flexible is the best way to score great conditions.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

But lots of crappy weekends in Europe with no powder and duff ski buddies if surely, per powder metre^2 (squared because it’s vertical descent multiplied by powder depth) must be more expensive than that one heli trip.

Id disagree, If your going last minute on a good forecast your going to get Heliski conditions from the lifts (assuming the lifts are working). If you have a trip pencilled in and the forecast changes you can still pull the plug and go back to checking forecasts.

I can get a 5 day powder trip all done for £500 a head.This includes passes, travel, accom and food. That's a whole 20th of a weeks Heli at somewhere like Last Frontier. £10K for a week of snow sliding is a once in a lifetime expense for most peoples incomes even in first world countries
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@PowderPup, probs being

Is it?

Really proper powder
Open roads
Open lifts
No wind blown
Not skied out
Flights operating
Stability
Really truly proper powder
Deep enough ...

Getting all the conjunctions right is not that easy. And powder in a BC sense means “elevator” powder where you can ski off a cliff with no worries... haven’t seen that quantity/quality where I ski in Europe all that often.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
[img=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1125623967540720&set=pb.100002793823232.-2207520000.1536688571.&type=3&theater][/img]
[img=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1125623770874073&set=pb.100002793823232.-2207520000.1536688571.&type=3&theater][/img]
[img=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1124933170943133&set=pb.100002793823232.-2207520000.1536688571.&type=3&theater][/img]

Does getting faceshots count as proper powder?


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 11-09-18 19:03; edited 1 time in total
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