• ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
  • ACC Calgary
Welcome, Guest
Please Login    Lost Password?

Snow Review of Nelson (non-local)
(1 viewing) (1) Guest
Go to bottomPage: 1
TOPIC: Snow Review of Nelson (non-local)
#253
Snow Review of Nelson (non-local) 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
This is a review of the Nelson ski area from a Rockies skier perspective. The area is really cool and I wanted to help out other ACCers who might be interested. My experience of the area is limited to 13 days of skiing on two separate trips, so take any of my advice with a grain of salt.

Lodging:
Posh - The Best Western is nice and the Hume on Vernon Street was
highly recommended. They are standard hotels with things like beds, linen, individual bathrooms and tvs. The cost starts at ~$125+tax per night. If you carry your bed and don't watch tv, read further.

Fruggle - There are two good hostels in town, the White House and the Dancing Bear. The Dancing Bear is always full, so must be nice. I have stayed at the White House which has free Wifi, a kitchen and enough room to sort 8 days worth of food. Costs just over $30 per night and a double room is the same price as two dorm beds, so grab one if you can.

Dirt Bag - Any of the trail heads will work for ninja camping. The Porto Rico trail head was tested by one crew member. That crew member beat everyone to the trail head, but was still asleep when we showed up. Ninja camping rules apply (leave no trace, don't be seen).

Transport:
You will need a vehicle, roads are typically in poor shape in the passes. By law, BC requires winter specific tires or chains to drive through mountain passes in winter. A snow mobile could help significantly in some places: although they stink, are really loud, burn a lot of gas and are expensive. Better to just wake up a earlier, eat your Cherios and work a little (lot) harder.

Snow Pack:
I have been here twice in the end of December and had excellent snow both times. First year the snow pack was just over 1 m and this year the snow pack was between 2.3-2.7 m at ~2000 m. No facets were found and few layers were observed either time. However, in both cases prolonged periods of no snow resulted in significant surface hoar which bonded poorly to the next dump of snow. Temperatures are typically moderate in the -10C to 0C range which promotes a consolidated snow pack. Along with great snow, expect terrible visibility and very difficult navigation in the trees.

Back-country Skiing (there is now a book in the ACC Library a little more detailed information)

From the resort: Both White Water and Red Mountain offer extensive slack country. Didn't try either.

From the car: Kootenay pass is pretty amazing. Park at 1700 m and start skiing. Excellent gladed terrain within a few kilometers of the car. Beware of the closed areas for avalanche control.

From a Hut: The 4 Bonnington Huts are all pretty cool. Huckle Berry offers the best day skiing terrain with Steed and Grassi as close seconds (my opinion). Cooper Hut is located in a more mellow area if that is what you are looking for. The Bonnington Traverse (Grassi, Steed, Copper Huts) is a good adventure. Huts are very small and you will need your own foamy. I recommend bringing your own stove. The cost of the huts is $10 per person per night and booked online (www.kootenaymountaineering.bc.ca/cabins.html). Terrain is typically open glades with just a few cliffs to worry about. Some steeper slopes (>40D) are available, but you will have to look for them. Many "interesting" ridges to traverse due to cornices, wind slab and drift formations. Snow machines make it to both Steed and Huckle Berry on a regular basis.

Wild Horse Lodge (related, but not the same as Wild Horse Cabin) has some of the best terrain I have ever skied (no snow machines). Images at (www.mountainbagged.ca/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=5064). However, the operators a bit disorganized. Cost is $50 per person per night with a $50 cat ride. The operator changes and omits details at random. The Wild Horse Lodge is currently not finished and has a long way to go before it will be (winter 2012/2013). It is a three story building that is very difficult to keep warm due to its massive size although it is well stocked with propane, wood and toilet paper. The outhouse is a short skin away in a condemned yurt, located directly uphill of the water source. Rapid skin-up times have never been so important!

I recommend taking the cat into the hut within a 20 minute ski of the lodge, but I recommend skiing out. There is a high chance the operator will forget to pick you up in which case you will be skiing out anyway (make sure to create a GPS track on the way in, the exit is not trivial). My group got very lucky, one of our group ran into the operator on the second day who then gave them a radio which we used to remind the operator about our pick-up on the last day. The reminder was important because our pick-up somehow got dropped from the schedule. It all worked out in the end, the skiing more than made up for it.
Matthew Breakey
Admin
Posts: 82
User Offline Click here to see the profile of this user
The administrator has disabled public write access.
 
Go to topPage: 1
get the latest posts directly to your desktop