Normally when the someone talks about a Skiweek, it involves traveling and staying at a ski area for the Holidays. Usually our family avoid traveling much during this time of the year. It’s a time where I try to relax from our busy Fall schedule. We avoid spending big bucks to stay at a ski area over the Christmas Holidays, instead this year we spent big bucks to have a daughter in a ski race program which involved commuting the 35 kilometers from our house in Ottawa Centre to the hill every morning at 7:30ish in the morning in order to be there and ready to ski at 8:30.
Here is a summary of this week at Edelweiss Valley, one of the ski areas of the MSSI empire.
Monday December 27
Day 5 of my season which also turned out to be Day 1000 since I started keeping track of my ski days almost 30 years ago.
As we turned into the parking lot, the temperature was a brisk -14c with a strong wind. Edelweiss was reporting 7 runs open with was pretty much all green, the only real exception was a Yodeler-Chute-Slalom which made for a steeper way down. Yodeler is generally part of the SnowPark and off limits if you don’t have a MSSI park pass. Yodeler was full of death cookies. Almost impossible to get a clean edge. It was hard to get a good glide on the cold snow and the little speed you managed was hampered the cold head wind. I didn’t have any tube or neck warmer, I didn’t really needed one when I had a full beard. SteepMomo came in in mid-morning as her feet were frozen and she was in pain as they started defrosting. Did a quick hop at the boutique to get some toes warmer patches. The mountain was pretty quiet, people started showing up pass 11.
On a critical editorial note, Edelweiss has been bragging about the new Quad they installed this year. Someone else mentioned they have been saying that their snowmaking can cover the hill in 30 hours…I just checked on the Environment Canada weather data for Ottawa (Wakefield is a few degrees colder), and it’s been 25 days, not hours, since the last day where the average daily temperature has been above freezing. I don’t care about a new lift, the hill can already be crowded when it’s busy with 2 quads. Instead of installing a new lift, open the runs and make some of maintenance on it’s already existing infrastructures which would include that bad smell around the washroom and outside.
Right now Edelweiss has mostly green terrain open which requires less snow and wasn’t making snow on this day. Yeah, their pass is the cheapest deal in town and boast about it’s park, but what about the rest of the hill? Little of the blue terrain is open and I wouldn’t even talk about the black runs. Edelweiss is one of the best locals terrain wise when everything is open, but how often is that? Are we going to see Zoomer open, the main intermediate run on the mountain before we get back to school and work? It is important to note that snow (normal amount) has been very absent from Ottawa for what it seems to be a third season. Lucky there is artificial snow, because I’m not sure what would be open.
Here is a rundown of other locals from Ski Ottawa website
Camp Fortune – 7 out of 23 (30%)
Edelweiss – 6 out of 19 (32%)
Mt.Cascades – 7 out of 20 (35%)
Ste. Marie – 14 out of 20 (70%)
Vorlage – 6 out of 17 (35%)
Ontario East Region
Pakenham: 10 out of 10 (100%)
Calabogie: 17 out of 20 (85%)
I headed at a Masters’ party later that evening, I heard a great comment from some of them that only did 3 runs at Edelweiss today. Something to the effect that what the conditions offered was a huge letdown that lead to skiing to because a full day lunch. In my case, I only did 8 runs, as I mentioned, at this rate, I’m aiming for One day worth of skiing in one week.
It was supposed to be sunny and warmer today. We got at the hill at it was another -14c.
Today was Steepmomo’s first day on the brand new Fischer RC4 World Cup GS skis. I have to thank a good friend for finding me these skis last Wednesday. The skis were actually picked them up in Montreal on Christmas evening. Today, I managed to out do myself, skiing the groomers was greater than yesterday and really enjoyed myself. I managed 4 beautiful groomed runs before seeing my daughter at the top of the hill all green and white…not talking about the difficulty of the trail. She was sick and went in at around 10. I’m the one that was drinking wine the night before and my daughter was the one sick. I guess it sometimes skips a generation. After being sick, she took a nap in the lodge and we finally decided to go home at lunch time. She slept all afternoon in her bed. She was feeling better this evening. We’ll see tomorrow.
A warm -3c as we got to the parking lot.
Another thanks to an Edelweiss ski instructor for the headup earlier in the week about the Wakefield Sheriff’s hide out and his radar gun. Steepmomo’s skied all day. They slalomed with stubbies. I skied nicely groomed runs in the am. Took a long break again then went out in the afternoon for a few extra runs. The surfaces were harder and I had my old slaloms. I was cranking turns all day and started feeling sore in the knees. I hate that feeling. Only 13 runs, but managed to make some nice turns as someone told me. Actual quote was…If I was done shredding the whole hill.
As usual, same runs are open. The fixed quad opened at around 10ish. The crowds were greater today, however there is talked that maybe it isn’t so crowded because of the limited terrain open vis a vis the locals competition. Found out that they had an issue with the snowmaking, so it would have been a possible reason why they have been behind. Needless to say it been cold enough, but Ottawa has received very little snow again this year. The ground is white, but it’s far from being deep.
Snowmaking on Zoomer….they might be able to open half of it. They didn’t make snow in the pm, probably too warm. It was -1c when we left. There is a forecast 24 hour big thaw for New Year’s Day.
Tomorrow coaches want to kids to be on skis at 8am and have the whole family to drag out tomorrow. Help!
We made it in the parking lot at 8:10. Temps was a surprising -10c, about 7 degrees colder than in town. Steepmomo already had her boots and helmet on, so she walked towards the bottom of the HSQ. She got on before the lift officially opened. There were going to set on GS on the lower half of Yodeler in the early morning as the trail is pretty narrow (not like indicated on the map). Once my wife and Tara were ready, they went to get their lift tickets. I was about to go out when I saw oldest daughter come back and feeling whoosy again. No vomiting this time. She eat a bit more then we tried to catch with her group. She did one run in the course then we saw her group in skinsuits. She did a quick stripdown and I headed ahead to worn her coach that my daughter was back in. After that I tried to find my family on the hill, it’s not a big place, but I didn’t see them. I decided to take the fixed quad that is over much of the open terrain, but to no avail.
After a few runs, I eventually found them inside. My wife was really impressed on the ski conditions at the start of the day, that’s what happens when you’re out before the masses. Temperature reached -1c in the afternoon. I skied for the rest of the day with my youngest daughter and wife. It was their first outing of the season. Tara really enjoyed skiing the “Devil’s Hole” (Trou du Diable) which is a short shape drop in one short part of trail. There was a lineup at the HSQ, so we skied on the fixed quad. As Tara was skiing down, I was making as many short radius turns as possible.
Steepmomo came in at 2pm as the kids from the race program where going tubing. They decided to only wear their skinsuits for tubing. Oh brother!!! As a parent mentioned, Edelweiss’s cash cow on seasons like this are the tubing, the coffee and the poutine.
Coached gave them the option to take the next day off, so my daughter’s group to take it. She got to do to a sleepover and we got to sleep in. Unseasonably warm for the last day of December and the year. First day of the 2011 is the same. Ottawa is probably not far again from low snow number again this month. This is getting discouraging.
Next ski training day is tomorrow, January 2nd 2011. Not much how much damage the hill took? I know that grass started picking through and forecast. High is 8c with a chance of rain. Temps will be back in the negative side for the rest of the week.