Back to Square One or should I say Green Circle?
Local student is having a bad spell.
100% is the passing grade = average
Here are the last few monthly report cards from Environment Canada data:
So far this season starting in October: 39%
December 10: 41%
November 10: 9%
Last season: 59%
April 10: 38%
March 10: 0%
February 10: 87%
January 10: 59%
December 09: 100%
November 09: 17%
2008-2009 season: 96%
April 09: 40%
March 09: 8%
February 09: 33%
January 09: 146%
December 08: 149%
November 08: 117%
This student has seen 10 of it’s last 11 report cards over the last 2 years below average and often far below the passing grade. Ottawa is failing Winter severely. People in Canada’s capital have been talking about the economic deficit or the democratic deficit, but I’ve rarely heard any talk about the snow deficit. How much are we talking about? The accumulated snow debt In term of centimeters since February 2009, Ottawa is 222cm or close to one year worth of snow.
This year is also pretty pathetic as the numbers showed at the end of December a total of 32.8 in snow accumulation versus 83.2cm the norm. We are deviating from the norm. Then the thaw happened (7c and rain and a warm 36 hours), but with little snow on the ground, the snow is pretty much gone from the lawns. Ottawa never had more than 11cm on the ground at the airport.
Climate change? We’ll some of you know how passionate I’ve been about the subject dating as far back as 1986. I’m not going to get into that debate here and now…I just wanted to tell you about my frustration. I’ve used snow accumulation, I might as well used another indicator.
So, did I go skiing today?
Well I got up at 6am, not sure what was going to happen today. Initially the plan was to return skiing as a family, but when I saw the weather plus the return to coldest temps, I told my wife that the conditions weren’t worth the price of a lift ticket. I waited to check the online update on the Edelweiss website. Shortly before 8am, it was official, number of trails open was going to be 3, back pretty much to the same as the first weekend of the season (Chemin des bois, Easy Street and Trou du Diable).
It was also stated that the hill was going to open at 9am, instead of the regular 8:30am. The parking was virtually empty except for a few cars. Once at the hill, we found out that it was now a 10am as the mountain crew where grooming and pushing snow around. There was little snow at the bottom of the HSQ. There was no intermediate runs open, there wasn’t enough snow to do brushes. The coaches decided to get the snowblades out, get the kids centered and not risk damaging their skis.
Kids went out as one whole group at around 10:30. As a few parents went to the main lodge for a coffee and as the bar didn’t open at 11, I headed out. Four brutal runs. It was a frozen granular from Hell. I can live with consistent conditions, but today mixed was from frozen solid patches to sugary granular to minuscules death cookies where laying a clean edge was virtual impossible. In more ways than one, Edelweiss isn’t Mad River Glen, “I think the word for today is…Bar opens at 11“, Vermont, so the bar didn’t even open today.
The coverage was there on the open runs, however they lost a good chuck of snow. Zoomer skier’s left was pretty much on grass with a light dusting of snow. Kids went back out for a few runs after lunch and I started to get to skis and my bag to the car. There were little skiers around, the mountain decided to shutdown at 4pm.
This weather must be hurting, the last weekend of the Holidays and the hill was closed yesterday and had little paying customer on Sunday. It supposed to be below freezing all week, but I’m not sure where is the next time I’ll be skiing. Everything is up in the air right now. Training for the ski club Tuesday night? Unless there is full gates, it probably won’t happen. First Ottawa Masters race at Fortune Wednesday night? Don’t know how deep the snowpack was there before the New Year’s Thaw. My daughter’s first Slalom at Fortune on Saturday and GS at Mont Ste-Marie? Simply don’t know?
One word in closing: Protect our Winters.