What am I doing?
Suppose to go to work: not going!
The dishwasher is broken: A mountain of dirty dishes on the table and kitchen counter.
Car needs to be serviced and is long overdue for an oil change.
School buses aren’t running, school show is canceled. Last day of school.
I need to get some two pairs of race skis for one daughter, solve her boots issue and maybe find another pair and ski boots for my second daughter. Christmas shopping is not even started.
Do I care or am I responsible? No, it doesn’t matter. Didn’t you hear? It’s the day of the apocalypse.
Apocalypse snow that is crippling the city and my ability to act rationally.
Ottawa received 20cm overnight and was expected to received an extra 15cm up to Saturday morning. More snow was forecast just north of town and north of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence River all the way to the Saguenay.
Tara was disappointed that the school show wasn’t happening, but was stoked to walk to school in a storm during a snow day. It also meant that I didn’t have to go to school to watch the show today. Snow day means that half the kids aren’t going to be in class, so the kids get to play. Plus it was perfect “neige à bonhomme” as we used to say when I was a child. Yes, perfect snowman making snow.
The situation in High School is somewhat different; the kids take public transit. Morgane was looking for a ride to the transitway stop; the walk in the snow would have taken longer than usual. I said that if she wanted a ride, she needed to clear the car. Meanwhile I called the office and left two messages to announce that I wasn’t coming in. Regular vacation day: there is no way this could pass off as a sick day…they know I’m sick, they mentioned it when I went stormchasing through hurricane Sandy to go skiing in West Virginia this past October.
It didn’t leave much time to get all my things together, I didn’t really have breakfast, got a bunch of granola and yogurt bars instead. Don’t care, need to leave!
Traffic chaos as there was an accident on the transitway earlier in the morning and bus were redirected on Scott, the problem is that two articulated buses were stalled. The bridge into Quebec is only 5 minutes from my house, rush hour + snow + two long buses snailed the car and it took me at least 20 minutes to travel the distance where I could have walk in maybe half the time.
Earlier in the morning had heard that Highway 307 was closed with is the shortest route, although it was much later, I decided that I preferred take the longer way via Autoroute 5 into Wakefield and drive an extra 10km. It was a good call, as heard that the highway was still closed. Traffic in the inbound lanes, empty on the hillbound lanes. The road was cover with sticky and slippery wet snow. There was also the odd plow to contend with.
Turned into Edelweiss shortly after the lift started spinning at 9am. Just a handful of cars, probably belonging to those working at the ski area today. I couldn’t stay long, I needed to be back in town at 2.
Walked in the almost empty lodge where Ken was working behind the desk, his kid was skiing on this real “snowday” and Yves was getting ready to headout. Power flickered a few times included prior to getting on the HSQ for the first time and once or twice ridding the chair.
Yves and I skied a few runs together; I remember riding the lift with Yves during that Perfect Storm in March 2008. The official open runs were Yodeler that had left untouched and was covered with some deep and heavy snow. Easy Street was now open top to bottom and Chemin des bois had been groomed probably earlier in the morning.
Yodeler was really the only option if you wanted to ski powder on a wide and “open” trail. A legit 25-35cm of heavy snow on the trail, you had to ski steep in order to carry some momentum. The runout was at the bottom was slow, the snow was wet. Yves didn’t seem to have issue with his gliding while I had to push on the flats.
We skied a few runs together, before he headed for his morning coffee. He’s a real local from next door to Edelweiss Valley. He’s coming back tomorrow, he’s also an instructor. Although the place was deserted earlier in the morning, Yodeler got tracked out pretty quickly as it’s not a wide trail. I didn’t really stop for pictures as it was puking wet snow. Checked out Easy Street and Chemin des Bois and they skied real well, I didn’t like how my ski glided again.
After my water break, there was more people arriving at the hill. In the morning, we were a dozen at the most which included the patrol. You had to be creative to find deep snow with sufficient pitch at noon like side of trails. You had to be careful, as they could have been some buried hazards. Zoomer is the widest intermediate trail on the mountain was trackless for a very good reason, its directly under the HSQ. Plus I don’t think any snow had been made on Zoomer, unlike the still closed Chute and Easy Street that had just opened. One groomer was packing down without grooming the snow on Zoomer; this snow might not be greatest powder, but it’s real good base building stuff.
The morning was windy and it was puking out there as temps hovered around freezing. At noon it became wetter as temps inched up at around +1c precipitation was close to changing to rain, but turn back to fat flakes by the time I left. At the end of my day, I rode the lift a few times with a ski patrol on telemarks from Newfoundland and regular patrol at Marble and backcountry skier at Gros Morne; he was visiting his parents for the Holidays, a good thing he brought his gear: Merry Christmas in what his shaping up as the best Holidays skiing in at least 4 years, especially that an extra 10-15cm was still forecast to fall onto Saturday morning. I mentioned it was my last run a few times, until it was really time to leave. Not many shopping hours till Christmas and I had to be back in Ottawa at 2pm. I wouldn’t be surprise if Chute and Zoomer would open real soon, especially the former.
A great day, unless you were at work and stuck in traffic. Found out that the heavy snow knockout power to many area residences on both side of the Ottawa river; Camp Fortune and Mont Cascades had to shut down due to power outages. I know some of the people who read my blog would like to know where do I rate this day snow wise. This is 3rd powder day of the season in only 6 outings; the snow was much heavier than what I experienced in West Virginia. It wasn’t too far from the snow texture we had on November 1 at White Grass. Ken’s racing kid mentioned it was the best day he had at Edelweiss ever; maybe not the best for me, but it was definitely the best powder day at Edelweiss in a long time.