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Posts Tagged ‘Perfect grooming’

After the bad week and last episode of rain 14-days ago, the awesome 2013-14 Winter was back on track. The Polar Vortex 2 moved in time for the Ottawa Masters to use their no skin suit rule last Wednesday. The temperature moved away from the deep into the -20s just in time for Saturday.

Saturday January 25 : Edelweiss

The Strief ski run opened for the previous weekend, but we were away racing at the neighbouring hills. Prior to the trail opening, Strief had a few big mounds of snow on it which was probably moved after the rain, then it got real cold.

Saturday morning was covered with 10cm layer of fresh snow. As usual, instead of making fresh tracks, coaches were making a fresh course down a steep Streif. I couldn’t believe the amount of snow that was blown at the entrance and in the pitch of a still closed Shotgun trail. I’m taking meters high. A few poachers defied patrollers and ducked the rope or sketched down on the edge of Strief behind the pipes.

Today was the return to awesomeness of our great winter weather with fresh snow, big flakes falling and -6c in the afternoon.

20140125_edelweiss

Sunday January 26 : Edelweiss

Our Winter hasn’t been only about the snow, but also the cold spells. A freezing -29c start which would warm up to -18c later in the afternoon. Shotgun mounds of snow were roughly flatten, but I think the trail was still closed and some people were still poaching it.

It didn’t matter, it was a hero snow day on Strief. When it is this cold, snow doesn’t slide much. Hard lovely carveable cold artificial snow on the steep pitch, I could have stayed for hours if it wasn’t for my frozen hands and toes. Morgane was giving her ski lessons, not easy to ski with young kids when it is this cold.

20140126_edelweiss

Tuesday January 28 evening : Edelweiss

Another 10cm feel on Ottawa on Monday with continued cold conditions, awesome skiing and -18c. Coaching on Strief again, but with the U10s and U12s for a training evening under the lights. For the three outings in four day, I still skied exclusively on Streif.

20140128_edelweiss

Wednesday January 29 evening : Fortune – Back on course (Racing)

So Winter was back on course…now it was time for me to get back on course. Back to ski racing. I’m taking babysteps in Winter 2014 in my return to Ottawa Masters ski racing after a hiatus due to health issues. I’m still not over them and I’ve been skipped two of the first three races struggling with my anxiety. Wednesday was my first slalom race since March 2011. A slalom on Slalom was the order of the evening. I hesitated before leaving the house, however I managed to overcome my demons for this night. The stress level was slightly better than my first race back two Wednesdays ago, but the results were again far from my normal handicap. Skiing at 88%, second last in the Beer Points again. Although the conditions were nice, the course was down to the blue ice layer from the rain event. The skis weren’t tuned, but that wasn’t important, the goal was showing up for the race.

Next race is already tomorrow: a GS at Edelweiss.

Tonight’s Results and Beer Points

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What did I go during the Holidays? Not sure other than ski many days at Edelweiss and watch hours of Doctor Who episodes. We also got away for New Year Eve Celebration at Titus Mountain, New York.

Saturday December 21

On the first day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin des bois trails to ski.
A snowing drive after the previous day long snowing drive to and from Tremblant.
A nice -7c and smooth skiing.
One coach off to Newfoundland and the another at Tremblant resulting in me skiing with the U10s.
Great day with the exception of one hour of freezing fog and a young racer being plowed by a snowboarder on Chemin des bois.

20131221_edelweiss

Sunday December 22

On the second day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin des bois trails to ski.
Woke up by some ice pellets hitting the window.
No snowplows on Ottawa streets and crazy slow snowing drive after I managed to hit the highway.
A nice -6c and 12cm of fresh snow with a layer of sugar on top with was hard for the U10s.
Freezing windshield and goggles weather turned us into skiing glazed donuts.

20131222_edelweiss

Monday December 23

On the third day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer is added to Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin des bois trails to ski.
Brushes on Upper Zoomer for the younger kids to brush up on their stance and pole plant while older kids got full gates on Lower Yodeler.
Again nice -7c and awesome groomed packed powder skiing.
So good that I added a couple of extra runs after the training was done.

20131223_edelweiss

Friday December 27

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin des bois trails to ski.
Skiers’ Boxing Day…after wrapping, unwrapping and shopping in the last 3 days, it is time for the folks to hit the slopes.
The Strief chair opened for the first time this season, but no extra terrain open.
An 8am arrival for my daughter Morgane’s CSIA Level 1 Instructor Course even if the lifts only opened at 9am.
One coach gone and two were back – Christmas Camp is starting for the whole race program.
Brushes and stubbies on Upper Zoomer and Full gates and hand timing of slalom runs for older kids.
Conditions were awesome in the morning, but I was helping to set the course.
Deep cold as moved in those days, but the cold morning temperature, turned out to blue bird and -7c again.

20131227_edelweiss

Saturday December 28

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Second day of CSIA course for Morgane, second day of camp for the race program.
Racers skiing GS while younger kids begged me to take them in the “bumps” which was in fact ungroomed mounts of snowmaking on the skiers’ left of Upper Zoomer.
Warm day in Ottawa with a -1c at 7am, temperature hovered around freezing all day.
A very light spitting like on Day 2.
The top of hill was covered with a fog/mist when we left.

20131228_edelweiss

Sunday December 29

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Morgane passed her CSIA Level 1 and follows in the tracks of her grandfather more than 60 years later.
Christmas camp day two and I’m with the U12s today as we set on Upper Zoomer.


Congratulation Morgane!!!

20131229_edelweiss

Monday December 30

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Cold -20c and the snowguns are back on Zoomer.
Frozen U10 kids in and out of the lodge a few times.
My whole family is at the hill and Morgane’s season pass snapped in half while training GS with the U16s.
Warmed up to a -18c in the afternoon.

20131230_edelweiss

Thursday January 2

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Car had difficulty to start when it was time to leave the hill.
-29c makes for a freaking cold day, almost record-breaking, wind chill warning in Ottawa, frozen toes and frostbite at the end of nose to end the day… even if it had warmed up to -24c. Hard to believe that it could be colder than earlier in the week.
We had the hill to ourselves, except for a few brave frozen souls.
The kids trained GS top to bottom on Yodeler on a Polar Vortex day.
Too cold for the radios to function; awesome groomed conditions.
Huge mountain of snow on Zoomer…can’t wait to have it flatten so we can have another run open. There was also limited snowmaking operations on Easter Bowl and Streif for the first time.

20140102_edelweiss

Friday January 3

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Mountain of snow on Zoomer are flatten.
The rest of Zoomer is added to Upper Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Another -29c start at a freaking cold day, wind chill warning, frostbite on nose and frozen toes as it warmed up to -25c.
Stubbies slalom instead of full gates due to cold and the risk of breaking them.
As for my body, I thought my nose would fall off.
Incredible skiing on incredible new grabby hero snow on Zoomer.
Snowmaking on Easter Bowl and Strief.

20140103_edelweiss

Saturday January 4

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Couple centimeters of fresh snow and Slalom training on Zoomer.
Much warmer day forecast gave us a still cold -22c to start and increased wind. Temps managed to crawl up to -14c, but still had frozen toes and nose.
And Mikaela Tommy visiting her coaching brother and giving back to her club and community. Never saw someone ski so fast in a course without touching the gates.
18-year old Mikaela received the rockstar welcome from the kids.

20140104_edelweiss

Sunday January 5

On the eleventh day and last day of Christmas holidays,
Ullr and MSSI gave to me:
Zoomer, Yodeler, Chute, Trou du Diable, Easy Street and Chemin trails to ski.
Great conditions and awesome skiing with fresh snow again. You know its good when a World Cup skier skis Edelweiss on fat skis.
People tracking powder when we are setting.
Mikaela was back in the afternoon with her race gear to ski with the club and her dad, Mike Tommy (twice Olympian and Canadian Champion in the 1980s), gave a few pointers to the racers and coaches.
It was a great conclusion to the last day of the Holidays. Awesome snow conditions, awesome skiing by the kids and awesome pointers from World Cup skiers.
And real warm day compared to the last few days; -12c to -4!!!

Last Holidays were real good, but the 2013 Christmas Holidays skiing at Edelweiss was overall the best in over 5 years!!!! The Ottawa region was blessed by Ullr this Christmas, let’s just hope he doesn’t take too much of a break this Winter and keep delivering.

20140105_edelweiss

Pictures courtesy of Julie from the Edelweiss Ski Racing Team

U12s on Lower Yodeler


Mikaela skiing the awesome conditions


Maddie U16 training slalom on Zoomer


Adam


Chris


Xavier


Mikaela and her fans!!! You can even see a piece of MadPat in that picture

Support Mikaela Tommy : Make A Champ website

S-Media : Q&A with Canadian Rising Star Mikaela Tommy by C.J. Feehan

FIS website : Mikaela Tommy’s biography and results


Bob and Doug McKenzie : Twelve Days of Christmas
Truly is the Great White North!!!

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After the 12cm that fell overnight in town,
+ 50cm of snow in the last week,
+ opportunity to get out and make a few turns in this very busy time of year.

I had taken the day off, because of a pile of appointments and stuff. So here is my day summary:

Cleared the snow in front of the garage in the back.
8:30 – Chiropractor appointment.
Bring my broken electric shaver when store opens at 9:30.
9:40 – Dentist appointment.
9:48 – arrival at dentist.
11ish – left dentist and went back home
noon-ish – left home to go skiing, stuck in traffic in Gatineau. 🙄
12:57 – start skiing
2:15 – end skiing and drive back to town (construction and highway on-ramp in Gatineau closed). 😡
3:00 – quick change of clothes at home
3:10 – pick up Morgane at school
3:30 – Morgane’s dentist appointment
3:38 – We were stuck in traffic, 8 minutes late again.
4:30 – Arrived home and clear the snow in front of the house.
5:10 – Walk to Tara’s school to pick her up.
6ish – supper + took more time to leave, because wife wasn’t feeling well.
7ish – left for Cascades with Morgane.
8:01 – start skiing
9:55 – last chair.

This is one of the reason why I prefer Ottawa as a ski town compared to Los Angeles. Today reflected why I loved living in Ottawa so much. Snow everywhere, pulled Tara in the toboggan from school. Skiing close-by. Ottawa is a great place for people who like the outdoors any season of the year.

Mont Cascades (not the closest) is 20 miles/30km from my home and probably a bit less from downtown. Great way to get out-of-town and make some turns. So initially I was thinking of only heading out for a couple of hours during the day, but I also remembered that Morgane wanted to go skiing last weekend. So instead of taking a 2-hour ticket, I decided to take a full-day (I had a 50% coupon).

Although most local areas were open, only Edelweiss (MSSI) and Cascades had night skiing. As usual, Fortune had the best terrain open with runs like Slalom (black) and Clifford (blue) plus one green or two, I don’t know? However Fortune doesn’t have a very flexible lift ticket option, it’s either half-day or full-day. At Cascades, you can buy a ticket for 2, 3, 4 hours or for a full-day.

Spensar wrote:

Cascade was open this week too. But, unfortunately, the website shows 6 runs open, and they are charging full pop but only 2 runs are open, 1 the small beginner run.

Other closed runs were lighted and there was plenty of snow to open them. Chicken and egg stuff folk, not enough skiers to open more runs, or not enough skiers because runs aren’t open. Either case, be honest in your marketing. I also called before going but couldn’t get a live person to confirm conditions “check out our website”.

Spensar said it all regarding the number of trails open. Although if you look at the website, it has a detailed list of runs open and while I don’t dispute the fact that those runs equal pretty much like one real run (138m vertical) with slight variance, these variations have names. I agree that Cascades is pretty bad for that, especially when the difference in those runs are just a few meters at one point and all merge together halfway down and at all together once you start off also. Okay, enough of the bitching.

Day conditions:

Open runs were perfect groomed tracks. No Eastern hardpack here. Fun stuff and some fluff on the side. 😛 Funny thing happened to me, I ended up skiing two different closed runs that weren’t roped off and though were open. It’s funny, a boarder was looking at the scenery at the top of the mountain and asked me what city it was overthere. WTF??? 😯 I asked myself, how many cities with 1 million people with a downtown core full of buildings are there around here??? When I told him the answer, we was surprised that Ottawa was so close. Tourists???:roll:

I guess someone had forgotten to put a rope at the cattrack. The first run (which was marked open on the website (but only from the middle) had a bunch of windblown snow on top. The skiing was sketchy, probably because it was supposed to be closed. It had broken artificial snow and huge piles of death cookies from the groomers underneath the powder. Next run over and my next run was the Alliance/Facade trail (blue/black). Not as bad as the previous run and down midway where the mountain hadn’t blown pile of snow and work, the pow was fun. I was going to try that one again when I noticed a Patrol had put up a rope. Not surprising, because that could have been dangerous from people who aren’t used to ski “marginal” conditions. 😛 😛 😛

You could feel the temps dropping. It was probably -5c when I started skiing, but it definitely felt colder after 2 hours. The clouds moved in and we got some snow squall. After 9 runs it was time to get back to town.

20071212a_cascades
Day Log

Night conditions:

Morgane was delighted when I asked her if she wanted to go night skiing. I asked my wife if she wanted to go instead of me, but she wasn’t feeling well. 😥 Oh well, I tried. Morgane has a 5th grade ski passport which she can used to ski for free across Quebec and Ontario. Unfortunately 2 of the 4 local hills aren’t included and the fact that we were only going to ski 2 hours, we decided that it was useless to use one of her 3 free coupons for Cascades.

Conditions were still packed powder, but not as great as in the afternoon. It’s true that there was maybe about over 50 skiers on the hill compared to maybe 20 earlier in the day. Definitely colder. On our second run, Morgane lost a ski in the Powder and couldn’t find it. 😯 I never though that would ever happen on a marked trail on any of the Ottawa local hills. 😆 After 4 runs, her toes were frozen. We went in to warm up then back for other 3 runs until last chair.

So in summary, no isssh sound, except maybe on that artificial snow midway on Pioneer (top being closed and can only be access through a narrow cat-track in the woods).

20071212b_cascades
Night log

List of trails and conditions. Pioneer: Natural snow??? This was the half-open frozen artificial snow run, except for the access through the woods.

cascades_map.jpgjpg
Ski Map. Basically, runs 10 and 13 were all open. 11 (no night skiing), lower half of 9, plus loop beginner traverse 17-18 at the bottom. So you see, they count it as 6. Accidentally skied from the top of the ridge 9 and 7/8.

cascades_ski-conditions
List of trails and conditions. Pioneer: Natural snow??? This was the half-open frozen artificial snow run, except for the access through the woods.

cascades_weather
Weather maybe one hour after the lifts closed.

*********

This post was followed by a discussion about the merits of Ottawa skiing versus a place like Los Angeles which has access to skiing not to far with Mammoth Mountain a few hours away.

Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:45 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:

This is one of the reason why I prefer Ottawa as a ski town compared to Los Angeles.

I’d be more convinced if Patrick were hitting the storms at the larger areas like a week ago or those projected for next Sunday/Monday.

You can blame that on my situation (job & married with kids).

Tony Crocker wrote:

I do not view the 400-footers as an adequate tradeoff.

I would choose Montreal as prime location for real mountain areas, however even in Montreal, you don’t have such a choice in easy access to the closest hill as Ottawa. It’s fun to be so close when you just have a few hours. That count for something, right? Anyway, without revisiting the snow on the backyard issue, that is why I prefer Ottawa over Los Angeles.

Tony Crocker wrote:

Garry lives about 20 minutes from Mt. Baldy (…) and that’s on a real mountain. We all know that he got practically nothing there during the past 2 lean seasons, but as Admin, Riverc0il, etc. keep reminding us, it’s all about quality, right?

Something is better than nothing. It’s about quality, but you must have something. As for travel time, I was talking downtown. Does Gary live in downtown LA? A few co-workers live 5 minutes away from Cascades. Skiing 4 months/year.

Here is the unbiased truth direction/time from Google.

Los Angeles-Baldy: 45.2 mi (72.7km) – about 56 mins
up to 1 hour 40 mins in traffic

Ottawa to
Mont Cascades: 27.2 km – about 34 mins
Camp Fortune: 22.0 km – about 24 mins
Vorlage: 36.3 km – about 36 mins
Edelweiss: 41.9 km – about 41 mins

I’m not saying that Ottawa is the best, I’m just saying that I would take Ottawa skiing options over Los Angeles. And some people, I am sure would put the Ottawa experience above Montreal due to the proximity of the ski hills. Ottawa hills are the homes of past greats like Ken Read, Betsy Clifford, Anne Heggveit.

****
Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:55 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:

And some people, I am sure would put the Ottawa experience above Montreal due to the proximity of it.

A tiny minority, I suspect.

Maybe a tiny minority of the vocal majority of us on FirstTracksOnline, however I would suspect that those numbers would be pretty close (Ottawa vs Montreal) if you take into account the general skiing public. My cousin and his family would probably be in this category and they live in St-Jean (30 minutes closer to the Vermont border from Montreal – also closer to the Eastern Townships). I did some memorable skiing with him at Jay, Tremblant, Sutton and Smuggs in our teenaged years.

****
Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:04 pm

Patrick wrote:

It’s snowing again… 😛

37cm

Ottawa was hit with its biggest storm in 60 years. 😛 Wonder if someone would try skiing the cliffs behind Parliament Hill? :-k

Tony Crocker wrote:

I would also note that Snow Summit and Mt. High currently each have 3x the vertical and terrain open as what Patrick skied yesterday, and I’m still not motivated to ski one of those yet.

Not motivated because you don’t live in snow. It’s maybe a Canadiana thing, like kids playing hockey on frozen ponds. 😛 Hard to have the right mindset for Winter sports when you not living in Winter. 😛

Tony Crocker wrote:

Most us have various work/family obligations that constrain our skiing. The more such constraints, the more often the skiing will be confined to the areas within easy daytrip distance. It is fortunate that Patrick is content with the quality of the Ottawa areas for that purpose. I would not be.

I hated skiing Ottawa locals when I moved here, however I’ve grown to appreciate them. Probably when you ski with young kids, you see things through their eyes. Local Masters program keeps out of the house one night a week. You don’t need 2000ft vertical to ski a slalom course.

Tony Crocker wrote:

For Patrick’s trips to Vermont, Quebec City, etc, it appears that they are usually planned well in advance, much like mine to Mammoth. So they are subject to the caprice of eastern weather/conditions vs. Mammoth’s greater consistency.

Not necessarily. 😛

Tony Crocker wrote:

For eastern skiing to be better than L.A., you need to be within reasonable daytrip distance of the better areas with the most snow, and be flexible enough to hit them when conditions are good.

I believe that Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City are. Although I’m not a fan of Tremblant, a lot of people like the place. It also has a great park if you’re into that sort of thing.

Tony Crocker wrote:

Los Angeles-Baldy: 45.2 mi (72.7km) – about 56 mins

That’s about my distance, and it’s opposite to commuter traffic. If it takes longer, it’s due to snow/chain control issues in the mountains. The eastern travel times are expanded more on powder days than ours, I suspect.

Up to 1:40… 😆 I’ve noticed frequent traffic jams for no reason at all in Portland (Oregon), so I can only imagine in LA. 😆 Skiing is more than just Powder. 8)

Originally thread started on Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:20 am on firsttracksonline

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