Friday, February 25, 2011

What -26c Looks Like...


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This past Saturday, we had plans to go for a long backcountry ski tour.  When we woke up, it was a frosty -26c morning.  We thought that skiing UP a mountain, would be warmer than skiing DOWN a mountain.  So we stuck to the plan - a ski tour to Hidden Lake in the Lake Louise backcountry.  The forecast also said that there was a chance on an inversion - meaning the temperature might be warmer up high than down below.

When we rolled into the Fish Lakes Parking Lot at Lake Louise - it was still -26c.  We geared up, rolled out and all started skiing like our pants were on fire.  There's one way to generate heat and that's to move your body!  Fast!

We made our way to the backside of the Lake Louise ski hill, past Temple Lodge and headed out of the shade for the sun.  On a day that cold, it felt so fantastic to come out of the shadow of the forest and in to the open sun.  Aaaaah.  Blissful sun.  And heat.  And warmth.

Lucky for us, the forecast actually came true.  The day warmed up, the fresh snow was light, boot deep and perfect.  The skiing was Awesome!  We made some pretty turns amidst the backdrop of Mount Richardson, Ptarmigan Mountain and Redoubt Mountain - and had a brilliant day at Hidden Lake.

Sometimes, -26c can be awfully pretty.






9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such majesty!!!!! Impossible for me to comprehend that it is -29.

Leslie said...

Yup, it's hard work when it's cold. But it sure can be beautiful! Today was a repeat - actually it was even colder. It hit -30c last night and this morn. Phew. We all had to work extra hard to stay warm on today's ski tour! Just for good measure, we took along a token Australian. She was a superstar. When we were on top of this beautiful ridge overlooking the snowy mountains she said "You know, people at home are always asking me why I live in Canada - and THIS is why."

Kaz said...

Stunning! I ski raced in a catsuit in -21c when I was younger - BRRRRRRRRRRR! That wind chill as I raced down was unbelievable - I swear my muscles had frozen solid. As you came over the finish a warm blanket was thrown around you; a hot, sweet cup or tea thrust in your hands and immediately ushered straight into the restaurant to get boots off and wait for outer clothes to arrive! I think skinning up the mountain in those temps was a far better plan!!!! I need to get back to Canada!

Gretchen said...

Oh untracked powder, how I love you!!!

HappyTrails said...

Breathtaking views as always Leslie - do you ever have to pinch yourself and make sure it isn't a dream? :-)

Leslie said...

I've always wondered how ski racers do it. With the wind chill factor and when you're frozen solid - how do those athletes perform if they're cold? Muscles work best when they're warm, right? G-g-gah. I shiver just thinking about it. I've been sweating my arse of lately, in the cold. That's exactly why ski touring on a cold day is GOOD!

Oh, untracked powder - how you've changed the course of my life since I discovered you over twenty years ago.... :)

What? Who? Where am I? Oh that's right. I'm in Banff. Hi Steve and Kathleen!

RunSueRun said...

We had snow on the Ojai Ridge this week, but it was about 80F (?) degrees warmer. ;-) You are hardcore!!

Anonymous said...
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Leslie said...

Hi Sue! Aaaaah, yes I do recall the snow on Ojai Ridge. It's brings a shiver to me spine. I've been looking for cheap flights to make a late last-minute appearance to your corner of the world, but to no avail. Think it's time for a Plan B!!