Resources for Backcountry Ski Conditions

Submitted by sgeorg
(trip) Date: Friday Nov 19, 2021


Discussion:

Hi all - wondering if there are any resources for backcountry ski reports. I know of the avalanche canada website, but am looking for more trail/trip reports. Thanks in advance.

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Comments:


2021-11-20 - comment by aqua toque

Hi GordF,

Yeah, I don't particularly concern myself with the numbers, preferring the weekly and monthly graphical representations. Basically I find the graphs are helpful in determining if there has been a good dump recently or how long it's been since the last one in the various areas. I also find the relationship between the blue line, red line and grey area of interest. I won't disclose which pillow(s) I track as it could jeopardize my secret stashes.

A side note... I count myself among the fortunate few who have actually stumbled upon a dormant snow pillow. And by that I mean during the summer months and to be clear I stumbled "upon" it not "on to" it. Nevertheless, they're very freaky!



2021-11-20 - comment by Gary B

My interpretation is that the rivers.alberta.ca is weighing the snow while the value from the avalanche.ca weather stations is a measured depth.

Also the skibanff.com/conditions (sunshine webcams) site reports 196 cm of snow and a settled base of 97 cm (970 mm).

As fresh snow is roughly 1/10th the density of water the 196 cm is fairly close to the approx 180 mm water equivalent from the rivers.ca site. Over time snow settles and becomes more dense so the 97 cm depth from the skibanff site is close to the 87 cm at the avalanche.ca site. Over time I'd expect the density of the snow to increase and the settled base will decrease unless new snow is added.

I would guess that when the rivers.ca value declines it is because snow is either melting or blowing off the pillow.






2021-11-20 - comment by Gord F

Aqua Toque, how do you interpret the Snow Pillow data on rivers.alberta.ca? At Sunshine for example, it reads 179.8mm and the weather station on Avalanche.ca lists the height of snow at 87cm.



2021-11-19 - comment by aqua toque

C'mon sgeorg, admit it, this is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get us to divulge our secret stashes!

OK, OK, try checking the snow pillow data on https://rivers.alberta.ca/



2021-11-19 - comment by Diana Piggott

There is a Facebook group, called Backcountry YYC, if that helps. They are a pretty rad group!




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