Conditions Report: Golden Jan 3, 2016 | Mountain Sledder
Well, it’s deep.
After a good series of storms that rolled through Golden during the holidays, the conditions at the local sled zones is pretty dang good.
When you can manage to get off the beaten track and avoid some of the hot spots that were heavily used during the holidays, you’ll find some deep, deep snow. Whatever base there was in early December seems to have been zapped out of the snowpack, leaving deep and hollow snow in the trees and anywhere people haven’t already ridden.
The snowpack is deceptively supportive at the moment. It’s easy enough to travel on the flat and downhill, but anywhere that you need to spin your track (like to get back up), you might find difficulty in doing it, like we did this weekend.
Don’t make the mistake of dropping a few benches too far and spend the rest of the day working your way back up!
We’re locked in a cold and clear spell at the moment, which should begin to break up later in the week. There’s not much snow in the forecast, but with clear skies and an improving snowpack there should be opportunities for exploring.
Just be sure to stay on top of the avalanche picture. With plenty of snow and wind recently, it will take some time for the new layers to bond with the old. As always, read the fine print in the avalanche bulletin, and practice safe riding out there!
Grooming is underway at all three maintained Golden areas, and trail fees are set at $25/rider.
Quartz — There is good coverage and a solid base from rider traffic during the holidays. Expect the main areas to be pretty pounded out. The trail is in excellent condition. Parking is at the normal parking lot just off the highway. There are portable toilets now at the trailhead.
Gorman — Parking at 3.5km parking lot. The hill can be slippery at times, especially when it’s snowing. Although Gorman is notoriously rocky early season, it’s now in mid-season form.
Silent Pass — Parking is at 46.5km on the North Fork. Watch for active logging at all times. It’s deep out there, with a lot of new snow in the past week.