Golden, BC | Snowmobile Conditions
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Mountain Sledder | October 21, 2018

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Golden, BC | Snowmobile Conditions

The latest conditions from Golden, BC.

March 24, 2016

 

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Spring riding is ON! Fun slushy lines down in the trees at lower elevations and great booter building snow in the alpine. Bring your sunscreen this weekend cause if the sun peeks out, it’s gonna be HOT; 20cm of fresh snow is forecasted throughout the week and weekend with freezing levels staying between 950 and 1700 meters.

 

Weather

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Avalanche Safety

There’s been a few really close calls lately. We ask you to please remain vigilant with your safety and the safety of others in avalanche terrain. Always check www.avalanche.ca before you ride and be prepared and aware.

 

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A scary sledder triggered avalanche in Gorman Lake this week.

A scary sledder triggered avalanche in Gorman Lake this week.

 

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Another scary avalanche caught on video from March 13 in Gorman Lake. Here’s an excellent blog from Sleddermag.com about it. 

Grooming and Fee Schedule

Thanks to Jeremy Guy and Black Lung Welding, the new and custom ‘handmade in Golden’ BBQ is done and up and running at the Quartz creek cabin so bring something to grill up for lunch; propane is supplied by SledGolden and hauled up in 20 pounders so please remember to shut it off when you’re done.

 

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Grooming and fee collection is still in full swing but the snow is a little thin down low on some of the trails. Fast Cat grooming is doing some great work farming the snow off the sides and keeping it smooth.

The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:

 

Quartz Creek

Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Every day ($25/rider)

 

Gorman Lake

People have been driving to the 14km parking lot and also parking at the 3.5 km lot. The road to the 14km is icy in spots. We encourage you to take great care when driving these roads.

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

 

Silent Pass

Please note that the McMurdo cabin is not part of SledGolden’s management agreement, nor is it for day use AT ALL; the cabin needs to be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society.

Grooms: Thursday (afternoon), Saturday evening
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.

Safety

This time of year adds a couple more variables to the day to keep in the back of your mind: cornice failures and crevasses on glaciers. Throughout the winter, wind deposits snow on ridgetops forming cornices, which overhang the slope and can be as big as a house. Prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun in the spring weakens the cornice and can cause it to fail and fall onto the slope below potentially causing an avalanche. When traversing ridgetops where a cornice is present, stay close to visible rocks or trees on the opposite side of the ridge the cornice hangs over. Or if there isn’t enough room to stay away from the edge, stay off the ridge altogether. Putting too much weight (from a sled or even walking to the edge to look over) on a cornice can cause it to break off and you could be in for a bad day.

Sledding on a glacier can provide incredible aesthetics, but also provides different dangers to be aware of; crevasses can be big enough to swallow a house and are disguised by potentially thin bridges of snow blown in by the wind. The good news is that glaciers and their dangers are fairly predictable: the prehistoric sheets of ice are on the move (very slowly) and as they slide over convexities the ice is stressed and cracked causing a crevasse. Along the edge of the glacier where the ice meets the rock is also home to glacier stress and crevasse danger. As the head of glacier recedes away from the stagnant ice, a bergschrund is formed and can be a large obstacle capable of swallowing a snowmobiler.

Overhead danger is also present in the form of seracs (large towers of ice) that can topple over without warning and either cause an avalanche on the slope it overhangs or fall directly on top of you. If you are unfamiliar with the layout of a glacier you are going to be sledding on, it is best to familiarize yourself with the area to identify potential dangers first, hire a guide, or stay off it all together. Along with avalanche training, glacier travel requires rope rescue and crevasse assessment knowledge; luckily there are courses available but are more for skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers but the basic skills are still the same.

 

 

 

– SledGolden.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 18, 2016

More sad news out of the snowmobiling world as an icon was lost a few days ago. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Dan Davidoff (who many knew as “The Krazy Canadian”). His positive energy was infectious and left an impression on everyone he met everywhere he went.

 

Deep times this week.

Deep times this week. Photo by Summit Communications.

 

A great mix of warm spring weather can be expected for this weekend with sun on Friday, Saturday, and snow on Sunday, Monday. The powder is staying preserved up high and reports of epic, best of the year, deep pow days keep rolling in.

 

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Avalanche Conditions

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Please visit Avalanche.ca for up-to-date avalanche conditions.

 

Grooming and Fee Schedule

Thanks to Jeremy Guy and Black Lung Welding, the new and custom ‘handmade in Golden’ BBQ is done and up and running at the Quartz Creek cabin so bring something to grill up for lunch; propane is supplied by SledGolden and hauled up in 20 pounders so please remember to shut it off when you’re done.

 

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Grooming and fee collection is still in full swing but the snow is a little thin down low on some of the trails. Fast Cat grooming is doing some great work farming the snow off the sides and keeping it smooth. Staging for Gorman is still at the lower lot for now, but when the snow becomes too thin on the trail to groom, we will open the road and stage from the upper parking lot at 14 km.

The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:

 

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

Coming very soon to the Quartz cabin is a new BBQ just in time for the sunny spring days hanging out in the sun on the deck; stay tuned and we will let you know when it is up and running.

 

Gorman Lake

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km

 

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

 

 

Silent Pass

Please note that the McMurdo cabin is not part of SledGolden’s management agreement, nor is it for day use AT ALL; the cabin needs to be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society.

Grooms: Thursday (afternoon), Saturday evening
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.

 

West Bench Trail

The Westbench trail is still rockin and rollin and seeing regular grooms with our last one scheduled for this weekend if the weather cooperates. Additional grooming may be done this season if the snow and temps hold up. The Westbench trail makes a great family ride or is perfect for first time snowmobilers that want to try out the sport; a mellow, mostly flat 40km trail that connects the Quartz Creek parking lot with the Gorman Lake trail. At the intersection of the Westbench and Gorman Lake trail, hang a left (heading up the Gorman Lake trail) onto the groomed trail into Lower Holt Creek to explore some new terrain, it makes a perfect extension of the Westbench ride, or maybe you would just like to finish a day in Gorman with a mellow trail ride for a great view of some impressive jagged peaks on the Dogtooth ridge. Last groomed March 3.
Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

 

 

 – SledGolden.com
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March 12, 2016

With steady snowfall since the end of February, conditions are deep but touchy out there. Chris from Trigger Point chimes in with a conditions update and some current concerns in the Golden backcountry.

 

 

 

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March 11, 2015

Springtime riding has arrived to finish off an incredible season here in Golden; deep, blower powder is still in abundance in the alpine with no signs of letting up anytime soon. 30cm is forecasted to come this week with the big snowfall on Sunday and freezing levels set to hover around 1500m. KHMRreported 47 cms in the last 7 days. Be prepared for various different kinds of conditions when you come here.

 

Riley Suhan in Golden this week. Photo by Summit Communications

Riley Suhan in Golden this week. Photo by Summit Communications.

 

Riley Suhan in powder this week.

Riley Suhan in powder this week.

 

Avalanche Conditions

Please check Avalanche.ca for up to date avalanche forecasts.

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Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

Coming very soon to the Quartz cabin is a new BBQ just in time for the sunny spring days hanging out in the sun on the deck; stay tuned and we will let you know when it is up and running.

 

Gorman Lake

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

 

Silent Pass

Please note that the McMurdo cabin is not part of SledGolden’s management agreement, nor is it for day use AT ALL; the cabin needs to be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society.

Grooms: Thursday (afternoon),
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.

 

West Bench Trail
Last groomed March 3.
Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

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Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

 

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

 

BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb 3.
No Fees

 

 – SledGolden.com

 

 

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March 4, 2015

The riding around Golden has been excellent this week. KHMR reported 34 cms in the last 7 days but the reports from sledders said that it felt like more. There’s approximately another 30 cms forecasted to fall this weekend. The weather looks somewhat unstable so be prepared for a myriad of conditions from rain to sun to snow.

 

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Avalanche Conditions

Please check Avalanche.ca for up to date avalanche forecasts.

Avalanche.ca conditions

Golden BC Weather

Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

 

Gorman Lake

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

 

Gorman Grooming on Thursday Mar. 3

Silent Pass

It was dumping in Silent this past weekend and another 30cm of the white stuff is expected to come this week. If you’re looking for something different to ride in Golden with less traffic and are willing to drive a bit further for it, Silent Pass should be on your to do list if you have never been before.

Please note that the McMurdo cabin is not part of SledGolden’s management agreement, nor is it for day use AT ALL; the cabin needs to be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society.

Grooms: Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.

 

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Silent Pass groom this week.

West Bench Trail
Last groomed March 3.
Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

 

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Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb 3.
No Fees

 – SledGolden.com
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February 25, 2015

We start this grooming report by offering our sincerest condolences to everyone affected by the 2 high profile avalanche events around Golden this past weekend. On Saturday an avalanche was triggered by a group of sledders in the East Quartz area and a fatality occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering grief at this time.

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We can never completely remove the risk of avalanche unless we stay home every day, but we can greatly reduce the chances of triggering one by making good choices on what terrain we ride and how we ride it.  We must remember to not park in avalanche run out zones and not to load dangerous slopes with multiple participants. These are basic and essential requirements to avalanche prevention.

We can also improve chances of survival, when an avalanche is triggered, by carrying the necessary equipment for companion rescue (beacon, shovel, probe) and by also having the knowledge of how to use these pieces. An airbag backpack has basically become standard equipment for sledders as they have been proven to increase the chances of survival. A Spot or InReach can be the only link to the outside world for a call for help in most cases, and are worth every penny even if you only need it once. All this equipment is pretty much useless unless you know how to use it; so practice with it. It is common sense to take an avalanche course, but in case you haven’t, please be sure to take one before your next trip to the mountains.

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Lastly, we want to thank the local Search and Rescue and RCMP for their constant work in backcountry safety situations.  If it weren’t for those organizations there would be no assistance at all for backcountry users. Information on how donations can be made to Golden Search and Rescue is available athttp://golden.vr-sar.org/ Golden is very lucky to have a very skilled team of volunteers on its Search and Rescue.

Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule for the next week is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

Gorman Lake

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

The road up to 3.5km parking lot has been very icey lately but was graded down to the gravel on Feb 18.

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers, logging trucks are big.

West Bench Trail
Last groomed Feb. 12th
Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb 3.
No Fees

 

Avalanche Conditions

Please check the avalanche conditions before you ride at www.avalanche.ca

 

Snow Conditions

KHMR has reported 12 cms in the last 7 days. We’ve had mostly clear skies lately and there is 20 cms forecasted by the end of Monday.

Good snow on mellow terrain on Feb 21, 2016

Here’s a video shot this week in Golden by Colin Wallace.

 

 – SledGolden.com
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February 21, 2016

Here’s the latest Conditions Update from Trigger Point’s Chris Granter, bringing you key information that can help you make crucial decisions in the the wake of several serious avalanche incidents in the area this weekend.

 

 

 

 

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February 18, 2016

Almost 50cm is on deck for this week, so get to Golden! The snow is holding out up high and staying preserved, and the mild temps down in town are making it feel like spring; this winter is turning out to be an epic one. There has been some brisk winds up high forming wind slabs that are causing a bit of a problem, a couple small slides were kicked off on Holt creek and with the new storms rolling in this week the wind slab problem will be compounded. www.avalanche.ca is your best bet for staying on top of avalanche conditions.

 

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There is a bit of an unwritten courtesy rule between sled skiers and sledders: if a group of skiers or snowboarders is in an area, there is no need to highmark above them or sled on their runs. There is plenty of terrain for everyone to ride and not interfere with each other, and the snowboard/ski runs are pretty small in comparison to the entire area that can be sledded in.

 

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Grooming and Fee Schedule

Grooming is staying top shelf thanks to the hard work from Fast Cat grooming, the warm temps can be hard on equipment and the trail doesn’t stay whoop free for long, but SledGolden is committed to the best grooming we are capable of.

The grooming and fee collection schedule is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

 

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Firewood for the Quartz creek cabin is in the trailer on the opposite side from the outhouse; the axe, hatchet, and chopping block are all on the deck. Thank you to everyone that has been lending a hand and cleaning snow off the deck and keeping the cabin tidy. The cabin is for everyone to enjoy and because of its remote location in the backcountry, maintenance and repairs are more difficult to organize than a building in town. The cleaner the cabin in Quartz is kept the better our chances will be for getting permission to build a cabin in Gorman. Oops, did we just let the cat out of the bag?

 

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Gorman Lake

One of the best areas for late starts to a day of sledding around Golden is Gorman Lake riding area; its close proximity to town makes it perfect for the days you feel like sleeping in or you have to stop and pick something up from the sled shop before you head out. If you plan on heading to Golden from Calgary early Saturday morning and still want to ride, you can still get a full day in at Gorman even if you show up at the parking lot at 11. Or if you want to head home early on Sunday, an early start at Gorman ensures you will have first dibs at the freshly groomed trail and can be back to town before dark to gas up and head back home.

Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

The road up to 3.5km parking lot has been very icey lately. It is scheduled to be graded down to the gravel on Feb 18.

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers.

West Bench Trail
Last groomed Feb. 12th
Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb 3.
No Fees

 

 – SledGolden.com
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February 11, 2016

It’s been an epic week here in Golden BC and riding conditions have ranged from incredible to pretty good, depending on what the temperatures have done. We’ve had over 50 cms of snow in the past 7 days with 5 new at Kicking Horse Resort  (Feb. 10). Golden is typically a great spot when the rest of the province gets warm and this weekend should prove that as temperatures are going to drop and more snow is forecasted. Tropical temperatures down low have made the roads a little messy so be sure to bring the cover for your sled and some change for the car wash. It’s a good idea to wash the road salt and grime off your sled (and truck); not only does it contribute to rust but also leads to premature wear of ball joints, tie rod ends, and other moving parts on the chassis.

 

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Handlebar deep in Quartz on Feb. 6. Photo: Summit Communications

 

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Playing in Quartz on Feb. 6. photo Summit Communications

 

Just under 20cm of new snow should be rolling into town starting Thursday and it is promising to be the light dry fluffy stuff we are all used to as freezing levels are going to stay under 2000m for Saturday and Sunday. New snow, rising freezing levels, and wind in the alpine will be re-changing the avalanche conditions daily so check www.avalanche.ca before you head out.

 

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Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

 

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Quartz Cabin is cleaned, the wood is stocked and it’s ready to enjoy this weekend.

 

Firewood for the Quartz creek cabin is in the trailer on the opposite side from the outhouse; the axe, hatchet, and chopping block are all on the deck. Thank you to everyone that has been lending a hand and cleaning snow off the deck and keeping the cabin tidy. The cabin is for everyone to enjoy and because of its remote location in the backcountry, maintenance and repairs are more difficult to organize than a building in town. The cleaner the cabin in Quartz is kept the better our chances will be for getting permission to build a cabin in Gorman. Oops, did we just let the cat out of the bag?

 

Gorman Lake
Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.

The road up to 3.5km has been gravelled but remains full of icey ruts.

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek

Please call your radio markers.

West Bench Trail
Groomed Jan 20th – first full drag of the whole trail. Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.
Scheduled to be groomed Feb. 12 morning.

Mt. 7
Scheduled to be groomed on Feb 14 (subject to appropriate temps).
No Fees

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb 3.
No Fees

 

 – SledGolden.com
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February 7, 2016

 

 

 

– Chris

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February 4, 2016

This will be a good weekend to visit Golden as conditions are all time with a little new snow forecasted and moderate temps in the alpine. Reports of over the bars deep snow in some areas are frequent and we are just shy of the 1.5 meter snowpack mark at lower elevations and close to 2 meters up higher so now is the time to come and spend a few extra days in Golden.

 

Powder in Quartz Creek on Friday Jan 29th.

 

The weather will warm next week so get it good while you can.

Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

 

Quartz cabin looking nice this week.

 

We were a little disappointed to find our brand new outhouse in Quartz Creek was compromised by an individual with inconsiderate motives and terrible aim with feces. We would prefer in this instance if you would instead relieve yourself in your pants and deal with it when you get home. If it was you and you are reading this, shame on you. Rest assured for everyone else that we have cleaned up the mess. It’s sad when one apples spoils things for everyone.

 

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Gorman Lake
Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings). We did an extra groom on Sunday night Jan 31st this week.
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)
Parking is at the 3.5km.
The road up to 3.5km has been gravelled but remains full of icy ruts.

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)
Parking is just past the 45 km turn off to Mcmurdo Creek
Please call your radio markers.

West Bench Trail
Groomed Jan 20th – first full drag of the whole trail. Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.
No Fees

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BlaeBerry
Groomed Wednesday Feb. 3
No Fees

 

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Snow Info

If you use snow reports from ski hills to check on snow conditions, they usually post 2 different numbers: YTD (year to date) and snowpack. YTD refers to accumulative snowfall that adds up all the recorded precipitation numbers and is quite higher than the snowpack number. The snowpack is a measurement of the accumulated snow after settlement, wind, solar radiation, and melt/freeze cycles, etc. For instance, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is reporting 504cm YTD of accumulated snow and a 173cm snowpack.

Hot tip: when Kicking Horse Resort reports __cm of new snow, you can usually add on 5-10cm for the sledding zones around Golden.

 

Quartz Creek Snow Plot this week.

Moment of Pause

Our condolences to the victims and their families of the McBride incident, when a tragedy like that happens it affects the entire snowmobiling community. Without the RCMP and local search and rescue groups, speedy recoveries and rescues would not be possible; but there is no substitute for proper companion rescue skills. With proper gear and training we can do our best to prepare ourselves for when a good day goes bad.

The warmer weather is still lingering and combined with new snow it is causing a tricky snowpack so be sure to check the weather and avalanche conditions before you head out.

 

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Please check with Avalanche.ca and heed the warnings.

 

 – SledGolden.com
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January 28, 2016

 

It’s going to be deep this weekend in Golden with over 20cm forecasted for treeline at 1800m; with heavier snowfall predicted in the alpine at 2400m. As always, the new snow brings new avalanche forecasts so be sure to check www.avalanche.ca to stay on top of the constantly changing snowpack. Freezing levels are expected to drop to valley bottom after the weekend making it a bit slushy in town and on the highways; www.drivebc.ca has all the info you need for local highway conditions.

 

Photos: Summit Communications

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Thursday Jan 28th in Silent Pass Photo: Summit Communications

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Grooming is all systems go but the heavy snow brought on by higher temps is very hard on equipment so bear with us if we experience mechanical breakdowns.

The warm temps cause voodoo magic that speeds up the formation of whoops on the trail, so if perfect corduroy is on your list of things to do this weekend, plan to head up the trail early for best conditions.

Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

Gorman Lake
Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)

West Bench Trail
Groomed Jan 20th – first full drag of the whole trail. Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

Susan Lake
Groomed Thursday Jan 28.

BlaeBerry
Schedule for Jan 29

 

 – SledGolden.com
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January 23, 2016

 

– Chris

 

 

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January 20, 2016

We saw the temps climb up towards zero this week, making it perfect snow for trail breaking into new zones. A small cold front will push in for the weekend and bring temps down to the -10 mark which should dry out the snow on the surface a bit; that means blower pow for everyone. Some new snow is forecasted and with the wind moving it around in the alpine, expect anywhere from 5-15cm of fresh. Wind in the alpine means windslabs so check out www.avalanche.ca for full details.

 

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Grooming and Fee Schedule

 

The grooming and fee collection schedule is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

Gorman Lake
Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)

Silent Pass
Grooms Thursday (afternoon), Saturday (evening)
Fees: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ($25/rider)

West Bench Trail
Groomed Jan 20th – first full drag of the whole trail. Fees are paid at Gorman and Quartz toll booths.

Susan Lake and Blaeberry
We had both Susan Lake and the Blaeberry on the schedule this week, however, with the warm temps mid-week we chose to hold off until we know we can get a good trail set. Warm temps make a groom almost useless after only a few riders. We are monitoring this situation daily and will perform the grooms when we feel the timing is right.

 

Parks Boundaries

 

Be mindful of the border between Glacier National Park and Quartz Creek as it is illegal to ride in a National Park and the area is frequently patrolled by helicopter. Hefty fines can be issued to accompany an equally costly heli lift out of the park if you are caught. The boundaries are signed but grab a trail map if you are unsure; trail maps can be obtained at the Tourism Golden office downtown as well as at many of SledGolden’s sponsors. Both Silent Pass and Gorman have a border with an off limits park as well.

Just this past week there was another incident involving visiting snowmobilers in the parks. SledGolden works closely with Parks to ensure that our areas stay open but it’s important that we abide by the rules. If caught in the parks you could anticipate:

  • potential $25,000 fine
  • impound fees
  • sled recovery fees
  • heli flight fees
  • search and rescue fees

The park wardens will be charging violators to the full extent. Sledding in the park will not be tolerated or taken lightly.

 

Quartz Creek Map

 

Trail Breaking

 

Trail breaking into a new zone is not for everyone; it’s a lot of work involving snowshoes, shovels, and sweat. If early mornings are not on your list of things to do, it would be better to wait till spring when the days are longer because a day of exploring and trail breaking usually means getting up earlier than you usually would for work. Those that are willing to put in the work are rewarded with fresh, untracked powder and bragging rights. Towing out your machine from a zone you found on Google Earth 75km from the nearest highway with no groomed trail is something you should think about; keep in mind that a heli-rescue may be required depending on how far back you are exploring or how late in the day it is.

 

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Having a spare belt should be on your list of things to bring any day sledding, but here are a few things you might want to consider bringing along exploring a new zone:

  • First aid kit
  • Tow rope
  • Small tool kit
  • Lots of food and water
  • Extra layers and gloves
  • Extra goggles
  • InReach or Spot
  • GPS or Map
  • Headlamp

Ensuring your machine is running tip top is a must if you plan on pushing into the backcountry. Carry a couple extra spark plugs, check the deflection and condition on your belt, and make sure there are no big tears in the track. Check all the nuts and bolts in your rear suspension as the rear skid takes a beating; have a look for worn out bushings and grease and applicable areas.

 

 

 – SledGolden.com
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January 18, 2016

Avalanche Conditions Update from Trigger Point Snow Services

Trigger Point was in Creston this weekend, checking out the Boundary Range with Kootenay Speed Shop….it looked good in the trees! Chris runs us through the layers to be mindful of…

– Chris

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January 13, 2016

 

 

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Breaking into Zippermouth Creek.Breaking into Zippermouth Creek.
The spoils are worth the hard work.

The spoils are worth the hard work.

Grooming and Fee Schedule

The grooming and fee collection schedule this week is as follows:

Quartz Creek
Grooms scheduled: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (evenings).
Fees: Everyday ($25/rider)

It’s business as usual in Quartz: the parking lot outhouses were serviced on the weekend and more firewood for the cabin is on its way. A new railing will also be installed on the deck at the cabin within the next little while and we’ve ordered some new benches for inside and on the patio.

Gorman Lake
Grooms Thursday, Saturday (evenings).
Fees: Thursday-Monday ($25/rider)

The road going into Gorman has been icy but we had it sanded from the pay kiosk to the lower 4km parking lot on Monday Jan 4.  It’s always a good idea to make sure you have good tires or carry chains. The Gorman parking is being moved back down to the 4km this week and will remain this way until spring temps melt the lower road. Please park at the 4km lot. 

Other Grooming: Blaeberry and Susan Lake

SledGolden does a few courtesy grooms into a few different areas throughout the season to say thanks to all our members and in the next couple of weeks the groomer will be heading up the Blaeberry to flatten out the whoops and lay down some corduroy. Both Susan Lake and Blaeberry are scheduled be groomed the week of 18-22. We will let you know when they are completed but make your plans now.

The Blaeberry grants access to some great family trail riding down a scenic valley with incredible views of the Mummery glacier. There is also access to some incredible advanced terrain for the more adventurous as well but it is recommended to have advanced avalanche experience and some map reading skills as it is not a managed area that doesn’t see much traffic. There is some great history in the Blaeberry worth reading about as it was used as a corridor by early explorers to the area to connect the Jasper area with the Columbia Valley. There are still remnants of the Howse Pass trail. When sledding in the Blaeberry, be aware of the backcountry lodges and the borders of the park that can be mistakenly accessed.

Susan Lake is a great ice fishing spot for the whole family accessed from the B road towards Kinbasket Lake; perfect for family sledding days. It is a stocked lake but that is the only amenity, so come prepared to be totally self-contained. The turnoff to Susan Lake is roughly 9 km up the B road where you will have to unload, and the sled ride in is roughly 7.5 km. check out http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/ for fishing regulation and license info.

If you would like a guide into Susan lake or to rent sleds head over to http://www.snowpeakrentals.com for info.

 

Get in Touch

As always, you can reach us on our Facebook page with any questions or concerns, we will get back to you as soon as we can.

 

 – SledGolden.com
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January 11, 2016

 

Avalanche Conditions Update from Trigger Point Snow Services

 

 

 

– Chris

 

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January 7, 2016

 

Fun times snowmobiling Golden BC in the sun and powder. Colin Wallace Photo

Fun times snowmobiling Golden BC in the sun and powder. Colin Wallace Photo

 

It’s a new year; that means resolutions and writing the wrong date on important documents for the next couple weeks or so. The start of 2016 brought a high pressure system to Golden that graced us with bluebird skies and blazing hot sun during the day. Down in the valley it’s been gray and freezing but snowmobiling above the clouds revealed amazing views of the Columbia Valley and a temperature inversion worthy of baring a little skin during a lunch break.

We hope everyone took advantage of the beautiful weather over the holidays, but if you didn’t there is more on the way for this weekend with sunny skies forecast. All this sun is perfect breeding grounds for surface hoar and the next storm on top will make for an unfriendly avalanche cycle so be sure to check out the link to avalanche conditions at www.avalanche.ca for more info before you head out sledding.

 

Hoar frost crystals forming in the high pressure. Avalanche conditions will spike when it snows next.

Hoar frost crystals forming in the high pressure. Avalanche conditions will spike when it snows next.

 

Temps are expected to hover around the -10 to -15 mark all week which will help keep the groomed trails cold, fast, and depending on how much traffic we get they should stay smooth longer. Come early for best trail conditions and first go at all the fresh powder this weekend!

 

Gorman Lake Trail getting groomed this week.

Gorman Lake Trail getting groomed this week.

 

 

 – SledGolden.com
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December 31, 2015

 

Photo: Summit Communications

Photo: Summit Communications

 

Snowmobiling in Golden is a great way to bring in 2016. With clear skies and cold air in the forecast, this week promises the chance for outstanding views and good visibility for exploring. There’s been approximately 10cms of snow in the past 7 days with over 400cms of total snowfall year to date. The good news with cold weather is that the groomed trails are in great shape.

 

 

Photo: Summit Communications

Photo: Summit Communications

– SledGolden.com

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December 23, 2015

 

Great sledding conditions in Golden this week. Photo: Colin Wallace

Great sledding conditions in Golden this week. Photo: Colin Wallace

 

Happy holidays! Everyone from SledGolden would like to wish you all the best. We hope you have a great stay in Golden and enjoy the 25cm of powder forecasted for our area this week. It’s a 1 meter party: we hit 100cm of snowpack in all of our three areas this week! Way ahead of schedule, this has been our best start to winter in a long time. Raise your glass to El Nino!

 

100cm of settled snow at low elevation.

100cm of settled snow at low elevation.

 

Gorman Lake Parking

The upper parking lot at 14km for Gorman has been plowed with lots of room to handle enclosed trailers and the road is in great shape. The road is a bit narrow at spots getting up there so drive cautiously.

 

Cleared parking lot for Gorman Lake at 14km.

Cleared parking lot for Gorman Lake at 14km.

Extra Grooming

Extra grooming in all three areas starting Monday December 21st till Monday January 4th will help keep the bumps down and the cooler temps hovering around -15 C will keep things crisp and fast. We will have attendants at the gate collecting fees a few more days over the holidays to help cover the costs of the extra grooming. A huge thanks to Kelly and the rest of the Fast Cat staff for putting in OT in the groomer when everyone else is taking a break and having fun.

 

Smoothing whoops while it dumps snow at Silent Pass.

Smoothing whoops while it dumps snow at Silent Pass.

 

– SledGolden.com

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December 5, 2015 

 

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After a bit of a dry spell where you could get out and ride wherever you wanted to go, Mother Nature is bringing another series of weather systems to fulfill our deep pow riding desires! Over the coming days significant precipitation is forecast for all interior riding areas!

During the clear, sunny weather, the upper portion of the snowpack began to rot and the surface became littered with large weak crystals – surface hoar and near surface facets – on shaded slopes and a suncrust formed on steep solar slopes. Depending on the area, this layer was buried in the first few days of December and has already become reactive to the weight of a rider.

 

December 3 Surface Hoar, Golden BC

December 3 Surface Hoar, Golden BC

 

Over the coming days, as new snow puts more and more pressure on this layer, careful terrain selection and route finding are necessary.  Yesterday (December 4) we saw slab failures along road cut banks below treeline and witnessed whoomphing and shooting cracks in front of our sleds at treeline. If you entered a meadow without tracks you could see little trees quiver and shed their snow as the weak layer failed under the weight of our machines.

 

Simmy droppin’ the hammer trying to compress the weak layer!

Simmy droppin’ the hammer trying to compress the weak layer!

 

The obvious signs of weakness we saw yesterday are a clear sign of what’s to come over the next several days.  Be sure to check the Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Bulletin before heading out.  Stick to simple terrain & be aware of how fast things can change with inputs such as rapid warming, strong winds and intense new snow loading.

 

Enjoy the ride!

 

– Chris

 

 

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November 13, 2015

 

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Well, it snowed/rained/sleeted at valley bottom all Thursday night, and that means a heavy accumulation up high. Nearby Kicking Horse received 40cm overnight at their mid-mountain weather station, and it’s still piling up quickly at a rate of around 5cm/hr. Now, 40cm at KHMR equates to more like 60cm in the north end of the Dogtooth Range, and that means that Quartz Creek and Gorman Lake are filling up quickly. This massive system looks like it will continue to bring the white stuff up high throughout the weekend, which should push the total height of snow to well over a metre, possibly even by the end of the day. Reports from farther north in the Esplanade Range claim 30cm overnight and a base of 171cm already.

That being said, it will take a bit to settle and give us a nice, solid base. Anyone with dreams of slaying deep pow with reckless abandon had better check their expectations. Unsettled storm snow over a low base means that a-arm snaggers and s-module tweakers are lurking all over the place. It would probably be smart to wait it out and let this weekend’s glorious white gift from above settle down before making your first trip out west for the season.

But the cold, hard reality is that we’re sledders; we’re not that smart. So if you just absolutely cannot wait to get on that ride of yours that you’ve been staring at collecting dust in the shop for the last 6 months, then by all means, come have a little poke around. I for one fall into the category of probably knowing better but can’t wait anyways, and will be out to see what’s what for myself come Saturday morning. But if you’re like me and have no desire to drop your sled off at the dealership for repairs on Saturday night, then take it easy for crissakes!

 

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Local Golden Snowmobile Rentals guide “Simmy” circa early November 2009, another year with a great start to the early season.

 

Also bear in mind that because of early season warm temperatures down low, you can expect the access trails to be in rough shape. There is no grooming yet and won’t be for awhile. In the meantime we’ll have to deal with minimal trail coverage, dips, waterbars and lots of whoops on our way into the local zones. That’s sledding in November for you! Have fun!

 

– PG

 

 

 

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