April 1, 2016
With a week of pure sunshine and over 12 degree temperatures forecasted, we are most certainly settling into full-on spring riding. All of our trails are still fully rideable from the staging areas with minimal bare patches (although they do exist) and trail condition is changing daily with the strong sun. We are unsure of the future of the grooming program at this time although we are trying to push the groomers through the upcoming weekend to provide one last smooth trip up the mountains.
Looking into the weekend, riders should be expecting frozen snow in the am and slush in the pm. With long days, we suggest heading out a bit later than normal to allow for the snow to soften up.
We would like to thank everyone for an amazing season of riding. We had a great winter here in Valemount, and we could not be more pleased with all of the support for our operations and our little community.
Thanks again and ride safe!
March 11, 2016
The skies have continued to deliver this week and the riding continues to impress. Another 4” fell at valley bottom yesterday just south of Valemount and the staging areas needed a plow this morning… that’s all good stuff! Temps in the alpine have remained cool and we have yet to be affected with the mashed potato factor.
Trails are holding up well considering the tropical conditions and there is still full coverage from all of our main staging areas. We have been adding extra grooms all week as needed, although we are asking for your understanding with the lower sections of trail as they are not freezing. We are doing our best until we get to the freezing line where the trail condition drastically improves… but who cares, the snow is great, get out and ride it!
February 25, 2016
Spring certainly has sprung around the valley lately. The good news is that we have been enjoying beautiful bluebird days and temperatures have been below freezing all the way to the valley bottom… just. There is uncertainty as to this weekend as far as weather goes, but it does look like we may get a couple of precipitation events on Saturday and Sunday although amounts are unknown.
I sure hate to say it, although it looks like we may be settling into spring… yuk… That being said, there could also still be a lot of winter left, but in the meantime, riders should expect somewhat spring-like conditions in the alpine riding areas.
VARDA and Alpine Country Rentals will be hosting our annual Customer Appreciation Day at the Clemina Creek shelter on Saturday March 12. A BBQ lunch and snacks will be provided by Alpine Country Rentals and VARDA staff will be offering transceiver training lesson in the training park located next to the cabin. Trail passes will be FREE for the Clemina Trail.
We will be taking this opportunity to take part in Snowarama which is a fundraising campaign put on the by the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation to support the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities. Staff will be at the trailheads collecting donations, so please contribute to this great cause and show how amazing the snowmobile community is.
If you would like to collect pledges in advance, you can download a copy of the pledge form here. The person who collects the most pledges will win a VARDA seasons pass for the 2016/17 season. http://ridevalemount.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Pledge_form_GENERAL_legal.pdf
February 18, 2016
Although we are seeing above normal temperatures, we have been lucky enough to stay below freezing in the alpine areas and the snow has been great this week. The sustained winds have pressed the snow in open areas, but if you understand what that means, you know how to find where the snow has been blown too! Those who go looking for it are greeted with wonderful bumper deep freshies, and the lines are endless.
The forecast into the weekend is looking like a few scattered flurries with generally cool alpine conditions and freezing levels around 1300meters. This is good!
Customer Appreciation Day – VARDA and Alpine Country Rentals will once again be hosting Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday March 12, 2016 at the Clemina Creek Cabin. Trail passes will be waived at Clemina for the day and a lunch will be provided. Please check out the VARDA Facebook page or website for full event details.
February 11, 2016
Where’s winter!? These tropical conditions have us feeling like breaking out the mountain bikes over the sleds but alas, the snow has been holding up. We have had a few days of above freezing temperatures up in the alpine but we are now looking at a cooling trend over the weekend just in time for the Alberta Family Day holiday. There is still untouched snow out there to be found although it has been hit by the warmer weather and is on the verge of mashed potatoes but slap some two stroke gravy on that chit and ride it!
The groomers will be out in full force all weekend and we will be adding extra shifts as needed, so please watch for grooming equipment at all times!
Enjoy the weekend, respect the snowpack, choose your terrain wisely and ride safe!
February 3, 2016
To the TREES!
We have been lucky to have some sweet riding over the last while after our most recent reload, although the conditions are getting a bit ridden out in the main open areas. The sheltered and lee areas are still holding some amazing snow. Stability has improved over the last few days although there area still persistent hazards out there in the snowpack and they need to be respected and tested before committing to any potentially consequential terrain. Our groomers are out in full force as always and with a forecast showing a bit of snow heading our way we are set up for another great weekend in the valley.
January 21, 2016
Winter’s Back… hopefully!
Valemount has received up to 30cms of new snow over the last few days, although distribution has been quite variable. With a quick sunny break yesterday, it looks like winter may be back for awhile. A storm has set in this morning and it looks very promising to set us up for a great weekend.
This new snow is sitting on a variety of old nasty surface crystals so please tread cautiously as you head into bigger terrain. The slab stiffness varies throughout the region, you might not see avalanche activity in one area and it could be completely in another, so please observe and test as you go.
We are trying something new with our grooming schedule and have added additional shifts to the Chappell Creek area in order to try and maintain this area more regularly for our riders (please check out www.ridevalemount.com) for a copy of the full schedule.
Customer Appreciation Day – VARDA and Alpine Country Rentals will once again be hosting Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday March 12, 2016 at the Clemina Creek Cabin. Trail passes will be waived at Clemina for the day and a lunch will be provided. VARDA will also be offering avalanche transceiver training at the new BCA Transceiver Training Park. This is a great time for everyone and all members of the family. We will also be fundraising for the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, so please come on out and support this great initiative.
January 14, 2016
What are you riding on?
While new snow is sprinkling down, the Valemount area has not had the reload that we are all hoping for. We have seen between 10-25cm of new snow (area depending) over the last two day and we are still getting dribs and drabs. The next few days do not looking to be dropping a lot more although there does look to be another storm prepared to hit the interior by Saturday. We have a fingers crossed that this will bring the reload we are all hoping for. A reset of winter would be a great thing as we are sitting with valley temperatures above zero…..
Use caution as you head out into any area with significant amounts of new snow and or wind. With the widespread drought after the Christmas break, the surface had developed a lot of nastiness in the form of large surface hoar, facets and crusts. Now this nastiness is being buried under this new snowfall and we are already seeing avalanche activity being reported on this layer.
Keep snow dancing and ride safe!
January 7, 2016
While Valemount and the surrounding areas had received some amazing bluebird weather over the holiday season, it is most certainly time for a reload. Our main riding areas are smashed! Wish we had better news to report. There may remain some hidden gems, but it’s going to take some very good local knowledge to find those elusive fresh tracks over the upcoming weekend.
The weather folks are not saying anything to promising for the near future either unfortunately precipitation wise. At least a bad “ish” day of sledding is better than a good day at work!
December 29, 2015
The riding around Valemount has been quite variable over the holidays. The goat paths are quite smashed in most of the main riding areas, although even in the busy majors there is still some amazing snow to be found if you are willing to try something different or get a little angular.
The weather has been amazing while offering some sick bluebird days! We have been pushing the groomers hard over the holiday season and are keeping hard at it until the New Year where things will settle out a little bit. Sure the majors needs a reload, but it’s there for those who are willing to look 10 feet in the other direction.
December 10, 2015
[one_half]The alpine snow continues to fall in the Valemount area and the riding is amazing as long as you don’t mind a little snow, wind and fog! The alpine riding areas are being reloaded nightly with fresh goodness awaiting the next riders.
We are still seeing above freezing temperatures and rain up to approximately 1300m so please be understanding of our grooming program. We have added many extra shifts to try to help out the cause although the weather is still the ultimate factor. This goes along with the staging areas. The plows have been out as often as we can get them, although users should be prepared for wet winter conditions.[/one_half]
The weather forecast looks for more of the same, so we should be setup well for an amazing weekend of riding. Just please remember that this loaded snowpack is similar to a loaded gun, its just waiting for someone to pull the trigger. Enjoy the snow and choose your terrain wisely until the snowpack has a chance to settle down.
December 3, 2015
The Valemount area was off to its best season start in years, although for some time now we have not had any precipitation worth mentioning. The good news is that it looks like winter may be coming back to Valemount. Storms are hitting the Cariboos with a vengeance with forecasted snowfalls up to 50cm by Saturday night.
All of our major managed snowmobile areas are open and being groomed as the regular schedule suggests on www.ridevalemount.com. Our host team has been out playing in the snow and is very interested in how this new load will work with the sketchy surfaces we have out in the mountains at this time.
Take your time as you head out this weekend and gather observations as you go. Read the forecast details on Avalanche.ca, its likely going to be a great weekend to avoid avalanche terrain.
April 2, 2015
Winter is refusing to die in the alpine terrain surrounding Valemount although the access to the riding is less than stellar. We have lost access to three of our managed trail systems leaving Clemina Creek as the only managed area that is recommended for access at this time. Rigs are now parking at the 4km open area although some trucks with decks are making it to the powerline at 5km. After this there are still some substantial snow-free patches to travel as you work your way in.
A lot of terrain around Valemount that is closed to snowmobiling throughout the winter becomes open throughout the month of April. Even with the early onset of spring, many of these dates are still in effect. For more information on these dates and their updated openings, please see www.ridevalemount.com/snowmobiling/sled-areas/restricted-areas/.
Don’t be too discouraged, as long as you don’t mind getting a little gritty, there is some great riding still to be had out there.