22November 2016

Latest Conditions + Ask Rudi: How to Race Your Dog on Skis

Winter is here!

Head for the hills and you’ll find it – fresh powder stacking up tall, waiting patiently for skiers and riders who will soon shred it up.

We haven’t been waiting so patiently, though. Any new storm is a great reason to head out, poke around, and feel the latest under our skis.

Jeff, Don and Rudi went out for another conditions check over the past weekend, and were happy to find that Mother Nature continues to deliver: plenty more white gold.

single heli-skier turning down the mountain with track left behind in 40 cm of fresh snowfall

They arrived to another 30cm new, and let another 10cm fall on their heads over two days of touring.

A 40 cm powder playground, and it’s just the beginning of so many more snowfalls to come.

The report? All thumbs up.

The existing base is holding together stronger and carrying better than we typically see in the Purcells, seeming almost coastal in how it’s bonding. And while there’s a lot layers and variables that will come into the picture, a strong foundation like this one can mean great things for the winter and the snowpack ahead.

Plus, the amount of snow piling up in the alpine is more than on track. Keep doing your snow dances. Out here, it’s definitely working.

Single heli-skier descending the mountain in deep white snow beside two other heli-ski tracks the mountain is enveloped by the deep blue sky

This time, our powderhound extraordinaire, Russell, tagged along. This guy lives for winter, is totally at home in the backcountry, and, is pretty good at waiting for the group while they rip skins.

Russell, the Purcell Heli-Skiing powder hound sitting and waiting patiently for two skiers to prepare to ski in the vast white wilderness

He is 85 pounds of furry enthusiasm, and he becomes a brown blur down the slope, flying through the powder, zig zagging wildly, so fast his feet can barely keep up.

At the bottom, he barks incessantly until everyone starts heading back up. He conveys a single message, like all of us addicted to pow: MORE.

Rudi loves to ski alongside him, but he’s a less predictable partner to cruise the slope with.

Russell the Purcell Heli-Ski powder hound observing the skier below him before running down through the tracks in the deep powder snow in the bright sunshine.

Russell’s style is straight line to random zig zag, to full stop, to full speed – it’s hilarious to watch. That’s what Rudi was enjoying watching, speeding alongside our big-footed mascot, when a zig turned into a zag and Russell crashed right into him, sending both of them cartwheeling!

Powder skiing is magic for so many reasons, but soft landings are a significant plus.

Many laughs were had as they shook off the snow and carried on. Rudi still maintains he beat Russell to the bottom. Had to even the score.

Less than four weeks to opening day.

We’ll keep counting down and sharing the latest!

– Katie