Emerald Lake Slide Path - December 13th, 2016

Words By: Simon Coward

The last few Monday Fundays have dished up some incredible riding in and around the Lake Louise area.  This week we decided to push a little further west and hit up the Emerald Lake slidepath.  Knowing full well lower elevation coverage is a bit haggard we felt it was a bit of a risky move as we weren't sure the alder bash would be worth it.  We were definitely correct on the condition of the lower zone, thin, full of rocks and Alders, however the upper reaches were in good shape for sure.  


PHOTO:  Lower elevation conditions on Emerald Lake Slidepath

There had been a few crews up there over the weekend and the first (lookers left) slope to the left of the knoll had been slayed in no uncertain terms, the mid elevation ride out was pretty racked up but still (for the most part) super fun.  The lower third or more still needs a bunch of snow and or some big avalanches to come down to fill in boulders and trees.


PHOTO:  Nearing the ridge top, beautiful light and views over Emerald Lake below

The riding in the alpine was really good.  Wind effect was observed lower down than the forecast had predicted, with some 20 to 30cm soft slabs being observed on lower alpine elevation steep convex rolls.  At ridge top there were some very hard windslabs starting to form.


PHOTO:  Method.  Enough said!

The mountains were in fine form with the glaciers and peaks of the surrounding 3000+ m peaks looking spectacular.  Alpine temps were in the -23 range, though the sun kept us warm until later in the day when the sun left us.


PHOTO:  Slash with a view

A spectacular day with some mandatory low elevation suffering to keep it all real!  Enjoy the video below, we sure enjoyed putting it together

Make sure to check out avalanche.ca for more info on conditions and Mountain Information Network Quick Reports, there seems to be lots of people posting on that site now.