Splitboard HQ - Monday Funday - A surprise start to the winter!

SPLITBOARD HQ TRIP REPORT - Monday September 30th, 2019
Media:  Simon Coward

Gday early season snow sliders!

If you are reading this you have likely been following the latest storm with some interest.  Honestly, for myself it was of passing interest until I went kayaking on the Kananaskis River on Saturday and saw 30+ cms of snow settled nicely on the picnic benches.

After that, a plan to rally out to K-Country on Monday came together very quickly.  

ski touring rae glacier

Our original scheme was to schlep into Robertson, though with the volume of snow, grey bird early morning skies and out of shape early season legs we called a play action en-route and instead decided on heading up towards Rae Glacier.

Rae glacier splitboarding kananaskis

Upon arrival we were greeted in the parking lot by an un-plowed 30cms or so of settled snow, which certainly had the stoke level high.  In my limited experience in the Rae Glacier area it is a rare treat to be able to ski from and back to the parking lot.

September powder in Kananaskis Country

There was plenty of snow on the summer trail all the way up to the alpine to keep skins and skis on.  However as one might expect, Rae looked, as it often does, a bit thin and devoid of much of the snow that seemed to be distributed everywhere else.

So, with that in mind we headed up the east drainage as it looked to have had a bunch of wind deposit at the base of the large, impressive west facing ridge.

Pow turns in september

kananaskis country splitboarding

We were not disappointed!  Upon gaining the cirque we saw that the bulk of the west facing slopes had received 50 - 100cms of consolidated snow.  It started as dry and light in the morning and as they day progressed and the September sun bore down on it (did I mention it wound up being bluebird most of the day!) the snow started to have a much more spring like feel to it.

In all we did 5 laps for about 600 metres of vertical descent.  This included many face shots, some deep, tough trailbreaking, a double lap on a cool mini coulior feature and some open sunny pow slopes.

The end toll was a pretty tracked out zone, one core shot, one or two bruised buts from unexpected scree turns and a pile of over the head pow turns.  All in all a bloody grand day for September in the Rockies.

It's  be gone petty quickly I think, but here is to a great early start to the season and to a safe and fun one ahead!

Simon