The Apex thread

sly_karma

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Still got until Sunday to get here. Lifts closed? You can get that ass of steel going and hike some killer runs with virtually guaranteed first tracks. Or buy a snowmobile and a length of rope, take turns towing each other to the top. With that massive snowpack there'll be good skiing until end of April at least.
 
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sly_karma

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Not to mention any discretionary trip would be competing for seats with people who are desperately trying to get home.
 

Crystal

Sand skier extraordinaire
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Not to mention any discretionary trip would be competing for seats with people who are desperately trying to get home.
Yes that would be my concern....I rather people get to where they NEED to go

... in a perfect world, I'd be made of money, school would shut, I'd get on a plane tomorrow, hit Penticton, buy a sled and head to Daves condo :) Oh I'd probably need some big fat banana skis too. Perfect self isolation...well family of 4 isolation ;)
 
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sly_karma

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That one spot in the valley where you can see Apex proper. Spring down here, winter up there at 2200 m

20200321_120400.jpg


The vines will have buds any day now.

20200321_120238.jpg
 

'H' Jones

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damn it looks fine. (Adds Apex to the list for an urgent visit).

My wife has just started to ski and after taking it gently for 3 holidays, she genuinely seems to enjoy, so, suggesting longer ski trips now excites her, rather than scares her lol.

Hope to see u next year Sly !
 
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sly_karma

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You'd enjoy a couple of days at Apex. Several ways to keep groups skiing together for the day despite having a mix of advanced/expert and intermediate. Apex's reputation as a mountain for experts is deserved, but there is plenty of novice and intermediate terrain as well. Recommend coming in February if possible to allow snow base to build - provided you're not restricted by Aussie school holidays. Given sufficient notice, I should be able to schedule some time for a guided tour of the mountain, including some 'not on the map' lines if you so desire.
 
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'H' Jones

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You'd enjoy a couple of days at Apex. Several ways to keep groups skiing together for the day despite having a mix of advanced/expert and intermediate. Apex's reputation as a mountain for experts is deserved, but there is plenty of novice and intermediate terrain as well. Recommend coming in February if possible to allow snow base to build - provided you're not restricted by Aussie school holidays. Given sufficient notice, I should be able to schedule some time for a guided tour of the mountain, including some 'not on the map' lines if you so desire.

thank you Sly, I am seriously considering a Canada road trip, she's never been and can sample a few places I have visited before. As for skiing with you, I'll bribe you to be gentle with some nice red wine !!
 
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sly_karma

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Spent the day at Apex yesterday doing various end of season tidy up jobs at the ski club cabin. Despite signs to the contrary, there were lots of ski and snowmobile tracks on the mountain. According to my friend that lives on mountain year round, over 60 cm of new snow has fallen since operations ceased on March 18. Base that day was reported as 330 cm, so it's safe to say they made it to the near-mythical 350 cm. Probably a better season than the amazing 2017/18 because the big numbers hit earlier in the year; I can't recall a better January and the 300 cm mark was reached in mid February.

This is what it looks like when you close a ski resort weeks earlier than planned during a record snow season. The roof just visible in centre of shot is the operator hut for the T Bar. Huge piles of snow dug up and pushed aside to make drainage channels to accept snow melt.

20200405_180708.jpg


The ski club cabin shed its snow recently, although there has been new snow since then. It's almost 4 m from roof edge down to ground level.

20200405_150639.jpg
 

sly_karma

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New snow today, about 10 cm. Scheduled closing day was a month ago. No doubt there are some hidden dangers, but from the village there was not a blemish to be seen on the slopes. Snowbanks next to the main parking lot are still 3 m high. Drainage channels are running well and the melt is clearly on. Creeks down in the valley are swollen but not flooding yet, and Okanagan Lake has risen 30 cm since hitting low point a fortnight ago. Consider that the lake is 120 km long and 3 km wide; 30 cm over that area is a vast quantity of water, and there is so much snow left up high still to melt.

What a shame we never got to ski to the end. For Apex, this was probably the biggest snow year in its almost 60 year history.
 
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Chalkie

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New snow today, about 10 cm. Scheduled closing day was a month ago. No doubt there are some hidden dangers, but from the village there was not a blemish to be seen on the slopes. Snowbanks next to the main parking lot are still 3 m high. Drainage channels are running well and the melt is clearly on. Creeks down in the valley are swollen but not flooding yet, and Okanagan Lake has risen 30 cm since hitting low point a fortnight ago. Consider that the lake is 120 km long and 3 km wide; 30 cm over that area is a vast quantity of water, and there is so much snow left up high still to melt.

What a shame we never got to ski to the end. For Apex, this was probably the biggest snow year in its almost 60 year history.

Stay safe @sly_karma. Vancouver news reports flooding risks in the interior particularly as temperatures rise very significantly over the weekend (27 degrees in May!!!!) in the lower mainland.
 

sly_karma

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There won't be lake flooding on Okanagan like in 2017, the big snowpack was quite evident back in January and the lake level was lowered accordingly to make room for it. But one sharp rain event could certainly cause some local flooding.

Factoid: Apex and its surrounds actually drain into the Similkameen River, which joins the Okanagan River just south of the US border. Despite being considered a tributary, the Similkameen is a fair bit larger than the Okanagan since it rises on the crest of the Cascades up in Manning Park area, and also drains other high elevation/high snowfall areas like the Cathedral Range and the Ashnola wilderness. During peak runoff periods, its huge flow is greater than the capacity of the river channel downstream of the Okanagan confluence. This channel is cut fairly deeply into the surrounding terrain, so cross country flooding isn't really possible. Instead, the smaller Okanagan River will flow backwards and the Similkameen water fills up Osoyoos Lake, about 3 km north of the river fork and straddling the border. Authorities on both sides have to watch carefully for this and take quick action. Outflows from Okanagan Lake in Penticton must be reduced or Osoyoos lake will flood in less than a day. The Americans have an irrigation/small hydro dam on the lower Similkameen that can be used for partial control of outflow as well.

I've heard of attempts at establishing commercial whitewater rafting on the Similkameen, but apparently there's only a narrow window of opportunity between way too much water (too wild) and not enough water (too tame). The sweet spot isn't big enough for a decent length season and so the rafting trips have mostly settled on the Thompson and Fraser. Good exposure (trans canada right alongside) and more sustained water flow rates.

Not sure how I got here! A comment about May snowfall ended up at river rafting via cross border river flow controls. Just call me the ramblin man...
 

Chalkie

A Local
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There won't be lake flooding on Okanagan like in 2017, the big snowpack was quite evident back in January and the lake level was lowered accordingly to make room for it. But one sharp rain event could certainly cause some local flooding.

Factoid: Apex and its surrounds actually drain into the Similkameen River, which joins the Okanagan River just south of the US border. Despite being considered a tributary, the Similkameen is a fair bit larger than the Okanagan since it rises on the crest of the Cascades up in Manning Park area, and also drains other high elevation/high snowfall areas like the Cathedral Range and the Ashnola wilderness. During peak runoff periods, its huge flow is greater than the capacity of the river channel downstream of the Okanagan confluence. This channel is cut fairly deeply into the surrounding terrain, so cross country flooding isn't really possible. Instead, the smaller Okanagan River will flow backwards and the Similkameen water fills up Osoyoos Lake, about 3 km north of the river fork and straddling the border. Authorities on both sides have to watch carefully for this and take quick action. Outflows from Okanagan Lake in Penticton must be reduced or Osoyoos lake will flood in less than a day. The Americans have an irrigation/small hydro dam on the lower Similkameen that can be used for partial control of outflow as well.

I've heard of attempts at establishing commercial whitewater rafting on the Similkameen, but apparently there's only a narrow window of opportunity between way too much water (too wild) and not enough water (too tame). The sweet spot isn't big enough for a decent length season and so the rafting trips have mostly settled on the Thompson and Fraser. Good exposure (trans canada right alongside) and more sustained water flow rates.

Not sure how I got here! A comment about May snowfall ended up at river rafting via cross border river flow controls. Just call me the ramblin man...

Gees I can't wait to see some more of B.C. for myself. Maybe after June if all goes according to Dr Henry's plan!
 

sly_karma

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Highway 3 follows the Similkameen for a fair way, basically all the the way from Allison Pass in Manning Park until Richter Pass just west of Osoyoos. That would be a good hour and a half of driving, and you see the river grow from a little creek to a wide braided river with lots of little gravel runs and minor rapids. The valley is fairly narrow in places and always spectacular. Not often you drive that stretch without seeing wildlife; over the years driving highway 3 I've seen bear, deer, moose, elk, mountain goats, mountain sheep, coyotes, ospreys and bald eagles.
 
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sly_karma

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Fresh again. Apex Proper in this pic at 2200 m and other peaks not in picture showing solid cover down to treeline. Meanwhile, 1600 m below in the valley, the grapevines are coming along nicely.

20200615_093205.jpg
 
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sly_karma

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Not too much left now. Pockets below mid mountain are remnants of manmade in terrain park and race training lanes. Scheduled end of season was 11 weeks ago. Perhaps this will address the crop of questions we get each year asking if it's safe to book a Canada ski trip in March.

The open rocky face on the left flank is Pit and Westbank runs. Just a scree slope really, a handful of trees somehow cling to it. Seems amazing that it actually becomes skiable. Always an area of concern in the avy control program.
20200621_112356.jpg
 
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sly_karma

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High country cattle grazing in summer is still a thing in BC. Actually it is quite common in the southern interior region. Typical beef operation will own only a few acres of land down low with access to irrigation water, they grow hay all summer while the cattle graze wild on leased crown land up higher. In fall they are brought back down and pastured/fed hay for the colder months. Cattle sales are largely spring and fall, the animals then go to feed lots for 3-6 weeks of finishing. Cattle graze all over Apex Mountain Resort in summer, the open runs provide good grazing.

Video shot by Apex GM James Shalman on the way to work this week.

 
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sly_karma

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Apex season passes on sale, early bird rate is $789, available until Oct 4. 10% discount for 19/20 pass holders to compensate for early close. The interchange pass program has expanded again, now includes 2 days free at WH2O plus the existing arrangements with SS, Baldy, Mt Washington, Seymour and Manning. Super deal for those with time to travel a little, unfortunately few Aussies will avail themselves this year. Pretty sure they'll keep going with this program though.
 

sly_karma

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Things got serious early this season. 25 cm of snow fell a fortnight ago and most of it remained. Yesterday a cold front arrived, bringing another 25 cm, and today it is -9 in the village with perfect fluffy flakes falling. It is full up midwinter blower powder. Check out the snow accumulation on the truck in half an hour:

20201024_125940.jpg


A few ski tracks were visible on the Chute and the snow guns are running wide open just above the village on the race and freestyle training areas. Unless there's a warm spell in mid November, there will be early training opportunities and probably earlier opening for the public as well.

20201024_140132.jpg


20201024_140118.jpg


Despite it looking like early winter, we can't forget there's still another week of October left. What a lovely sight to see cottonwood and aspen fall foliage surrounded by snow-bearing conifers.

20201024_142849.jpg
 

sly_karma

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Apex is open. Well, sort of. T bar is operating for freestyle and alpine training groups. Theyve have 50 cm of new snow this month so far, including 20 yesterday. Temps were mild the past few days making nice wet base building conditions and now the cold front has arrived to set it up and provide good snowmaking conditions. Cats are moving around on the upper mountain compacting the base on key runs in the move to open more terrain. As I see it the only way they would open before the Dec 5 posted date would be if they can run the quad. No sense having public and athletes all jammed onto just the T Bar.
 

sly_karma

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Opening day! Some big efforts made to open terrain despite no precip since mid November. Quad open with Juniper/97 only (snowmaking), but the triple chair is opening with all runs. Will allow people to spread out, until the announcement last night i thought for sure T bar only and made other plans.
 

sly_karma

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I feel very blessed. Nice sunny morning for my first turns of the season. No need to reserve for lift tickets or a table at lunch, just show up with a face covering and away you go. Snow cover is early season but sure is nice to just make some turns. For just 50 cm it's in pretty good shape.

20201212_110539.jpg
20201212_120543.jpg
 

sly_karma

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More terrain open after some fresh through the week. All the north side runs, plus Tongue and Hanks, Face and Poma. Run of the day was the Tongue, I pounded those bumps 4 times.

Took a couple of laps on the triple, grooming is impeccable considering how little snow there is. Snow forecast tonight, hopefully enough to get us into the double blacks that loom above the top of the triple like a wall.

20201220_125616.jpg
 

TOFF

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More terrain open after some fresh through the week. All the north side runs, plus Tongue and Hanks, Face and Poma. Run of the day was the Tongue, I pounded those bumps 4 times.

Took a couple of laps on the triple, grooming is impeccable considering how little snow there is. Snow forecast tonight, hopefully enough to get us into the double blacks that loom above the top of the triple like a wall.

20201220_125616.jpg
I might have to put you on ignore shortly.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
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Yesterday's system delivered 18 cm of fairly warm wet base building snow. Early reports from my spies helped me decide not to invoke powder rules. Now we move into a dry period of a few days as the region sits at the edge of a mild polar front. Next snow likely about Boxing Day.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
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We usually talk about skiing here of course, but here's a short video of the ice skating loop at Apex. It is located at the far end of the main parking area in the village and is free to use and open seven days a week and lit until 11 pm.


During the 80s, Apex built and operated a network of XC trails, most of them on the lower slopes of Green Mtn to the south of the village. The little village loop was just 1 km long and used a piece of land surrounded by townhouses and condos but left vacant because it was too swampy for buildings. In the mid 90s they abandoned XC operations due to the advent of Nickel Plate XC Club trail network 6 km away. The resort by this time had built its hockey rink in the village and acquired a Zamboni to groom it. Someone had a great idea: build edge boards and flood and groom the old Village Loop XC trail. It has only mild rise and fall and proved to be a huge hit with the public. Very popular for families to come up from Penticton for the evening to skate as there is no outdoor ice there, and the bushland trail setting is unique. Skates can be rented from the Mountain Shop in the village and there is a small building at the loop for lacing up and changing. Definitely worth a look if you're staying in the village.
 

absentskier

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We usually talk about skiing here of course, but here's a short video of the ice skating loop at Apex. It is located at the far end of the main parking area in the village and is free to use and open seven days a week and lit until 11 pm.


During the 80s, Apex built and operated a network of XC trails, most of them on the lower slopes of Green Mtn to the south of the village. The little village loop was just 1 km long and used a piece of land surrounded by townhouses and condos but left vacant because it was too swampy for buildings. In the mid 90s they abandoned XC operations due to the advent of Nickel Plate XC Club trail network 6 km away. The resort by this time had built its hockey rink in the village and acquired a Zamboni to groom it. Someone had a great idea: build edge boards and flood and groom the old Village Loop XC trail. It has only mild rise and fall and proved to be a huge hit with the public. Very popular for families to come up from Penticton for the evening to skate as there is no outdoor ice there, and the bushland trail setting is unique. Skates can be rented from the Mountain Shop in the village and there is a small building at the loop for lacing up and changing. Definitely worth a look if you're staying in the village.
That’s great! Such a cool “little” hill.
 
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