The Apex thread

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
Ski Pass
Jan 17, 2014
38,363
41,221
1,063
Coastal suburban boonies.
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 v cool. Much more interesting than circulating on a rink.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Conditions continuing to improve with another 13 cm last night. I skied the past two days and was most impressed with the quality of skiing despite a modest 90 cm base. Our cat drivers are doing a sterling job with little snow and the natural base off paste is nicely dense and well bonded. The only groups of runs not yet open are Wild Side and the double black lines beyond Toilet Bowl.

Crowds are up because of the holiday season yet lift lines are quite reasonable, especially when considering there is no singles line and many chairs go with only two occupants due to COVID restrictions. Everyone is wearing their mask in the village and the mountain crew is happy and enthusiastic.

It all looks sustainable from where I sit and I think we will have a good season. The point of vulnerability for Apex and all the resorts is staff housing. There are people sharing rooms, so cases will spread fast if one infected person gets in.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Just your basic sunny Apex morning with the valleys below thoroughly socked in.

Base just over 100 cm, early season still but the best quality base we've had in a decade or more. No granular sugary weak layer down low, just well bonded and solid all the way to ground. Some fresh in the forecast and all runs are open.

20210109_092624.jpg
20210109_092459.jpg
 

Chalkie

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 1, 2002
6,246
12,878
563
Vancouver, Canada
Just your basic sunny Apex morning with the valleys below thoroughly socked in.

Base just over 100 cm, early season still but the best quality base we've had in a decade or more. No granular sugary weak layer down low, just well bonded and solid all the way to ground. Some fresh in the forecast and all runs are open.

20210109_092624.jpg
20210109_092459.jpg

February here we come!!!
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Sunny weekend was nice but now we would like more snow please. Clear night skies produced this beautiful pic by a local photographer though. This is what a mountain with a pitiful 600 m vert and four lifts looks like. So obviously shabby and small, no wonder the tourists give it a miss.

FB_IMG_1610977054631.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chalkie

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Weather and snow were perfect for our very low key return to racing. Plugged in some timing and printed some start lists and let the kids rip. They were so excited to race after nothing but training for two months. Just our club U12, U14 and U16 groups, 30 in all. They did six runs each both days, plus warmup and slipping, they will be tired little puppies today.

Even though the coaches sometimes use transponder timing as a training tool, it's still training and definitely not the same as racing. The kids loved it almost as much as I did. So good to be in the timing room again (by myself of course). First race - skis or bikes - I've been near in a full year. I really missed it.

We did this one very minimally, just four volunteers. The coaches were very careful about keeping athlete groups separated and we called each athlete to the start gate last second. All seemed to work OK but it would be hard/impossible to do anything bigger than this under the current restrictions. Kids would love it if we did it again, we'll see.

20210116_103456.jpg
 

KneeDeep

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 13, 2004
1,267
535
363
75
Canberra
Sunny weekend was nice but now we would like more snow please. Clear night skies produced this beautiful pic by a local photographer though. This is what a mountain with a pitiful 600 m vert and four lifts looks like. So obviously shabby and small, no wonder the tourists give it a miss.

Tourists don't know what they are missing, good challenging runs at Apex.

FB_IMG_1610977054631.jpg
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
First week of February delivers the goods again with 126 cm since the beginning of the months. First tracks this morning on just 12 cm overnight was enough to produce face shots.

Screenshot_20210207-203948_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210206-175736_Samsung Internet.jpg
    Screenshot_20210206-175736_Samsung Internet.jpg
    244.3 KB · Views: 2

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
After the snow comes the avalanche. This is on Apex Mtn proper, about 2 km outside ski area boundaries. The area is popular with sidecountry skiers, although this particular bowl is mostly avoided due to the hazard. Some local sledders decided they'd procactively trigger the slab. Amazjngly, no one caught in it. Huge 2.5 m crown about 400 m wide, class 3 release.
FB_IMG_1613184440591.jpg
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Following up on Apex FB group, I see now the sledneck is claiming responsibility. There is a surprisingly subdued passive-aggressive flame war with the local avalanche professionals and guides having their say. Sledder is an aging hothead/wild child who still doesn't know better. Claims he did it deliberately to make it safe for everyone else. But did it on a screaming uphill run rather than cutting in from above with a safe route to ridge. Whiffs of bullshit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KneeDeep

KneeDeep

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 13, 2004
1,267
535
363
75
Canberra
Whiffs of bullshit. Sounds like it, I have been with avalanche control guys digging pits and observed safe release. That is not the way to do it.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Woo-hoo! Base has passed 250 cm! In an 'average' season, Apex base Peaks at around 250 cm in mid March. There's another six weeks of skiing before lifts close, so it's safe to say we are having an above average season. Cover is good all over the mountain and the 'alternate' lines are starting to open up. I'm talking about little chutes and spots locals normally avoid because of wind exposure, known rocks or other hazards. But with lots of quality base at the moment, many of these options are becoming safe to ski. Adds up to more usable terrain within the ropes.

Screenshot_20210223-063226_Samsung Internet.jpg


And, for the record, Feb 23, 2021:
Whistler base 252 cm
Apex base 254 cm

Just sayin...
 

Captain Caveman

Early Days
Sep 24, 2020
51
74
18
Woo-hoo! Base has passed 250 cm! In an 'average' season, Apex base Peaks at around 250 cm in mid March. There's another six weeks of skiing before lifts close, so it's safe to say we are having an above average season. Cover is good all over the mountain and the 'alternate' lines are starting to open up. I'm talking about little chutes and spots locals normally avoid because of wind exposure, known rocks or other hazards. But with lots of quality base at the moment, many of these options are becoming safe to ski. Adds up to more usable terrain within the ropes.

Screenshot_20210223-063226_Samsung Internet.jpg


And, for the record, Feb 23, 2021:
Whistler base 252 cm
Apex base 254 cm

Just sayin...
Sly,
Just for fun, and I am sure you have explained it a bunch of times before. I am curious as to what are geographical reasons Apex gets such huge dumps?
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Big dumps are the exception, not the rule, at Apex. We are generally affected to some degree by the rain shadow of the Cascades/Coast Range to the west. Historically the resorts on the east side of the Okanagan Valley (Big White, Silver Star, Baldy) receive about 15% more snow than Apex. They are a little further removed from the rain shadow, but more importantly the prevailing systems from the NW, W or SW hit them as upslope precip. With its mostly N and E facing runs, Apex has its back to these systems and ends up with half of less of what lands at BW or SS. For us the normal scenario is lots of small hits in the 5-10 cm range.

The exception is when the system approaches from the SE, which is then downslope for Baldy/SS/BW but upslope for Apex. These are relatively uncommon, probably two a winter on average, but the powder yield is outstanding. Moisture has been transported a considerable distance from oceanic influence so the snow quality is excellent. Two situations can cause a SE system:
  1. Pacific system crosses the California coast just as the jet stream develops a bulge to the north. The maritime front then hooks north into the vacuum and spirals outward to hit the BC southern interior from the SE.
  2. Jet stream bulges south and allows polar air to move into central BC. Warm Pacific air is displaced and the ensuing mixing and cooling drops all the moisture it was holding. If the pacific front was out of the SW then the polar high will deflect it, causes the desired SE flow across Apex.
These big snow cycles are atypical for us but at the same time they happen sufficiently often that they're understood (not to mention awaited!) For some reason the first week of Feb has been particularly good, this year 125 cm, last year an astounding 167 cm in 7 days.

Summary, we get lots of small snowfalls rather than big dumps. What we get, we keep, because of the high-ish elevation (1500-2100 m) and mostly north aspect. The other anomaly is Apex and the other resorts get way more snow than the valley bottom does (650-800 cm vs 60 cm annually in Penticton), yet there is a lot more sunshine up high because we can get our heads above the clouds!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chalkie and Roymond

Captain Caveman

Early Days
Sep 24, 2020
51
74
18
Big dumps are the exception, not the rule, at Apex. We are generally affected to some degree by the rain shadow of the Cascades/Coast Range to the west. Historically the resorts on the east side of the Okanagan Valley (Big White, Silver Star, Baldy) receive about 15% more snow than Apex. They are a little further removed from the rain shadow, but more importantly the prevailing systems from the NW, W or SW hit them as upslope precip. With its mostly N and E facing runs, Apex has its back to these systems and ends up with half of less of what lands at BW or SS. For us the normal scenario is lots of small hits in the 5-10 cm range.

The exception is when the system approaches from the SE, which is then downslope for Baldy/SS/BW but upslope for Apex. These are relatively uncommon, probably two a winter on average, but the powder yield is outstanding. Moisture has been transported a considerable distance from oceanic influence so the snow quality is excellent. Two situations can cause a SE system:
  1. Pacific system crosses the California coast just as the jet stream develops a bulge to the north. The maritime front then hooks north into the vacuum and spirals outward to hit the BC southern interior from the SE.
  2. Jet stream bulges south and allows polar air to move into central BC. Warm Pacific air is displaced and the ensuing mixing and cooling drops all the moisture it was holding. If the pacific front was out of the SW then the polar high will deflect it, causes the desired SE flow across Apex.
These big snow cycles are atypical for us but at the same time they happen sufficiently often that they're understood (not to mention awaited!) For some reason the first week of Feb has been particularly good, this year 125 cm, last year an astounding 167 cm in 7 days.

Summary, we get lots of small snowfalls rather than big dumps. What we get, we keep, because of the high-ish elevation (1500-2100 m) and mostly north aspect. The other anomaly is Apex and the other resorts get way more snow than the valley bottom does (650-800 cm vs 60 cm annually in Penticton), yet there is a lot more sunshine up high because we can get our heads above the clouds!

Gee, wish there was more detail in your response ;) Thanks mate
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Apex Freestyle Club is taking it to the next level with the purchase of an air bag system for the aerials site. This year their head coach is retired world cup and Olympic moguls skier Kristi Richards, and she has led a fundraising program to bring an air system to Apex. Training opportunities have just expanded enormously. Apex freestyle skiers already make it to national team and world cup on a regular basis, and the Canadian team trains here pre season; this facility will strengthen the club's prominence even more.

FB_IMG_1615045523983.jpg
FB_IMG_1615045516311.jpg
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
The other big news for Apex this past week is Apex Ski Club alumnus Reece Howden has locked up the world cup ski cross title! With just two races to go, he is 215 points ahead of his nearest rival, and a win scores 100 points. Watch this space for pictures of Reece holding up his very own crystal globe.
 

Sbooker

One of Us
Sep 28, 2015
2,598
3,942
363
Big dumps are the exception, not the rule, at Apex. We are generally affected to some degree by the rain shadow of the Cascades/Coast Range to the west. Historically the resorts on the east side of the Okanagan Valley (Big White, Silver Star, Baldy) receive about 15% more snow than Apex. They are a little further removed from the rain shadow, but more importantly the prevailing systems from the NW, W or SW hit them as upslope precip. With its mostly N and E facing runs, Apex has its back to these systems and ends up with half of less of what lands at BW or SS. For us the normal scenario is lots of small hits in the 5-10 cm range.

The exception is when the system approaches from the SE, which is then downslope for Baldy/SS/BW but upslope for Apex. These are relatively uncommon, probably two a winter on average, but the powder yield is outstanding. Moisture has been transported a considerable distance from oceanic influence so the snow quality is excellent. Two situations can cause a SE system:
  1. Pacific system crosses the California coast just as the jet stream develops a bulge to the north. The maritime front then hooks north into the vacuum and spirals outward to hit the BC southern interior from the SE.
  2. Jet stream bulges south and allows polar air to move into central BC. Warm Pacific air is displaced and the ensuing mixing and cooling drops all the moisture it was holding. If the pacific front was out of the SW then the polar high will deflect it, causes the desired SE flow across Apex.
These big snow cycles are atypical for us but at the same time they happen sufficiently often that they're understood (not to mention awaited!) For some reason the first week of Feb has been particularly good, this year 125 cm, last year an astounding 167 cm in 7 days.

Summary, we get lots of small snowfalls rather than big dumps. What we get, we keep, because of the high-ish elevation (1500-2100 m) and mostly north aspect. The other anomaly is Apex and the other resorts get way more snow than the valley bottom does (650-800 cm vs 60 cm annually in Penticton), yet there is a lot more sunshine up high because we can get our heads above the clouds!
Apex a good bet for spring skiing? Easter holidays? I assume they close mid April due to lack of business?
 

Crystal

Sand skier extraordinaire
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1970
18,392
2,989
813
Far far away Aussie expat
The other big news for Apex this past week is Apex Ski Club alumnus Reece Howden has locked up the world cup ski cross title! With just two races to go, he is 215 points ahead of his nearest rival, and a win scores 100 points. Watch this space for pictures of Reece holding up his very own crystal globe.
I have also been following this..... Nancy is such a proud mumma bear. Awesome work.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
She would 100% be following the tour around Europe if travel were feasible. She texts me and the club coach each race weekend to make sure we're watching the live stream. A trio of tragics up at 3 am watching ski cross on the computer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crystal

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Apex a good bet for spring skiing? Easter holidays? I assume they close mid April due to lack of business?
Base usually keeps accumulating right through to closing weekend, which is typically first weekend of April - which this year happens to be Easter. Spring school holidays in BC and Alberta is the third and fourth weeks of March, not tied to Easter.

Spring skiing isn't a reliable situation for Apex while lifts are open. High base elevation, north and east aspect. The classic spring cycle doesn't really cut in until late April/May. Not uncommon to have a full on powder day to close the season, and then for another metre or more to fall in April.

This weekend foreshadows how the season ends: mild sunny weather in town will induce people to get out in their yards and start cleaning up after winter. Golf courses are open and the garden centres are probably packed. The season will end due to lack of interest, just a few hard-core types gobbling up all the powder on top of a 300 cm base. Happens every year.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
We wrapped up our race season yesterday, 6 days of "timed training" for our 30-odd club racers. So happy and proud that we pulled it off. The kids really needed to race, just training and more training is not the same. Athletes, coaches, parents - and this guy! - all ecstatic that we've made it through a full season. This was not at all certain back in December with much ado in media about outbreaks in BW and Whistler.

The wonderful 2021 season has just one more week to go. Snowpack is still on the rise, with warm long sunny days interspersed with new snow and mid winter type powder days. But it's all done on Easter Monday, even though base is almost 300 cm. So nice down town, everyone wants to be gardening or golfing.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Last day of the season today. We made it the whole way! I really was not at all sure it would happen. So grateful for being able to ski - 31 days for me, and some very good ones in there. Apex has had a banner year, with season pass sales up 40% on last year and day tickets above normal too. The lift queues were long at times but almost everyone took it in good grace - we were just happy to be skiing at all.

The best snowpack recorded was 280 cm base, with a season total of 540 cm. In my book these are slightly below average figures, but we had a really good quality base since November and this was the foundation for good skiing all winter. January and March were both relatively dry, but February made up for that.

We are closing with a 250 cm base, as usual. The gun runs were in excellent shape and still the odd fresh pocket to be found in the trees yesterday. Now I can get out my boat out and chase down that bloody @main street who jumped the gun last week.

IMG_40791.jpg
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Apex, May 1 - four weeks after the scheduled season closed. Any frequenter of Australian resorts would consider this to be solid midwinter cover. 2020/21 was a slightly below average season with 580 cm total snowfall compared to 650 cm average. April was drier than normal with just one snow event of maybe 20 cm.

There may be some "technical steeps" visible.

20210501_150623.jpg
20210501_150310.jpg
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass