Shames Mountain: Shames Mountain/Hudson Bay Mountain

  Posted by Silver Star on 23/02/2009 @ 05:34
Resort / Country: Shames Mountain, Canada | Visited 4764 times
Very Good Conditions In North Western British Columbia
After a few weeks of chasing the snow in the southern Interior, we ventured to the north west of the Province in the third week of February. It has been an unusually dry month in southern B.C. – not much new snow anywhere after the first week.

The north west in the place to be this year and, in fact, has some the best conditions in North America. Shames Mountain near Terrace, had several big dumps at the beginning of the month and Hudson Bay Mountain, near Smithers had a couple of falls of 10 cm or so.

Shames was the standout for snow, 375 cm base at mid mountain, over 4 metres at the top. As always, it was never crowded so we were able to find lots of fresh stashes of snow particularly in the glades. The temperatures have been unusually consistent so the conditions were great. As it is in the coastal zone (Shames is only about 100 km from the coast) while there is a large volume of snow there is usually only a narrow riding "window" - the snow typically turns to “coastal concrete” within a short time because of wide swings in temperatures. This month conditions have stayed in the –5 to –10 range so the snow was almost as good the champagne powder typically found in the Interior - it stayed in great condition for days. With all the snow we had to be particularly careful of tree wells, they are over 2 metres deep in many areas, falling in is NOT a good idea.

Although the lifts are old and slow, the mountain has some of my favourite terrain in B.C. and also some of the best lift accessed backcountry anywhere. It also has some of the most stunning scenery- the mountains are right on top of you - as these shots from the access road show.

We also spent a couple of days at Hudson Bay Mountain which is right on the outskirts of the town of Smithers, about 250 km east of Terrace. Although the snow pack was much lower (about 150 cm mid mountain), the dry interior conditions as well as the variety of terrain made for a great trip. Some of the lifts are only open on weekends but we were able to access much of the terrain anyway. This meant fresh tracks on a number of runs for 3 to 4 hours on the first day we were there. Conditions were great both in the alpine as well as below the tree line and, again, at times we had the mountain to ourselves. Smithers is a great town with a lively mountain culture so we had a good time there in the evenings.
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Comments (1)  
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 Stuart (23/02/2009 @ 10:33)
Excellent, would love to head up there one day.
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