Winter is Here! Kinda…

The view from campus got a major facelift this past weekend when storms rolled through and blanketed the mountains in a beautiful snowy layer. For some of us, this offered only a refreshing change of scenery, but to others, it was a call to throw some skins on our skis and go look for skiing, as the hunt for pow has started.

Quest campus during the first week of January, 2015. A rare bit of snow at low elevation.

I am an avid skier, but being from the valley in California, I was not entirely sure what to expect in terms of on campus snow when I entered Quest. I was very aware that world class skiing (at Whistler Blackcomb) was only a short drive, or even bike if you’re feeling ambitious, away from campus, but how much snow would be on campus was a mystery to me. I was amazed to find out how snow-free the campus actually is. Quest University is at an elevation of about 156 m, or 512 ft. At this low elevation, the campus does not experience much snowfall. Last year, we had about a week at the beginning of January where there was snow on campus, but that was the only exception.

Andrew McKean enjoys the sun and the fact that there’s snow in the mountains.

The end of Fall and beginning of winter is always an interesting time around campus. For me, it rivals only the springtime in terms of opportunity for fun. Though the breezes becomes noticeably colder, sunny days are still relatively warm on campus, and climbing and biking are still a feasible option, as well as kayaking for a few more weeks. At the same time, snow is there if you want it badly enough. This past weekend a few Quest students and I came down with a bad case of pow fever and just had to get our faces in that fluffy white stuff. We got in a truck and drove up a logging road as far as we could until we reached snowline, then hiked/ skinned our way to the low angle slopes that are safe to ski with this wet, heavy snowpack. Touring is typically the only option for skiing until Whistler Blackcomb opens in a few weeks, but with lots of snow predicted to fall in the next few weeks, those of us that have the set-ups and desire will be flocking to the mountains to catch some early turns.

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