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Mount Sproatt Ski in the Drenching Snow
Timestamp Free: 2018.12.14 - 23:59:32
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Dave Williams, Pascal Williams, Betsy Waddington, Robin Tivy
Difficulty: 3: Difficult trailbreaking in bottomless snow
Horrendous traffic and trailbreaking, very difficult bottomless sticky powder, horrible clumping, tree avalanches,
In Vancouver, it had been raining for almost every day in January, and the forecast was for more rain. But we had to get out. The previous week at Diamond Head had been nice enough - just blustery winter conditions. So I thought Mount Sproatt from the Rainbow Lake trail might be OK. We always pick Sproatt in bad weather because there is little danger of avalanche, especially on the steep ridge route. All the steep stuff is in the trees.

Anyway, the four of us drove up from Vancouver to Whistler in my Suzuki Grand Vitara. It was pouring down when we loaded the car in Vancouver. It was pouring at the church when we transferred the gear to car pool. It was pouring as we drove north to Squamish. Well, I thought, it can't pour like this all day. Temperature in Squamish was just above freezing. The rain started to have "texture" as we left Squamish, and soon turned to sleet. Temperature went down to the freezing line on the car thermometer, but never below. The "variable speed" signs said 80 then 60 km/hr at one point. At that point the traffic was doing about 30 km/hr. For some intervals it would be sleet, then back to rain.

Snow/sleet was pouring down as we reached the choke point south of Function Junction (Whistler) were two lanes go into one. Traffic was at a complete stop for next half hour. This is has become typical. Right ahead of us was a silver Tesla Model S. Beside us on the shoulder was a pickup truck putting on classic tire chains. The road itself was very greasy, such that front wheel drive vehicles skittered sideways when starting. Since we weren't going anywhere, I had lots of time watching the pickup putting on chains. It was just like the YouTube videos I had been watching earlier in the week while researching the subject. Quite realistic - they laid...

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