Craig's Report - May 8, 1997

The Ski Hill has been sold - almost!

The rumors that the ski hill would be sold are now confirmed. Apparently the offered price is $225 Cdn a share which with somewhat over 31000 shares outstanding gives a total value for the hill of just over 7 million. The offer is conditional on at least 90 percent of the shares being offered for sale. I suppose this could be a stumbling block, but most people seem fairly confident that it will go through. The purchaser is the Locke Stock and Barrel Company owned by Charlie Locke. This is the company that owns Lake Louise, Nakiska, Fortress and Winter Green. Heiko will stay on for a while to handle the land sales in the new subdivision and plans on building a house there himself.

Undoubtedly this will mean many changes for the ski hill and Fernie. Whether these will be beneficial or not will probably depend on your point of view.

I have had some requests for me to continue posting reports through the summer. While there isn't the immediate imperative of how is the snow, perhaps some people would be interested in seeing how the area changes during the summer as well as news of construction etc. Mountain bikers and hikers might also be interested in knowing when the trails are clear of snow, although I think the local mountain bike club might start a web page with this kind of information. I doubt that there would be enough interest to support anything beyond very infrequent posts, but I will give it a try. Please let me know your what you think.

Three and half weeks after closing, most of the snow has disappeared from the base area, but there is still lots on the hill despite the great quantities of rain recently. Even though the base gets nothing like the snow up top, it is still enough that I can ride my bike under some of the ski racks in the summer with out ducking. There is probably some truly fine skiing up there for those with the ambition to skin up. Personally I have taken an oath of sloth.

All of that snow has people thinking about the possibility of a flood. So far the Elk (seen here looking towards Mount Fernie and the Three Sisters from the bottom of the ski hill road) is not particularly high, but flood season is not until June here. Hopefully a slow steady melt will let everything drain away without incident.

The mountain biking in the valley is still very limited. Even as far down as the Fernie Campground you can everything is snow choked. At the right of this picture is the new bridge leading from the falls in Fernie Park to the the Sherwoody Forest and Gorbi Bowl trails. Not far up the Island Lake road folks were unloading their snowmobiles. It will be a while yet until the wheeled set can venture very high, but the biking is probably already good in the south country.


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