Craig's Report - May 7, 1998

Hot and Dry Spring in Fernie???

It rains in Fernie in the spring.  That is just a given, but this year the El Nino that robbed us of some fine powder days last winter has blessed us with truly outstanding weather.  It has been sunny continuously and temperatures rose into the high twenties before April even had a chance to make an exit.

This has resulted in a rapid melt down, but the relatively thin snow pack and lack of rain have kept flood worries down and the beavers and ducks who live along side the river contented.  This picture was taken a little over a week ago from along side the Elk River with the Three Sister's (yep we have them too) in the background.

The snow has pretty much disappeared from the lower parts of the ski hill and the houses around the little lack have a decidedly summery look.

However there is still lots of snow farther up.  I took a ride out Cedar Trail today and the snow started to make riding impossible between Boom Ridge and Lower North Ridge.  Some exposed South facing trails might be passable, but usually you have to stay pretty low at this time of year.  Even where there is no snow, soft muddy trails are very vulnerable to damage and should be left until they dry out a bit.

It looks like it is going to be a scary summer to be living in the woods.  Tuesday night a thick blanket of smoke came rolling up the valley, looking just like some sort of movie sand storm descending upon us.  It seemed that there must be  some enormous fire farther up the valley, but it was apparently from the big fires in Northern Alberta.   Yesterday there was actually a poor air quality warning issued for the whole region.  It is much clearer today, but you can still see a haze in this picture looking down Holo Hike.

At the bottom of the run is one of the houses under construction in the new Highline subdivision.  In this case it is the new home of the former ski hill owners, Linda and Heiko Socher.

My son has been taking and posting pictures of construction in the new subdivision so folks not from Fernie could monitor progress on their places.  It is quite impressive how quickly things progress, at least in the early stages.  Here the Thunder Ridge complex begins to take shape.

So far there no sign of major activity on lifts and other ski hill facilities, but I hear that things might get started as soon as the end of this month.

Some of you who get this report by email might well be asking why I am pestering you with a Fernie report in the middle of summer (well it feels like summer).  I have received a few requests for summer updates, so I thought I would give it a try.

Summer here is a great time, but also a busy time, so I don't expect to do these very frequently. However I am not at all sure if there is any real interest in my doing this at all, so I would appreciate any and all feed back.  Is it worth doing or is it just BORING?  Suggestions about what you might like to see, if anything, in summer reports would also be very welcome.

Have a great summer! 

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