Craig's Report - May 14, 1998

Rain at Last

A leaden sky and cool temperatures this morning ended our seemingly endless parade of gorgeous sunny days.  It rained steadily, although lightly, for much of the day and the forests could undoubtedly use more.  The gloomy conditions and the many encouraging responses to my question about summer reports made this seem like a good time to post something, even though I don't have much to report.  

All that warm weather did an amazing job of making the snow disappear.   A couple of days ago I took a ride up to the top of the Deer lift and encountered almost no snow and virtually no mud either.  Even places that are normally muddy in the middle of summer were pretty dry.

I haven't managed to get my lazy butt off of the mountain yet, but my neighbor told me they rode Deadfall recently and it was in excellent shape with only a few soft spots.

From the top of Deer I cruised down through the Fernie Zoo to the reservoir.  Crossing Sky Dive I was carefully watching my front wheel while negotiating on of the rare muddy bits and when I finally looked up it was just in time to see the back end of a large (looked large at the time at least) cinnamon bear go charging into the woods.  I couldn't help wondering how close I was to him when I first came on to the run staring at the ground.  Thirty seconds later I burst out onto Incline and startled an elk cow into a frantic little dance before ahe also dashed into the woods.   For the rest of the trip I eased out onto the runs slowly. :-)

This shot from the reservoir dam shows how the snow has pretty much completely disappeared from the lower mountain.  The run below Griz Peak is China Wall and on the right is the top of the Boom Chair.

Despite the dry conditions, it is still nice, green and leafy here.  It makes for some nice pleasant rides along the cat tracks..

We took a drive out to Surveyors Lake yesterday to watch my son run in a  foot race around the lake.  This is a great family spot and always seems to be about 5C warmer than in Fernie.   Unfortunately it has become very popular in recent years and is quite crowded during the summer.  They even have a reservation system now for the camp ground.   Of course the only way to family camp is close enough to home that you can run home for supplies and toys. :-)

The lake does get warm quite early in the season, but despite yesterday's heat I was not foolish enough to think it ready quite yet.  Right now the water is crystal clear, but late in the season it gets warm enough to get quite murky and rather unappealing.

As far as construction on the hill goes, there is not much to report yet.  Work continues on Thunder Ridge, Cedar Ridge, Timberline Condos and a few houses in the new subdivision, but there is no sign of preparation for the new lifts yet.

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