Craig's Report - October 18, 1998

Progress and Picture Report

There have been quite a few rainy cloudy days of late here in Fernie, but today was just gorgeous.  This was perfect since I had a tentative date with my neighbor Jim to make another trudge to the top of the expansion area to check out progress on the upcoming lifts and soak up some of the great scenery.

The Wolf's Den parking lot is full of lift bits and pieces being assembled into things resembling lift towers etc.  The rumour is that the helicopter is to be here a week from tomorrow to begin lifting things into place.  Apparently that is about a week behind schedule, which didn't sound too bad to me.

I finally managed (with permission) to scan in the part of the new brochure which has a map of the expansion terrain.  This is just a rework of the old map and the folks at the ski hill let me have a quick glance at a much better new map that will be used on the actual trail maps.  For now though this is as good as it gets.   Click on the map for a larger (640 pixel) version or click here for a 343 Kb 1200+ pixel version.

I had thought all of the lift tower foundations were in place, but on the way up we passed some folks preparing to blast a couple of spots along the road for additional towers.  Since they can easily drive the cement trucks up here, I assume this will not be a problem.

At the top of the Timber high speed quad there were people working on part of the lift mechanism, but some significant  bits of the structure were obviously still missing unless this lift is to be limited to very short skiers. Any signs of progress are welcome however.

Here we are looking directly back down the Timberline lift line.  The base of the lift is a surprising 2200 feet lower. My lungs carefully counted everyone of them.

We slogged on through ankle deep snow and such drop dead gorgeous scenery that I didn't even attempt to photograph it with my snapshot skills.  After a little more huffing a puffing, 600 vertical feet worth, we arrived at the top of the White Pass Quad.  I was standing on the foundation of the top of the lift as I took this picture of the new patroller's hut, but there is no sign of any mechanicals up here yet.

This view of the same hut and explosives box was taken from the new gun tower and shows that the top really is a fairly narrow ridge.  While I am unsure about Currie, I have hopes that even fairly low intermediates might be able to ski easily into Timber Bowl. This would mean finally most visitors to Fernie would be able to access the highest lift serviced point.

Currie bowl is on the left in this picture and Timber bowl is on the right. 

While I was on the gun tower I also took this picture of a chute beside it that plunges into Currie.  As I took this picture it seemed like the camera was almost vertical and somehow it just doesn't look as steep here as in real life.   However if they have this open and the snowpack doesn't alter the topography a lot, I am pretty sure most folks heading down it will experience significant posterior pucker.

Oct189808.jpg (22897 bytes)Okay, I know I have probably used up my download welcome by now, but how could I resist a nice shot of Polar Peak and upper Currie or ...

Oct189812.jpg (20513 bytes)the Currie Lizard ridge with the notch and Mount Fernie and the Sisters in the background.

This is a beautiful spot in the summer and a little snow not only adds to the alpine majesty, it really gets the old ski juices flowing.

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