Craig's Report - December 30, 1998

Return of the Fernie Christmas Curse

Yes folks it r-r-r-r-rained again this year during the Christmas vacation. It seems Fernie has been cursed the last few years with either (or both) bitter cold or rain during the Christmas holiday season. The temperature at the house went up very quickly yesterday in the late afternoon and the snow changed to fairly heavy rain. This played havoc with the roads and in fact the highway was closed yesterday evening stranding some of our neighbors in town. (Needlessly since the problem was on the other side of the ski hill from Fernie).

This morning it was clear and cold enough to have created lots of ice around the house. This shot is from the top of North Ridge with the town of Fernie and the Elk Valley in the back ground. There was a small sign warning of ice on North Ridge, but I decided to give Cedar Ridge a try.


The upper part Cedar Ridge had a light crust that was a bit tricky, but actually skied remarkably well. As you went farther down the crust got thicker and thicker until it wasn't exactly pleasant. It could still be skied with a little effort though and turns in the debris from previous skiers were quite good. This was one case where it was much better to ski in someone else's tracks.


Over on Sunnyside there had been enough traffic to have pretty well shredded the crust and I found the skiing very nice indeed. Clearly all that was needed was more sacrificial lamb to crunch up the stuff. This shot is of Lizard Bowl from near the bottom of Sunnyside.


The groomed runs were generally firm of course, particularly near the bottom. Generally they held and edge, but there definitely were slick spots.

This shot is of the KC Chutes, Snake Main, Extreme Hazard and even part of Steep and Deep. Although there are still lots of alders, they are disappearing quickly. The hill is reporting a 275 cm base now, which is pretty good for December.


A reader reported getting an email response from the ski hill saying that they now hope to have the Timber chair open on January 3rd and the White Pass chair open on January 11th if all goes well. This is much more specific than anything I have been able to get out of the hill and jives well with the rumours that are floating around.

At 2:15 PM it is 1C at the house with a mix of sun and cloud.

(Click on any picture for a larger version)

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