Craig's Report - January 4, 1999

One Down (er Up?), One to Go

The Timber quad chair was open to the public today for the first time and with it a portion of our new playground. This puppy is over a mile and a half long, so it is a good thing that it is also fast and comfortable


The top of this lift is higher than the top of Bear and it showed in the snow quality once you got away from the windswept top. Unusual for Fernie skiers, the disembarking area had lots of little dots in the snow. We think they are called rocks. <g>

Hopefully this is just leftovers from the recently departed construction crews and will soon go the way of other Fernie rocks - i.e. deeply buried.


On either side of the top of the lift, which is on the ridge about two thirds of the way to the right in this picture, there are nicely spaced glades and what promises to be some interesting skiing.


The snow in these trees was soft and pleasant near the top, but did become crusty farther down. The shrubbery and hazards within the trees has not yet felt the wrath of hordes of crazed powder hounds and bravely stick up while wiser bushes on the old part of the mountain cower safely under the snow (except for those cheeky, and cheek whipping, alders). This gives the new area a bit of a wilder feel than the old terrain. Perhaps it is just I am on a first name basis with virtually every bush in the original terrain.


While the top portion of the area serviced by the Timber lift is fun, the area below the bottom of the White Pass chair (pictured here) consists of a bit of intermediate terrain followed by a long, long, zzzzz, long flat run out. I am pretty sure once the White Pass lift opens, advanced skiers will use Timber mainly as a transfer lift.


All this pontificating on the new terrain is based on just two runs. When I first attempted a second trip up Timber it stopped while I was waiting in line. After a few minutes it started again for about ten seconds and then stopped again. Inside the lift shack I could see folks flipping through manuals and doing other disconcerting things. While it wasn't that cold today, there was a ferocious wind ripping through the pass and blasting the top of the lift (this could be a problem on cold days), so I decided to head back to the old side until I was fairly sure the first day bugs were worked out. On my next trip down the sucker was stopped again, so I gave it a good long break before venturing up for a final run on it.

This was by no means a hardship as the Rockettes could have skied in line, blindfolded, down Cruiser without fear of hitting anyone. It was just flat out deserted on most of the hill. Conditions continue firm but pretty decent on all the groomed runs and crusty in areas that haven't been chopped up. The moguls have grown rather large on their diet of holiday skiers, but in most places they still carve fairly well.

At 5:15 PM it is -4C at the house and cloudy.

(Click on any picture for a larger version)

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