November 15, 1999

A Hardly Hopeful Homecoming

It has been a week and a half since my last report and my email is reporting some unrest in the hinterland. Although I guess I don't need one, I do have a good excuse this time. Our family was off to oh so bustling Toronto to celebrate my wife's grandmother's 100th birthday. This woman is not some confused and feeble elder wheeled out for a brief ceremony in the home, but rather an elegant and remarkable woman who pranced through a series of parties and receptions that left the younger folks (gee I like using that term in reference to myself) wilted and moaning about our sore feet. Cool!

The snow we encountered in Calgary upon our return was encouraging, but as we drove South on Sunday, the temperature rose until it was in the high teens (Celsius) as we passed through the Crowsnest Pass. What is more the creeks and rivers were roiling muddy torrents that suggested spring runoff rather than placid fall freeze up. It turns out that a warm week was capped off with a couple of days of torrential rain and yes it toasted most of the snow that was on the hill. On a stroll up to the top of Bear today, I did not encounter any significant snow until the top of the Boom chair and a truck had managed to drive up to the very top. I heard a rumour that they have already pushed the tentative opening date back to December 4th and I would certainly be concerned if I had a ski trip planned for early December. Still things can change very fast here and it is certainly possible to go from nothing to great skiing in just a week. Of course it is also possible to sit at nothing for a month yet. :-( Stay tuned.

At 7:30 PM it is 3 C and presumably cloudy as I can't find any stars in the dark sky.

All too brown and green slopes rise above the day lodge.

Most of the bits of roof that were on the bunny run now are on the next phase of Lizard Creek. People with reservations for Lizard Creek this winter should note the the green roofed first phase on the right looks considerably more complete. :-)

Snowcreek Lodge looms over the mighty moose.

This shot from the middle of Lizard Bowl shows the Elk Valley in the background and the shiny roof of the Bear's Den near the center of the picture. Noticeable by its absence is that white stuff we all covet.

The lift line for next year's replacement for the Bear T-Bar comes up from behind the blue sign right where the current T-Bar crossing is. A bunch of trees have been removed, but the snow measurement plot survives at the extreme right in this picture.

A view of Lizard Bowl from the top of the Bear T-Bar. I never cease to be amazed at the height of the trail map up here and to emphasis it once again I hung my coat at about my eye level on one of the posts. It is not uncommon for them to have to clear snow away from this sign in the winter so it remains above the surface. Of course that isn't a problem at the moment.