December 17, 1999

Doing the Deep Crust Flounder

Take some nice wet snow, lower the temperature a bit and, ta da, crust. There were signs all over the ski hill suggesting that sane folks would stay on the groomed stuff, but with almost all of the hill open I managed to repeatedly let myself be lured into this humbling stuff.

Currie had the greatest range of crust entrées as it had not been groomed at all. Up top the crust generally consisted of soft, but not soft enough, 5 to 10 centimeter slabby stuff that very successfully defied any attempts I made to ski it smoothly. In places where the wind had done its thing, this crust was almost (!!!) strong enough to ski on top of. Down at the bottom the crust was a thinner rain crust that broke fairly easily.

In the other bowls, the top crust groomed up quite nicely which made for some nice cruising. By the way after trashing the official report yesterday I should note that it was quite reasonable today, mentioning spring conditions and only calling the groomed 'Good'. That was probably an appropriate general term, for while the upper groomed stuff was actually better than just good, it was a bit icy farther down. You definitely did not want to get off of the groomed into previously skied terrain at lower elevations unless you enjoyed frozen ruts or orthopedic surgeons. Fortunately the grooming crew apparently put in a big effort last night, for it seemed that they had done a lot of the hill.

The area around the base remains ratty, but lest folks get the wrong impression from my reports, the overall coverage on the hill is quite good, particularly on the old side. Getting rain trashed is hardly unusual in Fernie and all it takes is a nice dump to put us back in powder hog heaven again.

I have been posting these reports pretty frequently, but I will probably be cutting back somewhat. We have some none skiing guests arriving tonight and my son's birthday party on Monday, so it will probably be a few days until there is another report.

At 4:20 PM it is 2 C at the house under an overcast sky.

Cedar Bowl from the top of Bear.

Looking back the other way from the middle of Cruiser. The patrol hut, Bear bull wheel and the gun tower are along the ridge from left to right.

Avalanche debris at the side of Cruiser serves as a reminder than snow does not always stay where it falls.

Yea, though I slide through the valley of the shadow of crust, I fear no breakthrough, for my health card is with me.
Currie Bowl.