February 21, 2000

Lunch Time Sortie

In deference to the ongoing Alberta and US long weekend, I decided to time my foray today to coincide with feeding time on the mountain. It seemed to work for I didn't encounter any significant line ups except at the Bear T-Bar and even that was fairly short. I didn't try the Face Lift though and it had a moderate line. In talking to people on the lifts, it sounds like there were some pretty sizable lines earlier in the day, but not as bad as on Sunday. I heard a rumour that 5800 people were in attendance yesterday, breaking the record of 5500 set on Saturday. If those numbers are accurate, it is amazing how well the hill handled them, particularly for those of us just slipping out during the lulls.

As you might expect the snow was pretty well used, but it is standing up well for the most part. The upper mountain is of course better and things like Cedar Ridge had nice soft moguls for most of the way down. The same could be said for Easter and Currie and there was even a little bit of blow in to further soften things in some places. Pretty much everything was mogulled of course, including the trees.

Farther down things could be less appealing and the worst spot I saw was on Freeway where there was a substantial patch scraped right down to the weeds. I had been well warned before going though, not only by the marginal skiing sign, but by watching a group inch there way down while I was waiting for the T-Bar. It was actually better than I expected once you navigated the hazards at the top, for while there was a good supply of boiler plate, there was still enough soft stuff to allow a fairly smooth ride down if you picked your spots.

I also expected Puff to be worse than what I found, although that is not to say it was anything like ideal. The moguls were predictably short and pointy, but once again there was enough soft grippy stuff interspersed with the peaks and scraped sides to allow careful progress. However despite my relative ineptness on moguls, it appeared from the frequent scattering of bodies and equipment that lots of other folks might have a more negative opinion of our friend Puff.

All in all I had a few quite satisfying runs and hardly noticed the crowds. A little more snow would be nice though to freshen things up.

At a quarter past four it is 1 C and overcast.

Looking across Cruiser towards Cedar Ridge from in the center Cedar trees.

On Cedar Ridge

Looking up part of Easter Bowl. The ugly narrow part of the traverse from the Face Lift is at the top center. It looks steeper and uglier in person.

A marginal skiing sign with the Bears Den and the upper part of Dipsy in the background. The sign actually refers to Freeway and with good reason.