March 16, 2000

Day of the Cat

Our men's day group tried something different today and spent the afternoon cat skiing with Fernie Wilderness Adventures <>. This is the 'other' cat skiing operation in Fernie and not nearly as well known as Island Lake Lodge <> but it has the decided advantage that we could still book a day on fairly short notice and it has quite reasonable rates. The tariff for our group for the afternoon was $125 per person which included an excellent steak dinner. We got five runs if I recall correctly, which probably amounted to five to six thousand vertical feet, but might have been more.

This was my first time cat skiing, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I do know I certainly had fun. There was generally great snow, although some slopes had a rain crust that ranged from mild to somewhat nasty. All of it was untracked.

The terrain at FWA generally has a fairly modest pitch with a nice combination of trees and open slopes. While I think even the most advanced skiers in our group had a great time, the area should have its greatest appeal amongst skiers who are not looking for gonzo radical skiing as much as an unthreatening good time. Although tree wells and local terrain traps are certainly potential threats, the risk of large scale avalanches must be pretty low.

It snowed all day and apparently did at the ski resort as well, although there was only a few wet centimeters in my driveway when I got back this evening. I would imagine more accumulated up on the hill though.

At a very late 11:20 PM it is 0 C and cloudy at the house.

Pretty powder everywhere.

A typical gentle but trackless slope.

The motley crew and our steed for the day.

The lodge wasn't luxurious, but it suited my tastes very well as did the comfortable and friendly manner of the folks running it.