March 23, 2000

A Buffet of Ugly Snow

Master chef Griz of the Fernie Alpine Buffet served up a wide range of snow conditions for today's fumbling pleasure. Up top there was a solid rain crust with a thin covering of new which soon gave way to an interesting variation when the crust was replaced with the occasionally breaking variety. Groomed runs were served with either ice, sometimes with a heavy lump dressing, sticky edge grabbing icing or nice (relatively) plain slop depending on altitude. Even the presentation was varied, with weather conditions ranging from goggle blotting heavy snow to sunny and back in quick succession.

We were away for a couple of days on a shopping trip and returned last night in a rain storm and high single digit temperatures. Clearly the bad stuff went pretty high with the result that today was unusual in that some of the best skiing was lower on the mountain, at least if you like it heavy. I had runs down King Fir and Windows Chutes that were really pretty good in a Quaker Oats kind of way. I even had some friends call the skiing generally pretty good, but I don't know that a lot of people would agree - I didn't.

The good news is that it has been snowing quite steadily this afternoon and the temperature at the house has dropped to 0 C at 4:30 PM.

I didn't get a new camera on our little shopping excursion and probably won't until early summer when some slick new models appear. I therefore have had to resort to my trusty, but low res old Kodak for pictures.

Truth in advertising. This sign at the top of the White Pass chair reads:
Challenging skiing on groomed and off piste!!!!
Downright Not Recommended.

Timber Bowl from the White Pass Chair.

It looks nice, but is in fact a thin covering of new over a solid ice crust. Farther down the ice crust would not be so solid. :-(

Upper Heartland at the bottom and Knot Chutes at the top.