July 05, 2000

Summer Check In

School is out,, the snow is just about gone from the mountain and construction dust hangs heavy in the air - ah it must really be summer now!

Actually the real construction hassle at this point isn't on the hill, but at the West Fernie bridge, where they are getting ready to put the new span into operation. This has meant a lot of one lane, or at times it seems no lane, traffic. Sometimes it has backed up past the entrance to Riverside and while sitting in this once isn't so bad, it wears pretty thin on your umpteenth kid related trip to town. However the end appears to be near and at least we don't have all those end of term school trips anymore.

There are two new hotels appearing in town - one right beside the highway in the Riverside complex and the other in the old Regal Motor Inn site by the hospital. Construction is of course also still going on in both the Alpine Trails and Castle Mountain sites as well as in the Highline subdivision on the ski hill, where in addition to house completions, there appears to be something like a small townhouse development going in. This is apparently a Mike Delich project and a large hole has also appeared on his Timberline Condos property, signaling the start of the fourth of what is supposed to eventually be six buildings on the site. I hear this building will house the pool that the Timberline owners have been eagerly awaiting.

Other rumours from possibly reliable sources tell me that the final decision on lift expansion for this year has been made and the orders placed. Apparently only the Bear T-Bar will be replaced this year, but it will be with a high speed quad rather than the fixed grip lift that has always been talked about before. I tend to have sympathy with those that claim high speed lifts ruin mountains, but this probably makes lots of sense, at least commercially. It certainly will change the complexion of Lizard Bowl as it will now be possible to ski Dancer, Freeway, Easter Bowl, the Windows Chutes and even the Decline triplets off of that single lift. Sigh...

The Elk chair is now running daily and the hill is again infested with testosterone drenched, armored gladiators on their two wheeled steeds. Okay I am just jealous because I am too much of a wuss, not too mention old and fragile, to go on anything harder than the blue trails and certainly not at anything like the speeds these morons, er, riders do. ;-)

The hill has a bunch of stuff going on over the summer, ranging from interpretive hikes and day camps for kids to white water rafting etc. I haven't looked, but I would imagine they would have it all listed on their web site.

Have a great summer!

The Riverside folks are building a new hotel next, and I do mean right next, to the highway. Hopefully they have lots in the budget for sound insulation.

The West Fernie bridge zoo.

Another new hotel. I have heard that this one going up on the old Regal Motor Inn site is supposed to be a Best Western. A sign says it will be imaginatively named the Fernie Mountain Lodge. This shot from the hospital grounds at the back shows that the folks on the front will have a decent view up Fairy Creek towards the sisters.

There's not much snow left on the mountain now, but trucks are still plentiful.