December 13, 2000

Sitting in the Cold, Waiting for Snow

The title about sums it up. There has been some snow over the last week, but nothing really significant and the last few days have been chilly with the temperatures not getting much above -20 C. From inside this seemed pretty cool and provided an adequate excuse to hunker down for the last couple of days. I finally decided I had to get out this morning and once out found it fairly pleasant despite the -18 C taunt of the porch thermometer. There is nothing like an uphill walk to make a day balmy and besides it was calm, which made it seem warmer than the last time I was out, despite the lower temperature.

For a change of pace I pointed my skinny skis up into lower Timber and as I expected all the exit runs from Timber (Deep Sea, Black Cloud, Surprize and Diamond Back) still look pretty rough. I didn't head up into the upper bowl, but it seemed obvious that this lower section would be one of the limiting factors on opening the new side.

Fernie doesn't have a lot of snow making equipment, but they have been running what they have continuously around the base area and it is slowly improving things there. It must be a bit frustrating though knowing that weeks worth of blowing snow and pushing the results around could be reproduced by the Griz in a few vigorous hours.

The forecast is finally starting to look encouraging with a warming trend (not too much please) and precipitation (solid please) starting Thursday. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a good old fashioned Fernie storm cycle so they can finally get the hill open.

Pick the right angle and add some lightly falling snow to soften the image and it can look pretty good. This is looking up Currie Bowl.

However this shot from under the Timber Chair is less encouraging. That is Black Cloud on the right.

And this is Deep Sea, the main drain from Timber Bowl.

Down at the base the snow guns continue to fill in the blanks. The bottom of the Mighty Moose is in the foreground, with the bottom of Elk and the Lizard Creek Lodge are in the background.