January 31, 2001

Little Big Dump

The Fernie 20 cm rule dictates that on days with more than 20 cm of new powder, most of the town plays hooky and goes skiing. However this year it appears to have fallen victim to drought induced devaluation for it seemed like much of the town was up on the hill to whoop it up after last night's dump that the hill variously reported as 6 or 8 cm (one wag suggested the first number was measured by a woman and the second by a man). Somehow it seemed like more though and one can only assume that prolonged deprivation makes a small dose seem more potent. In places it was over ankle deep and was of high quality that made for sweet skiing.

Alas many of the hard core rock and gravel places were quickly scraped bare, but on the vast majority of the hill the skiing was very good and many groomed runs were excellent. I even gave in and took my good skis out, only to discover that I was so in the groove with the rock skis that it would take a few runs to reacquaint myself with a turning radius that must be half that of the older skis. Still they survived the day with no major damage and are definitely friendlier in the tight bits.

There seemed to be a lot of avalanche blasting given the modest snow fall, but all the bowls except Currie were open and even it was in operation by late morning.

Stuff is slowly opening up. I had been avoiding Sunnyside as probing runs from the side had always ended in a wall of alders, but today I tried just going straight down the middle and found it was just fine. It has probably been that way for quite a while and I suspect there may be other areas that I have been avoiding that might be okay as well.

At two P.M. it is 1 C at the house and almost completely cloudy, with some particularly menacing looking guys hanging over the hill.

Looking across the top of Cedar Bowl with Snake Ridge and Mt. Fernie in the background.

The center of Sunnyside was surprisingly good and relatively weed free.

Thigh deep fluff it wasn't, but at this stage even a bit of powder is pretty pleasant

Near the bottom of the Concussion Chute gully.