February 02, 2001

Much Improved

Snow started to fall this morning and at times it was pretty heavy. Only the predicted 3 or so centimeters fell at the house, but up on the hill it felt like a lot more. In places there was even nice boot deep snow and while it was rather too heavy to be called powder, it wasn't too heavy to keep it from being very nice to ski. It seemed to me that more fell on the old side than on the new and by early afternoon both upper Lizard and upper Cedar were closed although Currie remained open. Also the sticky snow farther down seemed to do a much better job of covering the old side mid elevation rocks and pebbles than it did in Timber Bowl.

I got a quick reminder that early season hazards still exist when I decided to sample Bear Chutes and promptly speared a buried stump with one of my skis. Even with a quick heel release it was a pretty violent impact and I was very glad that only one ski hit. I would hate to think of the effects on a snowboarder's knees hitting something like that at speed. While I was floundering around to recover the ski, it became apparent that the snow pack was largely hollow and being held up by branches and other pointy bits not too far below the surface. Natural hazards indeed!

That adventure aside, today may have been the first time this year that it really felt like somewhat normal Fernie skiing. In many way it was much like what one might expect in early December in a normal year and that ain't bad. Even better, it is snowing fairly hard as I write this at about five thirty, despite the plus one temperature and my seriously tempting the fates by bringing my rock skis home from the locker.

The South side of Currie had some nice soft turns.

In places Cedar Ridge was relatively unobstructed and the snow was soft and good.

Linda's run was also nice, although a few of the bumps were scraped off to the harder stuff down near the bottom of the run.

Keep those heel pieces loose folks. Stumpwhacked in the Bear Chutes.
The stump is the thing in the upper right. The ski has recoiled back pretty much straight back along my line of travel.

A nice place.