February 24, 2001

The Soft Caress of Winter's Return

Feb 25, 2001 Update - Excellent snow and sunshine make for the best day of the season so far IMHO.
Old man winter has returned to Fernie and chased the upstart spring back in to what will hopefully be a long term exile. Snow started to fall heavily last night and has continued in fits and starts throughout the day. The hill was variously reporting 8 to 10 cm this morning, but at least in places it seemed like more and with the continuing snow fall it had the feel of a traditional Fernie storm. Whether that plays out or not remains to be seen, but like a Big Mac to a starving man, this proved mighty tasty.

The improvement in the hill over Thursday (I wasn't out yesterday) was dramatic and while there wasn't enough new snow to completely mask the underlying depredations of spring or to keep the busy areas pebble free, everything was better. Of course in a normal year I would feel obliged to moan about the plentiful hard moguls lurking beneath or the crusty crud we found on Sunnyside. ;-) In general the spots that had been spared sun were better, but we had a pretty decent run down the Morning Glory trees despite a subsurface sun crust. Perhaps the fact the section we chose was untracked at noon may have made the crust seem even more tractable than it was. :-)

There were surprisingly few people on the hill and the only line ups we encountered were on the Face Lift and insignificant ones on Haul Back. Indeed it seemed to me that there may have been less people on the hill than on some weekdays the last week. Perhaps some of that because the weather that was so nice for the boards was not so friendly to the face. It was cool and windy and it doesn't take long to discover that wind driven graupel is less than pleasant. Visibility was also less than optimal at times, but all of this seemed a minor price to pay for soft stuff under foot.

At twenty to four it is -9 C and snowing - in other words perfect. :-)

Dim snowy days are never great for pictures, much less with moving subjects, but here Lyle demonstrates that there were some very nice turns to be had on Red Tree today.

Cedar Bowl from the top of Bear.

Looking down the top of Snake Main.

The new snow seemed thinner and the underlying sun crust was evident during this run down the Morning Glory trees, but it still skied pretty well and was untracked to boot.

Visibility was not always great, such as here on the 123s.