December 11, 2001

Soft Snow, Hard Chairs

There was no new snow today, but with some exceptions on the new side, the slopes are still in very nice shape. I only managed to sample a few runs this afternoon, but most of what I saw was still soft, with fluffy turns still available in many places. Even on the main runs, only a few spots were at all firm and even those carved very nicely.

Lots of the old Fernie crowd I have spoken with has been avoiding the new side and not without reason. From the chair Upper Timber Bowl looks pretty good, but Puff, Heartland and to a small degree, even lower Highline all have significant hazards and I might stick to the old side as well if the delights of Currie did not keep calling. I tried the Morning Glory glades for the first time today and while I got lots of nice powder turns, I don't think I could exactly recommend them for prime time. I clipped at least two ugly feeling nasties under the snow, although fortunately with only minimal ski damage, and managed to get myself mired in an alder trap of impressive scope. Another metre of base would be nice for over there.

An even better reason to skip the new side may be the devolution of the White Pass chair from a comfy tush caresser into an instrument of butt torture. Those delightful soft cushy seats of two years ago have degenerated, leaving a rail at the back of the seat which has decidedly cruel intentions with regard to your tail bone. This isn't merely a bit uncomfortable and I think the ski company needs to have words with their friendly lift salesman about some sort of remedy or start providing free banana splits so we can start work on our own system of padding.

At 7:15 P.M. it is -11 C and, well, dark. There are at least a few stars visible though.

The top of the Timber Express with Timber Bowl in the background.

The site of last year's infamous Bear's Den rock garden is satisfyingly white this year.

This site's namesake run was well skied, but still had some freshies in the nether regions and was delightful everywhere.

On Sunnyside, the skier's right used to be alder city in the early season, but apparently folks with sharp implements have been busy over the summer.

The Currie Chutes (in background) still have lots of exposed foliage.

Every well prepared Fernie skier knows to carry a machete for off run excursions, but as I was never much of a boy scout I had to endure a mini adventure to escape this monster alder trap in the Morning Glory glades. :-)