February 15, 2002

Learning to Like Packed

There is still no new snow, but my mental gears are slowly changing so I can once again appreciate the niceties of packed skiing. The wind has been the dominant snow factor recently and it has resulted in a bit of a mixed bag of snow conditions, with some wind scoured slick spots and uncomfortable wind chop, but also some nice blow in.

Up off of the Face Lift and over on Snake Ridge and even on 1,2,3, I found a significant wind crust that while not brutal, wasn't exactly comfortable either. Areas that had seen more traffic were generally better and for instance Cedar Ridge had some very nice mogul turns available. The unlikely prize of the day though was Sunny Side where the wind seemed to have scoured off the rough edges and continuously filled in the troughs with nice layer of silky blown in snow.

The groomed runs have become somewhat firmer, but still provide excellent grip. Puff was its usual bumpy self, but did not seem overly firm, so I was surprised to encounter a couple of folks who had slid most of the way down the slope, while their skis declined to accompany them. Also at the top of the White Pass chair there was a sign warning that the Currie Chutes had firm slick conditions and long slides were possible. This is not exactly my favorite conditions, so I opted for 1,2,3, which was passable, but hardly great. To my surprise though, Diamond Back was not too bad, albeit bumpy.

I expect we will see big, possibly record, crowds this weekend, so unless morbid curiosity draws me out, I will probably be lying low for the next few days.

At quarter past five it is -4 C at the house with just a few light clouds, but the weather elf has a rather promising forecast for next week (check it out on my main FAR page).

From the top of the Face Lift with the top of the Bear Chair and the town of Fernie below.

Pretty much all of Cedar Ridge is visible in the picture from the top of Steep and Deep.

Looking straight down Steep and Deep.

The top of the Timber Express perches on its saddle.

Polar Peak above a shadowy Currie Bowl.

Currie Chutes.