November 20, 2002

November Showers = December Flowers?

Well, let's hope not, but it definitely felt more like spring than fall this afternoon as I started up the mountain in my short sleeved shirt. There has been plenty of precip recently, but the temperature hasn't been cooperating. While the snow line would occasionally sneak down the mountain a bit, by this morning it had retreated back up to near the Bear's Den and the trees were dark as far up as you could see, which was about top of Bear. The lower mountain is completely bare and the ground isn't even frozen up to above the Bear's Den, where there is still mud on the cat tracks.

Farther up the situation improves and while it sure isn't powder, it is at least the beginning of a decent base. More is definitely still needed though and the short term forecast isn't promising (for what that's worth). The ski hill is still listing December 6 as opening day and while that is over two weeks away and snow miracles are not uncommon in Fernie, I will certainly be pleasantly surprised if that date holds.

In my last report I said that it was hard to tell what had been changed on Bear, but on my next trip up I realized that the cat that had been re-sculpting things had left all kinds of large mounds of dirt lying around in the middle of the run. I heard a rumour that the cat was going to be coming back to try and fix this despite the snow, but as I was returning to the house today, I saw it being carted away on a large flat bed. Unless the snow cats can smooth things out, I guess Bear will have a bit of unintended terrain park this year.

At 15:40 it is overcast and a depressing 9 C at the house.

At least the new staff didn't have to worry about frost bite during their lift evacuation training. :-(

This poor beast, parked at the bottom of the Bear chair, seems out of its element, but its tracks show it was actually ridden down the dirt road in the background.

When cats go bad - droppings left on Bear.

Lizard from the cat track above China Wall.

A rather twiggy looking Freeway from the same spot.

Standard shot looking back at the Bear's Den and Fernie from mid Lizard.

Dancer and Easter Bowl.