March 12, 2002Craig's FAR Update 2002/3/12:
Whoop's, that wasn't supposed to all be one monster paragraph - hopefully this is more readable.
The Fernie equivalent of the old Chinese curse might well be 'May you ski in interesting snow'. There certainly was a variety of interesting bits to sample out there today - some nice and some not so nice. I started out on the new side and found the right of Heartland, which usually has a good crop of moguls, to be so filled in with dense snow that for a moment I wondered if the smooth and soft surface was the result of grooming.
The 1,2,3s had lots of new snow, but it was dense enough that you stayed right up on top of it, while still soft enough to feel quite different from skiing in a little bit of soft on a firm base. Down around the bottom of Anaconda I started to break through this supporting layer, but it was still so soft that it was still quite skiable, if sometimes disconcerting. By Boot Leg Glades a thin rain crust appeared, but again while being a bit tricky, it wasn't really a chore to ski if you took care.
With my crust confidence brimming I was well primed for the large dose of humility provided by the KC chutes and some of the worst breaking crust I have skied in a while. About the only good thing I can say about this run was that I made it to the bottom with my skis and tendons still attached.
Upper Cedar Ridge, the Bear Chutes and Sunny Side all had more of that nice soft new mogul masking base as well as a good sprinkling of the fast falling graupel, making for a remarkably nice ride. You did want to bail to something that saw some traffic before getting into the crust farther down though. Probably White Pass was the best choice for the day since it was completely in the good range, but once you figured out what to avoid, the old side provided lots of nice turns as well.
The occasional patch of fog drifted over the mountain, but the visibility was quite good during all my downhill trips and while the snow might arguably have been better yesterday (certainly it was different), being able to see and stay dry made for a much better overall experience. If fact I found it to be a pretty enjoyable day.
At 15:30 it is 0 C and snowing moderately at the house.