Heinz's Report - February 16, 2003

We Got Snow!

When we left the bar in town around midnight last night it was raining! After much cursing we were surprised when we got home up on the hill to find a mixture of light rain and some snow mixed in. This was looking hopeful - our first precip in over two weeks. When I awoke to the faint sound of far away snow blasting I was surprised to see a couple of cms of snow on the deck. The best part was the heavy snowflakes coming down. What a pleasant surprise after our drought the past couple of weeks!

I decided to head out and see how good it could be. The resort was claiming 7 cms of new snow, but I was hopeful that I could find more. I decided to set a goal for myself of not skiing on any groomed runs after weeks of grinding it out on the hard and fast groomers. At the top of the Bear Express chair it was actually looking like the Fernie of old with heavy snow coming down in copious amounts. I was also lucky to be one of the last ones under the ropes as the patrol was starting to close upper Cedar bowl. I had heard that Redtree was pretty good this week, even with the hard crusty stuff we were coping with for some time. I was not disappointed. The snow was definitely more than 7 cms and I couldn�t feel nor hear any of the crunchies underneath. Being the only one out there didn�t hurt either. One of the true pleasures of this place is to be standing alone among the tall, snow encrusted lodge-pole pines listening to the snow fall.

Cedar Ridge was open after being closed for most of the week so I decided to check it out. Definitely not as good as Redtree � lots of lumps and hard icy spots underneath. I decided to head over to the new side to check out Currie. On the way down I went down Sunnyside which was well skied out by now by the large holiday weekend crowd, but still soft and pleasant. At the top of White Pass, the visibility was still good and I headed over to Concussion Chutes. I had a run there earlier this week when the sun had warmed up the icy crust so I was hoping the snow, which was still coming down heavily, would have improved the conditions. I headed out to Barracuda/Cornice Chute area and the snow was deep and soft. Sounds of the crunchy stuff were still evident here and your attention was needed. However, it was still much better than anything we have had for some time and the soft snow was much appreciated.

Back up and over to Morning Glory. The tracks of the people who had gone up earlier were becoming covered again with the new snow suggesting fresh snow would be found. The trees were becoming well covered with the new snow and the tracks were deep and soft. Even the boring run out wasn�t too slow with the new snow! I headed up one more time into Currie to try out 1-2-3. There was less visibility now but if you kept close to the right near the cliffs and trees, the snow was the deepest and softest for the day. I decided to head over as far right as I could under Anaconda Glades and Gotta Go, where there were few tracks and heavy deep snow. I even tried Bootleg Glades for the first time this year which wasn�t as good as the rest of the stuff I was lucky to experience today. The ski-out at the bottom through the heavy alders is a definite Not Recommended.

By mid-afternoon it was starting to warm up and the snow was turning into rain about halfway down the mountain. I wanted to check out Easter Bowl before heading home to dry out. Easter was well skied out by now but I found very deep (but heavy) snow way over on skier�s right in the trees. All in all a pretty good pow hunting day and way, way better than what we have had for quite some time.

At 5:30 it�s still plus 1 Celcius but raining. I hope it�s snow up top!

Heinz - heinzr@far.redtree.com

Snake Ridge � tempting but I had places to go!

Redtree. Good stuff and much more than the 7 cm the resort was claiming.

Cornice Chutes. Good snow but some crunchies underneath.

Morning Glory. Still filling in with new snow by mid afternoon!

1-2-3. Visibility an issue, but good deep snow near the cliffs and trees on the right.

Looking up to Gotta Go. I have try this line soon!

The bottom of Bootleg Glades. Too tight for me!

Easter Bowl. Deep and heavy.