Jay's Report - February 24, 2003

Great Weekend for Inaugural Report

This is my first report. Following in any tracks of Craig is a challenge, not only on the ski hill but also in this report. I'll do my best, though, in joining my fellow Craig Reporters Bernie and Heinz in attempting to continue to deliver nothing but the finest of journalistic integrity that Craig did over the years.

This is a weekend report of Saturday and Sunday ski days, starting with Saturday. Not to be too psyched out on the first day "on the job", I followed the same routine as I have for the last number of years on a Saturday ski day in Fernie. I got up in the morning and opened the blinds to an offensive amount of light and squinted for signs of fresh powder overnight. Only a couple of cm's maybe, but it was snowing. I took this as a good sign. Dropping my son off at his Saturday bump and jump class, I had already decided to go up the Timber Chair and head to White Pass. It was colder than it has been. Minus 10C at the base and it was blowing snow a little. Not to be deterred, I took my first run down Puff with some friends. The snow was nice and carvy. There were some sections that offered a little inconsistency in the snow, mixing a tad of ice with a grabby type of snow. There was certainly nothing to complain about, but it was wise to do a speed check every so often. I was caught off guard once by a grabby spot resulting in a near collision between my knee and rib cage. Fortunately, my new strategically placed digital camera was there to soften the impact. Off to the side of Puff were some very nice turns indeed. What a world of difference 90cm of snow can make over the last week. Up Whitepass, the wind was a touch stronger and it was a bit colder. We skied under the liftline finding the snow consistent and soft at the higher altitude. I was feeling a little on the cold side when my friend, Linda, remarked, "With a face like yours you should be inside." I hadn't heard this type of comment since my university days, but Linda was apparently referring to the level of frostbite on my face. We chose to start down to the base via Currie Bowl and Stag Leap. Stag Leap was, without doubt, Jay's Run of the Day. The entry from Currie Bowl was a little hostile with high winds and blowing snow, but once on the upper part of Stag Leap, it was beautiful. There was even a little fresh pow still to be had in the trees on either side. That, of course, required a repeat performance. But instead we traversed further and ended up on the upper part of Easter Bowl. Though wonderful, not quite as exquisite as Stag Leap was. We never made it to the other side of the mountain on Saturday, but apparently the Powder Eight's were held at the top of the Face Lift. There were reportedly long lift lines on the Face Lift most of the day.

Sunday is the day I look forward to skiing with my son so that I can maintain a current assessment of approximately how old he will be before his skiing abilities surpass mine. That day is fastly approaching. While Saturday was blowing snow and blurred visibility, Sunday was blue sky all day. With clear visibility, it was time to search out the stashes of powder that were still untracked. The Face Lift was the place to be for freshy's. A freshy prospector line reminiscent of the Klondike days formed above the Face Lift. Knee to thigh deep powder was there to be had. There were also fresh tracks straight off Face Lift with no climbing. We chose the latter and started down Cruiser. The powder was amazing at the top. Further down Cruiser the packed powder had a pleasant consistency to it. Better than Saturday. The top of Blueberry and Snake Main appeared to also offer fresh tracks. The blue sky and clear visibility made it all to perfect to go on reconnaissance seeking powder stashe missions. We started over to Timber and up White Pass to climb up Knot Chutes. It was well worth the climb. Perfect powdery, consistent snow from top to bottom. Although the powder off Face was heavenly, Jay's Run of the Day had to be Knot Chutes for fall line, snow and overall consistency. A great weekend of skiing by any standard.

Jay - jay@far.redtree.com

Line above Face Lift

Riley on top of Cruiser on Sunday

Riley on Pillow Talk on Sunday

Bruce on Highline on Saturday

Kim on Stage Leap on Sunday