Heinz's Report - December 06, 2003

It�s a Fernie Kind of Weekend

Yesterday started with considerable promise. It snowed steadily all day and even though it wasn�t until mid afternoon that we were able to get up for our first ski of the year, it was quite enjoyable albeit a bit tough on the un-trained legs. There was a reported 10 cm new on the ground, but it felt more like 15. The snow was reasonably light and the conditions as Bernie and Craig have commented on earlier are surprisingly good for this time of year. I managed to get a few turns in the trees off the runs such as Easter Bowl and Cedar Ridge, but I still had my old (read long) skis and I found the conditions somewhat bumpy and variable. The groomed runs were excellent, even though the old side is still the only open area. By the way: What happened to the closure signs at the bottom of Elk? It�s hard to plan your trip up without good information? Get on the ball Ted!

It was still snowing steadily when we quit (our legs made us do it) but it looked VERY promising for tomorrow. The forecast called for 10-15 cm overnight and more during the day for tomorrow. The Weather Channel even had a Winter Storm warning up for the area. All of us were making plans for an early start on Saturday and I promised myself to get my new (read shorter and fatter) skis out!

When we awoke we heard that all too familiar sound outside our window � water dripping off the roof. This is NOT what they promised us! I checked the thermometer and it read 0 degrees Celcius, yet there was a light rain falling? And there didn�t appear to be any new fresh snow from late the previous evening. A quick check with the others and the consensus was to go up and see how far up the rain line was.

Well, the top was nice � the first 5 or six turns. Much like yesterday � nice and smooth and relatively easy. But as you came down into the rain line (around three quarters of the way up Bear Express) it got heavier and heavier. Upper Cedar and Upper Lizard were closed, but we managed to get into the trees on the right side of Cruiser and close to Easter off Tower 6 road and the going was tough. Much like skiing heavy cement someone commented. My new skis helped considerably and I actually had a pretty good time. By mid day the rain had stopped and it was getting cooler and drier. The cruiser runs which are normally groomed � but were not - were good in the spots where they were skied out. Bear was as good as it ever was during last year.

All in all, for early December, a very good start for the year. Both of my favourite web sites are predicting a wetter winter for us and the Morrisey Ridge Snow Pillow Data is showing that our snow pack is now ahead of where we were at this time last year. It augers well for the rest of season. All we need is for the temperature to hang in there!

At 4 pm it�s plus 1 Celcius outside and starting to clear. There�s no appreciable snow in the forecast so I guess that�s it for a while.

Heinz - heinzr@far.redtree.com

The trees on the right side of Cruiser. Doesn�t this look familiar?

Boom Ridge � not bad for the first weekend in December.

A skier in PS I Love U � not much snow flying in this heavy stuff!

Boomerang actually looked fairly decent, but I didn�t get down into it. Funny how it always looks good from the chair?

Kathy on Bear. Definitely the best run today.

Lower Cedar Ridge and Snake Ridge off in the distance. Need some more snow to cover these alders!