Craig's Report - January 23, 2004

Smeagol vs Gollum

Ever since the Griz slipped off for his January break, the hill has a been fighting the battle of good (i.e. soft) versus bad (that would be hard). He left to the pitter patter of rain, but fortunately that only extended up the hill to just above the Bear's den. Farther up the hill wore its Smeagol persona: "Poor master has no new snow, buts I will lets him slides smoothly and gripses well". while farther down Gollum ruled: "Master tries to cuts me with nasty skises, but I will bumps him, and slips him and smears him all across the slopes".

Sorry about that; clearly having a teenage son obsessed with LOTR has taken its toll. It does kind of sum up the schizoid feeling of the hill recently, with the top not exactly beautiful, but trying hard to please with the result being some fine skiing. However as time has gone on without new snow, Smeagol has been losing the fight and one has had to look harder and harder for wind droppings and the like to feed those nice turns. Way down low on the groomed, things were pretty good too in a super cruiser kind of way. In between though things could be rather evil.

There was a wicked wind storm on the old side yesterday that eventually ended up with all the chairs on that side being closed due to concerns about falling trees - something I cannot recall happening before. It was calm today, but most of the old side had tree and needle debris like they use to give race courses definition. This was no problem, but it did look kind of strange.

The freestyle World Cup circuit is here and the aerialists were practicing today and these folks brains are definitely wired differently than what Darwin would expect. I did not see any sign of the mogulatti when I was passing by, but they will be doing their thing just above the Bear's den on the weekend.

The really good news is that it is finally snowing and all the forecasts seem to be in rare agreement that it will continue for a while. Perhaps the Griz's cruise is over at last.

At 5 PM it is -1 C and snowing lightly at the house.

The mogul course takes a good size bite out of Bear.

The aerial's practice. The little red dot is a jumper and it is interesting to compare his height with that of the Deer lift towers.

Another contestant, with Stag Leap in the background.

Like much of the old side, the snow on Cedar Ridge was littered with bits of tree.

Gollum lives here. Low on Linda's run was not a fun place to be. Shortly after taking this picture, I got a personal demonstration of the ballistics of a human body sliding down icy moguls, sans skis.

Smeagol territory. The snow ghosts at the top of trees in the center of Currie.

Although getting scarce, soft nice turns were still available in some places, like this glade in the Currie Chutes.