Craig's Report - February 24, 2004

Oh Them Fernie Blues

The first picture may require some explanation. Fernie's Mountain Hosts are a tremendous asset to the hill and its visitors, for they provide knowledgeable and cheerful free tours of the mountain to anyone who cares to go along. However if you look closely, you can sometimes see just a hint of frustration behind that cheery exterior, for regardless of how talented a group they might be leading, the harsh law of the feared Possible Law Suit, forbids them from venturing onto anything harder than a blue run.

Thus when a gang of us encountered a wistful looking Bernie (one of the reporters on this page) with a single clearly competent guest, we couldn't resist taunting him that we were headed for a blue run, namely 1-2-3. Now many visitors have commented on how some Fernie blue runs tend a bit towards the dark end of the spectrum, but perhaps none is as notorious as 1-2-3, which plunges into Currie bowl from the top of the White Pass chair. As the second picture suggests, parts of 1-2-3 are very dark indeed. Journalistic integrity and a fear of sharp poles prevents me from revealing whether Bernie did lead his guest down this 'blue', but I can say they both looked a little blue when we passed them down by Trespass Trail on our way to the forbidden black terrain beyond.

So what about the snow? There has been nothing new since last week and that got well used by the hoards that lingered after the Alberta Family Day weekend and then baked by some warm sunny days. Still some rather nice turns still exist and the hoards are gone. These tend to be limited to areas that did not get too much sun exposure. For instance we had a very nice run down from the top of Easter Bowl, but the few turns down Tom's run that were necessary to get there, were far from pleasant. The choppy and icy conditions, mixed with steep slopes ending in lots of trees, made one very aware that errors could be quite costly.

An appetite for bumps was also useful today, for pretty much everything that hasn't been groomed had moguls ranging from soft and round to hard and pointy. Meanwhile the groomers I was on were firm and grippy and just cried out for big carves at imprudent speeds. So overall, while there were spots best avoided, the skiing remains pretty good.

At six PM it is mainly overcast at the house and 0 C.

Mountain Host Bernie discusses the blue run possibilities in Currie Bowl

Of course some blues are a little dark. Here Rod pauses while passing from 2 to 3 on 1-2-3.

A dull day for pictures, but this shot of Lizard shows coverage is very good. Sunnyside is at the upper right.

Another bowl panaorama, this time from Timber. The Knot Chutes are at the upper right, while the top of the White Pass lift is at the upper left.

The top of Easter, which proved to be quite nice indeed.

Looking up Easter.