Craig's Report - November 10, 2004

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

There is now exactly one month left until the scheduled opening day; lots of time for the depressing green around the house to turn to a nice deep white. Still it would be encouraging to get a layer or two down here to set the mood. However it isn't time to get nervous yet - that will be next week.

The stupidity of the day was the decision that a walk up North Ridge would be nice. Now North Ridge is a black run, but we all know it is a pretty wussy black, even compared to some of our more, um, robust blue runs. However its steepness seemed more than sufficient today as I struggled up its icy surface. The rain of last weekend not only pushed the snow line higher up, it generated a nice crust up at least as far as the top of Bear. Yesterday that crust had proven nicely breakable and provided easy climbing up Bear, but today the crust on North Ridge easily supported my weight most of the time and was quite slick. Yet another object lesson in fast changing conditions.

While there were some ugly deep foot holes from someone's previous trip in softer conditions, I probably would have turned back if I hadn't recently acquired of what are essentially slip on chains for my boots. I had been looking for a light, convenient and cheap alternative to the overkill of crampons and these worked surprisingly well, although I suspect this was well outside their intended design and perhaps the bounds of sanity as well.

While more snow is certainly needed up top, it seems that there is an excellent base to build on. A nice dump on top, once stabilised, would be sufficient for some great alder dodging runs. Of course something to get you home would be nice, but fortunately the bottom runs are smooth and don't require much to get them ready.


At 17:10 it is 1 C and clear at the house.

It's looking pretty good up at the top of Boom.

However the bottom is a different and story.

The new race (?) hut at the top of Spruce. Cedar Bowl is in the background.

The re-contoured Spruce looks a little lumpy just now. A little more snow should fix that, but what appears to be a big jump (??) over on the skier's right is intriguing.

Looking across North Ridge towards Snake Ridge from somewhere probably in the vicinity of King Fir.

The, gasp, goal, gasp, is in sight. Looking up the last stretch of North Ridge.

I think I was just a little above the Punji Chutes when I took this shot looking into Boomerang.

Pointless shot of the Saddles, sun and contrails - just because I thought it looked neat.

The new deck for the day lodge bar looks pretty good now that it has railings.

The creek between Tamarack (the office building) and the Timber Chair has been bridged with logs and a layer of plastic and now awaits the final component - snow.