Craig's Report - January 03, 2005

Not Bad

Not really Fernie good either, but it does seem to be improving. I thought conditions got pretty mediocre once the holiday crowds turned up and drilled through to the crust (and in some places dirt) under the Christmas offering. Turns that didn't involve scraping sounds at some point became harder to find and the weather turned pretty chilly to boot. Still the skiing has been more than acceptable as something to pass the time while waiting for a real Fernie fix.

That fix still hasn't come, but with small amounts of snow continuing to fall from time to time and the crowds gone, things do seem to be getting softer. Off run you could find anything from silky powder to crud to hard boiler plate and the tough part was you were never sure which of those the next turn would bring. To my surprise, most of the groomed runs I was on were really very good, although on the lower mountain it helped to stay on runs with snow making. There are some chronically bad places, like getting from Haul Back to Boomerang or getting out of lower Currie, where there are at least some sections where avoiding all the dirty snow seems pretty much impossible. This isn't ski destroying stuff, but a bit distressing all the same.

Over all though, not bad, even by my picky standards.

At 18:40 it is a pleasant -11 C at the house, with no stars to be seen.

The afternoon sun sneaks past Mammoth Head to illuminate Morning Glory.

The center of Cedar Bowl with Griz Peak standing guard in the background.

Dave 'The Man' on the prowl for ne'er-do-wells on Cedar Ridge.

Looking down Cedar Ridge from the same spot.

Sunnyside has a few weeds, but would be pretty nice if not for the hard bits.

Another mid-afternoon setting sun shot, this time from the North side of Currie Bowl.

They did some major glading this summer in Currie Bowl, effectively creating this new run between Currie Powder and Concussion Chute. It is much more open than is obvious in this image and makes for a very nice long mogul run. I do sort of mourn the more private tree skiing sacrificed for this, but have to concede the result was worth it.

I used the new cat track to escape from Currie to the bottom of Stag Leap, just above Deer top and Silver Fox. This worked well, but only because it is awkward to get at with the current conditions and thus has not been heavily used yet. The snow making on Silver Fox made for nice cruising, but Meadow was lean until you got down to the snow making above the bottom of the Timber chair.

A useless shot looking back down the climb up to Siberia Ridge. A misty Milky Way can be seen in the background.

The top of the Morning Glory trees (same spot as the first shot). The snow looks nice here, but was in fact a bit choppy underneath, with hard icy bits in many places. Some of the gentler stuff farther down actually provided much nicer turns.