Craig's Report - September 24, 2005

Kitty Litter

The cat that has been prowling around the mountain in recent weeks continues to scratch out what appears to be worthwhile improvements for next year. The work on Lower Barracuda was extended down into the alder and gully region below Currie Creek and while this was described to me to as sort of extreme alder removal, the net result certainly looks like it might make the North side of lower Currie much friendlier for less advanced skiers. Whether this will be enough to get into the blue territory, even by Fernie standards, remains to be seen though. The squeeze point on Gilmar�s Trail also received some caresses from the cat�s blade and is now noticeably wider, although I still don�t see this as a spot I will likely frequent.

Over in Timber Bowl, the narrow, steep cat track that heads down towards lower Siberia Ridge on the skier�s right of Deep Sea, has been widened and the edge rounded into the slope on the lower portion. It is kind of hard to judge what it will be like with snow, but it certainly should be a significant improvement and put a bit less of a premium on those twitch short radius turns.

Down near the base area, the trees where Incline meets Lizard Trail have been trimmed back a bit and fill from the Timberline Condo�s project has been used to flatten things out so it should be easier to glide across from Cedar Trail to the base of the Timber Chair. They have also relegated the exposed creek beside the rental shop building to a culvert and filled everything in so it is just a smooth slope. Last winter they used logs, polyethylene and snow to accomplish the same thing and apparently were pleased enough with the result to make it permanent.

Although I didn�t visit it today, on a trek up Castle Mt. (the small rocky knob across the valley) yesterday, I could see that the cat has taken up residence in Siberia bowl and was working on the approach to the gully on the skier�s left of the Falling Star switch back. This switch back is often ugly even for advanced skiers and I for one almost always avoid it by going through that gully. It is an unfortunate impediment to less advanced skiers on this otherwise long easy run, so it will be interesting to see what the cat can accomplish in terms of creating a relatively friendly bypass.

Note that the price of season passes goes up on October 1st, so if you are planning on getting one, now would be a good time.

At 19:30 it is clear and 7 C here at the house.

The town of Fernie nestled below its namesake mountain on the left, with Fairy Creek, the Three Sisters and flank of Mt. Proctor towards the right. As you can see the snow from our little adventure of a couple of weeks ago has disappeared with the exception of a bit of a frosting up on the middle sister.

Looking across the Elk Valley at the ski hill from Castle mountain. This picture like the previous one, was actually taken yesterday (the 23rd). Alas the afternoon sun made getting a decent shot of the hill pretty tough

The re-sculptured cat track on the edge of Deep Sea.

Looking up at Polar Peak from the middle of Currie Bowl.

The reworked entrance to the now slightly less narrow, narrow part of Glimar�s Trail.

When the cats away the kitten will play? Cat Jr. tidies up the windrows left on Lower Barracuda, by its heavy hauling big brother. Note the much improved cat track heading over to the North side of the gully.

Now that is one way to get rid of alders and gullies and everything else. The North side of the bottom of Currie has been reworked and should provide a much easier alternative to Gilmar�s than before. These are the type of rows that the small cat cleaned up farther above.

Lower Currie. A start was made on that last little knob above Meadow and when cleaned up should be a welcome improvement as the lip of this was often bony even in good snow years.

Tree trimming and fill should provide less exciting access to Timber Chair from Lizard Trail and points North.

Creek? What creek?