Craig's Report - November 10, 2005

A Month to Lift Off

It�s still 30 days until the lifts are running and with the hill now reporting a meter of base at the Bear snow plot, things are looking good. However one shouldn�t get the impression that the hill currently has the type of snow one would look for on opening day. While there are plenty of nice lines for those slogging their way up, there is lots of dubious stuff too and everything would be pretty sad if it had to endure lift traffic. Still, it is not unusual for there to be essentially no snow a month before opening, so even if the next month is just average, things should be great for those first lift serviced runs. Of course as has been painfully demonstrated on many occasions, weather is rarely average, so the possibility of a full range of conditions and emotions still awaits us.

Today�s excursion involved a walk up Timber to the top of the chair and then back down Falling Star. In accordance with my sacred oath of sloth, I decided to forgo dragging any skis or snowshoes with me in the belief I would find a fairly firm track up the Timber cat tracks. I was somewhat concerned though that I might end up wallowing my way down Siberia bowl, but it turned out that Falling Star had been almost completely groomed and aside from the odd new snow drift or soft spot, the walking was pretty good.

Apart from Highline and Silver Lining, which were also groomed, the Timber runs didn�t look all that friendly yet and seemed rougher than the other bowls. It was also featuring its trademark howling wind out of Lost Boy�s pass, which managed to make things feel quite winter like, despite the warm temperatures. Yes it was all too warm down at the base and on some parts of the mountain the walk was accompanied by the constant clatter of warming snow falling from trees in the forest. The good news is that the freezing level is forecast to drop down below the base by tomorrow some time.

At 16:30 it is a balmy 6 C at the house with a bit of wind under partly cloudy skies.

P.S. for those of you of the skinny floppy ski persuasion, I noticed a groomer heading out Silk Trail as I was coming down.

Currie Bowl from near the top of Meadow.

Looking down from where Black Cloud and Surprize meet. Not quite ready for prime time yet.

Highline and Silver Lining had been groomed and looked not too bad. Most of the dark bits on the snow aren�t sticking through from below, but rather are debris blown off the trees by the rambunctious wind.

The view down the White Pass chair from the 100% trail.

The lower part of Great Milky Way - another meter would be helpful.

My standard view from the top of the Timber Express, with the top of White Pass in the upper left.

Upper Falling Star looked pretty nice

The area by the switch back on Falling Star that was massaged by the D9 cat this summer.

The Elk Valley with Mt. Hosmer glowing surreally under foreboding skies.

The bottom looks rather rough after being groomed, but still good for this time of year. They appeared to be testing one of the snow guns the other day and I imagine that they will get serious about it as soon as the temperature drops again.