Craig's Report - December 05, 2005

Not So Steep, But Definitely Deep

Both the Griz and I stayed away from the hill over the weekend, but it sounds like we may have been the only ones. First thing Monday morning though, the Griz was back at it and thus encouraged me to lug the alpine skis up the mountain yet again. With lots of new snow and a morning long serenade of explosions from avalanche control work, I decided Morning Glory would be a good option for both safety and solitude. Unfortunately it is also a long grind walking up there in ski boots, but it did let me have a look at how Timber Bowl was shaping up. Not too bad as it turns out and although more is still needed on things like Puff, Black Cloud and Surprize, the rest of it looked to be pretty good - actually probably great today.

My run down Morning Glory in the trackless, thigh deep, heli quality snow was certainly great. I stayed on the lower aspect glades to the skier�s right and even though the snow wasn�t really fluffy, it was still light enough to allow easy bog free turns on this relatively gentle terrain. This is a prime breeding ground for the Fernie powder python and they can be particularly aggressive early in the season, before they have had their fill of sacrificial boarders. In the past I have had my share of experience with these critters, but today they let me pass unhindered and while there certainly were lots of alders and shrubbery to navigate, I had no problem finding clean lines down.

The lower parts of Falling Star, Timber Trail and Meadow that comprised my route out, now all seemed fine, although I could have skipped the part about skating out the Falling Star ski out in boot deep powder. Even in the unlikely event that the forecasts are actually accurate and the snow ends tonight and doesn�t return before opening day, I think the hill should be good shape for the season start. Of course ski hills need their snow fix and more snow will be wanted and needed on an ongoing basis, but this is a very good start.

At 17:00 it is -7 C at the house and after a brief break it is again snowing quite hard.

The upper part of Puff and the top of the Timber Chair.

Lower Meadow.

Even Silver Lining had impressively deep tracks on it.

This is the lower part of Heartland and is most notable for the large dark blobs that are in fact the huge snow flakes that were falling at the time.

Moments later this fellow came down Heartland and I got a fuzzy zoomed snap. Again blurred by lots of flakes, it was the best shot I had to show the skiing depth. Keep in mind this is lower Heartland.

Looking down Heartland. The lift was actually running for the patrol, but I think the folks visible beside the loading station might have been hikers just looking wistful.

Almost there. Looking down at the top of Timber from the last crawl up onto the ridge.

Hmm, maybe it was worth it after all - in the Morning Glory trees.

As I took this shot on Morning Glory, I was standing straight up and the snow was up to my crotch on the up hill leg and mid thigh on the lower one. It doesn�t get a lot better.

The relatively flat mid section on Morning Glory. Even crossing this I had no problem maintaining progress despite the snow depth.