Craig's Report - December 08, 2005

Almost There

Just two days left! This year the hill is opening on a Saturday, thereby breaking a long tradition of giving us layabouts first thrash on the Friday - grrrr. Admittedly a few days without snow and a steady stream of hikers, patrollers and sundry ski hill staff out to make their mark, have left few slopes untracked, but there should still be plenty of stirred powder, for those first few hours at least.

From what I have seen, it should be a pretty good start, but the conditions still deserve the �early season� qualifier. While I expect almost everything will be open, there are runs that I definitely will, or at least should, avoid for another storm or two. Most of what should be groomed, seems to have been done and I imagine the cats will still be busy tomorrow. At least in the absence of traffic, the groomers I have been on have been in fine shape, but there are occasional rough spots.

I realized that once the lifts start, I am unlikely to have the guts to play with my skinny skis on runs populated with other people, so I have schlepping around on them recently. Encouraged by minor victories, I headed up to the top of the Timber Chair with them today as Falling Star seemed about the highest run I might actually survive. Unfortunately that means this report�s pictures are of the same areas as the last report, but on the plus side, I seem to have actually survived.

At 16:30 it is -14 C at the house under a mainly clear sky.

Snow ghosted trees at the top of the Timber Express.

The view up the Lizard run from the base.

The cats are busy these days. This one was working near the base and that is the bottom of the Deer Lift, with the Snow Creek Lodge in the background.

Lower Heartland and a couple of skinners and their pooches. My XC stuff was definitely a joy on the up hill compared to skinning, but what goes up...

They have opened up the stuff in the trees below 100 percent somewhat.

The Great Milky Way looked to still have a few nice turns, and perhaps the odd surprise.

Timber Bowl from the of the Timber Express. The top of the White Pass chair is at the upper left.

The precipice named Falling Star. Grooming never looked so friendly.

The recontoured gully above the Falling Star switch back.

All was not peaches and cream as evidenced by this gritty bit at the bottom of the Falling Star switch back. I encountered another on the bit of Meadow right above the bottom of the Timber Chair. These were rare and likely to be groomed away, but does suggest more snow will be required once there is traffic.