Craig's Report - December 25, 2005

Melty Christmas - No! No! No!

The good news is that Santa has delivered almost 40 cm of new snow to the upper mountain over the last week. The bad news is that the Grinch was simultaneously power washing the lower mountain with rain and finished off by wetting down just about the whole hill. There is lots of new snow up top, but it is admittedly now of somewhat reduced quality. The resulting skiing can be anything from hard packed to very soft and sticky, although the latter can actually provide some nice turns for the mush hounds in the crowd.

Most of the lower runs look pretty sad, although in my brief outing I managed to avoid all of them except the snowmaking endowed Lizard Trail, which was perfectly adequate. It has been the mantra here the last few days that the place to be was on White Pass since it was the only place consistently in the white zone. However getting around on the old side doesn�t seem bad at all and it does have a good way back to the bottom. Skiing down to the Haulback is fine and while lower North Ridge is showing some pain, it still provides a satisfactory route to the Boom chair as long as you exercise some vigilance on that final corner to the chair. Lizard continues to provide a decent way down to the bottom of the Bear chair and even Freeway is pretty good. Anyone who would normally only ski the lower mountain is going to have problems though.

At 15:45 it is cloudy and a tropical 5 C at the house.

The view down the Boomerang run from its namesake chair.

Meadow keeps getting grimmer. I saw an instructor trying to give a lesson on here - shudder.

That is Black Cloud in the center of this picture from the Timber Chair. Um, maybe later.

Even the bottom of Heartland is starting to show some wear, but ...

Most of the White Pass runs are very well covered. This is about the lowest elevation where any snow is still sticking to the trees. The ice and snow covered cliffs above TImber looked very cool though.

Downright, in Currie Bowl, was in pretty good shape. The 1,2,3 run has some significant avalanche debris issues.

The lower part of Sky Dive looked tempting despite the very soft snow and mystery lumps, but I think I was wise to plod across the summer trail rather than trust to the diminishing snow pack farther down. It was tough going though and more of a work out than I anticipated.

Cruiser had been partially groomed, but I arrived at this spot from a run down Cedar Ridge. This was very soft and sticky, but quite skiable with suitable mush technique. I bailed rather than discovering if the snow farther down on Cedar Ridge was still rotten, but I later skied Sunnyside, which had been rotten a few days ago and while still quite soft and sticky, no longer seemed intent on eating me whole.

Part of Boomerang Ridge had slid right to the ground, which is rather unusual to see in Fernie.

Silver Fox on the left and Incline on the right both had some serious problems, but Lizard, where the picture was taken from, was fairly decent.