Jay's Report - January 09, 2005

Missed it By That Much

It dumped 59cm in Red Mountain on the weekend. Red is about a 3 and a half-hour drive west from Fernie on highway 3. Red is where Canadian ski racer Nancy Green learned to edge and become an Olympic champion. Red is also known for legendary powder. Sometimes Red gets it. More often Fernie gets it. Sometimes they both do. This weekend, Red did. I was in Fernie. I always get a little grumpy when I�ve missed it by �that� much.

Fernie had excellent skiing, but we still wait for the next dump. It�s been cold - in the minus 15 to minus 20-degree Celsius range. We�ve been getting about 5-cm dumps of new here and there. The accumulation is surprising. On the weekend, we found King Fir, Boomerang and Linda�s Run to be nicely covered, though a tad inconsistent with shades of ice (just to keep you on your frozen toes). White Pass chair on Sunday was very nice indeed, but run selection was key. A little too far skier's right or left on Shakey�s Acres and you found yourself in a minefield of dust on crust and death cookies. But directly under the lift was soft and even knee top in places.

In some areas of the hill it�s obvious that we are short about a meter or so of the white. On Stag Leap for instance, the alders tower up to about my waist and higher in places. I�m a little vertically challenged, but not that challenged. Stag Leap is stricken off my list for now. The lower part of Snake Ridge would fall into that same category. The Saddles and Corner Pocket have not reached the point of making a regular appearance on the open signs and as best as I can determine, remain �amber�. But the rest of the hill is generally very good. At least there aren�t any crowds; like, no one. It�s easy to knock off any quota of vertical in a couple of hours. That�s about how long it takes for your hand warmers to burn out.

Like a lot of Canadians, I�m feeling a little deprived of hockey as of late with the NHL players lock out/strike or whatever it is they call it. I�m happily getting my fix from the Fernie Ghostriders on the weekend. The arena always seems to be jammed. Nothing like an evening of hockey and cold (made in Fernie) beer. Great entertainment to end a ski day and wait out the next dump.

Think I�ll drive to Red tomorrow.

Important note: Congratulations to Emily Brydon who placed top 20 in the women's World Cup on the weekend. Emily is a local icon who is generous with her time in supporting and mentoring junior ski racers and FAST (the Fernie Alpine Ski Team). Fernie is proud.

The Warming Hut at the top of Haul Back says it all of the cold weather and young racers in training

Deb on One, Two, Three

Looking Down on Concussion in Currie Bowl. I thought I had some nice shots of Chris, but my camera apparently froze up

Chris on the lower part of the White Pass lift line, skier's left

Chris on lower part of White Pass lift line, skier's left. The apparent death cookies were actually soft; like hardened sugar. But there were plenty of the real knee busters on some other runs, like the Face Lift

Tele-Turns under White Pass Chair

Riley on the bottom of Lower Saddles, accessed from Face Lift. You had to look for freshies, but they were there last week

Deb on Powder Face. We call it the "Knoll". You have to traverse a bit to it, but there are often 8 to 10 turns of fresh