Jay's Report - December 29, 2005

6 cm Ain't Bad

The hill reported 6 cm over night. It was certainly that. The snow fell clear to the valley, making it white once again. More important though, the Griz gave the signal that all is well. It wasn�t a traditional Fernie dump but it was enough to cause a heightened state of awareness for many, including me. I guess it doesn�t take much these days. After a sufficient number of suffering days of no snow, 6 cm is less than I hoped for but the effect was more than I expected. One of the few cases where less is more I suppose, to coin a cliche. We�ve had more than 6 cm in the last few days, but I�ve missed a couple of days of skiing so my suffering has been prolonged. In any event, it�s amazing how intoxicating 6 cm of fresh can be to the powder deprived. 6 cm! I saw more skiers powering off cliffs in a state of hysteria than I have in ages. Moods improved, lift conversation was positive, less ice, great coverage, dog didn�t get kicked, better marital relations. What can I say? It was good skiing today.

For starters, the fresh was only up to about my bindings on Kodiak, but it was clean, fresh and turny. Boomerang was sufficiently covered to make it equally carvy. I spent most of the day on the Timber/Currie bowl side today. The Steep Three: Corner Pocket, Upper Saddle and Lower Saddle all had challenging entry lines, but once on the runs proper, beautiful things happened. Lone Fir also had an entry line which suggested some fore thought and planning, but once you flew past the fir tree (as I did, missing my turn on steep ice), upper Easter was grand and rewarding. Good to be alive. The thing about Lone Fir is how many times I�ve had a near miss there. Shakey�s Acres was good for all today as was Surprize. Decline was also surprisingly covered. The wind must have blown more than 6 cm in because it seemed deeper there. Of course, it was the end of the day by then and my perceptive skills turn male as my judgement fades with my legs near the end of the day.

I heard tell of an avalanche in the Cedar Bowl today that crossed the cat walk to Snake Ridge. Spectators reported that the hill responded instantly with a team of patrollers, avalanche search and rescue volunteers and 3 avalanche dogs. As a precaution, the team commenced a probing line and interviewed onlookers before determining that no one had been caught in the slide. Scary stuff, but there were no injuries and the response team was reportedly impressive and obviously well practiced. It�s rare that an avalanche occurs in bounds. I�ve only seen it a few times in almost 15 years of Fernie skiing.

At 11 pm it�s 2 below at the house. Forecast is for cooler temperatures and snow later in the week. Don�t know what I�ll do if we get more than 6 cm. Someone will have to hold me back. Either that or kick start me the way my legs feel at them moment.

Cliff Jumping Happy at Shakey's Acres

Lone Fir Cliff

Another Mad One on Lone Fir Cliff

Crazies were everywhere, even jumping the cliff band at the base of Knots Chutes. I could see the sparks from the chair lift

Robert and Craig on Lone Fir

Lower Easter from Lower Saddle. Too good on Lower Saddle to stop for a pic

Lower Saddle