John's Report - February 09, 2005

Life is Still Good on Wednesday!

After 7 hours of nearly perfect powder skiing on Saturday all I could do was go to bed; hence no report from me. Nevertheless I want to say it was fabulous. A full day of untracked, or barely tracked, skiing (with out-of-towners being unaware of nature�s bountiful blessings). At 12:30 I went down Diamond Back to discover to my surprise that I was only the third or fourth person who had descended through the pillow powder.

Today was still very good. Except for the occasional biting wind, the temperature was moderate, about 5 below. Ice was appearing in the folds of some moguls, but if one skied the tops, it was a good, soft, although somewhat bumpy, ride.

In Cedar, through the trees between Cedar Centre & Trillium, the snow was very forgiving. The groomers below them were silky; providing a good rest from the quick turns necessary above.

Kangaroo was pretty bad at the turn half way down. Rocks & frozen mud made their appearance. Yet this was the only run of the day which drew that complaint.

Boom bowl was icy in places, but bending way over allowed me to pick turns that were usually soft and fluffy; helped no doubt by the occasional high afternoon winds which filled the depressions with wind drift.

The trees to the right of Arrow still offered soft but deeply carved tracks.

A trip up the Face Lift and across to Easter Bowl proved arduous. The winds blew us back even when we going down on the moderately sloped sections of the Cat track. However, we were rewarded with chopped, but still very nice, soft powder.

Liftline, between the top of Timber and the bottom of White Pass, was amazingly good. Normally it is often icy after a few days without snow. The bottom half got a bit icy, but bailing to right on to Big Bang quickly corrected the problem.

Our last run of the day began down the ridge over 123's, the area marked (falsely) on the Fernie official map as a permanent closure (Does it have a name or is it just part of 123's?). Dropping down to the head of Trespass trial was somewhat challenging, with the trees being very close together due to the low snow base. I was somewhat amused to see the hazard tapes appearing on the tops of trees 6 feet above the snow surface. Boy, have things changed since early January.

Going along Trespass we headed for lower Diamond Back. Though I gave it a pass, I was sorely tempted to drop into Bootleg Glades, which was filled with willows but nevertheless look very inviting. The willows aren�t so bad - its like tree skiing without the risk of a hard collision.

Diamond Back, marked �Not Recommended� is recommended by me. Sure there are hazards, but if you�re a familiar with the run they are easy to avoid and there is still plenty of heavy, but good, powder.

For me, quaffing a few beers after a day on the slopes is a necessary part of the ski experience. Regrettably, the Griz Bar and Kelsey�s have chosen to emulate Whistler, and other over-priced resorts, and have raised their prices to over $6 for a pint. There is an alternative. The Wood, located in the Griz Inn, offers a huge selection of draft beer for $5.25 and has a daily special for $4.25 (including taxes!) a pint. You might want to check it out as it is really a nice place with a huge rock, wood burning, fire place surrounded by comfy chairs.

Having struck my blow for the consumer, I�m going to nurse my under-exercised legs in a nice hot bath. Happy sliding.

Willows of Boom

Face Lift

Easter Bowl was a Good Ride

Red Flags in the 123's