Craig's Report - November 30, 2006

As promised, more snow arrived last weekend, particularly on Sunday night. Alas, also as promised, it was accompanied by a descent into the realm of the frigid. Now anyone will tell you that any real red-blooded Canadian is barely phased by temperatures in the minus twenties (C), even with a brisk wind. Accordingly, I hid in my house for a week cultivating a fine case of cabin fever. However when this morning dawned with another small snow offering, some sun and temperatures that climbed into minus single digits by afternoon, it was enough to finally lure me from my lair to attempt a trip up the mountain. Apparently most of the men, women and dogs of Fernie were seized with the same notion for I am not sure I have ever seen so many humans and canines trekking up the hill in the pre-season.

I�m sure most of them, well the humans at least, found the trip well worth while for the hill is now in great shape. Even the lower runs have very good to excellent coverage, particularly for this time of year. Up top there was tons of powder, although as you headed up from the Bear�s Den a pretty brisk wind made it self felt and at least when I was up by the Bear snow plot, it was just howling. Foot prints made on my ascent had been totally erased in places, mere minutes later. Speaking of foot prints, I had my snowshoes with me and although I was briefly tempted to use them on parts of Ballet, the path was so well trodden that overall it was easiest to just carry them as begrudged ballast.

While conditions on opening day in a week and a half could be just about anything from the vast Fernie repertoire, barring some titanic catastrophe, it would appear that at least snow coverage should not be a problem. In the voice of Mr. Burns: �Excellent!�.

At 16:40 it is -7 C at the house and partially overcast, with a big cloud hanging right on the hill.

The view up Lizard Trail from the base, with some of the many people, and dogs, that were making the trip up today.

Looking along Tower Six road towards the top of Sunnyside from the middle of Bear. The snow plot is at the right of this picture, which was taken hastily while the wind tried to freeze dry me.

A couple of folks skinning up Bear.

Easter Bowl from Sun Up. There was a skin track across the top of this and I saw some folks heading across it. They might have been ski patrol or otherwise in the know, but if not, they were pretty bold (read stupid?) for there was avalanche blasting in the bowls South of them throughout the afternoon.

An attempt to get a shot of Lizard Bowl from the same spot on Sun Up, but not only was it backlit, but all the blowing snow was not being kind to my lens.

There was a veritable crowd of folks by the Bear�s Den.

The Bear run. The dot in the center is, what else, a dog. Master had crashed off to the right, but I guess on powder days there aren�t even canine friends.

Despite the natural stuff, the ski hill was still prudently making snow, or at least a very crude approximation thereof.

Lower Holo Hike. Not bad, not bad at all.

Looking down at the Mighty/Mini Moose beginner area at the base. Note that the Mini Moose carpet tow (the horizontal line in the middle of the picture by the green shack) appears to have been about doubled in length. All the better to let those little munchkins rip it up as it previously was pretty short.