Craig's Report - December 06, 2006

Just About There

With the hill opening in less than three days and nothing disastrous in the forecast, things continue to look good for a smooth start to the season. While there has been no significant snow this week and the temperature is ominously creeping past the freezing mark down at the base, it seems likely that the groomed runs at least will be in very good shape when the lifts start. Off piste will of course be what it will be, but at the moment a mild wind crust seems common. When I broke down and lugged my alpine skis up a couple of days ago, this crust was quite manageable and sheltered spots were still delightful. Memories of clomping uphill in those cinder blocks masquerading as boots encouraged me to use my XC stuff today on a final trip up to check out the new Lost Boy�s Cafe. As a result I did not venture off of the groomed, but from what I could see, the conditions still seemed similar.

While the start of season base looks quite good, you won�t mistake it for one in February of a good year. There are still lots of alders and other weedy things loitering about and I am sure the snow snake crowd is waiting in eager anticipation. However things like Cedar Ridge, Linda�s run etc. look quite tempting and generally easily passable with a bit of route picking.

The new restaurant at the top of Timber is looking rather attractive, but is still alive with workers trying to get the last bits done. Some folks have commented that they think it is rather small and certainly it isn�t huge, but it isn�t tiny either and would be considered enormous in a place like downtown London. It would definitely be too small to serve as a supplementary daylodge cafeteria. but I believe it is supposed to be more of an up market niche place and for that it would appear appropriate. Of course it will all depend on how much traffic it ends up attracting, so I guess time will tell.

At 16:30 it is 0 C at the house and overcast.

Lost Boy�s is nearly finished.

Black Cloud is far from obstacle free, but certainly passable. What might luck beneath the snow, may be another matter though.

However the groomed runs leading down seem to be in fine shape.

Heartland with a single cat pass down it. It appears the gentle main route might be fine, but the steeper stuff on the skier�s right could use a bit more cover.

Looking down the White Pass chair line from !00 Percent.

The new restaurant sitting up beside the Timber Express top station.

The restaurant decks are heated to provide an ice free surface. The hole in the deck behind the rail at the left is to allow a place for the snow on the roof to unload.

The interior of the restaurant. These pictures make it seem smaller than my impression when I was there, but I imagine it will seem different again when the tables are added.

Another interior view. It was cozy and warm, which was a nice break despite the heat of the climb.

This shot shows the lavatory building, at the right, in relation to the restaurant and the lift station. There were workers busy inside it so I wasn�t able to get a shot, but it does appear that it will be one very fancy out house. :-)

Falling Star was beautifully groomed, which was a life saver on my skinny boards of terror.

The new route at the bottom of Falling Star branches off to the left immediately below the switch back (which I am standing on). I did manage to hit a couple of rocks at the bottom of the switch back in the usual place, but otherwise had no issues with coverage.

But that new route doesn�t quite look ready for prime time yet, when seen from the bottom.