Jay's Report - February 21, 2006

Zoom the Groom

The sign at the top of the Bear Chair read �Caution, long slides possible�. With the lack of dumps in the last two weeks, the constipated Griz has fashioned some interesting terrain. There were reportedly some rather nasty, out of control slides. From the Boom chair, I witnessed one chap slide uncontrollably down Boomerang, nearly top to bottom. Not pretty. Still, if you stayed true to the groomed, you could rip it up rather nicely, particularly on shapely slalom boards. For those that stubbornly stuck to powder skis, I hope your dental insurance is up to date to replace those fillings that chattered loose from the good, good, good�. good vibrations. It was a weekend to zoom the groom in the sunshine; brittle sunshine that is. It was cold - cold as the Canadian men�s hockey team. Which is what everyone must have been doing, watching hockey, because the hill, though busy at times, wasn�t as insanely busy as it usually is for Alberta family day weekend.

The conditions gave me an opportunity to break out my spanky new hard snow boards. Do you ever wonder why it�s harder to buy skis than it is to buy a car? There�s the all mountain; the active all mountain (Ever see an inactive all mountain ski?); the high performance (Ever see a low performance ski?); free ride; race; carving; freestyle carving (Huh?); all mountain cruise; on piste (Don�t dare take these off piste.); cross carve performance (If you�re really screwed up.); supercross, metron (What�s a metron?); sport carve and the ever popular X-sport all mountain (Can you use these in other sports like snowshoeing or something?). Come on Griz, my powder starved mind is starting to wander.

But the base remains large and hope springs eternal for a forecast change. At close to midnight, it�s minus 3 C at the house with a sprinkling of snow.

Annica Collumbin and Darcy Martin of Fernie took first place in the Powder 8's a few weeks back and earned a date at the World Powder 8's at Mike Wiegele. Photo courtesy of Colleen Bentemann

Fernie Freestyle Ski Team

Austin Hunter of the Fernie Freestyle Ski Team - walking on trees

Ryan in lift off from a hard pack mogul. It was hard to stay on the snow at times in the hard pack conditions.

Jess on Bear in light snowfall on Monday.

And my favorite shot of the week -squirrel ski tracks.