John's Report - December 03, 2006

Opening Day At Castle

The parking lot was full & a survey of licence plates showed about 10% of the vehicles on hand for Castle�s opening day were from BC. The early morning was frigid, about -20, but quickly warmed up under a bright sun and still winds, leading to a high of perhaps -7. The day certainly held promise for some fine sliding. And fine sliding there was. Although The Shoots were not open, nearly everything else was. Contrary to my prior report, it turns out that the �base� of 243 cm I previously reported was actually the total accumulation to date! The actual base is 140 cm (about the same as Fernie), which still was more than enough to cover most of the early season hazards.

However, by about noon Castle�s winds picked up and the top proved to be too darn cold. Therefore many people, including myself, confined themselves to the lower half of the mountain. This was just fine since the bottom offered the best groomers, which my legs quickly demanded after 8 months of relative inactivity. A case of the mind being willing but the flesh being weak.

Castle�s regular season starts December 15th & it will be open next weekend, but as December 9th is Fernie�s opening day that's where I'll be.

Happy Tracks.

The gates to Castle's Shoots remain closed but almost everything else is open

Gathering on a windy ridge to consider the route

Drifter offered some mighty fine skiing, if you didn't mind picking your way through wind blown scree at the top.

Drifting down Drifter

The late afternoon under the mid-mountain blue chair