Craig's Report - January 02, 2007

Bearer of Wet Tidings

My fellow reporters have done a great job over the holidays of describing conditions that were amongst the best in years, but alas I now find myself returning to the role of a soggy gnome bearing wet tidings. Yes, it is raining and has been down here since mid-morning and yes that has meant pretty miserable chair lift rides and heavy soggy snow on the lower half of the mountain. However it has also meant lots of new snow on the upper mountain and some really nice if somewhat limited skiing and boarding. On the old side it was pretty much the triangle plus Cedar Ridge, with the rest of Cedar being closed as was everything on the Lizard side of Bear. On the new side everything was open except for Currie, which closed during the morning, although Anaconda Glades and below stayed open.

Folks who were on the hill early were all sporting Cheshire cat grins and from the quality of some of the leftovers, I could easily understand why. Smart folks probably also stuck to the White Pass chair, which was completely above the rain line and where the snow didn�t start to get heavy until the final run out. Personally I have a hard time being satisfied just cycling on that relatively short chair, although sitting on Boom contemplating the icy rivulet that had found its way through my helmet and into my ear, did suggest perhaps rethinking this is in order.

Unpacked snow farther down on the hill was that heavy variety that helps maintain the country club memberships of orthopedic surgeons. While many Fernie regulars are relatively adept at navigating this hydrated powder, I did notice a number of folks clearly struggling in the goo. The lack of foul language or discernible tantrums did suggest good spirits were being maintained nonetheless.

At 17:30 it is +3 C at the house and raining aggressively.

The snow was quite nice at the top of Bear, but your options were limited for the first few turns at least.

The Bear run from the top of the Elk Chair. This was about the dividing line between rain and snow and also the calm air below and the windier stuff up top.

Part way down Cedar Ridge. The snow here was creamy and delightful and while it got heavier as you descended, you could make it most of the way down before it got really heavy.

Farther down Cedar Ridge. The snow was still good here, but would become soggy by the cat track below.

Remember Mama�s day old mashed potatoes? Then you have a good idea of the conditions on Wallaby today. An end of the day run down Diamond Back would find this stuff pretty much top to bottom.

To my surprise I discovered the Anaconda Glade were still open and although mogulled on the top, still very nice.

Looking up into the now closed Currie from the same spot. The skiing from here down was quite nice as long as you don�t mind full bodied snow.