Craig's Report - March 25, 2007

March Monsoons

We returned from a two week trip on Friday, to find spring had not only arrived, but had made significant progress in digesting the snow around the house. What is more, by all accounts we needn�t have worried about missing the fine skiing that March often brings, for warm temperatures, rain and ice seemed to be the dominant themes in our absence. Nonetheless I was eager to get back on the boards and like many Fernie regulars, I am at least fairly tolerant of a little rain. However the March monsoon that greeted our return with pounding rain bouncing off of the driveway all day Saturday proved just too discouraging to even contemplate the walk up to the base area.

By midmorning today though, the rain had tapered off to tolerable levels and we headed up. Not surprisingly much of the hill was closed due to avalanche concerns. All of Lizard Bowl, including Sunnyside was closed, as was all but Cedar Ridge in Cedar Bowl. On the new side all of Currie Bowl, the Knot Chutes, Big Bang and the climb up to Siberia Ridge as well as the area under the cliffs on Morning Glory all had closed signs, so the amount of steeper terrain available was fairly limited.

Fortunately the skiing on what was open was really rather good. The loose wet granular on the groomers felt a bit strange and was much quicker than it looked, but was reasonably pleasant. Cedar Ridge sported a few centimeters of heavy glop over a firm base which provided fine slow motion and relatively easy skiing. Mogul runs like Boomerang had fairly mellow bumps and sticky, grippy snow. The run of the day though was in fact Morning Glory which was coated with a velvet carpet of almost completely untracked dense snow.

Some hazards are starting to appear, particularly on the lower mountain, but these are in all the standard places and easy to avoid in any event. Generally coverage remains quite good.

At 16:10 it is 5 C on the porch, there is no precip at the moment and indeed the sun just peeked out briefly.

The view from my front porch wasn�t exactly promising this morning.

The base area was just a little damp.

Up on the mountain though, there was still lots of snow, although I can�t imagine it was a great day for a race.

Lizard Bowl from the Bear Chair. Some bare spots have appeared in the normal spots on China Wall and Freeway.

Sticky but nice on Cedar Ridge.

Looking across a closed Cedar Bowl from the same spot.

The snow pack has failed spectacularly in the Extreme Hazard area of Gorbi Bowl.

Heartland was in very good condition with only very mild bumps.

Looking back at Puff and Big Bang from the White Pass chair. The top of the Timber Chair and the Lost Boys Cafe is at the upper right.