Craig's Report - April 15, 2007

A Nice End to a Very Good Season

While it was unfortunately soggy for the Powder, Peddle, Paddle race yesterday, today the weather largely cooperated to make for a fine closing day. Admittedly in any given half hour period you might experience any or all of brilliant sunshine, snow squalls or rain showers, but the good stuff definitely dominated and the result a delightful spring skiing day.

My daughter and I felt obliged to do a last day tour of our favorite places and were delighted to discover that they all treated us well. Some spots could be soft and sticky, but other places like the KC chutes and Red Tree had a nice soft layer over a firm under crust that was delightful. Not that discussion of the conditions makes much difference, for except for tomorrow's staff day, lift serviced sliding is all over for another eight long months.

For the first time in a long time, I happened to pick up a trail map on Friday and apart from confirming my fears that my online map needs serious reworking to reflect various name changes etc., I was surprised to discover a new blue square run call Mars. It is shown between Morning Glory, which was now listed as a black diamond, and the Hells Gate closure in Siberia Bowl.

I was frankly confused since I could not imagine how I had missed blue terrain in that region, so we went looking for it on our last run. Sure enough there are signs for it right at the top of the Timber Lift and across from Mitchy Chutes on Siberia Ridge. More reasonably these are black diamonds, for it turns out the run is indeed the descent in the steep trees between Morning Glory and Hell's Gate. While I have often skied in these trees, I don't think I have ever before taken the line now marked as Mars, so after all my varied wandering over the hill over the years, I managed to close the season with a trip down a numbered run I had never skied before. I thought that was a kind of cool way to end the season.

At 16:20 it is 12 C at the house with a mainly sunny sky and just a bit of green starting to show on my lawn. Have a great summer folks!

Face Lift country in upper Lizard Bowl

Getting to the base was starting to get tricky, but my new skis managed to end the season unmarred.

Boomerang was a bit mushy, but still quite good.

We felt obliged to make at least one last trek across the Snake Ridge traverse.

Cedar Ridge from Snake Ridge.

Red Tree was delightful and remarkably free of moguls.

Fernie Alpine Resort has an active avalanche dog program and Keno, one of its early members, was reportedly the first dog in North America to successfully locate a live avalanche victim, who was then successfully rescued. I have heard Keno died about a week ago and I believe this was the beginning of a gathering of patrollers and dogs for a small memorial to him at the top of Shakey's Knob, just above where that rescue took place.

This picture, as well as the next two, were taken from the Cornice Chute area looking across Currie Bowl. This one is of the upper part of the bowl with White Pass at the left and parts of 1,2,3 and the permanent closure along the ridge in the background.

Along the ridge from left to right is the permanent closure, with part of 1,2,3 below it, Gotta Go and Anaconda Glades.

Anaconda Glades, with part of Boot Leg glades at the extreme left.

The view down Mars confirms the signs on the hill are right that it should be black, not blue. While fairly open here, there is a tight tricky band just before it opens up on to the wide open lower section.