Craig's Report - October 28, 2007

Heiko's Trail - The Sequel

As many of you may know, Heiko, the force behind the Fernie Snow Valley ski hill, found hewing a magnificent hiking trail through the mountains from Hartley Lake road to Island Lake to be suitable retirement recreation. As a follow up he and some friends have been carving a new trail up Mt Fernie that will eventually link up with the original trail. The new trail is essentially complete up to the top of the Mt. Fernie ridge and this morning a small group of us, led by Heiko's wife Linda, trekked up to check it out.

The trail starts off of the power line above Alpine Trails and wanders along forested ridges and across specatacular avalanche chutes before finally switch backing up the rocky face to the ridge. While the later part is precipitous enough to give pause to those, like me, with active disaster imaginations, it is all very well done and most of it is easy walking on moderate slopes. Overall elevation gain is about 800 m from the power line though and the last part intimidating enough that it would probably appeal more to a somewhat experienced hiker than a casual walker.

Surprisingly for this time of the year, there was no snow at all on the South facing slope we were climbing, although there is some snow on the other side. The same is of course true of the ski hill, where the earlier snow has retreated far up the hill, particularly on the South facing slopes. It is still too early for this to be of any concern, but once November comes it will be nice to see some accumulations so we aren't left relying on last minute dumps for the season start.

At 15:00 it is 12 C at the house and hazy clouds are slowly replacing this morning's sun.

Apparently a young boy seeing Batman's shape in the Three Sisters, inspired Heiko to create this sign. Now that I think about it...

The ski hill from one of the avalanche chutes on Mt Fernie.

Looking over the back side of Mt Fernie. Apparently the new trail will eventually head through that saddle in the center of the picture to hook up with Heiko's original trail.

Another view off of the back of Mt Fernie, with the Sisters (Batmann Mtn?) in the center.

The ridge at the top of Mt Fernie is surprisingly narrow. The trail up is visible just to the right of the ridge.

Looking down towards West Fernie and the 'Airport'.

A couple of my hiking companions, Mary and Muriel, working their way down part of the steeper rocky section near the top.