Craig's Report - December 04, 2007

The Problem With Griz

Alas our sometimes beloved local deity seems to again be having an identity crisis, in which he can't decide if he is to be a snow god or a rain god, or perhaps both. He started off so well too, with a beautiful dump of light lovely powder for Sunday morning. In the afternoon it seemed much of Fernie was making the trek up the hill, while I contented myself with XC skiing the lower mountain, culminating in a very wobbly descent of Dipsey/Lizard. Even with the new natural snow, this, courtesy of snowmaking, was the only lower mountain run that I would have wanted to ski down.

Alas the Griz's darker side took over for Monday and it rained, although some comfort could be taken from the white coated trees not too far up the hill. The prodigious precipitation had apparently produced copious amounts of snow up top and a corresponding avalanche hazard that was sufficient for them to close the entire mountain for hiking and touring.

By this morning the rain was continuing, but the dark green complexion of the trees way up on the mountain showed it was now probably raining to at least the top of Bear. Not surprisingly the hill remains closed with a great deal of bombing going on and reports of some pretty big slides.

Without access it is hard to speculate about what it is like on the upper half of the mountain, although it seems certain that there is a lot more snow than when I was last there. The bottom is in pretty sad shape though and Dipsey/Lizard remains the only plausible way down. If they do open on Saturday, as it appears they may, then I assume they will have to rely on downloading on the Timber chair to get folks off of the new side. Combine this with the prospect of possibly crunchy conditions as that wet snow solidifies in the predicted falling temperatures and I am finding it hard to work up much enthusiasm. Still I have been surprised before and undoubtedly will be again.

At 14:00 it is 4 C at the house and yes, still raining.

Looking across lower Meadow towards the Deer chair and Incline. Sigh.

Our back porch late Sunday afternoon was looking promising.

Not so much this afternoon. :-(

Lizard was probably still a reasonable way down as a result of pre storm snowmaking, but the whole hill was closed to hiking (orange sign).

I did wander a little way up Meadow, but it wasn't pretty.

Another view of Meadow from a little farther up and with Stag Leap in the background.

The run out from Falling Star was not exactly ready for prime time.