Craig's Report - December 12, 2007

Ten Centimetres of Improvement

Ten centimetres might not sound like much, but when you don't have a lot, it can make a big difference. Indeed the off groomed is getting friendlier and there were lots of powder turns out there today, albeit liberally interspersed with icy crust turns, wind slab turns and the always interesting, hidden avalanche debris turns.

The lower mountain is still hopeless except for Lizard and the Falling Star - Timber Trail ski out combination, which is now in remarkably good shape given that the only snow making it has access to is whatever can be pushed up from Meadow. Falling Star is a bit dicey on the last pitch before where it meets the bottom of Fall Out, but otherwise is in near normal condition. The Summer Road can also get you down from the new side, but you will still need to cut back to Timber Trail for the bottom part.

Despite the improvements I am finding it hard to maintain much enthusiasm, as the mountain seems rather small and lacking in variety in its current state. Most of my preferred haunts, including all of Cedar Bowl and the Boomerang runs, Sunnyside, Easter Bowl, the Currie Chutes are still closed and others like the 1,2,3s are open, but infested with avalanche debris. I suspect they are trying hard to open things like Cedar Bowl in anticipation of the large holiday groups that will start arriving this weekend, but the only real cure is a few serious Fernie dumps.

At 17:00 it is mainly cloudy and -1 C at the house.

It looks nice, but looks can be deceiving. Down Right, on the right, was quite nice, but the nice snow on the {run 123 1,2,3s) on the left, hid some not so pleasant avalanche debris.

The upper part of Lizard is now open, although it sports a marginal skiing sign at the top. That is probably a fair assessment, although I did manage a trip down it without damage.

Looking pretty much straight up China Might into Lizard Bowl. Neither China Wall on the right nor Freeway on the left is worth considering yet.

Looking pretty much straight up China Might into Lizard Bowl. Neither China Wall on the right nor Freeway on the left is worth considering yet.

The Bow Trees had a mix of powder and crust that was generally good and encouraged me to try the skier's right of Bow, below Tower Six Trail. This proved to be a horrible mix of slick crust and wind slab that soon had me seeking the groomed comfort of Arrow, which is now open all the way down.

Looking down from the top of China Wall, towards Freeway and Deer Trail.

Heartland from the White Pass chair. The part to the skier's left was an acceptable way down, but has some weird snow ribs running down it that I don't recall seeing before.

My recent trail map rework leads me to believe this is now Pillow Talk. The shot is taken from the White Pass chair as it passes over the flats below the Knot Chutes. I skied part of this and it was better than it would appear from this picture.

Looking across the bottom of Down Right, towards the last of the 123s. I took the Currie Glades down from here and they were at times very nice, but in many places scraped to ice.

Falling Star without its terrain park. RCR's decision not to have man made jumps this year has upset a lot of folks and RCR is promising much improved rail parks. I don't know if these will be in the same place as the old parks, but in the mean time Falling Star is once again a wide run that would be great for low end skiers (well at least this part) or for anyone wanting a relaxing cruise. It was very nice today.

The end of snow making's reach on Meadow.