Craig's Report - December 22, 2007

Back on Track

The Griz has made amends for the meagre offerings of season opening and with this latest storm cycle has returned things to normal for this point in the season. This is according to the snow pillow data for Morrisey Ridge, but it confirms what is obvious when skiing the hill. As you might expect, the skiing has been excellent the last few days and today was certainly no exception. Even the previously sparse lower runs are now in good early season shape, which allowed operation of the Deer Chair to begin today. I believe the only lift now not open is the Face Lift, which lives in the still closed zone of Lizard Bowl.

Avalanche conditions continue to be a problem and Lizard Bowl beyond Arrow and above Tower Six Trail, as well as Snake Ridge and Currie Bowl all remain closed, as does Big Bang and Siberia Ridge. For those impatient for openings, consider that yesterday, for the second time in a week, a patroller was caught in a slide in the Knot Chutes while doing control work and this time, I hear, ended up in surgery for a broken jaw. I doubt anyone generates more Homer drool than I do when contemplating the delights of Snake or Easter, but a few powder turns isn't worth someone's life.

Off piste continues to require more than the usual wariness of hidden, or sometimes not so hidden, surprises, but otherwise is very sweet. One might want to be particularly careful in areas that were cleared this summer, for parts of the KC Chutes could now lay a much more valid claim to the Punji Chutes name than the old Boomerang area. The older early season KC routes are fine though, except for some mutant lumps that I suppose are moguls, but seem unlikely to have been created by humanoid skiers.

At 17:30 it is -7 C and cloudy at the house.

Snake Ridge is in the background in this shot from lower Cedar Ridge.

The lower runs have improved enormously as suggested by this shot of where Holiday splits off of Elk. Neither have snow making.

My daughter's friend, who is an exchange student from Germany, gets her first taste of Fernie powder and trees.

Looking down the trees in the centre of Cedar from the same spot.

Another look at the Cedar trees, this time from Cedar Centre

My daughter, Tara, testing some new boards on Cedar Ridge. They seemed to agree with her.

The bottom of Siberia Ridge looked sweet. We didn't ski it today, but it was very fine a couple of days ago.

Meadow still had a little bit of straw sticking up, but looked quite serviceable.