December 17, 2000

Second Course

As promised, a second course of fine Fernie white was served up last night and the ski hill is now claiming a top base of 97 cm. While this is less than stellar by Fernie standards, they feel it is enough to go ahead with at least a limited opening on Wednesday. Indeed the initial skiing will probably be very good, but the hill certainly needs more snow given that the Christmas hordes begin arriving just two days later. Hopefully these last snowfalls are the harbingers of an ongoing series that will not only keep the runs braced for all those edges, but will get going on the annual alder burying ritual. The forecast has another small dump scheduled for tomorrow (Monday), which is a hopeful sign.

Although it was fairly warm today, the snow that fell last night was still powder like and I suspect the skiing up top was excellent. There certainly were enough folks giving it a try and I was amazed by the Chilkoot trail style line of folks slogging up Bear. I made do with a XC schlepp into the bottom of Currie Bowl, which looked very nice indeed. The alders are plentiful though and while Cedar Ridge looked navigable, the Griz is going to have to make a lot of trips before the KC Chutes or most ot the Snake Ridge rides become snow fields.

The hill is clearly gearing up and a number of the lifts were running today and even carried the occasional much envied group of patrollers. I didn't see ongoing cat activity, but I imagine there will be a flurry of grooming over the next couple of days to get everything ready. I can't help but wonder if the Bear Chair will be running though?

At twenty past five it is -4 C at the house under a partly cloudy sky.

Fresh snow and sun makes for a very nice morning. This is from my front door.

It was certainly the busiest day I have seen when the hill was not open. On large versions of this picture you can just make out the train of folks inching their way up Bear. Note how much better the lower runs, in this case Lizard Trail, now look.

That does not mean the hill couldn't use more snow. These alders sticking out of Kodiak are quite common this time of year and actually are not much of a hindrance to skiing the run, but they are undeniably tacky looking. :-)

Cedar Ridge (on the left) is looking a bit weedy, but should be navigable with care and the odd spot of excitement. The Cruiser cat track and lower Cedar Centre (not in the picture) look pretty good.

The KC Chutes and Snake Ridge have a long way to go though, unless you are particularly adept at skiing with a machete. A piece of lower Cedar Centre is visible in the lower left of the picture.