November 01, 2001

The Gray Days of Fall

Over the last week the heavy clouds and wet weather that is the hallmark of a traditional Fernie Fall has continued and it is reinforcing the feeling that our year long plus dry spell may have finally come to an end. Now it is true that down here at the base the abundant precipition has been mainly in liquid form, but up, way, way up, near the top of Bear, it has been laying down a nice early season base. Indeed the snow pillow chart for Morrisey Ridge shows that the season is off to nice early start and there is probably as much snow up there as there was at the end of December last year.

The rain has pushed the snow line back above the Bear's Den and there really isn't anything significant until the top of Ballet where a thin crusty layer appears. Only a little further up though things improve considerably and by the time I got to the upper half of Bear I was frequently post holing through the heavy but still weedy crust. I couldn't help thinking that this section might only be one big storm away from some pretty decent skiing (However my wife informs me this is probably early season wishful thinking - life must be tough as a wretched spoil sport). The upper part of the bowls might already be pretty good, despite the abundance of shrubbery still sticking out. It definitely seems wintery up there and the couple of snow boarders I ran into seemed pretty stoked by their ride down, short though it might have been. Note though that it is now avalanche season and the slopes are uncontrolled.

Coming up to 6:30 in the evening it is 5 C and overcast at the house.

It's winter up at the top of Bear where there is already a significant base of snow.

However from the bottom it is a different story and the snow line looks to be far away.

Life can be tough for a snowmobile this time of year. This poor critter waits at the Bear's Den for its next rocky ride up lower Ballet. Life does get better for it not too much farther up.

Okay, Bear isn't quite ready for prime time. This is taken about half way up and the top of Boom is visible at the top of Bear Ridge.

That's more like it. Cedar Bowl from the top of Bear.

Looking up the Face Lift from the top of Bear.