Craig's Report - February 05, 2005

Dr. Griz's Magical White Elixir!

I know I keep harping on how fast things can change here, but today is a perfect example. Take one seriously sick ski hill with advanced bottom end rot, apply a generous dose of Fernie dump and presto, big cheesy grins all around. Frankly even I was amazed at the improvement one night could make. I had expected some pretty fine powder up top, but did not believe that completely bare lower slopes could be restored to serviceable so quickly. Certainly those slopes aren't ideal yet, but what a change and anywhere where there was some base before, it was just excellent today.

The hill reported 18 cm overnight, but the snow just kept coming and over your knees turns were not uncommon. Indeed we now have over 25 cm of snow down at the house! Another unexpected treat was that everything except the Face Lift runs and upper Cedar was open. Combine that with navigable routes to the bottom and it sure seemed like the hill was back in business. Indeed the overall coverage and feel was much like a very good opening day and the powder skiing was first rate even if you could occasionally feel a touch of the underlying crust.

Some miscellaneous observations:

North Ridge from the Haul Back down was hardly great, but with some care it could be negotiated with only minor concern.

I did not ski in lower Currie, but a fellow on the lift said he had several times and experienced no problems getting to the bottom. The Deer lift was still not running today and time will tell how fixed these lower slopes truly are. Assuming a return to normal weather patterns, I am cautiously optimistic.

The Currie traverse to Easter Bowl etc. was in quite good shape, as long as you picked the right path through the rock area just before Currie Creek.

I wondered about the state of lower Falling Star, but it turned out to be in fine shape. Such fine shape that I took to playing in the powder just off of the run below the switch back. However on reentering the run I encountered something under the snow which I was sure was the stump of a mighty cedar, but in fact was probably just frozen crud at the edge of the old grooming. This resulted in a fine view of the hill receding while upside down and backwards, but the landing was friendly nonetheless. It did make the point that currently all off piste conditions are essentially early season and all manner of ill intentioned snow serpents are likely lurking below that silken surface.

At 17:20 it is -4 C at the house and still snowing.

The base area is white again. Whoo Hoo! Despite the number of folks you see here, the hill was not busy at all.

Elk from above the ramp to the Bear Chair appeared to have recovered nicely and indeed it seemed fine on my couple of trips down it.

Bear also looked much improved, but I now had better things to ski. :-)

On Cedar Ridge.

North Ridge below the Haul Back. Hardly pristine, but it will do.

Someone enjoying some turns on Boomerang.

Cedar Center is at the right and what I call the Cedar Center trees on the left. My lens seems to have acquired a snow flake.

Sunnyside was fine, but the alders still try to rule.

A trip down the chutes at the side of Easter Bowl featured an nice deep full bodied powder, with just a hint of submerged crust to add a little zest without being intrusive (other than at the very top).

The top of Morning Glory trees. Yes, it was pretty fine