Craig's Report - February 11, 2005

Please, sir, I want some more.

Snow that is, for while last weekend's serving definitely hit the spot and seems to be sticking to the hill's ribs better than I would have believed, it has been a lean winter and another helping would certainly be appreciated.

The skiing remains very good on the upper mountain and while some of the lower runs are getting a bit ratty, they are for the most part in surprisingly good shape given how little base there really is. The grooming crews have seemingly worked miracles, but the usual trouble spots are again becoming an issue.

North Ridge below the Haul Back is getting kind of brown and while still not bad on the far right, you have to be able to make very short radius turns to stay in the good stuff. Fortunately there is a good alternative by heading over to Wallaby and taking the Cedar Trail cat track back across Kangaroo to below that first steeper section of lower North Ridge. Below this North Ridge is still good and provides an easy ride to the Boom chair. Note that Wallaby itself is closed below Cedar Trail, but presumably View Trail would be another alternative.

Exiting Currie is a bit of an issue as Gilmar's trail has some issues. Other alternatives exist, but probably only for better skiers. The few other lower runs I took, while not ideal, were still acceptable.

Up top you can still find some very nice powder turns in areas protected from wind and sun, but much of the lessor travelled off trail stuff is a sort of stiff chopped crud that I found it hard to be smooth in. More travelled areas like Boomerang and the Concussion Chute gully had nicely shaped firm moguls that provided good grip except for the odd icy patch. On the upper part of Concussion Chute, I was surprised to find a thin sun crust had formed and while it wasn't really a problem, it did give a bit of a crunchy feel.

I didn't really ski many of the upper groomed runs today, but from the little I did, they seemed to be in very good shape with a firm but good edging surface that gave a nice ride. All in all lots of fine skiing, but with some issues on the lower slopes.

At 17:40 it is -3 at the house, under a clear sky.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Fernie. Looking down from the top of the Face Lift towards the top of Bear, with Fernie and the Elk Valley in the background.

The bottom area from the ski hill road. The Wolf's Den is on the left and the Day Lodge is in the center with the light green roof.

The bunny hill area, with the Mighty Moose poma on the right and the magic carpet lift center left.

Bear still has some brown spots near the bottom, but otherwise looks to be in good shape.

They groomed the left side of China Might creating a corduroy carpet with alder twiglets to slalom around. It was actually quite good.

I don't usually go out of bounds, but took a trip in the margins of Fish Bowl today. Papa's Run was well trodden and all but mogulled in places. I also discovered a lot more alders than usual.

Lower North Ridge was passable on the skiers right, but the part you wanted to stay on was much narrower than it looks here. Much better was heading down View Trail to Cedar Trail and taking it back to skip this section. Things were fine below this point.

I took this picture to show how much better this approach to the bottom of White Pass chair was, but when I actually flew over it on the chair I realized it was still quite bony. However lower Highline, which can sometimes be a problem, was in very good shape.

Polar Peak from the top of White Pass

Corner Pocket seems to have grown tires. Putting tires in here to try and keep some snow on the rocks is probably a great idea and I suppose even without much snow it would be possible to side step down on the tires. I think I will wait for a bit more coverage though. :-)