Jay's Report - January 16, 2005

You Know You're Canadian When.....

The thermometer read minus 35C on Saturday morning. I break out in a rash if I even think about skiing at that temperature. At 10am the pipes in Chris and Steve�s place were frozen and the furnace had stopped at my place. There were no plumbing and heating repair guys available within a thousand miles. They apparently anticipated the crisis and fled to warmer climes. Worse yet, our daughter had been up all night throwing up with the stomach flu; my wife at her bedside. So I did what any red (but cold) blooded Canadian male would do and went snow shoeing with the boys.

Snow shoeing is something I�ve been relying on for low impact exercise, especially as a substitute for skiing on wickedly cold days like Saturday. You can snowshoe in the winter just about anywhere you can hike in the summer. We drove just outside of town and snow shoed to the local spot known as the burning coal seam. There we were, perched on a peak in the brittle sunshine and happily munching down lunch among scattered smoldering coal seams in 35 below C weather. It was hard not to agree with Steve�s contemplation of how distinctly Canadian the scene was. All we needed was some Canadian beer, which the lads were somewhat critical of me for not packing.

Back to skiing on Sunday, the temperature had improved markedly to a balmy minus 25C. But it was snowing and that was good enough for me. It was cold but not as cold as I anticipated. No frost bite this time on account of my fancy new facemask. Only in Canada can you look normal wearing a mask that might get you shot in New York.

The snow was slightly inconsistent in parts and visibility got challenging at White Pass in the afternoon. Overall though, there were nice powder stashes in the usual spots like 1,2,3�s and Concussion. 1,2,3�s in particular had a nice bandwidth of powder. My powder skis did the job overall but carving skis would have come in handy in some areas like Boomerang where the snow was a little inconsistent. Snow coverage is improving and the forecast looks like our powder fantasies might come true over the next few days.

The furnace repairman just left. Our house is inhabitable once again but, sadly, I could have bought a new pair of skis with what the repair bill was. Now that�s Canadian.

Smoke from smoldering coal seam burning since the 1930's. Jay and Steve immediate background, Chris in foreground. Lizard Range in far background. Fernie Alpine Resort is in the shaded portion on the left side of the far background of the Lizard Range.

Doug showing the warmness of the rocks with green moss and grass resulting from the smoldering coal seam. Remember, it's 35C below. Doug (who now lives in Houston) is the only true man among us, going without head gear. If you look closely, that is frost in his hair, not grey.

Mike on Shakeys Acres on Sunday.

Mike on 1,2,3's on Sunday.

Mike on 1,2,3's on Sunday.

Yours truly with fancy mask.