January 08, 2001
The U-Pick-Em Fernie Rock Farm
Tired of scraping down that ice? Can't take flossing another alder out of your teeth? Just not in a crusty mood? Then grab a milk crate and join the Fernie Pro Patrol rock harvest and win fame and fortune! That little piece of sarcastic whimsy was inspired by the sight of one of the pro patrollers skiing down Lizard Trail collecting rocks from the run a putting them in the milk crate he was carrying. Now I had heard some talk of hockey sticks being considered for the patrollers to practice rock wrist shots with, but I guess this is neater. :-)
So back to the skiing. It ranged from okay to icy and rocky. I suppose there aren't really all that many areas with significant rocks and I haven't taken anymore big rock hits after the couple I collected in the first few days, so apparently even Fernie skiers can be trained to go around the things. There is however lots of brown snow and pebbles and while this doesn't seem to do any immediate ski damage, one has to wonder about the merits of a daily base grind.
The good stuff was again up top. I took a run down the groomed upper Cedar Center and found it to be pretty nice and significantly de-weeded after a pass with the tiller. The best snow was still over on White Pass, but even there the snow had been firm packed by traffic and cooler weather. Farther down things were generally hard, although manageable on the groomed runs, but seriously ugly if you got into the frozen trash off trail.
I took a trip over to Concussion Chute and was surprised to find that even here the snow was quite firm, although certainly not icy. The traverse over requires attention as there are some unexpected hazards and I hear the chutes farther over have a rock problem. Where I went down there was no problem with rocks, but shrubbery was certainly plentiful.
It was chillier today and at 17:15 is now around -10 C with a few high clouds.