February 19, 2001
Busy, but Nice
As threatened, last night's snow fall petered out in the early evening, but it left 11 new cm up on the hill before it did so. By this season's standard that was a veritable dump and with Fernie's fabled 20 cm rule now devalued to 10 or less, there were probably a few additional locals up on the hill adding to the continuing holiday (Alberta and US) weekend and Saskatchewan school break folks. Indeed it was quite busy, but by judicious lift selections we only got trapped in a couple of five minute plus waits. On the other hand by about 9:30 this morning you had to dip pretty deep to find anything but chopped snow.
Even chopped, the snow was quite good and while a little heavy for real powder, at this point it made a fine proxy. Of course 11 cm is not exactly bottomless and in places the harder stuff underneath made it self felt. Guessing what would be firm and what would be soft also added interest. The pebbles were in retreat again, but certainly not defeated and somewhere in the day my skiing companion acquired a reminder of the minimal base in the form of a rather nasty gouge in his base.
On a run down Cornice Chute around noon I was surprised to find that the sun was already transforming the snow into spring like sticky balls. It was reminiscent of skiing following new snow in the spring, but it still skied well, at least if you have a taste for heavy snow. It was also quite warm and spring like at the house this afternoon and while I suppose we are moving into the time of stronger sun and melting snow, we certainly need a lot more snow to sustain many hot spring like days.
Still despite the crowds and the minor deficiencies, it was a very good day of skiing and certainly one of the better ones this season.
At quarter to five there are still puddles on my driveway, but the temperature
has dropped below freezing under the mainly clear sky.