Not Craig's Report

Despite the avalanche of kind, but guilt drenched emails I have received since New Year's, I am being uncharacteristically firm and am not wimping out and writing reports again. However some friends have volunteered to keep the reports going by taking turns writing them. Whatever this might suggest about their attention to medications or imprudence in bar conversations, these are folks I know you can trust to give you the straight goods (and bads) on Fernie conditions.

So let me settle back into the audience and on with..


Bernie's Report - January 13, 2003

Firm but Satisfying

After an cold dry spell, snow fell most of Sunday and into the evening. About 10 cm of new snow had accumulated so I headed up early this morning to find some fresh tracks. Temperatures overnight had been quite mild at the base of the hill and I didn't know exactly what to expect. Starting on Arrow and migrating to the center of lower Lizard Bowl I was pleasantly surprised to discovered that the snow was dense but no crust had formed. A little extra up and down movement was required to initiate the turns but the skiing was very good. A big improvement from a couple of days ago.

This fairly wet snow has certainly helped improve the snow coverage on most runs. It is still possible to find an exposed rock or two on the higher traffic areas (Lower Heartland, for example) but generally speaking most of the mountain is skiable. There are still some exposed stumps on the steeper runs (Surprise, Diamondback Ridge for example) and a high density of alders on Boomerang and parts of Cedar Ridge. Some high traffic areas, notably Lower North Ridge, have been adversely affected by the cold weather and high traffic. This morning Lower North Ridge was a series of soft moguls separated by patches of hard pack (some my say ice!). It was not the most enjoyable route to the bottom of the Boom Chair.

Figuring that higher was better, I headed up to the White Pass. The skiing in Timber Bowl and upper Currie was excellent. Not champagne powder, but some of the best I have had this season. I enjoyed some some pleasant turns through the trees on Milky Way and there was enough new snow to soften up the bumps down Puff. On the way down through Currie Bowl conditions gradually changed. The unskied snow in mid-Currie was bit crusty but the chopped snow was soft and forgiving. I stayed far right on the way down through Currie and I didn't run into any hard packed conditions until just above the last steeper pitch that leads to Lower Diamond Back Ridge.

At 4 p.m. the weather is mostly clear and the temperature on my back deck is 0 degrees C. Snow is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.... Here's hoping!

Bernie

Reporter's Note: I don't yet know how Craig is going to preface this report but I would like to take a couple of lines to add a personal comment.

I would like to thank Craig for allowing me to be a part of this project. It is an honour to have the opportunity to assist Craig and to help keep this site alive in cyberspace. I know that many people trust this site for honest, timely information... but as we all know, Craig's reports are also entertaining and humorous. These are big boots to fill! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, but I'll do my best. Hope you enjoy my reports.

Bernie


Heinz having fun in Lizard Bowl

Arrow (lower left) and Sunny Side (centre)

Easter Bowl (right) from Lizard centre.

Looking down from Falling Star. Heartland in the centre.

Looking down from Falling Star. Heartland in the centre.

Looking up Milky Way.