Craig's FAR Update 2003/12/3:
It's Best to Stay High
Okay, I am not supposed to be doing reports anymore and I sure don't miss lugging a camera around, but perhaps a quick text only report won't hurt.
It was one of those vertically variable days in Fernie and while white trees up top beckoned, it was raining at the bottom this morning. Crampons were required foot wear on my driveway and the rivers of water and ice around the base area were hardly inspiring. However we Fernie fanatics have learned to cast our eyes hopefully heavenward and once the rain stopped, I headed up and was rewarded with some fine skiing.
According to the lift boards, there was 23 cm of new snow at the top of Bear. While not powder, this dense granular stuff was silky and luscious as it oozed beneath me turning moguls mellow and me into Mr Smooth - real hero stuff for sure to pull off that trick.
About half way down any of the off piste stuff though, things started to change. The transition was so gradual that at first I would just think I was just getting tired, but then another ugly turn and another and pretty soon Mr Smooth was doing a Howdy Doody in what had become truculent Craig chomping crust. Actually it wasn't really that bad and well worth the earlier pleasant turns, but I did notice that it was awfully lonely off trail. In fact the whole hill was eerily empty despite the fine skiing.
Overall it has been a great start to the season and while there are still lots of alders to dance with, the rocks of early last season are once again things to be experienced at other ski hills. Of course the new side isn't open yet, but I am hopeful that even there things will be quite good when we are allowed in. However with the existing old side lifts still all but deserted, there really isn't any pressing urgency to get more things open just yet.
At just past 5 PM, it is -1 C at the house and clear.