Jay's Report - February 16, 2004
The Thirst is Quenched - for Now
I took last week off from my journalistic duties to dry out from the boys' "Hobie" weekend. Apparently the Griz needed a break too, not making an appearance for 2 weeks then indulging us nicely with new snow on Saturday. Although the hill reported just 7 cm, it seemed like a lot more than that in the areas that we skied. The snow was just in time for the long weekend traffic - to the chagrin of the locals but the delight of the hordes of visitors. This weekend was a holiday weekend in many parts and was easily the busiest weekend of the year in Fernie. Some 6,500 skiers/boarders were reported on the hill on Sunday. They seemingly came from everywhere, old and new, near and far. Only in an old Warren Miller flick could you see so many straight pencil skis all at once. I haven't seen C4's and K2-4's in action in years. I wondered if these folks still drove on bias ply tires too. But the real story was the snow.
The snow came just in time. Things were beginning to get a little knarly on the hill. I'll admit, it can be a good thing to have a couple of days of groomed non-off piste skiing/boarding to work your technique back from those deep, steep days that turn us all into frenzied nut cases. But a 2 week dry spell can start to feel like a sentencing. The snow on Saturday turned many parts of the hill into powder havens by Sunday. As long as you kept your sense of humor in the lengthy line-ups, ignoring the ritual pass scan at every lift on the hill, it was a big day. The snow was a tad variable on the Currie bowl side that was exposed to the sun. A couple of spots that looked harmlessly covered in powder on Tom's Run surprised me. Good thing my rib cage was there to stop my knees from pounding my internals. The Easter Bowl side was fabulous. Lone Fir was deep and soft. We gambled on skipping a clean looking Snake Ridge in favor of a portion of Fish Bowl then traversing back to Redtree. This was the run of the day without doubt as we found ourselves in thigh deep, clean, untracked pillow powder - the kind of run that leaves you light headed and smiling.
Monday saw slightly firmer conditions, though still good. Runs like Saddles and Corner Pocket were in need of more snow to improve their entry lines. I took a pass on Lone Fir thinking that it too would be firm and more difficult to tame. All in all the snow on Saturday quenched the thirst for now but we have a longing for deeper days to come.
At 3pm. It's plus 2 at the house. Snow is in the forecast.
Jay - firstname.lastname@example.org