Craig's Report - January 13, 2006

Excellent!

The Griz must have gotten into some steroids, for the old guy just keeps pumping that snow out. The hill only reported 11 cm overnight, but there was at least that much in my driveway this morning and I can definitively report that it was hiking boot deep by the time we got back this afternoon. Even better the precipitation remained of the solid persuasion even at the house, while up on the hill it was sweet, sweet powder.

Alas the continuing snow means the avalanche danger remains on overload and so not much was open. It was better than a couple of days ago though, when the board was completely red and the White Pass chair was closed to boot. Today Cedar Ridge was open up to the Boom Chair as well as all of Timber and Siberia bowls. Currie and Lizard Bowls remain buttoned up tight as does the rest of Cedar Bowl. There have been major slides in both Currie and Lizard with debris running down to the gully just above the bridge on Deer Trail and reportedly to just above the fence on Meadow. This was all in closed terrain, but shows the magnitude of what they are dealing with.

Perhaps because it is Friday, there seemed to be quite a few more folks on the hill today and one had to scratch pretty deep to keep coming up with untracked or for that matter unbumped terrain. It makes one wonder what it might be like on the weekend if no additional slopes can be opened, but today even the moguls were generally the soft and luscious kind that seem to dissolve the caution portion of your brain and a transit run like Power Trip could be a delight. Visibility could be a problem at times, but this could always be remedied with a generous dose of trees.

In addition to the Griz getting back to form, the Weather Elf is once again providing us with custom weather forecasts. The Elf is a professional meteorologist who also happens to be a pretty fine skier who has graced the Fernie slopes on occasion. On a whim he has tuned his weather modeling software to see if he can predict Fernie�s rather mischievous weather and while this spell remains upon him, you can see his forecasts at (http://far.redtree.com/elfreport.html). The term Weather Elf is one I inflicted upon him when he first whispered some forecasts in my ear a few years back, since he prefers to remain anonymous.

Ack!! I just went to check the temperature on the porch and while it is -1 C, the snow has once again turned to, shudder, rain.


The soft delights of Cedar Ridge.

Cedar Ridge was fairly popular this morning and certainly not virgin powder, but still wonderful. Our schools get every second Friday off, which my 14 year old daughter particularly appreciated today.

Yet another part of Cedar Ridge.

Presumably as a result of the heavy snow burden, there are lots of trees down in the Boomerang area. That spike in the center might be a gruesome thing to encounter with another half meter of snow.

What sort of evil father would I be if I didn�t include a crash photo? Here Tara makes an emergency stop in an oh so deep and oh so steep bit between Boom Ridge and Linda�s run. I did appreciate her successful attempt to not run me down.

Near the top of one of the Bear Chutes.

Milky Way was more like Fluffy way today.

In the Surpize Trees. The main part was well used, but the denser bits less so.

Some sweet treats on Morning Glory.

John Berris was kind enough to provide this shot of the amazing slab shear at the top of the slide that roared down Dancer and all the way to the gully between Freeway and China Might. Looking at the trees, it must be 2 to 3 m high. Gulp.