Craig's Report - April 11, 2007

The End is Nigh - Again

The Fernie ski season is drawing to a close and my yard is now almost clear of snow, the locker room is shedding locks and visitors are becoming rare. Still with only four days of lift service left, the Griz can still dish out a potpourri of snow conditions, most of which have been pretty good. The range of conditions over the last few days has been dramatic. Last weekend brought near summer conditions with sun and temperatures soaring into the high teens (C). Tropical shirts sprouted on the hill. Monday was "Build an Ark" day with downpours extending up beyond the top of the lifts and me cowering indoors. I heard nothing to suggest this wasn't the wisest course of action.

The rain persisted through Monday, but up on the mountain turned to snow over night - lots of it. Although it snowed at the house Tuesday morning and the grass briefly turned a bit white, it did not come close to preparing one for the full on winter blizzard conditions up on the mountain. Visibility wasn't the greatest, but the skiing was superb and the few folks on the hill just weren't able to maintain the usual rate of snow compaction.

That brings us to today, which saw warmer conditions and denser snow, but still had abundant freshies left over at the end of the day. Up top the skiing was again very nice, with the dense snow allowing you to ski just about anything you wanted with relative ease, as long as it wasn't low and flat. Down low the warm temperatures combined with on again off again snow showers may have set some sort of record for afternoon stickiness. I thought I might have to skate down Meadow and straight lining Incline barely produced enough speed to reach the base. As for the trek out of Red Tree. the best that could be said was that it was aerobic.

Coverage remains good for this time of year and while there are bare patches on some lower runs, so far they are easy to navigate around and not really an issue. With 288 cm still showing up at the Bear snow plot, the upper mountain is obviously still in fine shape.

The weather cycled between snow showers that sometimes cut visibility to near zero and gorgeous sunshine today, but at 18:00 the sun is again shining down here at the base and the porch thermometer reads 8 C.


The view across Currie Bowl towards the 1,2,3s from the lower Cornice Chute area.

The base area doesn't look very winter like anymore.

But fortunately it is a different story on the hill. Even this high traffic area of Elk between the top of the Elk Chair and the bottom of the Bear Chair still has full coverage.

Sunnyside as seen during a snow shower from the center of Lizard.

Snake Main. Finding the traverse over was not easy in the low visibility of upper Cedar Bowl.

A view up Red Tree from the bottom, just before beginning the sticky and tedious trip out the cat track.

In the center of Cedar Ridge. The trip down this far was particularly good, although the bottom wasn't too shabby either.

Being spring I feel duty bound to find some gruesome mud patches, but it wasn't that easy. I took a trip over to Wallaby, but it was still disappointingly well covered. This is under the lower part of the Boom chair, which is often pretty sad late in the season, but only had a couple of groomer scars today.

This is more like it. The part of Meadow just above the bottom of the Timber Chair is a fertile place for mud shots as the bare areas are quite wet and mushy in the summer. Despite the image, there was still a fine way down over closer to the lift.

Minutes before it had been sunny, but another squall can be seen moving its way up the valley. In minutes it would be snowing again, but only briefly. This is taken from the 1,2,3s in Currie.