Monday, September 21, 2009

Well here we are again. I did say that I might do a quick up date after the fall visit to Fernie and this is it.
The summer sailing has been great but now it is time to start thinking about the winters skiing in Fernie. The autumn glacier skiing in Europe has had to be shelved due to too much on so the first chance to get some snow under the skis will be December 5th when the hill is scheduled to open. This looks a bit optimistic based on past years but as you can always put the date back but can't bring it forward full marks the RCR (now there's something you don't often hear me say) for giving it a go.
Had some awesome hiking this fall the highlight of which was hiking the highest of the Three Sisters which gave a fantastic view of the Elk Valley - it's not often you look down from 3000 ft above Polar Peak !! All the hiking this year saw more fresh bear signs than I can ever remember although no actual sightings ( a few noises in bushes were heard but they could equally have been moose) so a good job the bears will be fast asleep when the hill opens.
Work on the hill this summer has gone ahead and the main job seems to have been to cut Alpine Trail further across Cedar bowl and re profile the bottom of Cruiser to make it a bit more user friendly to intermediate skiers. The thinking has to be that when the upper bowl is closed for avi control you will still be able to use the far side trails. This was always possible with a rather technical traverse through trees to the avi control line on the far side of the bowl. Sadly this means on those days when the upper bowl is closed we will now see some more skiers near the boundry who were not in the past prepared to work for their turns - ah well I suppose that's the way the ski industry is going. I am told a lot of brush work has been done to remove young growth alders but didn't hike the areas involved enough to form any opinion on that.
So what are the prospects for this winter ? Well as an El Nino year it usually means that Fernie will either have a very good or very bad winter with not much in between. It should be warmer with more moisture all season. If this warm wet air moves slowly enough across the interior it will cool and we could have awesome snow falls, even better than two years ago. If they move too quickly it will come in as rain and we will have a disater like 5 years ago. The difference between a graet winter and a lousy one will be 2 degrees so you pay your money and take your choice. Personally I am an optimist and even on a rain day there is usually some good stuff if you go high enough and know where to look.
See you all end of November when I move to the house in fernie for the winter.

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