Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 5, and a bit nippy

More of the same today but even more so. Cold overnight and the temp was -23 when we arrived at the hill but a beautiful bluebird day without a cloud in the sky, a typical Arctic high. Lynda still has to do 3 sessions a week at the gym to strengthen the leg where she broke it season before last and for some reason she decided that this morning might be a good time for a session.

Even by Fernie early season standards the place was deserted. Although a few more people rolled up during the day I guess that first thing there may have been half a dozen of us on the hill, so that's what it's like to have your own ski hill. Went up the Bear for a couple of rips down the deserted groomer throwing big GS turns at high speed. Rode up with a patroller buddy (there you are Tyler, told you that you would get a mention) who confirmed the news I got yesterday that the Saddles were open.

Considering how few people were around perhaps I was a bit paranoid yesterday not mentioning where the good skiing was going to be today but you always protect your powder stashes. Many people think that because the County Line is closed in Currie this means that the Saddles are closed - not so. If you take the low traverse and do a side step traverse for about 5 mins then a straight up side step for about 3 mins you get to Corner Pocket. The Pocket is a double black diamond chute which was is great shape with a hard but not icy ( well not very) surface covering the tyres that form the bed of the chute. After 4 quite technical turns the whole thing opens up into unlimited powder until you decided to cut right into Easter bowl which was a bit chopped up.

This was great skiing as everywhere else had been skied over and with temps in the low 20's the broken surface everywhere else was a bit uneven and firm to put it mildly. After a while we took a swing through Anaconda (Idiot traverse still in ok shape with a few jumps) and whilst not as good as Corner Pocket still provided some ok powder. That was the rest of the day until a late lunch cycling Corner Pocket and Anaconda on alternate circuits.

Just before lunch had my first major yardsale (wipe out in UK speak) in the same place as I always do - just at the bottom of Lift Line. This time hit a root/stump/rock/etc under the snow and flew a long distance head first before landing. Strange thing was that I landed on my right shoulder which has been giving me some pain from an old injury many years ago on the Hintertux Glacier. After the intitial pain and tingling in the whole arm I discovered that I suddenly had more mobility in the shooulder than I had for years and even now whist it hurts a bit it is way better than 24 hours ago.

Spent the short afternoon on the old side where it was chunky, hard and tough skiing. Looked for the mooses but only saw some tracks under Boom chair. At the top of Bear last time round the temp had dropped to -24 with clear skies. Best joke in the bar was that the official claim of the most snow for 34 years (obviously rubbish) was a mistake and what they meant to say was the most snow in 3 to 4 years.

Forecast is for a really cold night, maybe -34 on the hill. If this is the case there could be a delayed opening as lifts won't run below -30. In the hot tub tonight it was clear with the stars twinkling and steam forming ice on the outside of my beer bottle.

Quick word on the hockey, as predicted we lost to Nelson on Friday away but won at home on saturday to Kamloops Storm, wish we had gone now, next home game Friday, we will be there. If nothing much happens tomorrow watch this space for the secrets of how to ski in -30 and stay warm - ish.

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