Friday, February 26, 2010

Report at the end of the Second Period

Thought the title was pretty appropriate as we are all psyched up about the hockey at the moment and we are about two thirds of the way through the season. Being back in the UK the timing is a bit difficult with tonights semi final not being until 2:30 in the morning local time and I guess tomorrows final against the US will be the same.

Time for reflection on the season to date in what has been very far from a stellar year as far as Fernie snow goes despite what official sources might say. I heard on the olympic report that Vancouver had experienced it's warmest February for 112 years and I guess Fernie wouldn't be that far behind.

After a promising start to the season that allowed an early opening the snow dried up until Christmas but with temps dropping the day time highs in their mid 20s for weeks at a time the base became very hard and packed in. Over Chrishmas and the New year and particularly in the first week in Jan the snow tap was back on and it looked like we could be in for a very very good year with powder on a firm base. It was around this time that we had the best conditions in so far as more of the hill opened and you could grab first tracks in the Saddles, Lone Fir etc.

After that nothing. A little warm up then a cool down but no snow to speak of and that has been pretty much the story up to date. A few systems form out to the west but don't ever seem to amount to anything and the precip we had late Jan was rain at the base and heavy at the top. I suppose it's what we should expect in an El Nino year but somehow we never do.

To be fair the hill has stayed in much better shape than we have aright to expect given the lack of snow. The base hovers over 200cms and there is coverage ( if a bit hard) everywhere on the hill and if you know where to look there is still soft semi tracked to be had. I had some buddies out last week and while I was appologising for the state of the hill, as European skiers, they thought the conditions were good, I guess it just depends on what you are used to. My theory is that as the three things that damage a hill are missing, sun (didn't see that for about 6 weeks) rain (haven't seen much precip of any kind) and people ( lack of the first two means lack of the third) then with nothing to damage it the hill remains ok.

So, would I advise a trip to Fernie - a definate maybe. BC is having it's worst winter for sometime so when they say Fernie has the best snow in BC it's the best of a bad bunch. Skiing is ok but not stellar so if you have booked a ski vacation you will still have a great time. If you are thinking of travelling to experience the "Legendary Powder" maybe next year if it is a non El Nino year might be a better bet. All that having been said in the past few years we have had some big dumps at the end of March and at the moment we are owed one. In the final analysis you pays your money and takes your choice.

Cornwall is sunny and quite spring like with a fair amount of wind. I am working my way through the odd jobs to get things sorted for the summers sailing. Meeting three buddies at Heathrow to fly out next Friday so let's hope the Griz will be kind to Fernie virgins.

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