Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 84 Look what they've done to my hill ma

So yesterday after a fairly uneventful journey I arrive back in Fernie to reume the seasons fun and games. Due to a combination of jet lag and keen guests we get to the hill at a little before half past 8 to see what was what. The bad news is that since I have been away there has been no new snow and the sunny days and nights with temps of about -5 has left the hill hard, icey and even north facing slopes very scratchy.

Today was just like so many recently starting at -4 but blue bird conditions so that base temps got up to +10. The result was everthing in the sun going to mush pretty quick and everything in the shade staying as hard boiler plate bumps no matter what happened.

Having had a 10 day break we started the day with a groomer run down Bear just to remind the muscles what skiing was all about. Next into Sunny side shoulder which incredibly had a few soft bumps but mostly was hard and icey. trieda trip into Lizard to try Bow trees with much the same result. Next was drop down Cedar in Gully and Gulch which was crisp and ok at the top but became very hard and broken at the bottom. Kangaroo of course was ugly, so ugly in fact that I only went through it twice today and even though the second time was better than the first it was as bad as it has been this season.

A return through Boom ridge showed that the early season groomimg had left an icey base which will haunt us for the rest of the season. We decided to spend the rest of the morning looping out to Snake ridge which meant 2 drops through Boom bowl which was nice and soft and one through the Bear chutes which was rather less so. The trips on Snake where through Snake main right and KC chutes ( very icey at the bottom), Steep and Deep (nice soft melted snow all the way down) and Snake main left ( also nice and soft but a bit scratchy crossing into Lower Gorby bowl for the ski out.

After a late lunch we were left with very little time to have a look at the new side. Mitchy chutes were ok but no better and Cougar Glades proved to be a little hard at the top but getting softer as we got lower and were down right slushy on the final ski out throught the stream bed. After a little play in White Pass it was time for the traditional final run of the day down Skydive.

The logic couldn't be faulted. Cougar glades was higher than Skydive and had more tree cover so at the very least Skydive woud be as soft if not softer. In the event Sydive was hard as rocks top to bottom and whilst it was a fun challenging run no one can explai to me why it was so different from Cougar glades - hey ho.

Lots of beer at Corner pocket, a hot tub and a quiet night in watching Hockey Night in Canada completed an enjoyable first day back but it's no use kidding the hill is skiing tough and likely to get worse unless we see some new snow. A weather cycle is called for later in the week so lets see.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Normal service will be resumed

Spending my last day here in Cornwall UK and the weather is a bit wild with Southerly gale 8 winds pushing the seas up into the harbour at Portscatho so high that getting to the Post Office was a bit exciting today.

The visit to the UK has proved successful. I have booked most of the sailing related travel and accommodation for the summer, checked on the boats, checked the post, paid a few bills and picked up more pills and potions from the quack to keep us supplied in Canada.

It will be a long drive up to London today but at the end of it is an evening out with 4 ski buddies which will be fun, followed by an overnight stay with one of them and a lift to the airport tomorrow. Meeting up with 3 ( different) ski buddies who are coming out to Fernie for a week. We are meeting in the ever excellent seafood and champagne bar in terminal 3 at Heathrow - I'll be the one behind the pile of Alaskan crab and half drunk bottle of Bollinger. As these are 3 Fernie virgins perhaps the Griz will smile on them and give us snow.

The signs are good, tomorrow is the Griz day parade in Fernie so the Griz should be happy. As a matter of interest it's also St Pirrans day in Cornwall ( patron saint of tin miners and Cornwall) so if I was here it would only lead to a lot of cider drinking.

Must go. The road is calling. First day back on the hill is Saturday so watch out for a first report that evening.