Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 28 Happy New Year

A particular happy new year to all those of you who emailed me to say how much you enjoyed the blog (I will reply to everyone) and to the one guy who made a comment - makes it all worth while to realise there is a real following out there. If you want to make suggestions as to content just email me - alternatively if you are coming to Fernie or have friends coming to Fernie and want to ski some interesting places ( a jug of beer is always appreciated) then let me know. Also if you enjoy the blog tell friends and friends of friends and we might just be able to start a movement towards "real" skiing.

Woke this morning feeling pretty smug that we had an early night last night rather than welcoming in (yet another) new year. Overnight there had been a light dusting of snow but at these temps the moisture content must have been about 0%. By the time we got to the hill it was about -20 and overcast although during the day things warmed up to -14 with sunny periods off and on.

We went to the Old Side and found conditions much the same as yesterday but a bit tougher. The cold had dried the snow out even more and the light covering of very dry powder plus some very dry wind pack meant that the slick was slick but the rest was very very heavy and the most grabby ( both trying to move the skis across and pick them up) that I have ever experienced on the hill. The result was a surface that was highly unpredictable and always trying to throw you out of balance.

Going out to Snake ridge and beyond was not really an option as the snow on Cedar High Traverse was so grabby that the skis wouldn't run that far so it meant a long walk. The furthest we got was near side Snake and the shoulder above KC which were pretty ribby but with some heavy soft blow in which was ok.

The rest of the morning was spent on the Old Side Triangle - Boom, Bear chutes, Cedar Ridge two ways all of which were very mixed with the wind pack always there to catch you out in between bumps. Probably best of all was once again Boom Ridge which was icey bumps with fill in which for some strange reason seemed to flow quite well so we did it three times. Two trips through Kangaroo proved that it was just as icey as always with the drop off on to the cat track getting more tricky.

In the afternoon we went to the New Side and managed 5 loops before beer time which were -
Decline - Icey bumps at the top, chunky in the mid section and scratchy on the way out.
Lone Fir - Hard hike up the ridge and the base pretty firm through the chute which required edge to edge jumping to get through. The soft snow into Easter bowl was nowhere near as soft as it should have been but was good as long as you kept up speed and stayed on top.
Cougar Glades - Very chunky and variable all the way through and scratchy on the left hand ski out with tree stumps exposed.
Stag Leap - Entered from Cougar Glades so there was some untracked in trees. After that it was chunky to the bottom section then very scratchy and slick down to the top of Deer Chair.
Skydive - Final rip again, icey bumps in the top, chunky most of the way down then quite crunchy through the alders in the bottom section.

A good tough cold day with far fewer people on the hill than I would expect to see on a normal Saturday. A few beers with buddies, home, hot tub/beer and an early night.

Happy New Year

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