Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 11 another blue bird Saturday

Today was always going to be interesting as being the first real weekend of the season. As it was the crowds were up a little but never enough to have to line up to get on the lift and I only had to share a chair three times which puts it in perspective compared with the use of the word "crowds" at other ski hills. In truth all we had were a few locals let loose for a couple of days, some weekend warriors up from Calgary and the kids and their coaches in FAST (Fernie Alpine Ski Team) - still don't understand why they rejected my idea to rename it Fernie Alpine Race Team.
The base hangs in at around 110 cms. This is a reflection of the fact that because we had the rain layer on the original snow we now have a very solid base, much better than say last year when it was about 10 cms more at this stage but with nothing solid underneath. The good news is that we are skiing on a relatively thin base but not breaking through so skis remain well protected, the bad news is that this could become a serious layer of weakness for avi events from now to the end of the season - watch this space.
We got to the hill in temps of -11 but with clear blue skis and a warming trend in the sun. With no ridge winds it must have warmed to about -6 on top during the day and -2 at the base. No new snow and not much wind sift but a little hoar frost under the mist at lower elevations.
Lynda decided to take the day off as she had girly things to do like a hair appointment so I was left to amuse myself doing stuff that the missus might not approve - you married men will understand this.
Went to the Old Side and tried to find the best way out of Steep and Deep trying it three times with chutes left, right and middle. Right (skiers) was the best of a bad bunch if only due to the lack of wet snow avi debrise. Came back in and ran Boomerang, Boom Ridge, Linda's, Cedar Ridge and King Fir several times. Linda's and Boom ridge just about got the vote on the grounds that they are starting to get tracked into some pretty nice firm skiing. Once down Kangaroo got me asking why I didn't follow my own advice of a few days ago and leave it until there is more snow.
In the afternoon went over to the New Side and found Currie bowl closed half way across due to a hive of activity on the Polar Peak lift. I can't think that this has anything to do with my comments of yesterday but it is a coincidence. By late afternoon it looked to me that they had rigged the com line and we well advanced with the main cable - maybe a Christmas opening is on after all.
In the curtailed terrain I looped White Pass a few times, Surprise trees were ok before dropping loops in Currie chutes ( low entry under the new lift) Currie Glades and Anaconda Glades - all good but chunky tough skiing just like all week. Last run I decided to hike Knot chutes as they have been open a week and I haven't been in. The skiing was really nice tracked snow but the way in was down a clingon line assuming you don't want an 8 ft jump onto a flat landing with big drops either side (I didn't).
Life was made more difficult by me breaking a second heal binding on my rock skis in two days. The only consolation was that the one that broke was not the one I had replaced the day before from my huge stock of Rossignol heal bindings acquired over the years under warrenty claims because the things keep breaking. I am now on my best skis for a few days until I can dig out yet another replacement. To be fair these are all old bindings and I am assured that the new ones are much more solid - as these are the ones on my new skis I hope so.
Snow is forecast in the next 24 hours with maybe 5 cms in town and more on the hill - lets see.

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