Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back Again

Yes - arrived on Wednesday evening a couple of hours late (thanks Air Transat) getting on the ground at about 8:30. We would never have made it to Fernie if it hadn't been for the two best buddies that anyone could have in the world. Rob and Katie took time off work to drive down from Fernie to pick us up and dropped us at the house around midnight - 7 in the morning according to our body clocks. We are of course in a shocking state of jet lag but with any luck things should have sorted themselves our a bit in time for opening day at the hill on Saturday.

Since I wrote in the fall a lot of things have happened. I wrote about training to run a couple of marathons and running the Fernie half. In the event the half was slow and training just got harder and harder with great weight loss (about 4 stone = 56 pounds), I developed the shakes and became very weak. In the end I collapsed at the docs with a resting heart rate of 130 and was rushed into hospital. It turned out I had a massively over active thyroid with thyroxine levels about 5 times what they should be. Everything now under control with drugs but the muscle loss is huge (still 3 stone down in weight) so sking might be a bit slow to start with. On the other hand with less weight the muscles that are left have less work to do so perhaps I can go at it even more full on than usual.

Today as the first day in town has been the usual round of getting things sorted - car started and insured, hot tub fired up, decks and drives cleared, ski gear sorted out, skis taken to the lockers on the hill, phone connected, cable TV sorted, internet back on line etc.etc. Most important was the visit to the hill to pick up the season passes and sign all the waivers. But I am sure no one is interested in my health or domestic arrangements so on with the skiing related matters.

There isn't much snow around in town although the hills seem to have a reasonable covering. Temps are drifting into low positive figures during the day and the pricip that we have had and are forecast to have over the next few days is coming down as a snow rain mix in the valley during the day and wet snow on the hill turning to snow overnight. The outlook for next week is for temps drifting lower and the precip turning to snow at least in the early part of next week.

The hill is claiming about a 50 cm snow base which looks very optimistic to me but I will hold my judgement until I have actually been up there and skied. Opening is due to go ahead on time but reading between the lines it looks like an old side only opening with very restricted terrain - lift prices are actually being reduced and that doesn't happen unless the skiing is very restricted indeed. I've skied opening days in worse conditions ( 4 years ago we opened with 30 cms) so we should be able to slide around and have fun even if it isn't vintage stuff. Certainly it will be the rock skies that get used at first and the Shoguns probably won't be making an appearance this side of Christmas.

Just looking up the hill it seems to me that a lot of work has gone on with the Big Three and Siberia Ridge taking out the ground cover that cause so many problems last year. Even in the thin cover they all at least look attemptable whereas last year with over a metre of snow on the ground they were still a nightmare. Further reports will be forthcomming when I actually get up there.

So it's going to be an early night to get shot of the jet lag and continue with the odd jobs tomorrow (puting a shelf in my new bigger locker for a start) ready for opening on Saturday. Great to see all my friends around town and to be in contact with my blog followers for another year. If you like what you read do tell a friend.

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