Saturday, September 29, 2012

Report for Fall 2012

And as always it's a big "sorry" to any European readers - I know I should have said Autumn and not Fall in the title but that's what comes from living too long in Fernie.

We arrive to check out the house just over a week ago but flew into Vancouver in order to take a couple of days to drive across BC. The weather was (and has been all the time we have been here) totally bluebird with daytime highs in the mid 20's and night time lows just above freezing. The trip was spectacular and the highlight was bathing in the Nakusp (spelling ?) hot springs in fanastic mountain terrain. To be fair Lynda thought the highlight was seeing a bear crossing the road just after Whistler.

Fernie has been at it's fall best for the last few weeks. Every day dawns without a cloud in the sky and with quite crisp temps. As the day wears on it just gets warmer so hiking, biking and running has all been in T shirts and shorts - something I haven't worn all summer in the UK. Bears seem to be in town in record numbers and it's a rare day you don't see a bear or signs of one right in the town parks, one even took a dump by my back deck last night !

The big talk in the ski world is the Heaven's Gate project (look at their web site) which proposes opening up the whole of Fernie ridge and the backside with a gondola running from town. From a customer's point of view this sounds great with loads on new terrain and a bit of competition to keep pricing in check at Fernie Alpine Resort. From and investor point of view it looks a strange call as the existing facilities are hugely under utilised and as they are doubling capacity looks an odd decision. That having been said I am sure that the investors know what they are doing and if this ever comes to fruition (remember the international golf course) it will be good news for skiers and even better news for us property owners !

Back to the ski hill and we have hiked over a lot of terrain and when not dodging moose and bears we had a look at what has been done. In terms of the major facilities nothing much seems to have hasppened - certainly nothing to match the new Polar Peak lift of last year. There does seem to have been quite a lot of work done on de-aldering some of the runs, particularly at the bottom of the big three. I am told that a bit of work has been done on opening up the tree areas but that's just a rumour and I can't verify it.

Whilst we are enjoying almost summer conditions at the moment that is due to change. On Wednesday ( the day after we leave) it's due to rain and by the end of the week there is a snow/rain mix turning to snow. The long range forecast looks good with a cold wet winter in the outlook. At least we might get another bonus weekend in November like last year. On the subject of the length of the season I hear stories that the season this year will run until the third week in April which would make it the longest season I can remember but again this is unconfirmed.

Apart from that Fernie continues much as always. We went to the first Riders home game and watched them win 8-2. The big event tomorrow is the Fernie half marathon. As I am in training for the Dublin City and Athens Classic marathons ( I have lost 42lbs in training) I have entered and will be trying for a prize in the over 60 category.

That's it for the Fall folks. I will be back late November and technology allowing I will continue the daily blog then. As I switch off the cable/phone/internet at home for the summer this report is being brough to you from the ever reliable and excellent providers of coffee Mugshots.

See you in the winter.