Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 11 Better than I expected

Now, let's not carried away, when I say things were better than I expected I don't mean that they were good, or anything like, just that I had expected things to be really awful today and actually they weren't !
Last night in the bar I was accosted by a friend who claimed that I always say that the ski conditions are good no matter how bad they are, and that just isn't true. In the last week I have described skiing as everything from awesome to crappy which as far as I am concerned is a true description of the situation - I just call it like I see it.
Where I do differ from most Fernie skiers is in that I always try to look on the positive side of poor skiing conditions and somehow squeeze some enjoyment from them. Everyone has fun in awesome powder conditions although guest services will tell you that they refund more day tickets to vacation skiers who can't handle it on a powder day that they refund tickets on a bad snow day. The difference is that on a day when we have icy bumps, or refrozen crud, or breakable crust or some other nasty conditions I will look to get pleasure from those conditions (if only the pleasure of skiing them better as the day goes on) rather than declare the day a write off and leave the hill.
So when I say I had fun in the conditions today it doesn't mean that the conditions were good (they were pretty crappy) it means I had fun skiing them as they were challenging and I enjoyed meeting the challenge. Actually if you ignored the limited terrain and the fact that it was raining then the surface that we skied on today (soft spring bumps) was actually quite good.
It was raining as we left the hill last night and it rained all night in the valley. On the way to the hill it was raining but it stopped as we drove up ski hill road and the rain held off all morning before coming back in the afternoon. Temps were +3 all over the hill and the rain had gone to the top of Bear. There was no chance that the New Side would open so there is no point in speculating what the snow conditions would have been up there but I am not optimistic. On the Old Side the only stuff open was the lower mountain, which doesn't count as skiing to me, and Bear. Everything else was closed and whilst you could access Boom Chair via Kodiak there was no skiing off Boom top other than to ski back to the Bear so other than a change of scenery taking the Boom chair had no real purpose.
We spent the morning finding as many ways down Bear and Kodiak as were possible, which wasn't that many. The skiing surface was soft bumps in spring like conditions on a hard base where there had been traffic and soft mush were there hadn't. After quite few runs we headed to the lower mountain and played in the skier cross course and the rail park just to do something different. The rain started hard around midday so it was time for lunch.
At lunch I put on my full Canadian Tire yellow plastic ski suit and so stayed warm and dry for the afternoon. All afternoon was spent on Bear just practising bump techniques and heavy mush skiing depending on which route we took down. As I said earlier , if you ignored the very limited terrain and the rain it really was quite nice skiing.
By the end of the day the precip was coming down white at the top of Bear although it seemed to clear later. There was hardly anyone around so finishing half and hour before last turn didn't seem too much of a cheat. On the way back from the hill temps were +7 in the valley so any precip is going to come down wet overnight. The future looks very uncertain.

No comments:

Post a Comment