Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First Day in Fernie

You will all note that I have headed this post as my first day in Fernie (which it is) and not Day 1 which will be used on my first day skiing which looks likely to be the day after tomorrow - Friday. After that it looks like it will be just over 120 days skiing but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

We arrived late last night in Fernie after a very long day which involved flying from Dublin to Heathrow, Heathrow to Calgary and Calgary to Cranbrook. Then it was just over an hours drive in pouring rain from Cranbrook (I'm sorry I mean Rocky Mountain International) Airport to our house in Fernie. Everything went amazingly well with flights connecting and luggage turning up on time and the only down side being the incredible turbulence in the last hour of the flight to Calgary and for the whole of the Cranbrook leg due to some very strong Chinook winds that were blowing down the East side of the Rockies.

The only bad experience in the whole journey was the car rental from Truro to Bristol airport for the hop to Dublin thanks to Budget. When I picked the car up there was damage to the nearside wheel due to a previous renter hitting a kerb pretty hard which was marked on the Vehicle Condition Report. When I dropped the car off they tried to stiff me with the price of a new tyre in respect of the damage notwithstanding the fact that it had been already marked on the VCR. I am currently in dispute with them but those who know me will rest assured that it will be a cold day in hell before they con money out of me in this way.

Today we got an amazing amount done as we always do on our first day if only because we are wide awake a 5 in the morning and raring to go. The house is all sorted out, TV, wifi all set up and running, phones reconnected, heating and water turned on, radios and cell phones charged, hot tub fired up and ready to be used in a few minutes, food and drink stocked up, seasons passes picked up, ski gear taken to the hill, truck insured and back on the road even if it did need a new battery, etc etc. All that remains is for tomorrow to return the rental car to the airport and put the Christmas lights up outside and we will be ready to kick the season off properly on Friday.

The conditions so far are quite warm and very wet. Yesterday it was +4 when we landed and it rained until we went to bed - I would imagine it was falling as snow about half way up the hill. By morning temps were down to +1 in the valley and the precip was coming down as really wet snow which accumulated to the extent of about 5 cms. Reports from up the mountain suggest it was heavy but ok skiing high up although I was told that they never got the New Side open today.

As I am typing this the rain snow mix has stopped and there is a covering of very wet snow in the valley. I am guessing that the snow on the hill has accumulated fairly well and if it was open White Pass would have some ok powder. The temp on the deck is +2 and likely to go lower through the night so if there is any more precip it will certainly come as snow. The outlook is for temps to fall so that by mid next week we will be in the minus teens and at least three days are likely to give us some snow.

Of course while I was picking up my seasons pass this afternoon I did drop into the Griz Bar for just one quick beer and unsurprisingly found all the usual suspects in there looking forward to the season. General consensus was that things up top were ok for the time of year but the lower hill needs a lot more snow.

So all that remains is a relax in the hot tub, have meal and an early night ready for one last days preparatory work. After that it will be business as usual so look out on Friday evening for the first real report.

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