Friday, November 24, 2017

T Minus 7 and Counting

Yup, it's 7 days to opening day at Fernie so it's time to dust off the blog and have a look round to see what's happening. Usually at this time I have just arrived in Fernie and I am getting ready for the season and keeping my fingers crossed for an early bonus weekend. This year because I have a lot of stuff to finish off in the UK I am still here in Cornwall and don't fly out to Fernie until Monday arriving (hopefully) late Monday evening. For the first time I will be trying the Gatwick-Calgary route with West Jet as it was a fraction of the price of any other flights and I will report on how good or bad this is compared with the alternatives.

The summer and fall has passed in what seems a flash and so winter is now beckoning. We had a great summer racing our Falmouth Working Boat and our RS 400 (sailing dinghy) here in Cornwall. We also treated ourselves to a new yacht, a Jenneau 32i which we have sailed up and down the coast all summer and of course we have been out in the rib with the 90 horse engine for visits to pubs and restaurants around Carrick Roads. I have continued my judging career in sailing and have officiated as event judge and various national and world championships.

Through the summer I trained hard for the usual fall marathons and everything was going well until mid September when, while in Fernie really cranking up the pace I tore a hamstring. This interrupted the training in the vital 7 weeks before the first marathon and I headed off to Dublin in a very undertrained stated, not even sure the hamstring would hold up for the full distance. In the event I made it round in pretty bad shape in a slow 4:25 but a week later I was in much better shape and finshed Porto in 4:15. Now I am more or less back to full fitness ready for the ski season.

With no first hand experience to go on I have had to rely on reports from buddies and mountain cams to get an idea of what is happening on the hill. The early season snow seemed very promising with over 2 metres of snow already fallen and a base of not that far short of 100cms. About 4 weeks ago two buddies of mine (no names as technically they could have their passes pulled for doing this) skinned up and skied Bear and sent me some pics which looked very promising. The snow continued and a few days ago the hill announced that there would be a bonus weekend this weekend which of course was rather frustrating for me. As it turned out a warm up to daytime temps of +11 (more than Cornwall) and a rain event which from the mountain cams appears to have gone to the top of the hill has caused the cancellation of the bonus weekend and we are now back on track for opening day next Friday 1st Dec.

So, what might this season hold ? It has now officially been declared a La Nina winter which usually means some great skiing. Environment Canada has produced it's official long term forecast which is for below average temps and above average precip for the winter which has to be good news. Of course nothing is guaranteed and even in the most awesome winters ever we have a few weeks of cold dry or warm wet weather so as usual for short periods it will be a crap shoot but over all things are looking good. This latest rain event may have some consequences. On the plus side we should have a good solid wet snow base to ski on all season, on the minus side it could become a freeze layer which gives us instability problems for the rest of the season. I will need to take some expert advice on this when I turn up on Monday.

So that sets the scene - super excited for the up coming season and can't wait to get into town and catch up with old friends. watch this space.

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