Sunday, February 4, 2018

Day 65 - I'm thinking about it

And what I am thinking about is starting up the blog again.

Let me make it clear that nothing has changed since RCR emailed me on the 3rd December and said "Our Senior Risk Management Team will have to further investigate this matter to determine if further action is required" with further references to removing my pass. Given that 2 months have passed since the date of this email I assume that the great and good who comprise the "Senior Risk Management Team" have met and decided that I don't represent a risk to society and can therefore keep my pass. An email to this effect would have been a nice courtesy but then I suppose I shouldn't expect miracles.

If I do decide to continue the blog then everyone should be aware that there will be no more private emails or off the record chats. Any threats to me will be published here on the blog so everyone can see what is going on. Anyone thinking of threatening me would be well advised to make sure that they are happy for anything they say or write to be published and attributed.

One of the main factors in my consideration is the staggering support I have received from a huge number of followers regarding the blog, I had always hoped that I was providing a useful service but I am quite honestly amazed (and not to mentioned rather touched) by the level of support I have received from a wide range of people both on line and personally on the hill. Followers seem to fall into two camps - those who don't ski every day and want their daily fix of Fernie skiing and those who ski regularly who want source of accurate information about conditions which is sadly lacking from official sources. Both of these seem to be suffering as a result of my decision to stop the blog/

Another factor is purely a personal issue. The blog takes me about an hour an night, sometime less. I am now spending about 2 hours a night answering emails from people either about the blog, or conditions in Fernie or whether or not they should come and ski here with their friends. It would simply be much quicker for me to go back to writing the blog.

In my final post I referred everyone to official sources of information but I have to say that those are just not fit for purpose. Some examples are - a week ago we had a day when it snowed all day with a fall rate of 10 cms an hour at one time and the next day it showed a total of 6 cms in 24 hours - we regularly see the forecast daytime high as being lower than the day time low, I think they transpose the figures - the other morning the figures showed zero snowfall year to date and a zero snow base - only yesterday the base was shown as 295 cms and after no snow in the last 24 hours today (we actually did have some) it showed at 311 cms. It's a complete shambles which I can't make head nor tail of and I ski every day so what hope would anyone else have.

In the absence of my blog to give a reality check the publicity machine (bovine excrement department) appears to have gone into overdrive. We have reports of the huge snowfall in the year to date which fails to mention that a significant proportion of this was washed away in the late November rains. Similarly there is a load of ballyhoo about the 2 metres plus of powder we have received in January which fails to mention that for extended periods we couldn't access it due to lift break downs (I'm sorry, unscheduled maintenance) and avi closures. Don't get me wrong, you will never hear me criticise the patrol for closing the hill for safety reasons but I do have a problem with the fact that this is not mentioned in the "awesome powder" publicity circus. Don't even get me on the subject of the toilets, parking and day lodge facilities, none of which come near coping on high traffic days.

Finally a number of my conspiracy theorist friends (of whom I seem to have a disproportionate number) take the view that as RCR have always hated my blog as something that is beyond their control (a fact that has been stated to me on a number of occasions by senior management) that this is part of a larger plot to gag me and by stopping the blog I am playing into their hands. I can't say if this is right but it certainly is point of view.

So in summary all these factors are rolling around in my brain at the moment. In the next couple of days I will make my final decision as to whether or not to shut down this site forever or to try and go back to something like normal service. Any thoughts or inputs which may help me with my decision would be more than welcome.

PS Sorry about the small type, can't seem to do anything to make it larger but any future posts would be back to normal


  1. Bill, I miss your daily blog. As someone who lives in UK and spends a short period skiing in Fernie each season - we were there from Boxing Day to mid January this year - I find it useful, informative and entertaining in equal measure. I like many others would welcome it's return. Good luck which ever way your decision goes. Cheers, Nathan

  2. Hey Bill,
    I am among the legions who love to ski Fernie and love to read your blog. If RCR considers this blog a threat to their business, it is beyond absurd. I don't know the law in Canada, but in the states they would have no legal grounds to pull your pass. The legal concept called "freedom of speech" would prevent it. I would be shocked if you were not afforded the same protection under Canadian law.

  3. Bill,

    As a daily reader of your blog, I hope you make the decision to restart your daily posts. I have a condo at Fernie and my family and I travel to Fernie every weekend. Reports of rain or pour skiing do not change our travel plans but sometime change what clothes we pack, or which areas we ski.

    Above everything, your blog keeps me connected with my favorite place. As I sit at my office chair and have my morning coffee, your recount of the previous day allows me to escape the "working-stiff" blues and allows me to start my day with a smile.


  4. Skiing is not my sport of choice. When I moved here 5 years ago, I would buy an RCR card and get maybe 3-5 days in per season. Then I found your blog. Reading it every day, and comparing it to the weather I observed and the snow reports, I realized that even when conditions appear to be meh, there was still a tonne of great skiing to be found. As a direct result of this blog, I have a season's pass for the first time since I moved here. I can't see how your blog is a deterrent to business at all. In fact, I think it encourages people to get out in all conditions. So I hope to see you back.

  5. Taught me areas of the mountain I would not have otherwise sought out being a casual rider from Calgary and subsequently increased both my enjoyment of the hill and resulting number of visits. The level of detail is rare in the industry and is more likely to increase business as opposed to chase it away. Like when the snow report doesn't mention the rain line is 1/2 up white pass.

  6. I live about an hour away from Fernie. Your reports give information that is almost impossible to find elsewhere. The resort website gives little in the way of snow conditions, temperatures and such. With your reports I can decide on what skis to bring, what to wear, and where to head first when I get to the mountain. Whether or not you decide to start it again, thank you for the years that you did keep this blog going. If you do start again, I look forward to your reports the rest of this season and hopefully years to come.

  7. Bill it's great to be able to read some sort of an update from you. It's been nice getting the mini updates from your loyal followers. Hope that your regular blog comes back one day. Maybe if not this season hopefully next year. Keep shredding and telling it like it is!!

  8. Bill, please continue. It's a while since we have been to Fernie, but the daily blast of Bill's Blog makes my winter months that little bit better. Thank you. CU.

  9. Why don't you write your blog as being your experiences, and also those of others you meet on the hill, so that if you are picked up on some apparent transgression you can simply say you were reporting what others had said, rather than what you had skiied for that particular item.

  10. William, You are so "on". Will you have my baby ? Patricia Pinkski Regatoni