Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Day 68 Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives.

After much consideration and input from a number of followers I have decided to restart the blog from tomorrow. I apologise for the interruption of the service but I can assure you all it has been none of my doing and is down to the remarkable intransigence of others. I am however not one to bear grudges and regard all this as water over the dam - at least from my point of view.

Just on a point of reassurance I can confirm that the blog will have no restrictions or censorship and what you will get from me will be the facts as I see them an opinions on various aspects of skiing in Fernie - I will try to distinguish between fact and opinion but there will be times when you just have to work it out for yourselves. I can also confirm that despite some quite attractive offers I receive no money or favours for writing the blog so what you get here is what I think and not what I am paid to think. As before in summary the purpose of the blog will be to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

It will probably be helpful to put in here a background report on where we are on the hill in terms of conditions just to save time later on. After a slow start to the season when the base dropped to about 60 cms it started to snow just before Christmas and has been snowing pretty consistently ever since. The snow has been interspersed with a few (unreported) rain events which has had the effect of giving us a very solid 311 cm base which is something of a record for this time of year. The upper mountain has stayed in great shape but the lower mountain and particularly the lower parts of the Old Side are rather scratchy. The early season alder problem has been beaten into submission and you can now ski anywhere on the mountain fence to fence with great tree skiing low down because of the top to bottom snow cover.

The exception to all this is Polar Peak which has not been open for a single day all season. The problems of getting Polar open have been exacerbated by the very difficult snow pack which has meant that control has had to be focussed on the open ski terrain and the fact that White Pass chair broke down for 12 days just after Christmas making access very challenging. The good news is that a cat finally cut a track to the top yesterday and work can now start in earnest to clear the snow from Polar Top and allow the lift to spin. Best guess I have heard for an opening is next week sometime as long as no further problems come to light.

The interesting thing about having a lot of terrain closed is that we tend to ski in places that we don't normally go. Due to the combination of lift failures and avi risk we spent most of January with less than half of the terrain open and some days and for days at a time it was way less than that. With the good snow and the opening of terrain we have been able to ski some runs that we have only skied lightly before such as White Rabbit, Shaun's Chute and the Crutch. A special mention goes to the Fraser Tooth which is a line off Siberia Ridge into North East Glades and was only cleared out this year - a nice line a great work by Fraser. More of all the skiing tomorrow as things kick off.

Today we had a big warm up with plus temps at the base and light rain in the afternoon. All this was forecast as the front end of a Pacific Warm Front and things are supposed to cool a lot tonight and dump snow - we do in fact have a winter storm warning for the Elk Valley in effect but with the amount of snow they are calling for in the next 24 hours it looks more like a promise than a warning to me. Temps on my deck is +2 but I am not worried, after all when have weather forecasters ever got it wrong.

See you all tomorrow and remember to tell your friends the blog is back in business.

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