Friday, March 2, 2018

Day 90 Star Wars was right

When I was compelled to suspend this blog early this season due to threats to suspend my pass by RCR I was genuinely surprised by the support I got and just how big the blog had become. I don't just mean the comments on the blog and the emails but the personal views given to me on the hill and in the bar not to mention being contacted by the press and radio. Now I have restarted I am even more surprised that the audience and influence of the blog appears to have expanded beyond any expectations I ever had. There are of course the messages of support (particularly from the Calgary weekend crowd who felt deprived of their daily fix of skiing) but also the site is now referenced as the authoritative source of information on skiing in Fernie by a number of very serious ski sites. This among other things has driven the number of daily hits up to just short of 1000 a day which is way ahead of anything that went before. Perhaps those who were instrumental in silencing the blog might like to reflect on Obi-Wan Kenobi's final words "If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine" - he was right.

Of course not everybody is pleased to see the blog back, the trolls are again crawling out of the wood work. The trolls (and one of them does bear a remarkable resemblance to a little troll) are spreading the stories that I don't ski what I say and the blog is made up. My offer remains to these individuals that any day they want they can join me in the locker room at 9 and we will ski all of those runs that they say I don't ski for as long as their legs will last. In the meanwhile they may like to read this independent account of a day with Lynda and me that does tend to suggest that we ski what we say we do.

It was -4 as we drank coffee this morning and we were getting ready for the day. The joke of the day was provided by the official web site which claimed 55 cms of fresh powder both on the site and on alerts sent to registered guests. I know many of my buddies who dashed out to get ready for a big day skiing only to discover that there was nothing like this much new snow. The actual snow report called 11 cms of overnight snow which seemed about right to us. Perhaps I could suggest that the person who produces the powder snow alerts actually reads their own snow report first - just a suggestion.

We had the decision to make of which side to go but this was made for us with the news of yet another lift break down. This time it was the Haul Back which was down all day and will be down for a number of days to come. Not fancying the additional exercise of the hike up from the Haul Back load we went to the New Side. It was overcast all day with the occasional non accumulating flurry and viz that came and went at the top of White Pass.

The 11 cms overnight had given a good new covering and on top of the 80 cms that we have had in the last 7 days meant that everywhere was soft deep powder. Everything was open except for Polar Peak and the Saddles. First loop only the Polar Sink Traverse was open but after that the Reverse Traverse was open all day.

We went out the Skydive and found one board track going in and out of the trees on the left so we had the whole of the run untracked to ourselves. It was soft and mellow with lots of face shots. Next we went to Cougar Glades which was untracked after the start on the hard left. I dropped the trees below the Megasauraus which were very deep and just cut left into the disused logging trail which was ok but still with some dead fall waiting to catch you out.

Of course Lynda insisted of Touque Chutes which as always had deeper snow than in most other places. Afterwards we exited through Spinal Tap and had to duck very low to get under the fallen tree in the bottom but it was worth it as the whole chute was soft lightly tracked powder. Next was Nameless Trees which had many untracked lines of deep snow and we held the creek bed all the way down to just above the dead fall as it was so good. We bailed right onto the bottom of Stag Leap but I have a feeling there may be an exit in the trees to the left if we look hard enough.

As tree skiing was going so well we went to White Rabbit and once again the snow was so good you could take the left side of the choke in Sib Ridge which I have only rarely been able to ski. The usual right the left line in the Rabbit was great steep tight untracked tree skiing. For the final run before lunch we took the high IT (which was in ok shape) out to Gotta Go which was ok in the choke and sensational above and below. The final drop through Don't Lose Me Trees on Bootleg right was as mellow as it has been all season with a line now working right through the dead fall.

After lunch we were up into the Fraser Tooth for great fall line tree skiing and then dropping the tight line to the right of North East Glades which is now very full of deep snow. Just for a change next loop we took the high IT and the ridge line all the way out the Cobra Rock which was very lightly tracked. For the first time ever instead of holding the left hand line under the cliff I dropped right into the steep tight chutes and made it through fine if perhaps with a little more speed than I had planned. We pushed hard right in the Don't Lose Me Trees and eventually found untracked trees all the way down to almost the end of the Gilmar trail

I had decided to try the hike up to Lone Fir but when I got there a Non Stop group was stopped and taking their time in the chute so I decided to take the next chute Easter Meadow. I had always thought the name was a joke by ski patrol as this is one of the tightest and steepest lines on the hill but today it was full of snow and so mellow that the name meadow seemed appropriate. The final pitch was almost as wide as High Saddle and only a bit steeper so it was a surprisingly easy drop. I then cut across Easter to take the trees between Window Chutes and Spinal Tap which still had some nice steep untracked lines.

I am sure I have forgotten one of the afternoon runs but I don't want to be accused of over reporting so let's let it go. Final run was Skydive with 5 of us there and although it was tracked up since the first morning run it was still very mellow. On the way back from the hill the temp was zero and has now fallen to about -3. With significant precip in the forecast we are still on the edge but a cooling trend seems to be coming in so maybe we will be ok - I hope so.


  1. The pay for powder crew will rule saturday morning. Got new side early approval

    1. You guys are snow nazis.

    2. No, if we were Nazis we would be violently forcing you do what we want rather than politely arguing our case. Nor would we be allowing you the freedom to make your own comments. I suggest you look up Godwin's Law before making any further posts

  2. What they are going to do with the Haul Back closed down I don't know. It would be funny if they got down there and had to hike out - head for Timber Chair. I'm not too worried as their legs will be shot by the time we get the rolling Currie opening so they won't be serious competition in the Currie 500

  3. Willie. Your prose and snow poetry have got me juiced. You write like u see it, like u mean it, and like I want to experience it.....with you.
    I am “coming” down early and staying in my new Mercedes van in the hotel del parking lot tonight . See what you are making me do.
    Let’s make Skydive our Canal D'Amour tomorrow together.
    Patrica Pinkski.