Fernie, BC, Mar. 1, 2019

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Fernie, BC, Mar. 1, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:19 pm

Weather in Fernie Friday morning was snowing with both wind and fog in town though temps were in the 20F range. As on the Castle days, I did not get on the mountain until after10AM. In this case that might have been a mistake as there were a surprise 7 inches of new snow overnight and I had to park in upper lot 4. This was not a vacation week in Canada, but powder days have been less plentiful than usual this season so lots of people got out early.

After my stellar experience last year viewtopic.php?t=12603 I headed up Timber to White Pass, hoping to revisit some of the stashes I was shown by Bill Handley. White Pass was quite busy, and I soon found out the reason was that all of Currie Bowl was closed. This is common during storms due to avalanche exposure and poor visibility. I warmed up on a mix of groomed and cut up powder, the latter often over moguls similar to the day at Stevens Pass.

Then I took one route I had learned last year, the traverse under the Knot Chutes to Anaconda Glades. Snow was deeper in there due to not so many people though the skiable lines are quite tight so I was usually doing one turn at a time. I then used Down Right to get to Diamondback, which was one of Liz’ favorites last year. View down Diamondback:
IMG_1001.JPG

Not visible in the picture due to the thick overcast and snow were the huge moguls, gauged deep during the relatively dry late January/early February. So they were the dominant feature of skiing Diamondback despite the fresh snow today and from 20 inches a week ago. Like last week the new snow was very light and dry, good for some of the bowl and tree skiing but here you would go right through it onto the bumps.

With Currie closed and White Pass busy I decided to ski the Old Side of Fernie for awhile. I was amused by this false weather forecast at the Elk chair.
IMG_1002.JPG

The new snow as at Mustang a week ago was also not predicted.

From the Bear chair the highest traverse into Lizard Bowl was closed but the next one ~100 feet down was still open. I skied a mellow diagonal line of lightly tracked powder through Cascade and China Might. I was starting to chill so I skied to the base to add a layer. The weather forecasters were right about the next big change, a deep freeze coming in from Alberta in the afternoon, with Saturday high temps to be below zero F.

Back at the top of Bear chair, the traverse into/across Cedar Bowl was closed but the King Fir and Cedar Ridge glades dropping into lower Cedar Bowl were open. I did two laps there with some bumps, but it’s a wider area than Diamondback so I could make mostly powder turns on top of them if I stayed in control.

After my second ride up the Boomerang chair, I skied the upper Bear chutes, bailing out on a traverse right so I could ski directly to the base and take Timber back to the New Side. I planned an Anaconda rerun to lower Currie Bowl, but was pleased to see that the top Currie entrance from White Pass was open at 2PM. There was still fog and some wind but it had stopped snowing by noon.

The quality of my final two runs out the Reverse Traverse were 100% due to what I learned from Bill Handley last year. This shot skier’s left is probably a Touque Chute dropping eventually into the bottom of Lizard Bowl.
IMG_1004.JPG

This was the deepest powder of my day by far. I had followed a guided group out the Reverse Traverse, but they continued down the obvious line of Skydive, which looked as heavily mogulled as Diamondback.

On my second Reverse Traverse lap I diverted though some trees to reach Stag Leap.
IMG_1006.JPG

There were some bumps here, but there was enough powder (likely some left over from the bigger storm a week ago) for nearly all powder turns until the final steep pitch which had occasional shrubbery poking through.

I finished with 19,000 vertical, about 6K of powder.

Note to kingslug: If you want some top quality tree skiing, come to Fernie next time!

I wore holes in my mittens the past 3 days, so I shopped in Fernie for new ones. When I left town at 4:30PM it was +8F. When I crossed Crowsnest Pass into Alberta it was -4F. Calgary was -11F when I arrived at 8:15PM and -17F when I got up early Saturday to catch my flight home, so good timing to end my trip of 11 ski days since Feb.18.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
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