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Old 01-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
poutanen
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
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Talking Fernie weekend...

Pics below for those who don't want to read... Basically there was more powder than the jungles of south america produce in 10 years.

Hit Fernie this weekend to hopefully find some stashes of the 4+ feet that fell last week... Stayed Friday night in Sparwood and left at about 8:30 for the (supposedly) 25 minute drive. Little did I know that everybody else within a 4 hour radius decided to do the same thing this weekend, and we sat in traffic for an hour and a half before finding a parking spot deep in lot 4.

It was overcast heading up the Elk chair to get to the Bear (where I hoped the best snow outside of the bowls would be)... Heading up the Bear we heard them bombing the bowls, and sure enough when we got to the top they were all closed, so the entire lift funneled out onto the Bear run. There was lots of snow but it was just above freezing so it was very heavy and getting skied out even by 10:30 in the morning. To top it all off the snow turned into freezing rain which found it's way through everything we were wearing by the end of the day! We made the best of the day though and found some great runs that weren't skied out, and dried off beside the fire a couple times at the Bears Den (a little hut half way up the mountain).

Saturday night we spent the whole night drying out everything to be ready for what looked to be a great Sunday morning. I brought some beef ribs with me and BBQ'd them up (the Wolfs Den Lodge has a BBQ that you can use), and we ate those with some veggies and beers. Finished the night with a hot tub for the muscles...

Sunday morning I woke up early to hear them bombing the bowls again by 6:15 in the morning. Weather was calling for a mix of sun and clouds, just below freezing for a high. We got packed up and grabbed some cereal and advil for breakfast, then headed back to the Elk chair to head back up the bear. We were there 15 mins before they opened the lifts so got a great spot in line! This time up we were rewarded with great snow! After grooming it didn't freeze up into hardpack overnight, so I blasted off a few runs on the Bear to warm up the legs and get the blood flowing. There was probably 6" of new powder in places so they were great warmup runs. Finally at about 10:30 they opened up the Cedar Bowl and everybody started pouring into it, I dropped into the steep section right off the lift, and had one of the best powder runs of my life!!! There was probably 2-4 feet of snow everywhere, but it was hard to tell because the few times I stopped to get my heart rate down, I couldn't feel the bottom.

I took the Cedar Bowl right to the bottom, and then took the t-bar and boomerang chair back to the bear, then cut across to the Timber Express to see if Polar Peak was open. There was great snow in the trees coming down from the top of Timber to the Whitepass chair. Took whitepass up and dropped into the Currie Bowl to get to the bottom of Polar Peak (which was spinning but nobody on it). I stopped and asked one of the lifties but he said it wouldn't open up that day. Heard afterwards that the fog was keeping the helicopter from being able to see the peak itself to bomb it for avalanches... Nevertheless I spent some time in the Currie Bowl and found a great jump, then worked my way back to find my girlfriend who was just finishing her lesson. She was in a Level 3 course but they moved her into Level 4 and took her into the Lizard bowl for a few runs, so she had a great weekend too!

In the end, despite the rain it was possibly the best weekend of snowboarding I've ever had. Sunday was the stuff they make movies about. I've got some great pictures that I might put up if anyone's interested...

Last edited by poutanen; 01-23-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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