Sunday, February 13, 2005

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weather

Fernie is looking more and more like the place I remember from 2001-2. It snowed last night, most of today, and will hopefully keep snowing tonight. There was officially about 10cm of fresh powder this morning, but it felt like more up top.

My first couple of runs were through the usual soft choppy goodness that is a "groomed" run on a powder day (especially when over half the mountain is waiting for a visit from the dynamite fairy to make it safe for us mere mortals).

Eventually, patrol gave the all clear, and opened up Currie bowl. I ended up getting the first line through Currie glades. It was amazing. You just can't help but ride well in powder. Well, unless you're one of the "middle aged American women" who apparantly bring their passes back for a refund because "there is too much snow". I hope this story is apocryphal (which is a fancy word for made up), but I suspect it isn't.

So anyway, I had one of those classic runs that makes everything seem right with the world. For those of you that haven't tried snowboarding through trees (which is pretty much anyone who has only snowboarded in NZ, not to mention my non-boarding audience), it's great. Kinda scary, but great. If you've seen Star Wars (the good movies, not George Lucas' weak cashin prequls), then it's a little like that scene where Luke Skywalker and some stormtroopers are riding jet bikes through the forest. Trees rush by on either side of you and the ground seems distance. You're trying to plan ahead, working out where and when you have to turn, but at the same time, your attention is being dragged back to the present because you have to do things right.

There's even Ewoks - at least I think they are Ewoks, they might just be 12 year olds. Riding in trees is an exercise in overcoming fear. The faster you are going the more it feels like you might hit a tree and break your arm. But really, not only is it easier to get through trees with momentum (turning is physically easier when the board is going fast and you are more accurate), it's also less scary than stopping. When you stop in trees, unless you pick your spot, they all creep together and the truck sized gap you had lined up now seems smaller than your front door.

The rest of the day was pretty good too, but that one run would have made my day.

I also managed to do about 4 hours of snow shovelling after coming back down from the hill. That was hard work, but $30 is $30. Hopefully, the tourists are coming back (as much as it pains me to share the snow, the town, especially me, needs their money).

Sounds lovely. This blog is being read by family far and wide, not too sure about friends? Mark is off to Austria for cross-country ski-ing (they call it training) but i doubt he'll have such pictureque experiences as Fernie! Hope there will be more work soon.
Now, what Fernie needs to pull the tourists is some snow sculpture
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