Fernie Opening weekend began on Friday December 4th with all the usual characters vying for the first chair. Legendary first chair veteran Greg Barrow, aka G-Money, was there for his 15th consecutive year. Barrow set up his tent the night before to ensure his earned spot on first chair. Kyde DeGroot, another local every day chronic lift rider also snagged a first chair seat.

Kylde DeGroot 2nd from left and Greg Barrow far right

Kylde DeGroot 2nd from left and Greg Barrow far right

At 9am sharp the Elk Chair started loading skiers and boarders and they got to enjoy a 70cm base with 4cm of new powder. Locals Ross Janzen and Shawn Trask celebrated the opening, and Jansen commented, “The Great White North starting Season ’15 with the respect and authority it deserves–best opening day ever”!

Shawn Trask left and Ross Janzen right

Shawn Trask left and Ross Janzen right

On Sunday skiers and boarders were treated to a second opening, the Timber Express and White Pass chairs opened. From White Pass skiers and boarders got to enjoy Curry Bowl, skiers pictured below charging into bowl when the barrier was lifted.

Curry bowl opening

Curry bowl opening

Fernie is experiencing an average early season snowpack at 196 meters (6,450 ft), see the Morrissey Ridge Snow Pillow Data below. At lower elevations in places the ground is bare, heavy rain has prevented any accumulation.

Morrissey Ridge Snow Pillow Data

Morrissey Ridge Snow Pillow Data

The annual ritual snow celebration, the Mogul Smoker, was held last weekend with no obvious results to date. Perhaps it’s time for the old geezers who initiated the Mogul Smoker to make a party pledge to the Griz and get this season off with some serious snowfall!

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