Fernie’s ski patrol like to find ways to share all of the powder, so to protect the entrance to really tight and steep chutes where the wind wipes away the snow at the entrance, they came up with a novel way to protect guests’ skis, so they installed tires at the chute opening. Patrol members had had to ski them one at a time from Top of White Pass chair. They were piled there in the spring and then installed with wire cables to anchor the whole thing in the summer.
What do you see in the accompanying photo? That’s right, you see a skier holding on to a rope and descending into an alpine bowl — but his skis are sliding on what really are tires. I this, like, safe?
Well, it is if you don’t want to ruin the base of your skis on rocks!
“The Fernie ski patrol like to find ways to share all of the powder at our resort, so to protect the entrance to really narrow and steep chutes where side-slipping skiers and snowboarders wipe away the snow at the entrance, the ski patrol have come up with a novel way to protect guests’ skis.”
The run is called Corner Pocket, and according to Robin Siggers, Fernie’s mountain-operations manager, the idea came about 10 years ago from longtime patroller Paul Wright. The trick was to get the tires over there. Patrol had to ski them one at a time from Top of White Pass chair. They were piled there in the spring and then installed with wire cables to anchor the whole thing in the summer. It worked so well they went back and added more a few years back to try to get access farther down to the fans.”
He continues: “The rope is there for those that want some security while they side step into it. It is a narrow, steep chute so that gets scraped to the tires between storms due to high traffic. Due to the nature of the terrain and wind patterns, snow accumulates in there and the result can be the deepest powder turns on the mountain. The chute does fill in during storms then it is a straightforward ski into it and the tires and rope are not needed.”
There are a number of Fernie hotshots who just straight-line the tires.
With 130 centimetres of fresh powder in the past week, maybe you should slide over and see if they’re covered up.
By Steven Threndyle