By Keith Liggett

I woke to rain this morning. Rain to the top. A scrim of rain broke the fine detail of the mountains from town.

Until moving to the Columbia Basin, rain never intruded into my skiing life.

My earliest memories of skiing involve foggy mornings and being bundled half-awake into the car in a thick sound deadening fog with only the nearest streetlight being visible in the pre-dawn dark. Tucked in the back seat, I’d quickly fall back to sleep to wake a couple hours later to bluebird skies and the soaring granite peaks of the Sierras.

We’d ski for the weekend and Sunday afternoon head down the slope to the Bay. Often, as we crossed the Bay Bridge, the evening fog would be rolling over the coastal range. In just the right conditions, the fog lifting over the ridge carried the characteristics of a wave. A monsterous grey wave rising, cresting, finally breaking slowly into the valley below to wash silently, burying the cities and towns of the Bay.

After college, I moved to the mountains of Colorado. At 10,000 feet, rain is the occasional summer occurrence. At that elevation, a summer snow is as likely as a summer rain. Every month of the year becomes punctuated by snow. The Colorado state agriculture office states the average growing season in Breckenridge (time between frosts) is seven days. Great for skiing. Not so great for tomatoes. In the fall, frost hangs all day in the shade of boulders with the air being so thin it will not carry heat out of direct sunlight.

But no rain in the winter. Not a chance. Zip.

So I sat this morning and watched the rain. Wondering at this skiing thing in Fernie.

And the rain.

An hour after the first light, the top of Mt. Fernie became lost in a snow shower. By mid-morning the snow dropped to the run outs of the avi chutes. The Bear lost behind a new white shroud. The first check of the Griz Cam showed 5cm. Mid-morning found over 10cm accumulated. By noon the snow almost reached the 20cm mark.

There is a storm warning out. The Weather Network says we should receive 20-30cm this afternoon and evening. The FAR Mountain Weather reads:

FERNIE ALPINE RESORT FORECAST:

TODAY: Cloudy with periods of snow and moderate to strong winds. Accumulations from 8 to 18cm. High near 0.

TONIGHT: Cloudy with snow showers. Accumulations from 12 to 25cm. Winds gusty at times. Low near -7.

FAR is looking at a little more snow than the Weather Net. Generally, FAR strikes closer to actuality.

As I finish this piece, the rain in town is mixed with snow. For now, the rain is past and we’re back to the ways of a week ago.

Powder, powder, more powder and then a beer or two.

The life as we know it.

Leave a comment

Related Stories

Fernie Network Blogs

Locals Report
Locals Report

A locals update on snow, trails, powder and more.

Read More
Fernie Bike Events
Fernie Bike Events

Fernie's destination biking events organized locally.

Read More
Mary Giuliano
Mary Giuliano

Mary writes about the town she has loved since moving here in May of 1953.

Read More
Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort offers world-class winter and summer activities.

Read More
Backcountry Powder
Backcountry Powder

Fernie's backcountry is where the powder lasts for weeks whether you're touring or riding!

Read More
Elk River Alliance
Elk River Alliance

A community-based water group protecting the Elk River watershed.

Read More
Wildsight
Wildsight

Working to protect wildlife, water and wild spaces.

Read More
Fernie Chamber
Fernie Chamber

A service organization dedicated to enhancing the economic future of Fernie and the quality of life.

Read More
Council Connection
Council Connection

Fernie Council Meeting updates and news is available here in the latest edition of Council Connection.

Read More
Regional District of East Kootenay
Regional District of East Kootenay

Local rural area government dedicated to providing quality service to residents and property owners.

Read More
Off Camber in Fernie
Off Camber in Fernie

Keith Liggett follows the goings and comings in Fernie—in town and on the hill—but not in the normal fall line.

Read More
Fernie Ski & Board Fim Fest
Fernie Ski & Board Fim Fest

Hundreds of skiers and boarders celebrate the coming season with the seasons top ski and board films.

Read More
Fernie Ghostriders
Fernie Ghostriders

Fernie's Junior B Hockey Club, a proud member of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

Read More
Fernie Whitewater Park
Fernie Whitewater Park

The Fernie Whitewater Park Society is working towards building a surf wave in the City of Fernie.

Read More