News from the Patrol

Supercool?
Yes, supercool indeed. That’s how it all begins, with ‘super cooled’ water droplets. Under the correct atmospheric conditions, with the presence of a “freezing nuclei”, super cooled water droplets form tiny ice crystals that grow to form snowflakes. These snowflakes then blanket the Elk Valley, creating our legendary white, wintery playground!

It’s that time again! Fernie Alpine Resort is charging up for another legendary winter season! This year will mark the 46th year of lift access riding in the Lizard Range. Opening date is slated for December 5, 2009 conditions permitting.

As for Avalanches, shallow snow packs, generally mean weaker snow packs. There is always potential for early season weak layers to produce avalanches in the backcountry. If you are planning a trip into avalanche terrain, be sure to check public avalanche bulletins at www.avalanche.ca. Know before you go, and always be prepared with appropriate self-rescue equipment and the skill and knowledge to avoid hazardous slopes. Stay Safe, and
Have Fun!

Ski Legs?
Now is the time...to cram in all of that pre-season conditioning that you have been putting off! The better physical shape we are in on opening day, the longer we can shred pow, and the better we will look on those new boards. But more importantly, the less likely we are to take an unwanted ride in a ski patrol toboggan with an injury. The Ski Patrol would like to remind everyone to use ride caution, and ski with care, while we get our “Ski Legs” back.
Avalanche closures on the resort or activated in times of increased risk to your safety. Closures also could indicate active avalanche control work being conducted including the use of explosives. These areas are clearly marked with signs and ropes. Avalanche closures must be obeyed at all times to ensures the safety of our patrollers and guests. If you are ever unsure if an area is open or closed, please ask! With early season snow also comes early season hazards. Unmarked obstacles could be present on all runs. Remember, your favorite powder stashes will look different than what they did last spring. As our snow pack builds, use terrain cautiously!