From First Chair Fanatics to Freesking Alpine Racers


"There's nothing like first chair on a pow day!" I've heard this nearly as much as the popular, "No friends on a powder day!" and finally decided to experience it first hand.

7am comes quickly, even after a much anticipated snowfall of 15cm in Fernie, BC. Coffee in hand, gear loaded in the truck, we're en-route by 8. I'm nervous as I'm with a self-proclaimed first chair fanatic, meeting up with other first chair junkies. I know I'll be able to hold on for a while, or at least I hope.

We're first in line, and make it to Cedar Ridge with no one in sight. Hooting and hollering we charge to the haul back, then straight down a powder filled Lower North Ridge to the Boom Chair for another lap. Good friend Julia Delich finds us on our next lap. While I'm relieved at having my own powder pal, she raced professionally for Alpine Canada and in uni so I know my legs are going to continue to pay to slay.

We're just two from the top of the Boom yet again when the chair stops. The "fanatics" have already unloaded and are bursting at the seams so take off down Boomerang. Julia asks if we should catch them but stops immediately - the patrol are opening Cedar Bowl and you can count the people at its gate on one hand. Later boys!

Before I know it Ralph Socher is added to our Fernie posse, then Emily Brydon. We're flying down Curry Bowl after it just opened and I'm wondering when the "garage sale" I'm flirting with is going to occur. Fortunately the group decides on the Griz Bar before this fateful ending, allowing me to retain whatever is left of my ego.

There's more snow in the forecast with both fanatics and freesking alpine racers still awfully keen. 2011 might not start off as graceful as I had hoped!

Happy Skiing!