August 28, 1999

Back from the North

I see it has been over a month since I last posted a report and some folks may be wondering if a local grizzly has been enjoying a particularly plump and tasty snack. The mundane reality is just that we were off on a family road trip through Northern B.C., the Yukon and parts of Alaska. This is really big country with more trees, mosquitos and RVs than a mortal can comprehend. It also has scenery to leave even the most jaded slack jawed. Of course I took a zillion pictures and once I sort through them I will be looking for victims on which to inflict the time honored vacation picture/story torture.

Given the pace of construction on the hill, I was somewhat concerned about whether we would be able to find our house when we got back, but in fact not too much had changed. The hotels under construction are more complete of course and one can now start to get a feel for the size and shape of the new Cornerstone Lodge which is going up where Gabriella's was. Of course there is lots of house and multiplex construction going on in Highline and in town progress on the new bridges looks to be progressing nicely while traffic chicanes thorough the old West Fernie bridge which is now a few lanes farther downstream than it was.

I haven't yet been up on the hill yet, other than for a quick bike ride I took up the bottom of Currie this morning. There I found some major modifications being made to the exits from Currie. There is a new connector run cut from somewhere up on or above the narrow trail beside the gully, which leads down to the top of the lower part of Diamond Back (the flat part). This looks like a great idea to me, as it will hopefully encourage fast skiers to bypass the beginner runs on Deer. The sight of toddlers straying out into the high speed and all too often careless Currie traffic always struck me as a disaster waiting to happen.

They have also cut some new stuff on the skiers left of the gully. This looks interesting and an alternate route down through here would certainly be welcome, but of course it does route folks back into those beginner areas. It will be interesting to see if this might not provide an exit route from some intriguing, but tight, tree skiing from above.

The big event in the valley this week is the BC Seniors games, which has competitors 55 and over participating in everything from darts to bicycle racing. There was a bike hill climb at the ski hill today and it was pretty intimidating watching some of these guys crank up the ski hill road. I sure couldn't have kept up with most (any?) of them. Yeah, yeah I know I am almost in that age group myself, but I prefer not to dwell on that matter and in any case I am sure there are a lot of twenty year olds that would have been gasping oldster dust.

It is sunny and, at least after being in the North, hot these days. At the moment (2:00 PM) it is an unfortunate 27 C on my shady porch.

The Cornerstone Lodge is taking shape now along side the daylodge. This fairly wide angle shot from the Griz Inn deck show that it will be a fairly substantial structure.

Meanwhile the new Snow Creek condo hotel overlooks the Mighty Moose from the other direction.

Terrain modification in the bottom of Currie Bowl

Seniors bike race up the ski hill road from the highway...

to an altogether too effortless looking finish in the Griz Inn parking lot.