September 02, 1999

Timber Tramp

I have a blister tonight! Apparently this is my hiking boots' coy way of telling me how much they missed me. I haven't been doing much hiking this summer and although my boots made the long trip to Alaska, they sat lonely and dejected in the van for the whole trip. So I guess when I decided to take a walk up to the top of White Pass this afternoon, the evil things saw their chance for revenge.

As I was heading up towards the base area I could see that there had been some activity up in Lizard recently. It appears that the interesting alder field on the skiers right of China Wall has been barbered and fresh land scraping scars are evident under the Bear T-Bar track. I also think they might have been constructing something in the Bear's Den area, so I rationalized that I could take the Elk Chair up to check things out and the gain in elevation would make up for having to tramp back over to Currie. Alas tickets are of course required for the ride and my plan would only have worked if I had been smart enough to have brought my pass.

Up at the bottom of Currie they were again working on new runs on both sides of the gully. It is hard to figure out just how these will work out, but it certainly looks intriguing.

I have not been up in Timber yet this summer and it was pretty interesting revisiting it after a winter of skiing its new runs. I am used to how steep things look in the summer on the old side, but I was still surprised to see some of the spots in Timber that I regularly skied last season. I was also interested to see if anything had been done to ease the trip for beginners and intermediates heading to the White Pass chair from the Timber chair. Lo and behold a new cat track has been carved into the tough looking rocks between Heartland and Highline. This cat track is fairly narrow, at least in the summer, but appears to be generally quite gentle and will hopefully provide an escape route for those spooked by Puff and Heartland. If it doesn't help I won't be able to complain as it is exactly what I thought would be the best solution.

It has been chilly here the last few days and we even had a few balls of snow (graupel) on the deck a couple of days ago. When I checked the thermometer a little after nine this morning it was a bare 2 C on our front porch, but the forces of the cosmos held back on incurring my wife's wrath by bestowing frost on my her garden. Apparently even a force of the cosmos feels the need to be prudent on occasion. :-)

There is some new snow up on the Three Sisters and when I finally got up to the top of White Pass I discovered there was even a little bit of new snow on the North side of the patrol shack. There is still three months left until ski season and I don't feel quite ready to exchange my summer mind set for fall, but I guess I better start thinking about it.

At the moment (7:40 PM), it is 11 C under a gray sky.

Strange things are happening up in Lizard. The activity near the bottom of the picture appears to be the beginning of the road up to the Cornerstone Lodge.

Activity in lower Currie. This is taken from where Diamond back crosses the cat track from Deer and is looking up the new run that has been cut from Currie. In the background is the area being cleared on the North side of Currie. It appears to be the upper part of this run, but remember it is on the other side of Gilmar's Trail and the gully.

A view of the base area and Highline subdivision from the upper part of Diamond Back.

The new cat track linking the top of the bottom section of Heartland (i.e. where the traverse from the top of Timber chair deposits you), with the hopefully friendlier slopes of the Highline run

There was new snow on the Sisters today and even a little on the shady side of upper Currie. It was melting fast and rather puny when compared with last February 5:

For perspective, in the picture I took today the deck really is at chest height; I wasn't crouching. Also I am 185 cm (6' 1") tall and still have at least 30 cm (1 foot) of clearance when I walk under the lowest horizontal beam of the gun tower. (Okay the legs on this side are maybe 50 cm shorter, but it is still a fairly tall structure).