August 01, 2001

Paradise, but for Pesky Politicians

For some reason I was struck anew last week with just what a great place this is. I don't know if it was triggered by a walk in the luscious green smell following one of the weeks frequent showers or having to mull over just what activity I would partake of each day, or perhaps one of the numerous little things like the doe and her spotted fawn that are hanging around just outside the window while I am typing this. However every once and a while, I brush off my complacency, look around and just go 'Wow'.

Alas even paradise is not without its pests and while we only have a few mosquitos, we are unfortunately plagued by politicians. The City of Fernie covets the growing tax base on the mountain and from time to time makes overtures about annexing us. However they have little to offer other than higher taxes and have always been summarily rebuffed by the hill residents. Recently though, some bright light latched on to the idea that if they could convert the sewage treatment plant problems into an 'emergency' they might persuade the provincial government to forcibly annex us to the city.

Towards this end, outrageous statements have been made implying that the ski hill might not open this winter, sewage is being dumped into the river and porta-potties in every yard are just around the corner. Of course the danger of the hill really not operating this winter is all but zero, but this is hardly the stuff of marketing dreams and local accommodators are already reporting a significant drop in bookings for next winter. Oh well, I guess that just means more powder for those of us that are here. :-) I have a more detailed take/rant for the masochists amongst you. :-)

On a brighter note, the Canadian National Ski team is in town for some dry land training and I am told this is rather special as it is somewhat unusual for the men and women to be training together. They were apparently out for some mountain biking this morning and I have heard there were a few spectacular crashes. I guess one should expect that these folks don't head out for a laid back ride. I have no idea how these things are arranged, but I guess it isn't coincidence that they are operating out of the 'Kerrin Lee-Gartner Snow Creek Lodge' since Kerrin is a gold medal winning ex member of the team and her husband Max managed it until quite recently.

On the ski hill financial woes front, it seems the whole mess is heading towards a conclusion. There is a new financial backer and the court has approved their restructuring plan. The plan still must be approved by the creditors in mid August and many of them will come up significantly short. However the court appointed monitor claims they would be much worse off if the company were actually pushed into receivership. I should point out that the Fernie ski hill has been quite profitable, but its parent company suffered some indigestion after a fit of acquisition fever.

Currie Bowl looms above the newly repaved ski hill road.

Canadian National Ski team members try out the beach volleyball court after a morning of mountain biking.

The infamous sewage treatment plant.

The tennis courts are back after a many year absence.

Cedar Bowl with the KC chutes just right of center, lower Cedar Main just right of center and Cedar Ridge at the upper right.

Looking up Steep and Deep to the top of Red Tree.