June 23, 2002

Currie Crawl

I took a slog part way up Currie Bowl today and the few pictures I snapped along the way seemed to provide an excellent excuse for a report. As you can see, there is still quite a bit of snow above Trespass Trail, but it is receding quickly and the change from when I was up there a couple of days ago was quite notable.

With the opening of the Elk Chair for mountain bikes, the summer season is now officially upon us and armoured downhill warriors are busily darting about lower Lizard Bowl - a good reason for heading up Currie. I haven't been doing much mountain biking recently, but from what I have seen the trails on the lower mountain at least are in good shape.

Alas I heard that the young cinnamon black bear pictured in my last report was destroyed by the conservation officer. This is hardly surprising given it seemed to be acquiring a taste for garbage and was totally unfazed by nearby humans. It is a shame though for it probably would have moved on if it hadn't been able to keep finding munchies around the houses and it seemed much more curious than threatening.

Unfortunately the same can not be said for some other, supposedly domesticated, denizens of the hill, namely the sled dogs. I am sure that most winter visitors find these to be cute and endearing beasts, but perhaps not the woman who was thrown from the sled with her baby while the team killed our friend's long awaited and much adored puppy last winter. Our friend is an avid cross country skier, but had been reluctant to take her dog on the trails for fear of an encounter with the sled teams, so she specifically asked them about this and was assured that if her dog was on a leash and they simply stayed at the side of the trail, there would be no problem. Instead the poor puppy ended up trapped by the leash wrapped around its owner legs while the team tore it apart. Another friend's dog barely escaped the same fate only because they did not have it leashed and it was able to outrun the harnessed dogs. Cute indeed!

Our neighbor's ten year old triplets probably don't find these pooches any too cute either. Yesterday morning what appeared to be one of them running free killed the kids' life long pet cat in their front yard. The response of the operators to upset pet owners seems to be one of casual indifference and while these mutts are not supposed to be free, they are not an unusual sight. Last week a couple were in our yard chasing our cats, which fortunately escaped, but the hounds did leave a little odorous present for us in the driveway.

The community was assured a couple of years ago that this operation would not be remaining on the hill, but they are still here. We and our kids and pets will take our chances with the bears and coyotes, but I sure hope these other brutish beasts find a new home soon.

My apologies for the diatribe, but the unnecessary destruction of children's pets tends to get the blood boiling and once I got started it was only with difficulty I kept from railing on for pages.

Flowers push back the snow at the bottom of Concussion Chute, while Polar Peak peeks over the top.

Looking South across Currie from the bottom of Concussion.

Currie Bowl from Trespass Trail, with Down Right on the right.

A bold sort could probably still ski down Anaconda Glades.

Another shot of Concussion Chute, this time from Trespass Trail.

Polar Peak dominates Currie bowl. The open area at the upper left is Currie Powder.

From bottom to top there is the village core, the town of Fernie and Mount Hosmer. This was taken on Diamond Back.

A lively melt stream courses through the gully in the bottom of Currie Bowl.