July 20, 2002

Polar Peak - With a Cheat

The ski hill staged a geology "Walk 'n Talk" today, which featured a ride up the Timber Chair followed by a talk about the area geology from local geologist Bob Morris (no relation, at least not that I know of). This provided the perfect chance to not only learn some interesting facts, but a rare opportunity to get a big jump on the vertical required for a trip up Polar Peak (I did hear though that Timber chair might be running in August, so perhaps it won't be such a rare chance after all).

Although my son has been up to the top of Polar once, I have never managed to coax my wife and daughter up the 1100+ meter climb from the house. So after Bob's talk and a group walk up to Lost Boy's pass, I managed to coax and brow beat the troops into heading off for Polar. While the journey did at times resemble a Malcolm in the Middle rerun, we did finally make it without bloodshed or serious mutiny and the resulting vistas were, as always, just wonderful. One note from the journey down is that the stinging nettle is now in fine form and rather abundant in the mid elevations of at least Currie Bowl. :-(

There has been little in the way of construction on the hill so far this year and at this point at least it would appear that there will be few changes for next year's ski season. It is of course the height of mountain bike season now and the Elk Chair busy is hauling warriors and their steeds up daily. On the August 3rd weekend the hill will be hosting the finals of the Canada Cup Mountain Bike Race Series which should feature some of the finest lunatics, er, I mean racers in Canada. It should be quite a show.

It has been a hot July here in the valley with temperatures usually getting to or above 30 C, which is about 10 C higher than I ever like to see it unless I am actually sitting in water. It was considerably nicer today, but for what it's worth I see that the forecast suggests a return to warmer temperatures and little in the way of rain.

The goal - Polar Peak from White Pass.

The geology walk gets an interesting overview of the local rocks and mountain building from Bob Morris (no relation).

Mammoth Head from the trail from the top of the Timber Chair to Lost Boy Pass.

The view West from Lost Boy pass. You can just make out Lake Koocanusa at the far left in the distance.

The depression that so effectively protects Timber Bowl from winter avalanches still has a bit of its catch.

One bowl farther over, Currie also still has a bit of snow. The top of the White Pass chair is visible at the upper left in this shot taken from the South flank of Polar Peak.

The top of Polar provides an almost aerial view of the ski hill village, with the community of Cokato across the Elk River.

The lovely and intriguing Polaris Bowl (behind the ridge that looms above Lizard Bowl.

A little telephoto magic and my daughter Tara becomes the goddess of Polar Peak looming above the City of Fernie.

Another in the series of Timber Lodge buildings and a private house on Timberline are the only construction projects I have noticed so far on the hill this summer.