Craig's Report - September 06, 2005

Endings and Beginnings

With the passing of the Labour Day weekend, so ends the summer chair lift season and with it, the crash and rattle of downhill steeds and the whoops of delight, surprise and sometimes terror of their armoured riders. What begins, appropriately heralded by some frost on the lawn this morning, is the long informal count down to snow and the growl of equipment as the hill begins its preparations.

For our family, the long weekend was marked by a trip to Edmonton to install our first born in university there. For his mother and I this proved to be a surprisingly melancholy end to a precious period of our lives and for him a terrifying beginning to what will hopefully quickly become an exciting and rewarding new life.

It therefore seemed an appropriate time to end my summer long break from report writing and take the camera out to record any new beginnings on the mountain.

First up is what appears to be the beginning of a new building for the Timberline Lodges. The trees have been cleared right back to the property line on the lower portion of the property and a suitably big hole is appearing. The earth from this hole seems to be finding a home up on the mountain, with some appearing to be destined for covering the stream beside the administration building and some going up to the base of the Bear Express.

Over in Currie a large cat has been scratching away on lower Barracuda, apparently with the aim of pushing enough earth down to re-contour the exit onto Gilmar's Trail and to create a new path over to the skier's left of the gully. This is probably a good idea, although from a selfish point of view, it does mean some of the the hordes that usually pour down Gilmar's will find their way onto my preferred exits. :-)

I wasn't up in Timber Bowl today, but a walk last week revealed the source of at least some of the logs that have been coming off of the mountain. A stand of trees between upper Highline and Heartland has been removed to make a more obvious route to the skier's right. There hasn't been any work done in Siberia Bowl though, at least none obvious to a brain starved of oxygen by the uphill slog.

I haven't noticed the alder whacking crew all summer and feared their work was done, but as I drifted into Lizard Bowl by way of Megasaurus today, the buzz of the chain saws greeted me and sure enough they were up munching on the side of Easter Bowl. Perhaps there is still hope for places like Steep and Deep.

I am sure other stuff is happening which I haven't noticed, but even so, it seems like a good beginning.

At 18:00 it is a beautiful clear evening down at the house. The thermometer is claiming 29 C, but that is with the sun shining right on it - it is probably really in the low 20s.

Cat scratchings in Currie

A lodge, or at least a hole, in the making.

For some perspective, the previous picture was taken just below the logs stacked in the lower left of this shot. That is one of the Timberline Lodges on the right.

Some of the dirt from that hole appears to be destined for use in bridging what is left of the creek opening between the administration building and the Timber Express chair.

The cat working on the trail over to the left of Currie bowl (right in the picture). The bottom Lower Barracuda is on the left in this shot.

The entrance to Lower Barracuda looks like it will be a lot friendlier next winter.

Looking down Lower Barracuda.

The recently shaven Sunnyside as seen from Megasaurus.

You would think a guy with an orange vest and a very loud saw would be easy to find, but I had to climb up into Lizard to figure out that this guy (lower left), was on the edge of Easter Bowl.

More of the dirt from the Timberline Lodge hole seems to be finding a use at the base of the Bear chair. I haven�t quite figured out what use just yet though. :-)