Craig's Report - August 14, 2006

Minor Mutters

There really hasn�t been much of significance to report recently, but as it seems time to post something, I will bore you with some minor mutters. The big new thing on the hill for the coming season is the new restaurant at the top of the Timber Lift and construction seems to be moving along. With the foundation work finished and a load of lumber arriving at the top yesterday, it appears workers today were getting ready to start raising walls. The holding tanks for the new washroom facilities also have been positioned.

I made my way up today on a new mountain bike trail named, temporarily if unimaginatively, �The New Trail�, although admittedly the more commonly used TNT is kind of cute. This trail starts between the trail map sign and the lift tower at the bottom of the White Pass chair and proceeds down under the chair, across the traverse to Black Cloud, down Black Cloud and eventually through the trees between Timber Trail and the chair. It finally comes out on the Currie Trail cat track where you can either take a new short cut to the bottom part of Rock Star or ride up 50 m to the top of Bin Log-Din. To my old nervous bones it looks pretty serious, particularly the part going down Black Cloud, but it probably would be a hoot with skill and the proper equipment (starting with an 18 year old body).

Trying to interpret cat scratchings (it is a D8 this year, not a D9 as I may have mentioned in a previous report) is a source of amusement this time of year. Recently it did some work in the Trespass Trail - Diamond Back area, including smoothing the whole slope above Trespass Trail almost to the rock outcropping of of the ridge. It also created a sort of cat track for a short way down from Trespass Trail. As the only way to access the upper part is by following the ridge right to the end, something I have only bothered to do once, the purpose is hard to divine at this stage. If you climb up there though and look down, you are struck by the enormous lip of earth above Trespass Trail that will surely tempt someone to try the big leap over the trail. The cat track portion could be an attempt at making this section of Diamond Back between Trespass and the Summer Road, more appealing for intermediates. Work here may not have finished though, as the cat had to clean up Trespass for the weekend bike traffic. Today it was at work on the skier�s right of Falling Star in the region below the Mammoth Head boulder field. Once again the end result was not immediately obvious to me.

The hot weather has moderated to pleasant conditions and some long awaited rain has reduced the fire hazard and dust, making the last couple of days very nice indeed. However there are only two and a half weeks left until summer lift season ends and the kids head back to school. I, like most parents, have mixed emotions about that, but I am starting to rather look forward to fall, and of course that winter snow.

At 19:40 it is 26 C on the porch, but it is still catching the last rays of sun in a mainly cloudless sky.

The obligatory scenery shot with Polar Peak and Currie Bowl once again putting in repeat performances.

Work continues on the new cafe at the top of Timber. The new washroom building will be just out of frame to the right...

and it appears to be a four holer. :-)

These guys definitely have a better view from work than most folks.

The cat scraping away on Falling Star.

Nobody seemed to be working on the White Pass patrol hut expansion today. I have never seen (or at least noticed) the dog kennel sitting on the deck before.

Not only is it very well insulated, but it is mounted on skis and has towing lugs attached to the front. I am not sure if this is for transporting dogs, imprisoning poachers, just moving the kennel or perhaps as a particularly exciting way for the lifties to get down the hill at night.

While I was at the top of White Pass, it was impossible not to marvel at the grace of this red tailed hawk (I think) soaring effortlessly on the wind. Without ever flapping, he just kept circling around, presumably looking for a ground squirrel about to have a very bad day.

There was still a surprising amount of snow in this very deep sink hole at the bottom of Polar Chutes.

The Concussion/Currie Chutes from the middle of Currie Powder. Note how hazy the valley is, presumably due to a forest fire somewhere.

The newly formed cat track on Diamond Back below Trespass Trail. I thought it might go farther, but this is just about all there is.

Construction continues on the new Timber Lodge and the village now even sports a cute little construction crane. Shanghai beware!