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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chatter Editor Retires

Ski Photography by John Dougall After two years of regular updates on powder skiing at Chatter Creek, it's time for your Chatter Editor to move on. Hence, the long silence on the Chatter News. We're hopeful that someone will step forward to take up the reins, but it has not happened yet.

With its 40 separate Weblogs, the Chatter News is still the best source of information about Chatter Creek. However, we'd like to see the Winter Staff site maintained and the compendium of Ski Runs expanded to include more of the new terrain.

I'd like to thank all of the many Chatter Creek clients who have been so supportive with their generous supply of information and their powder skiing photography. Keep in touch, I will be maintaining my interest in backcountry skiing as an editor of the international directory of heliskiing and cat skiing. Send us your cat skiing stories, trip reports and photograpy.

When I'm not backcountry skiing, I'm thinking about alpine ski racing in Whistler, as a Whistler Weasel Worker. Check out new Web site. A number of Chatter Creek's old friends are Whistler Weasel Workers.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Jan 27 to Jan 31 Chatter Creek Tour

Snow, snow and more snow. That was the story of our end-January trip to Chatter Creek. Four days of the best powder many of the group has ever seen. It snowed part of every day and every night, with 30 cm overnight for our second day. It was really tough, sometimes, maintaining any visibility. It was one "face shot" after another. Photographer John Dougall got some great shots and we all came home with a CD of over 250 photos, every one a "keeper". It was a problem to cut down to the CD capacity.
Overheard in the cat, "After chasing powder for 50 years and on three coninents as well as in the Southern Alps, today is my best day of powder skiing, ever".

The weather kept us confined pretty well to the trees, with only a few excursions onto open slopes. However, the constant snowfall snowed in tracks pretty quickly and the East Ridge just kept on giving. We also skied Lodge Ridge and Staff Trees.

Footnote: we stayed at the Kicking Horse Canyon Guest House in Golden. It's a great spot! Very comfortable and homey. The price is right and the breakfast "rocks"!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing "Powder's Up" at Chatter Creek!

We've just recieved our first load of photos from Pro photographer Rob Plato. Rob will be at Chatter Creek part time this winter, assisting John Dougall, and giving John some well-deserved time off.

Rob is clearly no slouch with a camera. Chatter Creek powder hounds will be taking home lots of "ego" shots this year, whether they are taken by John or by Rob.Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek

Check out the changes on the Chatter Creek Web site. They now have a lodge weather report on the main page. There are lots of other changes too.

Don't forget the Chatter News after your powder bash at Chatter Creek. Send us your favorite photos and your tales of the Pink Purse. Ski Photography by Rob Plato

Click on any of our photos to enlarge them.

Your Chatter Editor heads to Chatter Creek next weekend for his annual turns in the powder. We'll have a first-hand report for you shortly. Stay tuned.

Check our our new site, Ski Photography by Rob Plato

Friday, December 16, 2005

Chatter Creek Cat Skiing Season Starts

Mt Columbia and the Rocky Mountains from Chatter Creek's Vertebrae Glacier

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Chatter Creek Snow Report

Snowcat overlooking Lakeview at Chatter Creek Chatter Creek reports today a meter of settled snow at Vertebrae Lodge and two meters of settled snow in the alpine. I interpret that to be at the treeline, perhaps in Spruce Gully, where there has been a snow plot.

It has snowed daily for the past 4 days, but not a significant amount. It is -8 degC at the lodge.

Chatter Creek opens in two days. Hopefully the guides will soon be providing regular weather reports.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

John Dougal Ski photography at Chatter Creek Cat SkiingThe start of snowcat skiing at Chatter Creek is just days away.

The Chatter News is ready to receive your reports and your photos. Please don't by shy. Let us know about the powder skiing at Chatter Creek.

Before you start your trip, take a look at our "Chatter Creek Winter Staff" Web site and acquaint yourselves with the folks who will help make your ski trip a special experience.

Don't forget the luggage restrictions. Hard-sided suitcases just won't fit in the helicopter. All you need is a soft-sided gym bag. Wear your ski clothing. Boot bags are provided for ski and snowboard boots. Don't forget your swimming suit for the hot tubs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Skill-Testing Question

Did you know that Chatter Creek is running a heli-skiing program next March? Click here for info on more opportunity for great powder skiing.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Busman's Holiday

Freshfield Icefield by Dani Loewenstein What do Chatter Creek guides to after a winter of powder skiing at Chatter Creek? Well, some of them go skiing.

Last spring, Dani Loewenstein and some friends did some touring on Mt. Freshfield, which is a 3336m peak located in the Rocky Mountains, about 45 km southeast of Chatter Creek. Dani has been kind enough to share a few photos from his ski trip.

Seracs on the Freshfield Icefield in the Canadian Rocky Mountains We believe the photo above is the Freshfield Icefield. Mt Freshfield lies on the Continetal Divide, between the Freshfield Icefield and the Campbell Icefield. If you click on the photo and make your viewing window as large as possible, you will see their tracks and two figures on the icefield. Someone took a real hike for that photo.

Dani says, " We skied a beautiful line off the summit of Freshfield that ended in that amazing glacial compression tonque".

Interior of an igloo built by Dani Loewenstein and Friends The second photo above shows seracs on the Freshfield Icefield and the last photo was taken inside an igloo that Dani and his friends built for shelter.

We understand that Dani will be back guiding at Chatter Creek in early February.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cat Skiing News Update

Dale McKnight and the new BR 350 road cat We've just heard from cat driver Brenda Lenahan that "Dale has been zooming around in the new Bombardier BR 350 snowcat getting a lot accomplished". The good snowpack permits very easy travel and Dale has already built roads to Spruce Pass, through Megahooped & the Windlip, and halfway down Vertabrae Glacier. The Super Road is built on the East Ridge and the Clamshell road is in place, all the way to the Pearl. Dale says it's the best early season snowpack he's seen at Chatter Creek!

The rest of the crew are keeping busy with projects around the lodge. However, they will soon be switching gears - the powder skiing is here and first guests arrive in less than a month. As Brenda says, it's time to play in the mountains!

Thanks for the update, Brenda.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Snowcat skiing Lodge at Chatter Creek with new entryway Vertebrae and Solitude Lodges at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing with their brand new entryway under a mantle of fresh snow. There is over a meter of snow at the lodge, and things are just about ready to go. Finishing touches are in progress and the lodge is being stocked. For a look at what's new at at Chatter Creek, take a look at our "Summer at Chatter Creek" Weblog.

Finishing touches in the bar at Chatter Creek The first tour kicks off on December 17. If you have a hankering for some early-season powder skiing, we notice that there are some openings still available at discount rates.

Click any image to enlarge it. Use the browswer's "Back" button to return to the Chatter News. The Chatter News is a collection of Weblogs about all aspects of Chatter Creek. Follow the links at the top of the page, and those in the right hand margin. Dont miss our our tour of Chatter Creek's Cat Skiing Terrain and our Ski Run Index.

The bar in Chatter Creek's mountain lodge The bar in Chatter Creek's Vertebrae lodge has bee tarted up and re-varnished and awaits the first contingent of cat skiers. There has been lots of finishing details completed within the lodge, this summer, including individual cubicles in the drying room for each guest to dry their boots and outside clothing.

The Road to Chatter Creek under an early snowfall A month ago, the road to Chatter Creek was impassable, due to mud. However, it is now well frozen, plowed and the cats are being used to haul supplies to the lodge.

The Wood-Mizer sawmill at Chatter Creek has been "put to bed" for the winter. In a month, the helicopter landing pad will extend over the end of the bed of the mill. The sawmill has had lots of use this past summer, milling lumber and finishing materials for the new woodshed, the lodge entrance and the lodge interiors. The Chatter Creek sawmill at rest for the winter.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Snowboarding with the Pink Purse We expect that John Dougall will be on hand again this year to capture your great moments in the Chatter Creek powder, with or without the Pink Purse.

We're always happy to display John's great photography, or photos of Chatter Creek by the likes of Mark Gallup and Dan Hudson, but most of our material comes from Chatter Creek guests.
Snowboarding in the Chatter Creek powder snow
We hope that lots of Chatter Creek guests will come to our rescue again this year with some well taken photography. We've relied on your contributions and we've received some great submissions. Please don't be shy. Don't forget "lodge shots" for our "Happy Campers" site and your "Tales of the Pink Purse".

Many Chatter Creek ski groups use the Webshots photo sharing Web site to share one anothers photos among the group. They send us the URL for their gallery and the Chatter News can take whatever it needs. It's pretty easy for group members to upload their photos to the groups' Webshots ablum.

New door casings in Chatter Creek's Solitude Lodge There has been lots of finishing work done this summer in Solitude and Vertebrae Lodges. Door casing have been tarted up and completed. More insulation has been added and our bedrooms await us. With a second outdoor furnace, the hot tubs should be hot, even in the coldest weather. For a rundown on the summer's projects, look at our Summer at Chatter Creek Weblog. Guest bedroon in Chatter Creek's Solitude Lodge The major projects have been a second woodshed and outoddr furnace, a covered entryway for the lodges, finishing work in the lodges and some road work. The "Summar at Chatter Creek" site tells all about it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Accommodation Deals in Golden BC

Chatter Creek Cat Skiing Guests are offered special rates at the Prestige Motor Inn and at the Kicking Horse Canyon B&B Guest House in Golden BC. When you arrive a day early for your powder skiing trip at Chatter Creek, these are the places to stay for room rate discounts.

Secluded Guest House Retreat in Golden BC The Kicking Horse Canyon Guest House offers homey lodging for individuals and groups in a quiet forest setting, a short drive from the center of town. Proprietor Jerry Cook is a chef at Chatter Creek. If you like Jerry's cooking, try out wife, Jeannie's great breakfasts! Also check out Jerry's hand-crafted rustic local-wood furniture. For special rates and bookings call Jeannie at (250) 344-6848 or email

Prestige Motor Inn at Golden BC The Prestige Inn is a comforable, 4 1/2 star "Canada Select" hotel conveniently located on the TransCanada Highway, about 5 minutes drive from the center of Golden. An ABC Country Restaurant is in-house. For special rates and bookings call 1-877-737-8443 or email Click here for on-line reservations.

Click on any photo for an enlargment. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Chatter News. That's the Kicking Horse Resort on the hillside behind the Prestige Inn. You have time for a full morning's skiing there before your flight to Chatter Creek.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Snow Alert

Powder skiing is coming to Chatter Creek Nov 4, 2005: Sixty (60)cm (about 2 ft) of snow is reported at the Lodge and the glaciers above nearby Rogers Pass have 260cm. It's snowing at Chatter Creek and more snow is in the forecast. The alpine snow pack appears to be well settled with no depth hoar (layer of instability). Tomorrow, Blackcomb Mt. at Whistler will have its earliest opening in 20 years. Things are looking very good for the early cat skiing season.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mountain Lodge Construction at Chatter Creek A new roof over the entryway to Vertebrae and Solitude Lodges will provide protection from snowshed off the main roof. Cat skiing at Chatter Creek starts in about six weeks.

Our "Summer at Chatter Creek" Weblog has some new photos from this summer's projects at the lodge site. See what's new at the lodge site and follow the progress of mountain lodge construction at Chatter Creek from 2001 to the present. How do you build 20,000 sq ft of log buildings in the middle of nowhere?

Where is Chatter Creek? Click the link for maps and satellite images.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Snow in Golden BC

Early snowfall at Chatter Creek SnowCat Skiing Golden has been getting snow flurries. Daytime freezing snow level has been about 1200 meters, dropping to the valley floor (780 meters) overnight. The Chatter Creek Lodge elevation is about 1640 meters, about 900 meters above Golden. The photo to the right is a recent shot of the ridge above the lodge.

On Nov 5/6, Blackcomb Mountain at Whistler is having it's earliest opening in many years. This bodes well for early season skiing throughout BC. Blackcomb will commence daily operations of Nov 11, a far cry from last year! Think snow! Think powder skiing!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Welcome to the Chatter News

There's snow at the lodge and things are "heating up". The Chatter News, our client's view of life and cat skiing at Chatter Creek, has never had so many visitors! Over at Chatter, we notice that bookings are pretty well "chocka" mid-season, and are filling up in December, as well.

Powder skiing at Chatter Creek If you don't know what snowcat skiing is, look at our Cat Skiing Articles, a photo-essay that covers it all. The links at the top of each page connect to the many parts of the Chatter News. We have photos on all aspects of Chatter Creek; the lodges, snowcats, guests, terrain and even travel information.

Our Cat Skiing Terrain and Ski Run Index provide a illustrated tour of one of the largest cat skiing tenures in the world. Few others offer both the variety and extent of high elevation glacier skiing, huge alpine bowls and extensive tree skiing. Your Chatter Editor has had about 10 trips to Chatter Creek and has yet to see half the place. With 238 sq km, it's huge!

Scroll down to see our recent posts or follow some of the many links to our collections of ski photography. There's lots to find! About 40 pages like this one of photos and description, plus monthly archives. You won't run out. The photo above is a John Dougall shot of a guest enjoying the Chatter Creek powder skiing. We hope you enjoy the Chatter News.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ski Photos by John Dougall

John Dougall photographs high fliers at La Grave, France
High flying near La Grave, France. Chatter Creek photographer, John Dougall directs traffic and takes photos from the road on the very last pitch of the col du Galibier. This is where cyclist, Lance Armstrong has for years started to take his enormous leads grinding up these steep hills in the Tour de France. In a former life, John lived a few miles from here.

Powder skiing photography by John Dougall In this life, John takes professional ski photos of cat skiing guests powder skiing the champagne powder at Chatter Creek. For many more recent ski photos by John, follow this link to our photo gallery, Ski Photograpy by John Dougall.

John's ski photos make great momentos of powder skiing trips to Chatter Creek, not to mention being a bit of an ego booster hanging on the office wall.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Snow at Chatter Creek

The lodge has been getting rain, and lots of it. However its been "dumping" in the alpine, and the snow line is at the top of the Home Run cut block, just above the lodge. Powder skiing at Chatter Creek is not far away!

Overnight, the freezing level is dropping to SX6, or below. That's the point on the Chatter Creek Main (road) just below the Nose, a few km below Vertebrae lodge. During the day, it rises to about 6000 ft. The Golden Weather now reports a low of -3degC, so things at the lodge must be cooling off.

Weeks of heavy rain has played havoc with Life on the Chatter Creek Road. The mud has made the road impassable to all vehicles, even the Hummer. Until the freezing level drops to harden up the road, no supplies will be getting through to the lodge, not even fuel. Ah, the joys of operating a large backcountry lodge!

Early winter snowfall at Chatter Creek Snow at the Lodge seems a little later than in prior years. In late September 2002, when Vertebrae lodge was being constructed, the first heavy snow at lodge level came a few days before the roof was completed. Days of shovelling snow and scraping ice from the floor of the dining hall resulted. Here's a photo from a year ago, showing snow at lodge level in October, 2004. It's a bit dreary, but things brighten right up by the end of November, when there is a good snow cover. Scroll down to our "December Snow Story" for more about early season snow.