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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Pictures by our Friend, Hans Gut

Over the past couple of years, your Chatter Editor has shared tours at Chatter Creek with Hans Gut and groups of Swiss skiers he has brought to BC.  Hans is a ski instructor at Silver Star Resort in Vernon B.C. and organizes summer and winter tours for European groups, mainly Swiss. He used to run a Bed and Breakfast in Armstrong BC., but we are told that is history.  Hans has pictures of Chatter Creek on his Web site at

These pictures were taken in 2003, during the first winter that Vertebrae Lodge was open.  In the first picture, the roof overhangs had not been completed and the outdoor furnace that heats the lodge had not yet been covered.  The plume of smoke from the furnace can be seen to the left of the lodge.   The 90 ft boom of the crane rises beside the lodge.

The second picture shows a giant "blowhole" that seems to form year after year.  We pass this feature on our way to Vertebrae Glacier.  It can be a bit of a playground for staff on snowmobiles, on the rare moments they get off work. 

The third picture is taken from the top of Vertebrae Glacier, looking across the glacier to the Sullivan Fault, a feature well known to geologists.  The mountains in the distance form part of North America's continental divide.

The fourth picture depicts a common occurrrence.  Skiers and snowboarders so taken by the view that they have forgotten why they are there.  Let's go guys!  Saddle up! There's skiing to be done!  In truth, a great thing about snowcat skiing is that the clients set the pace.  Unless there is a safety issue, guides never pressure guests to "move things along".  There's always time to admire the view, take pictures and "smell the roses".  Some groups are very "go-go", others are extremely laid back.

The last picture looks across the valley to the "Clamshell", a popular alpine bowl in the Chatter Creek tenure. It has lots of great lines.   A cat road can be seen rising up the left hand side of the bowl, just to the right of a rocky spine.  Perhaps we can ski there this afternoon!  If not, the ridge just visible in the foreground also has many great lines and there are many areas that are not in the picture.   So much terrain and so little time!