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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Vertebrae Glacier and the Sullivan Fault caught by Cliff Jennings. Click for more shots of glacier skiing at Chatter Creek.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Powder skiing at Chatter Creek
We've ended the day back down the Chatter Creek road, below East Ridge and we are riding home to Vertebrae Lodge. The Home Run and Lodge Ridge rise to the right. The Clamshell is above us to the left. The hot tub and the bar are waiting and we are ready for them.

Exchange day at Chatter Creek. The last flight arrives to deliver incoming guests and to take out the last members of the just-completed tour.

For a glimpse of a typical flight besteen Golden and Chatter Creek, take a look at "Flight to Chatter Creek"

Monday, September 27, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
As summer wanes and our thoughts turn towards winter, the lads at Chatter Creek are struggling to complete the lodge expansion. It won't be long before snow starts to blanket Lodge Ridge. A "home run" to the lodge door is a great way to end a day of cat skiing. The Bombardier snowcats are all out getting their annual overhaul and their yellow cabs can be seen in the background, awaiting their return.

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Kinbasket Lake in the Columbia Valley with the Selkirk Range in the background. The lake is formed by the Mica Dam, miles to the north. This shot was taken during a flight to Chatter Creek.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Cliff Jennings catches a lone skier "making tracks" on the Vertebrae glacer. The view from the glacier includes Mt. Columbia, the Snow Dome and peaks and glaciers of the Continental Divide.

Call for Photos

Chatter Creek clients.....please send us some photos, especially shots around the lodge or good skiing shots. Photos from "South Park" will be appreciated. Please E-mail us with offers.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Tracks in Upper Jo-Pal. Skiers have come through the notch from the Windlip. This enourmous area has many great lines and very interesting terrain.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
High on the Windlip, near the Keyhole and the entry to Vertebrae glacier, the view overlooks the road to the glacier, Megahoop and Lodge Ridge . We are close to 10,000 ft. in elevation, the tree line is at about 7000 ft. and the elevation of Vertebrae Lodge, is about 5200 ft. The lodge sits well out of sight, hidden in the valley near the center of the photo. The West ridge rises above the lodge and contains the Clamshell, which is visible to the right of center, but is heavily shaded. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

CFDC Award Photo

There was a post a while ago about a business award presented to Chatter Creek by the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC). We finally have a photo of Dale and Dan accepting the award on behalf of the four Chatter Creek partneers. It's pretty old news, but the partners deserve credit for years of hard work and dedication devoted to making Chatter Creek such a success.

Peter owned the camera so we had to promise to show this.

A word on snowcats

Chatter Creek has four Bombardier snowcats, three for carrying clients and one for building winter roads and backup to the client machines. The "Bombardier Snowcats" link at the top of the page displays a gallery of photos that show the use of Bombardier snowcats at Chatter Creek.

The passenger cabs are quiet, warm and comfortable. They have 12 individual airline-style, cloth-upholstered seats and two jump seats for guides or hitchhikers. Eight of the seats recline.

Each group of 12 skiers and boarders is assigned its own cat and a pair of guides. The pace of skiing is determined soley by the needs and ability of the group. Cats do pretty well in keeping up to fast groups, and no one cares if they wait for slower groups.

Clients can leave extra clothing in the cat while skiing, and change between runs. Food and drinks are carried in the cabs and clients graze on lunch as they feel hungry. There is no lunch "stop". Extra skis can be brought along too, so guests can experiment with different lengths and types.

Typical cat rides are about 20-30 minutes in duration, time enough to adjust clothing, to warm up or cool down, to rest tired legs, and to have something to eat. They are quiet and conversation among the whole group is easy. Tired clients can take an extended rest and keep the driver company on the ride back down the mountain. If a client wishes to quit for the day, a staff member will fetch them and take them back to the lodge on a snowmobile.

King Roddy - feeling 'on top of the world'. If you are going to jump, can I have your skis?

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Bouncing Chuckles, a great frolic with a foot of "fresh"

Monday, September 20, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Steph's Thumb viewed from Wonderland. The trees in the middle distance mark the top of Bouncing Chuckles.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cut Blocks are areas on lower slopes that were logged before snowcat skiing started in the area. The remaining stumps get well covered and create many interesting features to ski over or around. At Chatter Creek, the stumps are usually well covered. The snow is soft and consistent and many skiers and riders use resulting mounds to "get a little air"

Use the "Cut Blocks" link to see photos from some of Chatter Creeks great East Ridge and Lodge Ridge cut blocks.

We've added a couple of interesting links to Bombardier Snowcats at Chatter Creek

A view of Jo-Pal from the Clamshell. The road to the Vertebrae Glacier runs across the far hillside.

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Good skiing shots are difficult for ameteur photographers. However, I think this one is not too bad. It's not up to Mark Gallup's standard, but it makes Bruce look pretty good. Of course, he usually does. Bruce and his bride of 45 years will be back at Chatter next year.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

In the early days, the "Spruce Goose" offered cozy dormitory-style living to 12 clients. Some of the staff lived in tents. Many guests have fond memories of the close living and homey atmosphere. After a couple of years, the "Bath House" was added (on the right) to introduce indoor plumbing and a little more sleeping space.

That's all now ancient history. Lodge Life at Chatter Creek has stepped up a few rungs. Staff now have Spruce Lodge to themselves and guests enjoy the double-occupancy bedrooms, private baths, hot tubs and spacious living of Vertebrae Lodge.

Powder Skiing on Vertebrae Glacier

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Cat skiers at play on the Chatter Creek's Vertebrae glacier. Elevaltion almost 10,000ft.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Cat tracks and ski tracks. Now we've moved to a different slope and a different aspect. Every run is a little different. As the day progresses, we stay more and more in the shade where the "sun-effect" is least.

This appears to be a view of the approach to Spruce Pass. The "Golf Course" is in the background on the left. The photo is taken from the top of Bouncing Chuckles.

Click on the image to enlarge it, use the "back" button to return to the Chatter News

Thursday, September 16, 2004

What's New

Our favorite Chatter Creek photos from the Chatter News have been gathered together under the link name "Favorites"

We found photos of the conclusion of Crichton's great "approach shot"

We have a new shot of interesting rock near the entry to the Vertebrae Glacer.

Check out the rows of links at the top of each page.

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Rock outcropping near the Keyhole and the entry to Vertebrae glacier. The snow is wind-effected on top. However, 100 ft. lower, the snow can be quite skiable on either side of the top.

From the Keyhole, Vertebrae glacier lies to the east and the Windlip and the road to Vertebrae glacier lies to the west.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Here comes Crichton, like a rocket! He's going to "nail" that stump and "launch" himself. It's going to be an "event"! I can just feel it.

Let's see what happens ..............>>>

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Vertebrae Lodge Construction Collage

Powder Skiing and Chatter Creek
Here's a bit of history. Vertebrae Lodge under construction. The whole story can be seen on the Mountain Lodge Construction site. This collage is one of a number that hang on the walls of Vertebrae Lodge. Within a month of taking the latest photo shown, there was snow on the ground. Click on the image to enlarge, use the "back" button to return.

Vertebrae Lodge is now heading into it's third year of operation and Solitude Lodge has arisen beside it.

For a description of the pictures, click here.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Smoky haze over Kinbasket Lake. This shot from the 2003 summer season shows the effect of the many forest fires in BC that summer. The picture is taken somewhere near the base of the Chatter Creek road, about 17 km from Vertebrae Lodge. Kinbasket Lake lies in the Columbia River valley. It is formed by Mica Dam, located far to the north.

Some roadside advice about fire prevention ...>>>

Photo Credits

We've been using photos from a number of sources. Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges has supplied aerial photos of it's terrain and photographer Mark Gallup has supplied some of his wonderful ski photography.

However, the bulk of our photos come from Chatter Creek clients, and we have written a few words giving credit where credit is due and offering our thanks for sharing some great photos.

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Guide, Don Steedman cruising on "Spruce Slide". We apologize for using this photo again, but we think it's a "winner". A good way to start the week. Here's another shot from the same area.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Chatter Creek's Dale McKnight takes time off from building snow roads to pose with a neighborhood Pine Martin (insert). These nocturnal mammals are a bit of a pest and get into everything. They can knaw through boards, so, in an effort to keep the little fellows out, the walls of Vertebrae Lodge's crawl space were sheathed with metal flashing. Here's a Pine Martin on the rear landing of Vertebrae Lodge.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Guide, Andrew Prosser on the East Ridge waiting to take his group for a slide through the Enchanted Forest. Click for a better picure of Andrew

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
It must be "Guides Day" at Chatter News. Here's Guide, Don Steedman waiting for his flock. It looks like he's heading into a tree run on the east side of Lodge Ridge. Whenever you're ready, team! If there's some "sun effect" appearing in that snow, it will soon disappear in the shade of the trees.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Sliding down from Spruce Pass in the late afternoon. The Golf Course is a very mellow run. The cat is already at the bottom. Perhaps we'll have a short ride out the Spruce Creek gully in the background and then ski the Home Run down to Vertebrae Lodge. Another 800 or 1000 ft vertical of steeper terrain with lots and lots of interesting features. Our legs will be "toast" when we hit the bar!

Megahoop Trees are seen ahead and Lodge Ridge confines us on the right. Wonderland and Bouncing Chuckles, in Megahooped, rises to our left. Steph's Thumb, on upper East Ridge, is visible on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup

Here's something a little different! Volunteer race course workers getting morning work assignments in preparation for the year's first World Cup downhill race, held each Dec. in Lake Louise. If you are in need of an early-season fitness program, if you enjoy good company and free beer, then come and join us. We work from about mid-Nov. through early Dec. Come for a week, 10 days, 2 weeks or longer. One week of work gets you a free article of clothing (beautiful Descent jackets last year), tired muscles, a hangover and great friends.

Want more? Here is another shot of hard working Whistler Weasel Workers and Alberta Sled Dogs

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
An old shot from 2002. Four visitors from Switzerland enjoy the snow near the Windlip. I think the guy on the left is saying, "Yahoo!" (in Schwyzertütsch)

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Boys and girls at play somewhere on Jo-Pal or in Wonderland. Who knows! So much snow, so much terrain and so little time!

Ski Canada Magazine Article

The fall edition of Ski Canada Magazine (print version) is on the shelves with a great article on Chatter Creek by George Koch.

Media groups visit Chatter in the spring, usually after the regular season ends. They stay in Spruce Lodge and this is what is shown in the article. During the winter, the "Spruce Goose" is used for staff accommodation and guests stay in Vertebrae Lodge.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

December 2003. A snowy evening at Chatter Creek. After a summer of upgrades, Vertebrae Lodge was ready for its second winter. Now, just nine months later, Solitude Lodge, the new bedroom annex, is nearing completion. Before the snow flies again this year, there will lots of time spent clearing new tracks that will extend the network of winter cat roads into parts of the terrain not used before. There should be many new lines to ski and ride.

Click here for a better look at the Bombardier Snowcats at Chatter Creek

Happy Campers at Chatter Creek

Back in July, we had a post about Good Times at Vertebrae Lodge. It was about the camaraderie that develops at a remote mountain lodge when people are having a great time.

We've collected together a number of candid shots of Chatter guests in and around Vertebrae Lodge. We hope others will send us photos from their tours so we can add them to our gallery of Happy Campers at Chatter Creek.

Please send us your photos to

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

August Cat Skiing Archive

End of the September cat skiing posts.
Click here to see all of the August posts.
Click here to see the most recent posts.