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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Powder Skiing in the Clamshell
Powder skiing in the Clamshell                 with thanks to Cliff Jennings

Things are going to be quiet here for a couple of weeks while your friendly Chatter Editor is slaving away at Lake Louise on behalf of World Cup racing. There will be NO powder skiing! Happy start to the season!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
In Wonderland and on Jo-Pal, on the way home from Vertebrae glacier. There's lots of great powder skiing on these alpine slopes that are passed through by the road to Vertebrae glacier.

Click on images to enlarge them, use the browser's "Back" button to return.

Mark Gallup and Brian Savard at Chatter Creek

Ski photography by Mark Gallup
© Mark Gallup catches rider Brian Savard carving turns at Chatter Creek. Chatter Creek is becoming a favorite with many ski and snowboard media folks. Ski Canada recently had a great article about Chatter Creek by George Koch.

Whistler Weasel Workers at Lake Louise

Whistler Weasel Workers at Lake Louise
It's that time again. A group of Whistler Weasel Workers from Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver are heading to Lake Louise this week to join volunteers from Alberta and many other places in setting up the course for the first World Cup downhill race of the year. We will work for about 10 days putting up safety netting and preparing the course surface and then hand the course over to other workers who will maintain it throughout the races, which will comprise a men's WC race followed by a women's WC race. There may also be a NORAM race after that.

Take a look at an earlier posting with more photos from prior years.

For more information, look at this new Web site about the Whistler Weasel Workers.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Johnny the powder hound. This dog runs through powder snow faster than lots of people ski it. He travels far and wide in deep snow and seems to have a built-in snorkel.

Helicopter Flight to Cat Skiing at Chatter Creek
A view from the flight to Chatter Creek. Leaving Kinbasket Lake and heading into the mountains for a great cat skiing trip. Click on the link for more shots from the 20 minute flight from Golden. Click on the image to enlarge it, use the browser's "Back" button to return.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Cat Skiing Terrain near the Windlip
The Windlip, near the entry to the Vertebrae glacier. The following photo was taken from the far hillside in the opposite direction, looking towards this vantage point. The far slope is the start of a great powder skiing run.

Cat road, wind features, great powder skiing and magnificent views at the Windlip near the Keyhole and the entrance to Vertebrae glacier. Chatter Creek provides cat skiing from above this point, to the east on the Vertebrae glacier or on the West through the alpine bowl known as Jo-Pal, as well as Wonderland and Megahoop. The elevation at this point is about 9,000 ft. The entrance to Vertebrae glacier is closer to 10,000 ft.

Click on any image to enlarge it, use the browser's "Back" button to return. Scroll down to see all recent posts. Click the monthly archives to see earlier postings. The links at the top of each page open a variety of photo galleries.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Lodge Life for Cat Skiers at Chatter Creek
An award ceremony or a morality play? Dinner-time hi-jinks at Chatter Creek. Click here for the conclusion of this little episode. Also check out our ""Lodge Life at Chatter Creek"" photo gallery and our "Happy Campers" gallery.

Air Time while Cat Skiing at Chatter Creek
Rob's nephew Ryan catching some "air" high in the Chatter Creek tenure, near the Vertebrae glacier. The lower slopes, including the East Ridge and Lodge Ridge provide lots of opportunity for "air time", as does the "Forbidden Fruit" exit from the Clamshell. (Click on the links to see the related photos)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Cat Skiing areas on the East Ridge
A view from the Clamshell showing Vertebrae Ridge in the background and nearer at hand, the East Ridge with its cat roads, the Enchanted Forest and some of the cut blocks below the trees. The East Ridge and the Cut Blocks photo galleries have many pictures from these areas. The far side of the East Ridge offers a huge amount of great tree skiing. There is also a large cut block located on the Lodge Ridge which contains the "Home Run" ending at the door of Vertebrae Lodge.

Powder Skiing near the Windlip
Rob skiing near the Windlip, on the way back from powder skiing on the Vertebrae glacier.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thanks to Wes, an oldtimer at Chatter Creek who has shared some great pictures with us. Much appreciated, Wes! We hope other Chatter Creek clients will send us some of their photos as well.

Sam and his son, Sam Jr., linking turns on the Vertebrae glacier. An increasing number of clients have been bringing their adult offspring to Chatter Creek. It's a great experience to share with your kids.

Something from the past. Wes was reminiscing about the "good old days" in Spruce Lodge and the joys of the old outhouse. There is nothing quite like sitting in an outdoor biffy late at night watching the snow drift down. Seen here being relocated, the outhouse had a styrofoam seat, a marvelous innovation that brought instant warmth, with no initial "shock", even at very cold temperatures. The old biffy still stands, but has long been in disuse, replaced by private bathrooms in all guest bedrooms.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Powder Skiing on the East Ridge
Skiing the glades across from the Clamshell, the glaciated bowl just left of center on the opposite hillside.

Twelve people have now skied and ridden this run today. Perhaps a second line will be skied on the other side, way to the left where there are no tracks. After that, the slope will not be visited again until after the next good snowfall. This line is now "trashed". It's done! The next run will be somewhere else, on some other untracked line.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Powder Skiing in the Old Burns Jamie enjoys some fine powder skiing in one of the old burns. The trees are a bit gnarly, but they are widely spaced and easy to ski.  It's way too much fun!  Man, I can't wait to get back!      Photo credit to Dave Harvey

Please take a look at our Photo Credits for some of the many people we owe credit to for the photogaphy shown in our galleries.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Hot shot ex-snowboarding instructor, Megan is "on top of the world". Getting ready for her third trip to Chatter, Meg says it's "the highlight of her year".

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Powder Skiing in the cut Blocks
Three old friends skiing together on the lower slopes at Chatter Creek. Scroll down a couple of postings for words on organizing your own cat skiing group and skiing at a discount. Check out Skiing the Cut Blocks at Chatter Creek for more photos on these great slopes.

Mountain Lodge Construction at Chatter Creek
Solitude Lodge in July and in early October. Solitude is the nearest building, in front of Vertebrae Lodge in the background. The plumber finished a week ago and the electrician the heating people are rumoured to be working now. Furniture has been purchased and the interior finishing is well advanced. With four floors in Solitude lodge, the combined living space is now over 18,000 sq. ft. Click this link for more Solitude Lodge constructionphotos.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Powder Skiing with Friends
Cat skiing trips are almost always a great experience. Whether you go alone or with friends, you can count on wonderful powder skiing and a good time. However, good times are always best when shared with friends and, with cat skiing, getting together with 12 of your mates can lead to a significant discount.

Chatter Creek has many group organizers who bring together 12, 24 and even 36 friends to share a cat skiing tour. There are two busy times for a group organizer. First, in the late winter and early spring assembling the group and getting in deposits, and then in late October and November sending out information and taking in completed forms and final payments.

It's all going on right now. Organizers are sending out information and forms and cat skiing enthusiasts are digging down for that final payment, getting fit and priming themselves for their annual powder skiing bash. Lots of first-timers get brought along, folks with no prior backcountry skiing experience. They are in for a treat. If you have never skied the backcountry powder, cat skiing is the way to start.

Bookings are filling and very little space is now left for mid-winter. However, as with my group, there will be openings, here and there. Ask one of the cat skiing operators if they know of group leaders with openings. Early and late-winter openings may still remain. I've skied at Chatter Creek in mid-December in 150cm of storm snow on a good base. The media groups that visit Chatter Creek every year for magazine and video "shoots" always ski in late April, so I presume that the snow in late March through mid April must be pretty good, although I have never tried it. Take a chance, try an early or late booking at a discount and be first in line for better times the following year.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
By the Windlip, near the entrance to Vertebrae Glacier, our snowcat receeds, far below us. There is lots of powder skiing on the way back from the glacier.
Click on images to enlarge them, use the "Back" button to return.

Our "Travel Information" link (above) contains Information for Skiers & Boarders heading for Golden for some powder skiing. It includes links to many information sources covering .......
Weather, Road conditions, Web cams and Snow Reports,
Calgary Airport info and options for getting to Golden,
Golden restauarants, accomodation,and community services,
Maps of Golden and directions to Golden Airport (Alpine Helicopters)
Outdoor recreational activities in Golden,
Medical facilities in Golden
Golden's local history and International Web Cams,
Interesting Wine stuff and Information about Beer,
and other information.

The Travel Information page also includes a section of "Web sites of General Interest" which includes a spectacular showing of "streaming" video from NASA's Hubble telescope. It's a far cry from powder skiing, but turn your sound up and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Cat Skiing at Chatter Creek
In the Clamshell, Dale and Dan have pushed the cat road as close to the top as the glacier ice will permit. As the snow builds up they expect to extend this with a snow road right to the crest. A tenure expasion has been applied for that would open large areas on the other side to cat skiing.

Look at our our Skiing the Clamshell gallery for photos in an from this great powder skiing spot.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Powder Skiing is Looking Good!

Powder Skiing above the Windlip
The glaciers at Chatter Creek have had enough snow for good powder skiing for a while, and right now it's dumping. In less that two months, Chatter Creek will be in full swing with it's new "Solitude Lodge" expansion open for business. It's shaping up for a great snowcat skiing season. The early season should be great.

October Cat Skiing Archive

End of the November cat Skiing posts.
Click here to see all of the October posts.
Click here to see the most recent posts.