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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dispatch from Chatter Creek

Your Chatter Editor is on the last day of a 4-day tour to Chatter Creek. In a couple of hours the helicopters will start to ferry our group back to Golden.

The big news from Chatter Creek is that the long-awaited tenure expansion has been approved and some exploratory trips will soon be made into this vast new area. The expansion adds 43 sq miles to the existing 50 sq. miles to provide a total of 93 sq. miles. The new area is huge. We will have much more information to share with you shortly. Stay tuned.

The first day of our tour was sunny and clear. We enjoyed an outing on Vertebrae glacier. The higher elevations were a bit wind-slabbbed, but quite skiable. The lower elevations offered sublime powder. On the return trip, we had a number of runs on Megahooped and on the Windlip, which had patches of sun/wind crust and pockets of very nice powder. It was a good day.

Day two was snowy, with 10 - 15 cm accumulation and limited visibility. We skied the Clamshell, Forbidden Fruit and the Lower Table before moving to the East Ridge and the Phatt, the Skinny and Percy's Knob. The skiing was very good with great powder. At the lowest elevations, sun crust became apparent under a snow cover of a few inches. At the end of the day, we moved to Lodge Ridge for a tree run followed by a couple of great runs on Mommy's Run.

Day three had overcast well below the peaks and fairly heavy snowfall. The day was similar to day 2, with very good tree skiing. On the west side of upper East Ridge, we skied "Super Spruce" and "Super Bowl". two large open slopes that have been opened up this year with the extension of the "Super Road" higher on East Ridge.

Day four was much brighter with high oveercast and occasional sun. Yours truly sat the day out with a tweeked knee. More news on the skiing later, after the cats return. However, I believe they got into the new terrain.

Please watch for more updates about Chatter Creek cat skiing.

Post Script: The fourth day took the group into a large new alpine area. There have been a number of new areas opened this year, in the original tenure. Apparently the snow was great and everyone felt the day was exceptional. Our Australian visitors, Ian and Ingrid, were very happy.