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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Chatter Creek Cat Skiing Terrain

There is an enormous amount of alpine terrain south of Vertebrae lodge at Chatter Creek. Much of this terrain has only been opened up for cat skiing in the past year or two, much of it in 2005. This aerial photo shows MCO, South Park and parts of other cat skiing zones at Chatter Creek. Scroll down four posts to see MCO Pass in the setting sun.

In the photo above, MCO (Multiple Cascading Orgasims) crosses the photo from left to right, dropping from MCO Pass. South Park rises in the background from above center to the top right hand corner of the photo. To the south (left) of South Park, the lake of Lakeview is visible, although all of the Lakeview cat skiing terrain lies hidden. Harbourview, yet another cat skiing zone, lies south of Lakeview, barely visible at the top left hand corner of the photo.
RUZM Gully (Right up ze Middle) decends in shadow from between the two knobs at the right edge of the photo. Elbow Drive lies hidden beyond RUZM. The Gong Show drops away to the left, at the bottom edge of the photo. Click the photo for a better view.
Click here for a version of this photo with the names of these ski runs marked .. For a selection of photos from each cat skiing zone, click on the respective name: South Park, Lakeview, Harbourview, Gong Show, RUZM and Elbow Drive

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Blowhole at the top of the Windlip on Chatter Creek's Stovepipe Mountain. In its April issue, Snowboard Canada Magazine has a cover photo by Dan Hudson of Andrew Hardingham , in free fall, jumping off this cornice (at the deep end!). It's a long way down! Photographer, Dan Hudson is no stranger to Chatter Creek. The Chatter Creek Web site has a collection of Dan's work at Chatter Creek.

For more photos from the Windlip, take a look at our "Road to Vertebrae Glacier" photo journal. The Windlip is just around the corner from the top of the Vertebrae Glacier. Scroll down for more views of the great powder skiing at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Phil Fortier's friend, Jessie, snowboarding in South Park at Chatter Creek. Thank's for another great photo, Phil.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

More Cat Skiing Photos Added

We've dressed up the Chatter News by adding some of our best terrain and ski photos to the right hand column. Look for yourself! You now get the same sort of posts plus a column of great ski photography, with contributions by John Dougall and (soon) by Mark Gallup. Lots of powder skiing!

Tree Skiing at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing
                                                                 © John Dougall
In the middle of April, great tree skiing like this is but a fond memory. This John Dougall shot catches a Chatter Creek cat skiing guest powder skiing in the Staff Trees. For more ski photos like this, look at our "Ski Photography by John Dougall" Weblog.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On a clear evening, the flight to Chatter Creek is a magical ride to powder skiing. The views are spectacular and passing over MCO Pass gives a idea of the great powder skiing awaiting us. The flight to the remote lodge provides a clean break from the outside world and helps us get into a holiday frame of mind. We've added more photos to our "Flight to Chatter Creek" photo gallery. Click the link to follow the 25 min. flight, all the way from Golden, BC to Vertebrae Lodge.

ACMG Mountain Guides at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing
After me! Chatter Creek guide Andrew Prosser heads off to test a slope on the South Side of the Chatter Creek tenure. As photographer, Phil Fortier says, "tough life". However, no one wants to be out in front if there's a problem! Like the other guides at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing, Andy's a very safe operator. The best powder skiing is safe powder skiing!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It's Still Snowing at Chatter Creek

Remaining staff had a wind-up snowmobiling party at the lodge, last weekend, almost two weeks after the official closing of Chatter Creek's 2005 season. It was held amid a heavy snowstorm that delivered 60 cm. of storm snow. Winter is just not quiting at Chatter Creek! The powder skiing keeps on coming.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Wood-Mizer Celebrates Vertebrae Lodge

In 2003, The Chatter Creek partners and their small crew undertook the huge task of building a 9300 sq ft. backcountry lodge. The enormous log building is located 90 km from the nearest paved road and about 120 km from the nearest hardware. Built in just six months, from bare ground to occupation by 24 guests, Vertebrae Lodge stands as a testament to the skill and dedication of the builders. In 2004, they were back at it, and another 9,000 sq. ft. building, Solitude Lodge was constructed over one short summer, as a bedroom annex and expansion to Vertebrae Lodge.

For each building, well over 200 large spruce logs were milled on site to provide the large supply of posts and beams, decking, studs, rafters, purlins, and paneling needed for the buildings. To accomplish the necessary milling at a rate not to delay the projects, a reliable high-throughput sawmill was required. The partners chose a Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic Alaska-style portable mill, complete with a 45 ft bed, a decision they have never regretted.

Wood-Mizer has featured the construction of Vertebrae and Solitude Lodges in it's company magazine, "The Wood-Mizer Way", Vol 68, Winter 2004. (click for an on-line .pdf document). Chatter Creek is very proud of it's lodges and thanks Wood-Mizer sincerely for this welcome recognition of it's accomplishments. Wood-Mizer have also featured Vertebrae Lodge on their Web site.

The following link provides photos and more information on the Chatter Creek sawmill.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Powder Skiing Terrain at Chatter Creek

Cat Skiing Terrain at Chatter Creek
A panorama of the Kitchen Range immediately west and south of Vertebrae lodge. The cat road to the yet to be announced Lakeside Addition crosses over the ridge at the Pearl, abovethe Clamshell. Favorite exits from the Clamshell are the Table to the south of the Clamsell, or Forbidden Fruit and the Plank, to the north. The Plank passes below the rocky tower, Forbidden Fruit passes above. RUZM Gully and Elbow Drive are accessed from the road to MCO and the southern parts of the tenure. Staff Trees and the Bermuda Triangle provide very protected tree skiing close to Vertebrae Lodge. Follow this link to see more of the Chatter Creek cat skiing terrain

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Great Snow and Great Style at Chatter Creek

Satorial Splendor and Mod Style at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing
End-of-season, "First International One-Piece Ski Suit Day" at Chatter Creek. Chatter Creek carpenter, Chris Hacker and cat driver,Marc Beleyme try to compete with guests, Mari and Rhoda, from Calgary, and Debbie from Canmore. Very pretty, lads! "Hacker's" one-piece really suits. Suck it in, Chris! Looks like you are about to pop something! Sweet! Looks like just another day at the office for Marc Beleyme. Best dressed cat driver at Chatter Creek. If you feel you need a better look, just click on the image.

Mari, Rhoda and Debbie were part of a group that got "rained out" in mid-January, but went back to Chatter Creek for a second try in early April. In Debbie's words, the second trip was "one of the best tours of the season". They plan to be back for more great powder skiing!

Snowcat Skiing Terrain at Chatter Creek
Cat pickup in the Bowling Alley in the SX3 drainage, south of Vertebrae Lodge. This area has some classic powder skiing runs, including "Oh My Gord" and "Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump"
This shot is by Chatter Creek photographer, John Dougall. Click the underlined links to see more of John's ski photography or other photos of this cat skiing area.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

End of the 2005 Cat Skiing Season at Chatter Creek

The 2005 cat skiing season has rolled to a close at Chatter Creek. Sunday, April 10 was the last day of operation. The last good snowfall was Saturday night, making the final day on Vertebrae glacier something quite special. The staff have a snowmobiling day planned for next weekend and that will put a "wrap" on a great year.

The weather this year put Chatter Creek to the test, but it seems to have performed pretty well. We've had all kinds of positive feedback about the powder skiing and our own trip in late January was great. Dale and Dan were particularly pleased with their ability to consistently offer "fresh tracks" in good snow througout the five-week drought in Feb and Mar. Next year, we expect the cat skiing terrain to be significantly expanded, so there will be even more north and east slopes to draw on.

Merle McKnight reports that the warm weather and the Robins are returning to Golden, although winter conditions still wrap the alpine. The staff are ready for a well deserved rest.

Bookings are strong for next winter, with many old clients ready for their next crack at the great Chatter Creek powder skiing. If you have not yet booked for next year, call Merle right away. Check the Chatter Creek Web site for details.

We've a bit of a backlog of photos here at the Chatter News, and we'll be publishing new stuff and bits of news, on and off, over the summer. Please keep in touch and if you have some good photos from your Chatter Creek cat skiing trip, please send them along.

Cheers, for now.
Your Chatter Editor.
Happiness is powder skiing!

We have an identification of the snowboarding ballerina in our April 8 post. See the comment about four postings below. Thanks Robin. Much appreciated. Shannon, it's nice to be able to count on your friends!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Accommodation Discounts in Golden

Discounts for Chatter Creek Cat Skiing Clients
Chatter Creek clients heading to Golden for their cat skiing tour, should be aware that the Prestige Inn and the Kicking Horse Canyon Guest House offer Chatter Creek clients special discounted rates.

The photo shows Jerry and Jeannie Cook's attractive Guest House in East Golden. If you enjoy Jerry's cooking at Chatter Creek, you are certain to enjoy his guest house. Here are more views from this Golden BC Guest House.

For travel information about Golden BC, try this "Chatter Creek guest info" link.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cat Skiing Terrain at Chatter Creek

Alpine Cat Ski Terrain at Chatter Creek
We are slowly cataloging a set of wonderful aerial photography provided by Steve Neill of Alpenglow Aviation. The photos concentrate on the southern part of the existing Chatter Creek tenure including MCO, South Park, Lakeview, Harbourview, and the SX2 and SX3 drainages.

Click here to access our index of photographs of the cat skiing terrain at Chatter Creek. On each page, follow the links to the various powder skiing areas listed. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Chatter Creek Cat Skiing Terrain
The Gong Show, just south of Vertebrae Lodge. This valley is close to the helicopter flight path to Chatter Creek. It offers 3000 ft vertical of powder skiing. MCO is just west of the Gong Show and is visible beyond the ridge, in the upper right of this shot by Chatter Creek photographer John Dougall. The SX3 drainage is located to left of center, beyond the Gong Show, to the south. View this panorama to see a number of cat skiing areas just south and west of the lodge.

Click here for more photos of the Chatter Creek cat skiing terrain.

Click on any Chatter News image to enlarge it. Use the browser's "Back" button to return to the Chatter News.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thanks to Mike P. for some John Dougall photography of Mike and his friends. In particular, thanks, for the photo above. It's special! A real exhibition of style and grace. At least a "9.5"! Classic garage sale! Much appreciated, Mike. Can we give a credit? (Ed note: click the comment below)

Mike's remark about his March 15 cat skiing trip to Chatter Creek was, "THE TRIP WAS UNFORGETTABLE AND WE ALL CANT WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR." We share that sentiment, Mike!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Chatter Creek Skiing and Lodge Staff
Who are these young people? One has done "Health and Safety" work in Mongolia and another has two University degrees. One is a professional baker and the fourth comes from Bavaria. Another is a skilled millwright and the last is an experienced firefighter. Can you match the experience with the face? You may be fooled!

What all these folk have in common is that they are part of a team that delivers a daily fare of great skiing, great food, great service and good company to Chatter Creek's cat skiing guests. Click the link to learn more about the warm and friendly Chatter Creek Winter Staff.

Besides that, they all love cat skiing or cat boarding in the Chatter Creek powder.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Snowboarding at Chatter Creek
Phil Fortier riding the powder near the bottom of Mommy's Run. The Road to Vertebrae Glacier is apparent at the top of the photo, as it skirts the Megahooped Trees.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Lodge Life at Chatter Creek
Chatter Creek staffers Carly and Combine Don watch the unfolding drama of a game of Dart. For more views around Vertebrae Lodge, take a look at our Lodge Life at Chatter Creek Weblog. Also, our "Interior Construction" blog has many photos from the interior of the lodge (scroll to the end). Thanks to Phil Fortier for this photo and for many others.

Send your Pink Purse Stories

Dribs and drabs of material filter in for the Pink Purse photo gallery. If you have any "pink purse" photos from your cat skiing tour at Chatter Creek, and a bit of a story, please send them to us. Our Chatter News email address can be found at the top of the right hand column.

Going for it at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing
James of Toronto has sent us a few photos from his March 4 tour at Chatter Creek. This is for those folks who might think that cat skiing is a little "lame". This is certainly not the usual thing, but if you are up to it, and you guide is "on side", then the "hairy" stuff is there! James writes, "We were the first to ski this steep run, which I hope has been properly named either Blind Date (didn't know what we were getting into) or Wasabe after our Japanese friends." Click the links to check out James' "date". Thanks, James.

March Cat Skiing Archive

End of the April Cat Skiing Posts.
Click here to see all of March 2005.
Click here to see the most recent posts.