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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Cat Skiing Photo of the Week

The new lodge entryway will protect guests from snow shedding off the main roof. Vertebrae Lodge is on the left, and Solitude Lodge is on the right of this shared entrance. One of the two hot tubs is located on the deck, behind.

For more information about the recent lodge upgrades and the other "summer" projects at Chatter Creek, look at our "Summer at Chatter Creek" Weblog. Scroll down for views of life in the Chatter Creek ski lodges.

Prior Photos of the Week: Christoph Lotter on the Woodshed Roof, Mountain guide Herb Bleuer and snowcat, Oyster Bowl, Helicopter Arrival at Chatter Creek , Vertebrae Lodge by Dan Hudson, Limp Cock Award, Megan gives Combine Don the Pink Purse, Hot Tub on main deck, Dan Josephson and Jubilee Cacaci, First Driving Lesson (scroll down Winter Staff sidebar), the Game of "Dart" , A group of buddies on Forbidden Fruit

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Lodge Life at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing

Lodge Life at Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing
Snowcat skiers who visit Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing for a backcountry powder skiing experience, stay in a remote wilderness ski lodge, far from the "hurly-burly" of civilization. Scroll down for a glimpse of the comfortable living provided by Chatter Creek's Vertebrae and Solitude Lodges.

In the summer of 2004, the Solitude Lodge bedroom annex was constructed to add six more double occupancy guest bedrooms. The drying room for outdoor clothes and boots was moved to Solitude Lodge and the bar and games room in Vertebrae Lodge was expanded.

The two lodges stand face-to-face and share a common porch where a second hot tub has been installed. The original hot tub remains on the back porch of Vertebrae Lodge. See our "Summer at Chatter Creek" Weblog for news of summer changes and upgrades.

For more of a sense of lodge life at Chatter Creek, take a look at our "Happy Campers" photo gallery.

For an illustrated description of what snowcat skiing is all abount, look at our Cat Skiing Articles. Also, the Heli Planet Web site has a detailed description of Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing and a client report from a late-January, 2005 trip to Chatter Creek. This photo gallery is a part of the Chatter News about snowcat skiing at Chatter Creek.

The Vertebrae and Solitude Lodges with Bombardier Snowcats waiting for ski lodge guests.
On January 14, 2005. Chatter Creek Snowcat Skiing expanded its operations to include two lodges, three snowcats and 36 guests. Sunshine and powder snow welcomed the first day for the new lodge and the third snowcat and the 12 additional guests.

Ski lodge guests loading up for a day of snowcat skiing
The first group of 36 loads up for a day of snowcat skiing. It looks like the "Home Run" got some action the day before!

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

What to Wear to a Ski Lodge

Life at Chatter Creek is VERY informal, so "changes" of clothing are not necessary for appearance sake. Something not to forget is a swim suit for the hot tub. Some sort of slipper for the lodge is helpful. Most people wear jeans and a sweatshirt or some variation on that theme. A single track suit would do. Perhaps an extra fleece or sweater is wise, in case the weather turns really cold and you find the lodge cool. Usually, it's pretty comfortable. For just three or four days, everything you need (except outdoor clothing) easily fits in a gym bag. Oh, don't forget your "meds" and your toothbrush (although things like the latter can be purchased at the ski lodge).

Dinner time at the Chatter Creek Ski Lodge
The dining room with the new 36-guest table configuaration using rectangular tables. There is lots of space and no sense of crowding. Here's a view from the mezzanine.

The "Vertebrae Lodge Interior" photo gallery shows many photos of the interior of the lodges before and after completion.

Scroll down to see photos of the old round-table configuration.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Vertebrae Lodge prior to the addition of Solitude Lodge. This view is no longer as Solitude Lodge now stands face-to-face with Vertebrae, sharing a common deck.

Vertebrae ski lodge at night. A warm and inviting place for Chatter Creek guests after a day of snowcat skiing.

A hint of the lodge appearance with the new Solitude Lodge in place. The roof of the new lodge is now on and we are waiting for photos. The deck between the lodges will have a second hot tub. The first tub is located behind the bedroom wing of Vertebrae Lodge, on the deck visible at the left end of the building. The small shed at the left of the photo houses the outdoor furnace that heats the building and supplies all of the hot water.

Powder Skiing at Chatter Creek
Chef Brett Kryskow and baker Tara Atkinson show off the fine fare that is the norm at Chatter Creek's Vertebrae Lodge. Meals are generous and of a high quality.

The good eating at Vertebrae Lodge starts each day at 7:30 in the morning with fresh fruit, cereal, and a hearty hot buffet breakfast.  During the day, between runs, guests browse on sandwiches, wraps, cakes, cookies and drinks as they ride the snowcats.  At the end of the day, Chatter Creek guests are greeted back at the ski Lodge with home made snacks or warm soup.  Dinner follows about two hours later.   An extensive choice of wines and beers are available from the well-stocked bar. 

Our thanks to professional photographer Mark Gallup for the photo of Brett and Tara.

Fruit and 'appies at Vertebrae Lodge. With a good chef and full-time baker, good food is plentiful, too plentiful for some!

Vegetarians and folks with special diets are well looked after by the kitchen staff. People challenged by an expanding girth have to ski very hard to maintain the status quo while at Chatter Creek. There's another sampling of Chatter Creek cullinary offerings.

A shot from before the lodge expansion of the dining room in action. Kitchen is to the right and above the kitchen is a mezzanine sitting area where staff lead morning exercises. The upper hallway off the mezzanine leads to massage rooms. Here's another view of the dining room in action.

The dining hall is the scene of many jovial moments. There are frequent impromtu speeches, and ad hoc award ceremonies are common. There is also the daily "Ceremony of the Pink Purse ".

Bartender Tim Widmer and a view of the expanded bar in Vertebrae Lodge. The bar is located in the games room with the pool table and darts board. The bar was expanded for 2005, when Solitude Lodge was completed. The two hot tubs are not far away, so bar service is easily provided whereever it is needed.

For old times sake, here is the old bar before the lodge expansion.

The lodges at Chatter Creek offer snowcat skiing guests very comfortable accommodation.

The new bar in action. The bar extends beyond the post on the right. Here's another view from the far end.

The expanded games room and bar. There are lots of separate conversation areas, the pool table, fooze ballm darts and the bar. It's a very friendly, comfortable and warm space.

The other end of the bar and games rooom with the bar filling most of the far wall. Here's another view of the expanded bar and games space .

Vertebrae lodge now has lots of corners for a quiet conversation. The Fairy Prince paid a visit. A new twist on the Pink Purse?

Fooze-ball championships at Vertebrae lodge.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Photographer John Dougall takes a quiet moment to show the day's take of photographs he has taken of the guests at play. See some of John's work on "Ski Photography by John Dougall"

The Chatter News has this posting about John Dougall and his services to Chatter Creek clients.

The bar and games room is the communal meeting spot. Darts, pool and good company. However, it can become a dangerous place when the young lads start playing darts for "shots". It's a good thing people turn in pretty early. This is the old bar, before the Solitude lodge expansion.

Rotary meeting in the bar. Stay awake Chris!

Popular sitting area for morning wakeup coffee. It opens onto the dining hall and is close to breakfast.

Hairy Hot Tub

One hot tub is located on the outside deck at the rear of Vertebrae Lodge and close to the bedrooms. A second hot tub will be installed on the front deck between Vertebrae Lodge and Solitude Lodge.           Here's a better looking group caught in a not so great photo (also, look for our poster boy). It seems that some of these boys could be a little more hairy.

Bedrooms have opening casement windows and a baseboard heater for individual temperature control over the warm air heating throughout the building. There is a sink in each bedroom and an adjoining private bathroom with shower and toilet. This bedroom is in Vertebrae Lodge.

A bedroom with occupant.         One with better looking occupant.

The bedrooms in Solitude Lodge are very similar, but a little larger.

L'apre ski at Vertebrae Lodge can be quite informal, as people head for the hot tub. For that matter, everything is informal and very relaxed.

Some Australian visitors and friends working on a group photo.

Birthday girl! When someone is lucky enough to celebrate a birthday at Chatter Creek, everyone goes all-out. Tara bakes a wonderful cake, there are decorations, speeches, toasts and, or course, lots of wine. The event does not pass unnoticed!

Views from one of the hot tubs. The shed in the background houses the wood pile and the outdoor furnace. This is a very peacefull setting for a quiet soak while the sun sets on the peaks or, late at night with snow dirfting down.

Second Hot Tub at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing
One of two hot tubs at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing. This hot tub is located on the open deck between the two lodges. Bar service is close at hand. The second hot tub (above) is located on the rear deck of Vertebrae Lodge.

Man of the year candidates for 2004.

Evening sky looking west from Vertebrae Lodge. Here's the more southerly view, looking across the flank of Lodge Ridge.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The communal drying room in Solitude Lodge. Lots of space for 36 guests.

Rental skis ready to go. Volkl Explosivs and other brands and models well suited to Chatter Creek's varied terrain.

Another view of the new drying room in Solitude Lodge. There is almost enough room for a bowling alley. Very handy for staging guest luggage for four outgoing helicopter flights. Thirty-six guest tranceivers (Pieps) adorn the far wall. The stairs to the upper three floors is hidden in the far corner. The room has lots of warm air and dries clothing and boots quickly. Finishing details will be added in following years.

Click the following link for more views of the Interior of Vertebrae Lodge.