Trails Update: July 9-13, 2018

Trails Update: July 9-13, 2018

Vegetation control

Brushcut Tuesdays took us to “Kill Me, Thrill Me” and “North of Town” for some more powerline cooking. We did get lucky timing-wise as the recent weather had caused the lichen to bloom. What a colourful sight! Also: huckleberries are starting to ripen too.

Special guest

We were graced with volunteer help for the entire week! Our trail work obsessed friend Rob has been coming to Whistler to vacation-dig for several years now. He was keen to go camping so we doubled up the “Lord of the Squirrels” maintenance this week. After a solo night, he tackled pulling 5 slippery stumps before the crew had arrived!   Did I mention Rob is trail work obsessed? He sent me an email in March that laid out a plan to move large rocks down to repair spots… by sliding them on snow to avoid damaging the alpine flora. We successfully tested his theory. Maybe that’s how they built the pyramids…

LOTS update

With Rob’s help, the trailcrew has patched up the popularity dings all the way up to the closure point (1600m). Thursday was crew member & ski-fanatic Renee’s birthday! She was keen to touch some snow,  so, we inspected what lay beyond: The snow right by the sign is almost gone but further up the trail is very wet or still hidden under snow (2 metres by the lake). Looking at the forecast, I would guess we could open it to the lake for next weekend (July 20) as an out and back (expect 2-way traffic). There is much more snow on “On the Rocks”, so, the “Mystic-Squirrels” will not be ridable as a loop for longer still. Please be patient!

Raven Time

I love to interact with wildlife. I chirp with the birds, chat with the squirrels and “caw caw” at the ravens and crows. They don’t always respond – perhaps I annoy them. I heard what sounded like a juvenile raven in the distance. The pitch of its “caw” was high and raspy. I tried to mimic it… and a chorus of commotion broke out of deeper “caws”! Soon 5 ravens were flying around us, in what looked like a playful chase. The biggest bird landed on a nearby branch, followed by the high-pitched “Cawer” on a treetop just further. I approached the large bird and tried to have a “Caw-versation” but he only gazed at me.

I wondered: Could this be the bird that made off with our bag of coffee beans 3 years ago…

Next, poked his beak deep into his plumage and pulled out a fluffy grey feather. He flicked it towards me.  The downy feather just hovered for a bit. To our amazement it was floating still for a few seconds before slowly, RISING! The feather floated up to the sounds of bewildered giggles and “ahs” from the trailcrew. Then, looking satisfied, the raven leapt off the branch in a glorious dive towards the Whistler Valley.

That, was fun!

See you on the trails!

Dan Raymond

WORCA Lead Trail Builder