Saturday, January 31, 2009

Skating rink

An informal community skating rink, maintained by volunteers, behind an area business.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Idaho peak

The big peak (7480 ft., more than 6700 ft. above lake level) on the east side of the Slocan Lake. Topped by a fire lookout which is no longer in use, the road and trail access to Idaho stays snowbound until July.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Domes

Villa Dome Quixote, an installation of dome-shaped cottages and a hostel, built using mill ends (scraps of lumber no longer than 14").

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nature Boy 2 -- Clean Sweep

This is the westerly side-chute of the Nature Boy avalanche. Most of the snow and debris came down a little to the east, but this side chute is such an amazing illustration of the way avalanches can denude a mountain-side. This gully didn't really exist before. There was nothing but a slight depression in the ground in what was forest. Now an eroded gully extends far up the mountain, the trees swept clean, the forest that used to be here now part of the debris pile on the far side the the highway. A dusting of new snow has made the gully quite pretty.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nature Boy 1

Nature Boy was the big avalanche that came down about 6 kilometres from the main village, closing highway access for more than a week from the east. The highway has now been open for almost two weeks but the remnants of Nature Boy are still very much in evidence and will be for months. This is part of a pile of timber that was within the snow that was swept over the highway. Many of these trees were over 40 cm in diameter.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I guess that in other communities this is the sort of impulse that produces graffiti. Here we get pairs of worn-out shoes slung over electrical lines.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keeping abreast of things

With the weather keeping people housebound or shovelling much of the time, and regular community activities on hiatus due to weather, the local cafés become important places to meet and catch up on what's happening. Whose chimneys and sheds have collapsed? Who is still without power? Can you tell Mitch I've cleared my roof, so I don't need him after all? Do you think Rod could fit my mom on his plowing list? Is Jim's water still frozen? It all gets sorted out here at the Panini Café.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The big snow

There's been lots of snow here recently. They're running out of places to put it to keep the roads clear, so it sometimes gets pushed up pretty high in front of homes. After the thaw earlier this week, the snow is dirty and things are, shall we say, not at their most picturesque these days.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Somehow the illustration on the sign and the actual setting seem a little incongruous, don't you think?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Avalanche arms at work

The roads are nasty here right now. Two of the three roads that connect our community to the outside world have been closed for over a day now. The trip over the third has been described by locals as "the worst driving I've had to do in years." At lower elevations the roads are just slushy like this. But as the roads wind up to higher elevations the amount of snowfall dramatically increases, the slush is half-frozen, and there have been copious small and larger avalanches onto the highway.

They clear the avalanches as soon as they can do so safely, but they don't re-open the road until the avalanche danger has de-escalated.