Letters to the editor for the week of February 7th 

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Thank you

This last Friday, while skiing on Whistler Mountain and watching the Peak to Creek team races near the finishing area, I had the misfortune to pass out.

In no time many of the bystanders rushed to my assistance. Our long-time Whistler ski patroller/racer Cathy Jewett took charge and several other nurses, doctors; ski patrollers monitored my heart and assisted to make me feel more comfortable with their jackets and encouraging words.

One of Whistler's ever-ready ambulance teams ferried me to the Whistler Medical Clinic.

You cannot believe the service I received by the doctors, nurses, and technicians in our health care centre. Every conceivable tool and care was used to analyze my problem (I probably will need some additional tests in the near future).

Thanks to all of you — you are a fabulous team!!

Also, a big thanks to all our friends who assisted and called and showed their support to Trudy and me.

We are so lucky to live in such a caring community.

Peter Alder

Whistler

Sharing the alpine

I recently had a backcountry experience that brought three interest groups into close quarters. I was on a terrific three-day backcountry tour run by Coast Mountain Guides at the glorious Journeyman Lodge at Ski Callaghan.

Saturday, Feb. 2 dawned peaceful and golden for our eager pack of turn-earners. Avalanche risk was low, but recent warmth had baked the south-facing slopes, reducing our snow options. Our guide, Guillaume Otis, worked hard to find a north-facing slope within reach of our party. As we climbed Journeyman ridge, the sound of engines let us know we were not alone.

To the west, high-powered snowmobiles buzzed across the end of the valley. Apparently, they traverse from Brandywine area to access terrain on the other side, but are not allowed within the Callaghan Country zone. The noise did distract somewhat from our peaceful ascent, but they were keeping their distance. And I must say it looked like they were having a great time.

Then came the chopper. A Whistler Heli-skiing bird circled directly above us scoped out our run and headed straight for the same summit. Obviously, we were disappointed not to be able to lay down first tracks, but we figured there would by plenty for everyone. I even waved the first few times the chopper sped past, imagining excited heli-skiers looking down at us and sharing this beautiful day.

After the fifth or sixth time the chopper ferried groups past us, I stopped waving.

We crested the ridge to see multiple sets of tracks marching across the bowl. Then, unbelievably, a group of three sleds ripped right up the remaining open snow in the middle, obviously well outside their permitted motorized area. All we could do was sigh, shrug and have a reasonably awesome run off to one side of the slaughter. Sloppy sevenths as our reward for hours of climbing.

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