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  1. #26
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    Jan 2022
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    I think I see you taking off.. enjoy!

    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk

  2. #27
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    subscribed

  3. #28
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Well that was rad.

    In Nelson for the evening. Nap and then food then more sleep. Eight days of skiing. Mostly bluebird. Found surprisingly good snow by chasing facets and occasional sun. DPS problem to start the week (still there...just pretty dormant), things mellowing off by the end meant we got to ski some great stuff by end of the week.

    Guides -- Rob C and Tim B were as awesome I I'd hoped. Great crew of folks...negligible gear faffing, everyone stoked and communicative.

    Ymir lodge is...interesting. Our hut keeper found black mold on our 3rd day...the owner was recently in the local paper for tax evasion (and blamed the United Nations?). But it was warm, spacious and inexpensive. And has a great variety of terrain.

    Food was off the hook. When I do another BC hut trip -- I'll be trying to find one with Michelle. Somehow she made fresh bread every day, fed us 4 meals, and still probably skied more vert than us. "Nah, I don't put my boots in ski mode. They're fine" (as she drops into a 40 degree faces).

    Dropping tgapp off in Spokane in the AM...then driving SE to...Jackson area (tour? Snow King hot laps?) or Red Lodge? for the evening. Have a few calls monday and might try to drive home that day. Or Tuesday.

    Photo dump, recap of skiing / avy training, the lodge and terrain, shit I learned, etc to come over next few weeks.

    Evening tour on arrival
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  4. #29
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    Sep 2008
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    12,967
    stunning, looking forward to the rest!
    j'ai des grands instants de lucididididididididi

  5. #30
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    Nov 2016
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    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    ^^ stoke


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #31
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    After we put the instructor/guide on a rope into a col and he pointed out that rapping into a col wasn't "stepping out -- cautiously" -- tgapp (skier) and I (photo) found surprisingly good snow on a s. aspect.

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  7. #32
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    Nov 2002
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    7,244
    Falling in love with the cook is a pretty standard hut trip problem in BC. They get up hours before you, make the best breakfast ever, catch you on the skin track, ski better than you, rally home and make the hot horderves. You do the dishes.

    Re: that Lodge. Owner has a lodge history of being a shit bag. My group dug he out of a slide once.

  8. #33
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    Jan 2008
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    tree OH TREE!!!!!
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    4,107
    nice tr, cant wait for the pic dump. thanks for sharing

  9. #34
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    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Falling in love with the cook is a pretty standard hut trip problem in BC. They get up hours before you, make the best breakfast ever, catch you on the skin track, ski better than you, rally home and make the hot horderves. You do the dishes.
    So true.

  10. #35
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    Mar 2017
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    SLC, Utah
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    Falling in love with the cook is a pretty standard hut trip problem in BC. They get up hours before you, make the best breakfast ever, catch you on the skin track, ski better than you, rally home and make the hot horderves. You do the dishes.

    Re: that Lodge. Owner has a lodge history of being a shit bag. My group dug he out of a slide once.
    Man. This pretty much nails it. And the comment about the lodge owner seems spot-on, given what we saw at the lodge (more on that later).



    One of the highlights of the trip - Morning Glory off of Qua Peak - also, more on that in a bit.

    First, the high notes: this trip was phenomenal, and easily the most impactful/practical avalanche education I have ever received. On top of that, we skied excellent snow, ate better than I could have ever imagined, and drank exceptionally well.


    Some preliminaries: up until the very last minute, I wasn't sure if this trip was even going to happen. Omicron was peaking, and I had gotten sick with clear omicron symptoms 8 days before our departure. Canada requires a negative molecular test for COVID-19 prior to your crossing by 72 hours or less. I got better quickly, but put off roasting coffee or getting ready until like the night before. Things came together pretty quickly after I tested negative (twice) and knew this trip was a go. With the first hurdle cleared, I was on my way to my first international ski trip. FKNA.



    Doebedoe picked me up at the Spokane airport at around 10pm on Thursday, on his way from shredding with SkiLyft. DBD has a dope van, which was super cool to see - it's very well thought out. I wish I had taken some pics of it but I know that he has some in the Ski RVs thread. We quickly made our way to a dilapidated motel in Spokane and went to bed.


    The next morning we brewed coffee on DBDs aeropress in the hotel - a really cool Panamanian coffee that neufox47 turned me on to in one of the coffee threads - before setting off to the Canuckistan border.




    Travelling north from Spokane, State Route 20 was quiet, with steeply treed slopes, a thin snowpack, and a low hanging valley cloud layer that set a moody atmosphere.



    The Canadian border patrol agent was a friendly and amicable man of around 50, chatting casually about where we would be skiing, what our plans were, etc. He waved us through without drama, but DBD did end up getting randomly selected for a border COVID test, which ended up being a total non-event. I think I was taking a nap when he did it.

    We made our way to the hotel, where we received news of a another hut trip the week before that had a mid-week COVID outbreak. That evening the likelihood of the trip felt teetering, with both of us expressing uncertainty and tentatively dreaming of alternatives should the trip get cancelled at the last minute.

    Not wanting to let a little uncertainty ruin a great time, we decided to drink well and enjoy our evening. Might as well get drunk and have fun, and let tomorrow sort itself out then.


    DBD brought two exceptional bottles of wine - a 2016 Domaine De L'echevin St. Maurice Cotes Du Rhone (please tell me if I'm wrong about that) and a Vignobles Bulliat Nature Morgon 2020. Fucking cool wine. I'm still a winejong, but I thoroughly enjoyed the wine & wine education that I got on this trip. We drank both bottles with a goat brie and some tasty bread that DBD found in Nelson. Super tasty - I'll put some more thoughts in the wine thread in a bit.



    Wine & cheese

    The original roster for the trip was to have 13 students, two IFMGA guides, a cook, and a custodian up at the Ymir Lodge for a week - fly in Saturday and stay until the following Saturday. Due to cancellations (COVID, theft of passports, etc) , the final number that made its way to Nelson, BC was 8 students, two guides, a cook, and the cook's husband (a welcome surprise)..and the Hut keeper, who was already chillin' up there, Brad.


    Before we could leave for the lodge, we all needed to test negative for COVID with a rapid test. All 12 of us who would be coming in needed to test negative, which thankfully came off without a hitch.



    Posing with our lollipops.

    With that final hurdle out of the way, we were all systems go. Kootenay Valley Helicopters gave us a quick safety briefing and then we drove down to the loading site where we threw our stuff onto the bird and left for Ymir Lodge.




    Loading the helicopter. Very stoked to get on a heli to go have fun in the mountains for a week - this all was actually happening.


    More to come, I'm on mobile and pretty slow right now, but I've got time to kill at the Spokane airport. Special thanks to DBD for letting me contribute to this thread and, more importantly, for picking me up at the airport and modifying his itinerary to help me out - solid fucking mag. He does ski bad - but don't take my word for it:



    DBD has steezy stickers of himself in a pink onesie admitting as much that a friend made him as a joke. Pretty rad.
    Last edited by tgapp; 01-30-2022 at 02:16 PM.

  11. #36
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    Oct 2005
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    1,974
    Congrat.s on the trip, tgapp, and

    Nice TR - Thank you. skiJ

  12. #37
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    Dec 2005
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    8,120
    solid work making the most of the pre-trip roller coaster you were on

  13. #38
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    Oct 2003
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    Ogden
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    solid work making the most of the pre-trip roller coaster you were on
    No kidding. Looking forward to more photos/stories.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    5,258
    Got home this AM. Exhausted but full from a rad trip. Met a bunch of new mags -- SkiLyft and Djongo being awesome hosts at their mountains, and tgapp being a rad touring/talking/drinking/road tripping partner. Ended up with 8 days of ski touring and 2 days skiing off lifts (Silver and Jackson) in the 13 days on the road.

    Lots more to come. Couple of stoke pics to tide ya over.

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  15. #40
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    Sep 2008
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    fkna
    j'ai des grands instants de lucididididididididi

  16. #41
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    Sep 2009
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    N side, Terrace, BC
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    4,311
    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    fkna
    QFT.
    More please.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  17. #42
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    I swear this is the last round of tasters before we get to the terrain and the skiing....

    First a little context of the backcountry part of this trip. It was an a week-long AIARE 2, at the Ymir BC lodge (https://backcountryskilodge.ca/). The trip is organized by Rob "Mountain Athlete" Coppolillo at Vetta Mtn Guides ( more info here: https://www.vettamountainguides.com/...e-courses-2022). His co-instructor and guide was Tim Brown. Rob and Tim are both pinned-up IFMGA guides who started in CO but have worked in a lot of locales in various capacities (forecasters, heli guides, human-powered guides, etc). As folks who have provided a lot of feedback to the AIARE curriculum this is sort of their "ideal" way to teach a level 2 -- with plenty of time for getting reps on decision making and in general trying to get recreationalists to act more like pros. Our group ended up being only 8 students to two guides...which I thought was fucking aces. Understandably they typically run it at a 6:1 ratio to keep costs down -- we just "lucked" out with multiple people getting fucked at the last minute by the world.

    I'm not going to comment much on the instruction except to say -- I got a ton out of this course. Hard to imagine getting this level of instruction and learning without such a setup of week in the hut, moving with a tight crew. And I will be looking for opportunities to ski and learn with either Tim or Rob as much as possible in the future. (If my background matters at all to you in me saying this...I'm a bc recreationalist mostly mellow CO touring. I'm a 4-year volunteer ski patroller at mtn with a sizeable avy control program. And my day job is in the avalanche industry.) Overhearing their guides meeting in the AM (reviewing bulletin, InfoX, our obs, weather), spending the day with a group you got to know well, extensive trip planning and debriefs, and informal evening talks deep diving into topics/experiences with a beer in hand was all damn special.

    Morning meeting -- putting obs onto an avalanche rose on the window.
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    Evening fireside chats with beers
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    Packed up the essentials: beer and FKNA coffee. The latter being the star of the trip. I am the lucky recipient of all the leftovers. Learned a ton about coffee on this trip.
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    The analogs between coffee and the wine world -- from production, distribution, preparation, to tasting are wild. Dorked out a lot. Tgapp ain't fucking around when he says he's got distinct taste in coffee. But all I heard on the trip was "FKNA" from most everyone drinking it. To be fair, that might because I played coffee bitch all week. Every morning guides + motivated folks would go fetch weather/avy bulletin from the nearby at 5:30am. I'd wake 45min later and start making pour-overs in large batches for them to have upon return.

    Packed the heli with banana boxes of food and jumped in with tgapp
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    I lied, next post food...then terrain and skiing . I'll let tgapp weigh in on the accommodations...
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  18. #43
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    Jan 2014
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    Most days of the trip we got up, ate well, trip planned, and spent ~9-10am-4pm out in the field walking around, making obs/digging, skiing. We got pretty damn lucky to have a crew with minimal gear fuckery (though tgapp managed to break a binding, and I lost a screw out of my walk mechanism), and plenty of fitness.

    Some photos....

    A little afternoon shot on day two.
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    Looking down a line about to ski into the fog off a small peak on day 3
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    Toured frequently along this ridge just west of the hut
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    On day two we saw this little col in the middle. tgapp, myself and one other went on a bit of a walk to see if we wanted to ski it.
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    Ridge walk was a bit spicy in spots with a completely faceted snowpack, some steep downs, and cornices.
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    Put the guide on a rope and sent him in to find a bunch of windslabs.
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    Given no good exit if we skied the col line (either long traverse around or back up the windslabby connected terrain) we noticed sun had hit a SE facebehind us just the right amount.

    Tgapp on one of our laps
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    And looking back up
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    Avalanche conditions generally trended down through the week. A DPS problem was getting less reactive and just saw some small windslabs. On the day before departure, we finally chose to ski a big, E-facing avy path after poking around. It did not suck. We skied the right side of this photo.
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  19. #44
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    Oct 2008
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    Golden, CO
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    2,461
    looks amazing. moar, por favor.

  20. #45
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    Oct 2011
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    Aspen
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    Yes yes yes, boys. Good stuff; very jealous about getting that course and time with Rob as the lead. Amazing!

  21. #46
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    Mar 2017
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    SLC, Utah
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    i like this format - i can take a piece of this and pass the rest of the narrative to DBD.

    THE LODGE

    Ymir Lodge is a backcountry ski lodge in the Kootenay mountains, southeast of Whitewater (WH2O) ski area. It is located just west of a saddle between South Seeman Peak and Qua Peak. It's a two story structure (not counting both the attic and the basement), covered in corrugated steel siding on all sides & roof of the building). The outhouse is an independent structure that is located at the top of a flight of stairs, and it is joined to the lodge by a patio. We called this the poop deck.

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    Heli, poop deck, Ymir Lodge

    It's pretty difficult to describe Ymir lodge in it's full, resplendent beauty. Words just don't do it justice. Most of the furniture seems to be of the DIY variety, with a strong theme of re-using mattresses. Two couches are made out of mattresses, as well as a DIY hide-a-bed in the kitchen that hosts a giant map of the range.

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    here i am in a hammock in front of the mattress map. due to the incredibly un-engineered ("organic") nature of the lodge, wearing a helmet in the hammock seemed VERY prudent. notice the unfinished drywall - or partially unfinished - as well as the random, uncovered junction boxes. more on those later.

    The interior is a mishmash of exposed lumber, drywall with no mudding, and drywall with mudding. The omission of corner beading seems to be intentional, as does the seemingly random mudding. It is as if the builders of the lodge want to engage it's residents in some sort of strange, contemporary art project - asking questions like "Why did they mud this joint but not the one right next to it?" "Do all projects need to be finished in order to be beautiful?" | "Why do we hide our imperfections when it is far easier to just be open with them?"

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    deep thoughts with unfinished drywall

    There were two internal "urinals" in the building, aptly named:

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    And a real point of view of the home depot bucket special that is "Pee Stand Up". The vinyl backsplash is truly a nice touch.

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    One of the biggest advantages to hut life is the sense of community you gain through spending a whole week with the same crew. To help build that camaraderie, the wise designers of the Lodge decided to build doors that never fully close, nor are framed in completely. This may seem like an oversight, but I have come to appreciate what a wise and functional design decision. Doors are more like suggestions than actual barriers or dividers.

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    Believe it or not - this is with the door fully closed. Truly, a revolutionary concept. I'll never look at a finished door again.

    Some of the structural elements of the building were more alarming than charming, but certainly added to the experience. Like when we noticed that instead of supporting the ceiling, the structural ceiling beams were randomly on the ground in the dining area:

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    Note the missing beams. But at least they installed the metal parts!!

    The wiring in the building made me feel like I was playing some sort of puzzle-based RPG. "What are these junction boxes? What do they connect? Why do we have so many exposed wires?" all seemed like clues in this great mystery, especially given how little functional electricity was actually in the building.

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    the christmas lights are truly a nice, ambient-lighting touch.

    The most serious issues of the lodge were also the most difficult to capture: two years ago, our guide (Rob C.) had personally bought and installed $200 of Carbon Monoxide monitors in the lodge. Presumably because they would not stop going off, the lodge owners mysteriously decided to remove those CO monitors. On top of that, the uninsulated basement and exposed beams had created what appeared to be a VERY serious black mold problem - I worked flood mitigation in college and saw a ton of black mold - and it seems like the lack of a vapor barrier/insulation and the condensation on the basement ceiling is causing a very serious issue.

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    After our first night we all woke up groggy, with nausea and headaches. Rob C, our IFMGA (and an incredible mountain athlete) needed supplemental oxygen (which they actually had - again, probably cheaper than fixing the CO problem). From there on we decided to open windows in the upstairs. No windows in the downstairs were openable (no venting in the kitchen).

    I think that's it for the lodge... I'll turn it back over to DBD to talk about food, and I can prepare some ski stoke pictures for my next post.
    Last edited by tgapp; 02-02-2022 at 02:51 PM. Reason: deets

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC burbs
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    3,278
    Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, the CO thing is really scary!
    A lifetime ago I spent a weekend in the Tomasaki hut in the LaSals, smack in the middle of a century storm in Moab. It snowed non stop for the 3 days we were there. Yurt "operator" showed us how to turn on the newly installed propane heater/stove and mentioned that they had installed a CO detector but there was nothing to worry about as the stove was super well vented. He was gone 10 minutes when the fucker starting screeching at us. We spent the weekend with windows and a door opened. Closing either for more than 5 minutes would trigger the detector. We couldn't really ski as the avi risk was a 12 out of 5 so we played cards and got drunk wearing all our layers. The last morning we woke up to 6" of snow on the sleeping bags. Glorious trip. No oxygen there, I suspect they weren't aware of the problem yet. Having supplemental O2 ready is a fucking criminal admission in that context.
    "Your wife being mad is temporary, but pow turns do not get unmade" - mallwalker the wise

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    The hut details really bring this thread to life. I think some locals in Nelson mentioned to me how shady this hut/owner was… about seven years ago.

  24. #49
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    … about seven years ago.
    So right when he stopped paying his taxes? https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/...ing-taxes.html

    Place has a ton of potential. I think Mags should probably buy him out

  25. #50
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    Jan 2005
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    Keep Tacoma Feared
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    3,296
    I took several different trips to the lodge 5+ years ago. The shitters used to be inside of the lodge so the poop deck is an upgrade. Do they still have the yurt they converted into a sauna?

    Trevor was in the lodge on all my trips, and he was always friendly and nice to me. I got the impression he was not the greatest business man and maybe hard up for funds. Sorry to hear about his tax problems and the lodge maintenance falling behind. What I liked about the place is great terrain and snow, closest Kootenay area lodge to Seattle, much cheaper than all the competitors, and Trevor used to let me book my trip for only four or five days where as everywhere else required you to commit to a full week. Another person on the trip described the operation as "cowboy as fuck." I kind of liked that about the place. You would never see something like that in the US, with all our rules and regulations. Does suck to get sick with black mold though.

    Did you stay at the Hotel Ymir?
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