Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday afternoon............

I'm not the only one who didn't think it would carry on all day.

Eating on their way out..........

Baldy Grown

I grew warba potatoes at the community garden this year, and planted a few leftover seed potatoes in my yard up here. The plants barely grew, and I assumed there was no crop. I don't know what made me look yesterday, but I actually have a few potatoes.

From Marie - just off "Baldy Babes Trail" last winter.

Last day of September.................

6 cms overnight, snowing.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

So the fence is open for them to leave.............

They didn't get the hint - maybe if we do get snow tonight, they'll get the hint.

2007 Sugar Lump Construction

August 26th

October 20, 2007- flying the tower heads
December 3, 2007 Arrival of the drive station.

January 22, 2010

I saw this one somewhere else photo credit.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Before and After

Not exactly the same spot, but pretty close - before and after. There are fewer stems per hectare left on the McKinney side.

Thank-you from Doug and the project crew..........

Hi Sandra
Just wanted to post on your blog,  thanks to the residents of the village for their patience with any disruption or noise associated with the ongoing fuel mod project. 
The bunchers are estimating two to three more weeks of work then you can return to quieter times.  
Thanks everyone.
Doug MacLeod

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Thank-you RDKB

Truck was at the transfer station to clean up/change dumpsters this morning.

Logging Trucks

I met three logging trucks on the road yesterday - and they were all on their own side of the road!

You may encounter logging trucks on both roads - loads going to West Kelowna and Midway.

"Sunnybank" the creator comes forward.......

Check the comment on the above link - the creator of the new bench tells the story.....

Colours changing every day..........

If I had the time, I could easily stop a dozen times each trip to town as the colours change.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hello - what ever happened to not overfilling the dumpster.............

We are in wild animal territory . My garbage is still in the truck. Another photo of classic transfer station abuse. My hunch is that most of this originated away from Baldy.

Our Forest

There have been many posts on this blog about the pine at or near the end of it's lifespan. I was asked the other day about the lifespan of the Western Larch.

Below is a link to the Ministry "Tree Book" , and a few excerpts.

"Like all larches, it loses its needles in the autumn. This large, handsome tree can grow to 80 metres tall and 850 years of age.

The wood of western larch is one of the strongest in Canada. It is often used in heavy construction and for railway ties and pilings.

The thick bark of mature western larch and its habit of shedding lower branches make this species resistant to fire.

Western larch usually grows in mixed forests but can occasionally be found in pure groups of trees after a severe wildfire. It demands full sunlight and grows well on fire-blackened soil. Fire releases nutrients which it uses to grow faster than its companion species.Low temperatures limit the distribution of western larch. It is quite sensitive to frost damage because it continues to grow from bud-burst in spring through to September; most evergreen conifers stop growing in mid-July. "

Power Outage Friday

I just received an automated call from Fortis. Planned power outage for Baldy on Friday September 28th, from 11:00am to 12:00pm.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

There are so many people up here!

That was the comment I heard all weekend - lots of people in the village. Some came because of yesterday's event, others from long distances to be here for Andrew falling trees. Firewood duty, lots being cleaned up, and cabin repairs.

I still have some outdoor chores including putting away the garden hoses, but my winter supply of firewood is all split and under cover.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Baldy Family

The mountain, the drew us all to Baldy, but what truly makes Baldy unique is the Community - and the Baldy Family.

Joan Begg's celebration of life was packed with her second family today. There were teens and twenty somethings who had been welcomed by Gramma Joan and made ginger bread houses with her. There were 40 and 50 somethings who were "adopted" and/or welcomed to Baldy by Joan.
And there were stories! One Baldy Mom introduced herself as a "newcomer", only having a cabin here for 12 years. Her family was warmly welcomed by Joan.

There were more hugs at this gathering than most funerals/memorials. I gave Marge a ride - she is affectionately known as the "Matriarch of the Mountain", and was pleased to see so many of her Baldy Family today.

Joan would have laughed heartily at the stories, and she would have loved the gathering.

Thanks to former Baldy Manager Duane Jordan for his heartfelt talk - yes Joan adopted him when he first came to Baldy. Thanks to Wayne and Daryl, and other speakers including Shelley, Michael, Cathy, Randal, Brad,...I probably missed one or two.

Joan will not be forgotten.

Friday Photos

Another piece of equipment arriving.

The treated area in the background was part of the first trial plot - a few more trees will be removed.

Looking down to the creek. The buffer around the creek is wider than required, as requested by the OIB.

Another look at trial block

Can't really see in this photo, but there are standing dead trees in the distance, from the 1930 fire.

Example of ground fuels that will need to be removed and chipped or burned.

Some pine beetle affected wood in this pile of pine.

Across the road in Treatment unit 2, where the density of tress left is less than TU 1.

FESBC Project Update - September 21, 2018

Special thanks to Project Coordinator Doug MacLeod for prodding the Strata at the AGM some time ago to do something about our vulnerability to wildfire, and for his work to get us to this project, and his work with all parties for the best possible outcome.

Doug and his colleague brought the grant information to Snowy to make the application on behalf of BMR. Davies Wildfire Management Inc.did the prescription, with Doug doing much of the leg work.

The planning has been in the works for two years, and contracts are signed.

A similar prescription was prepared for another ski area  - they chose not to use it, and did a clear cut. Our project is being watched as the first FESBC project of it's kind, creating a defensible space where the intensity of any fire coming up the hill will be dramatically reduced, while keeping the look and feel such that it doesn't detract from the area.

There has been good collaboration from all parties involved. I witnessed conversations with mill representatives and machine operators. This is an opportunity for the mills to get wood to augment their supply, and of course work for the logging contractors. (about 20 pieces of equipment on site now.) One operator estimated that his productivity is about  30% less than it would be on a conventional logging project.

It took a little time to adjust and adapt the approach of the harvest, but all parties including the loggers have had input. In the first test area, they left extra trees standing, expecting that the skidders may take a few out on their way by. That hasn't happened, so a few more trees will be taken out of the original test block.

Roads and landings within the prescription have been added to keep the logging trucks off the village roads. The main road in from the transfer station follows an existing snow shoe trail - some of the existing corners were straightened a bit for trucking purposes, but the trail will have rehab after the logging. Yet to be determined is whether all roads will be decommissioned, or if some may be left for easier access in the event of fire.

All the larch , deciduous - and trees greater than 50cm dbh are being left standing. The main focus of removal is the pine, as it is at or near the end of it's life span. There is good pine decked, but also some "denim" pine - from pine beetles. There are clumps being left of smaller trees where there are no trees of the desired species and size to be left.

Tree tops will go to Midway for chipping, which reduces the amount of slash.

Some spruce is already showing rot - balsam and larch are the preferred trees to leave standing.

Yesterday we stood at an elevation in line with Buck Road - I expect the activity to be closer to the village later next week. On the other side of the road, work is progressing well up higher than the McKinney subdivision now.

It is always interesting to talk with Doug - yesterday we talked about how much the forest has changed since we were kids. Doug has more than 40 years of wildfire experience - one of this year's stories was most concerning. Fire intensity/behaviour in the Similkameen fires this summer was worse than he has seen in his career.

I will work on posting photos tonight - Doug will be at the Strata AGM to answer your questions.

This is a big step toward our fire protection - many property owners have a lot of work to do on their own properties for their own protection, as well as their neighbours.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Forest Project - 52 images today

I had a tour with Doug, Matt and Andy today - project looks good, and I took 52 images. I may not get to posting them until tomorrow night or Sunday. (hopefully I will remember the narrative that goes with each one...)

If you know me well, you know that I melted when I met this dog today.........

Celebration of Life - Tomorrow - Sept. 22nd 1:00 pm Oliver Elks Hall

Thursday, September 20, 2018

China Creek Upgrades

Another upgrade from our Internet Service Provider this week. Government funds to improve internet access in remote areas have enabled China Creek to continue with upgrades to our system.

Considering where we are, and that our signal comes mountain top to mountain top, we have very good affordable internet.

Those who think they should be able to run Netflix on multiple devices through the Christmas Holidays may never be satisfied.

Lumpy Improvements

Ethel would be happy.....the excavator has completed work on the lower part of "Jones", so it can be groomed earlier in the season.

Smoothed out area, bottom of Wizard

A little work on the unofficial trail the kids like in the trees.

Project Update

I had an update on the project today, a look from the top of McKinney, and tomorrow will have a look up close.

  • loggers here are amazed that the forest is still standing , and hasn't been already destroyed by fire with the fuel load
  • other parties interested in what is being done here - perhaps modelling future projects on what is being done here

Looking from the top of McKinney - the red dots roughly outline the prescription area - looks good - much less dramatic than I expected. The oversight works well when the boots on the ground for the forestry consulting company belong to a guy who knows wildfire, has a cabin here, and has skied Baldy since 1968.

Adjustments have been made along the is the updated map of the prescription.

Can't do it at Whistler or Big White.............

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Snow on the peaks of the Purcells.

We had that discussion by the fire last night.............

About "should" go home, vs wanting to go home........
Thanks to Mark for updates while I was away - a couple of pics tonight, more tomorrow.

Job Fair - sorry for the short notice....

"Work and play in the mountains!
We are hosting a job fair! Come by the WorkBC Employment Services Centre in Oliver from
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. TODAY!
Hiring all winter positions! "🤩