Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CAA Operations level 2 Course - Canmore

Hi folks - I just complete the Module 1 of the CAA level 2 course in Canmore. This was a very good course and has given me lots of ideas of how to make Big Red Cats better. Much of the module 1 is focused on people issues.

One of the helpful ideas to come out of the course is Reason's model. This basically says that there are layers in any organisation where Latent or active failures can occur. A bad result happens when the failures are able to get through the many layers of the safety system. The analogy that is used is slices of Swiss Cheese - The holes in the cheese are the potential weakness or failures. When the Holes in the cheese all line up you have a failure. So before anything happen you want to plug as many holes as possible. So our strategy for the year is to work on our safety management system. We have more training planned than ever before. Also 6 of our guides are working on further guide certification this winter. Also we will redo all our run maps. We are also working on a very detailed avalanche Atlas for the organisation. We will also put in place a number of new procedures and protocols.

Another concept for the Level 2 course was the concept of a High Reliable organisation (HRO) some examples of HRO are some parts of the Milatary, some surgical teams. We would like Big Red Cats to be a HRO. To help make this happen we are planning a revision of our safety management system. Essentially we want to be an organisation where nothing slips though the cracks. This is going to take a few years to get there with lots of training.
Went out and an buoilt another 900 meters of snowcat road today. This will futher improve acccess to about 8 runs. The weather looks good until the week-end so we will keep cutting whilst we can.
1 250 362 2271

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 cm of new snowovernight

1) Yes folks it has been snowing again. Yesterday the 20th of octobeer it snowed between 5-10cm above 1600meters. The snow is light and Powdery - and is not breaking down with the sun anymore. There was also snow on the Hiways above Rossland this morning - so its really feeling like winter..

2) We installed our new Oil water separator last week. We are really pleased with this as it will catch any oil or Hydraulic Fluid that may escape from our cats. I picked this up in Vanvouver 2 weeks ago - it weighs nearly 4000 pounds and is made out of concrete.

3) We also installed a new double walled fuel tank a few weeks ago at our shed - we go this tank and accessories from ARG services these guys were great and will also be coming Cat skiing with us this winter.

4) Despite the snow that we had this week and last the Bush campaign continues. Today we gladed an amazing run at the Bottom of Pluto North. At the end of last week we Gladed 2 runs at the bottom of the Jumbo Bloc (see picture attached of the Jumbo Bloc).

1 250 362 2271


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Snowing every day

It has snowed a trace - everyday this week. Today in the mountains the temperature never got above Freezing.

Kauri and I spent 2 days cutting the new Freeze road. This will open up 6-8 new runs. 2 of the runs will be really awesome with some open 40 degree slopes. The other runs will be solid.

However the really cool side benefit will be the new runs on the west face of Mackie. There are alot of runs (at least 8-10) that we have never skied beacuse we never had a pick up road on the North side of the mackie West face. We will be able to ski and explore these runs now with the new Freeze road. The turn aroun time for these runs this winter is going to be really Long - But with the time that we are saving on many of the other new roads that we have built - we will still have enough time to ski and explore this area. We are calling this area the Anti-Freeze beacuse it is across the valley from the Freeze. The Anti freeze is characterised by steepness. It is really steep all the way across. It is mostly good Glade and Tree skiing with good spacing. Runs are from about 2100 meters down to 1600 meters.

Today we cut some new runs in the Jumbo block (the area looks like an elephant) this will create about 4 new good runs The runs are about 1500 vertical feet on a West aspect. They link a series of big Glades into a Jumbo Cut Block.

Tommorrow we are heading for 3rd Bowl to create another new run. We will keep going until there is to much snow.

1 250 362 2271