News in Brief
Encompassing people, places and happenings at Mount Washington
6IX PACK PARTNERSHIP
Mount Washington has a new partner for its 6IXPak Lift Tickets this year. Ownersand Management welcome Quality Foods as their sponsor for 2019-20.
DALE LOGAN TAKES ON RISK MANAGEMENT
Dale Logan, the Risk, Employee Experience and OHS Manager at Mount Washington, has been named to the Canada West Ski Areas Association’s Safety and Risk Management Committee.
FAT BIKES ARE BACK
Fat bikes are back for winter, and the fleet has expanded. The Resort introduced the winter mountain biking activity with a few bikes last winter. Fat bikes have fatter tires than summer mountain bikes, as they are adapted to ride in snow. Bike Park Manager Mike Manara and other staffers looked at the Fat Bike Program at other Resorts such as Silver Star to see how successful they were. They took fat bikes out on Mount Washington trails and talked to users about their experience too.
They learned that fat bikes are sensitive to temperature, Manara said. That’s why they are only brought out when temperatures are ideal - otherwise, the bikes slog through the snow and suddenly the ride is no fun. “For us, it’s a niche thing. It’s a great workout; it’s fun. We’re continuing to look for opportunities to expand fat bikes in our snowshoe network”
There will be 12 fat bikes available come winter. And look for pedal assist e-bike tours at the Alpine Resort come summer 2020. As the Resort works on a trail network for fat bikes in the winter, Manara hopes the trail will be used as a small community walking trail in summer. He envisions about 10 kilometres developed over the next three to five years.
INAUGURAL PRIDE WEEKEND
Mount Washington’s inaugural Pride Weekend was so successful the Resort is already planning its second Annual Event for late February. Vancouver Island Pride held a VIP Getaway featuring on and off-snow activities including a Charity Ski Race, Pride Parade and evening social events. The Resort partnered with LGBTQ travel specialist Dean Nelson of Travels By Dean to coordinate travel for last year’s Festival. “We’re going to be building this Event over the next few years,” said Director of Hospitality and Sales Tim Defert.
NO SMOKING - NO TOKING
Mount Washington made a conscious decision a few years ago to be a smoke-free Resort. That decision includes all kinds of smoke - from cigarette to e-cigarettes, and with legalization a year ago, cannabis. No smoke means no toke on the Resort’s premises.
MOUNT WASHINGTON TACKLES CLIMATE CHALLENGE
When the U.S. based National Ski Areas Association put out the call for member Resorts to join in the NSAA Climate Challenge in 2019, Mount Washington Alpine Resort answered with a resounding “yes” along with the other four ski areas in The Pacific Group Resorts Inc. family. The NSAA Climate Challenge initiative has been around for several years, and more Destination Resorts are starting to join.
A Steering Committee of staff members was quickly formed to develop and implement eco-friendly programs, and a trio of ‘sustainability co-champions’ - Levon Young, Jacinta Philippson and Charlene Cresswell - had already drafted a list of actions by last June. Some of the ways the Resort and guests will be able to collaborate include respecting no idling zones, using Resort wide recycling programs and refillable water bottle stations.
The Resort will reduce idling time for groomers and buses, consider purchasing carbon credits, plant trees, recycle and compost. “We operate in a pristine alpine environment and we’d like to help keep it that way for generations,” Resort General Manager Dean Prentice said.
WINTER WISH LIST #1 VEHICLE RECHARGING STATIONS
A new resident at Mount Washington Alpine Resort is hoping part of the Climate Challenge initiative includes charging stations for electric vehicles. Dr. John Christensen, who runs Metral Dental in Nanaimo, bought a condo in the Alpine Village in April 2019. He’s been able to drive it into the site throughout the summer as he has been renovating his unit, plugging his car in via an extension cord. Come winter, though, he will be forced to park his vehicle by the entrance to the Village. He is hopeful that there will be winter charging options.
SKI PATROL ASSOCIATION TRAINING FOR 2020
The Mount Washington Ski Patrol Association has kept visitors to the Alpine Resort safe for the past 40 years. In 2019 they have nearly 140 members who give their time for training and patrolling.
Training is a year-round endeavour, with training weekends starting in November, well ahead of the winter snow season. Members also go through a Patrol Qualification Assessment weekend in early November, and are called upon for snow camp and other training activities.
To learn more, check out their Facebook page or their website at www.mwskipatrol.com.
SKI PATROL ASSOCIATION FUND RAISER
The MWSPA has swag to sell to the public as a new fundraiser. They have T-shirts, hoodies and even coffee mugs with ski run slang and their logo on the items. Sales from the official clothing items, available at http://shop.spreadshirt.ca/mwspa, will support the neighbourhood ski patrol.