Some points clarified
Re: The danger of slides and reporting (Pique Newsmagazine letters, Jan. 26, 2005)
I would like to clarify points raised in Robert Moysychyn’s letter printed in last week’s Pique. Throughout the course of the investigation of the Jan. 14 avalanche in West Bowl, the rating of the slide by Whistler Blackcomb’s avalanche forecasters did indeed increase from the original estimate of class 1 to the rating of 1.5 that was submitted to the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA). The CAA actually reported the slide as a class 2 based on public reports and prior to receiving the official report from Whistler Blackcomb. They have since expressed concern over any difficulties this may have caused us.
There was no attempt by Whistler Blackcomb Safety Staff or Patrol to downplay the severity of the slide. With 25+ years of experience, our professional avalanche forecasters are well-trained in avalanche study. Their rating of 1.5 submitted to the CAA was based solely on the facts of the investigation. We stand behind this rating.
The majority of debris that Mr. Moysychyn makes reference to was the result of avalanche control work conducted prior to the Peak Chair opening. The debris that resulted from the slide in question disbursed over a wide area and so was not deep enough to bury anyone.
There is no question that this was a dangerous slide. Even a small slide in steep alpine terrain can be dangerous and terrifying. In this case a Whistler woman was seriously hurt. We take every single accident on the mountain very seriously. This particular incident was investigated at length and witness information has been gathered and verified. All parties involved learned from this incident and we are thankful that our injured guest will recover.
Whistler Blackcomb Safety Manager
Accountability at issue
Re: Eva Lake employee housing
It is about time the Eva Lake Employee Housing fiasco came into the public eye…again. (Mike Roger letter, Jan. 26, 2006)
You do know that the people involved in building the sinking Eva Lake Employee Housing units are none other than the now Whistler Rainbow Properties Ltd. who are developing the Rainbow Land (and expect the municipality and WHA to guarantee their profits) when they do not face responsibility for a past development where buildings are sinking. It is difficult to "blame" any one party for the actual sinking of the buildings. So, instead, people have to be accountable and take responsibility. These people are: Rod Nadeau, Builder; Ann Chiasson, Silent Partner; Jon Paine, Engineer; the RMOW, Landlord; and Whistler Housing Authority, the overseers of employee housing. They can all be accountable and responsible.