Raccoons…..

October ended with a visit from some unwanted guests…. In the wild raccoons are cute and cuddly creatures that spend their days foraging the forest floor for berries, nuts, and other sources of food.

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Cute and cuddley right?? WRONG!!!!

Much like foxes in the UK however, human development has now lured them into the cities to route through our rubbish bins and scavenge humanity’s leftovers…  The night before Halloween I was forced to endure a whole night of scratching and scrapping as one, or two, of the furry hooligans tried to get inside the roof space, just above my bed! Imagine that annoying hamster you had as a kid just bigger and completely immune from your attempts to get rid of it/ shut it up. Not good! The next day after a ton of internet trawling I picked a couple of litres of industrial strength ammonia and sloshed it around all over the roof to try keep them away. Closer inspection with my specialised raccoon search tool (see below), revealed that there is actually a huge hole in the side of my house! One for the landlord I think. He’ll have to act soon before they try to nest for the night.

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Air Cadet improvisation at it’s finest…

October and winter plans….

So I got let back in after my trip home of course. The intense normality of being at home actually made being back in Toronto slightly odd. At one point I found myself looking up at the tower with that same sort mysterious feeling I’d experienced when I first arrived. I didn’t feel like this for long though, as the next day everything at Edgewalk came back like riding a bike, I did feel just a little bit excited stepping back out onto the ring again though.

Yup, the view is still epic...

Yup, the view is still epic…

Things were starting to really warm down at Edgewalk now, numbers of guests were dropping off, as was the temperature, with one cold snap sending it plunging down to -4 up there. This was a reminder that winter, and the end of the season, was coming and we’d all have to find ways to make ends-meat to see us through the winter, or something more permanent. An easy choice for me would have been to return to Whistler, I’d have got a job easily as returning staff, perhaps with slightly better wages. Unfortunately however the weather in BC is going to be dominated by an El Nino system in the pacific, and is set to stay throughout this winter as well, projections that I’ve seen mean it’s potentially going to be even warmer than last year!

It's that little red blob at the top causing all the problems.... Sourced from theweathernetwork.com

It’s that little red blob at the top causing all the problems…. Sourced from theweathernetwork.com

With the season not exactly shaping up to be epic, I decided to stay in Toronto for this winter. Moving back to Whistler would mean starting again with making new friends (which was a bit pot-luck there last time), swapping a nice room in a great location for a bunk bed in a messy flat, and having to live cheaply in an expensive town. This would all be worth it for amazing snow, but I feel right now like it won’t be. Whistler’s webcams show a very shallow base, and their usual hubbub about opening early doesn’t seem to be happening, which indicates to me that they’re expecting a slow start.

So now I’m looking at my options here. I’ve managed to keep my shifts at Joe Rockhead’s over the summer, so I’ll be trying to get as much in with them as possible, and luckily I’ve been able to get a spot at the tower in the guest services department. This should tie me over for the winter, but I’m still on the lookout for other stuff. Especially GIS, which I’m keen to get back into now, so that I’m in a good position for my eventual return to the UK. I’ve applied for a couple of positions, so hopefully I can pick something up soon.

With the weather being so bad this month, most of my entertainment has happened indoors, I’ve been trying to climb more regularly at Joe’s and I got in a spot of trampolining with some of my Edgewalk buddies! I was lucky to also get a pair of tickets from Justin to the Toronto stage of the Vancouver International Mountain Film festival and spent an evening with my climbing friend Nyssa watching a host of movies featuring gratuitous shots of people paragliding over mountains, canoeing ridiculous rivers in BC, climbing insane routes in Squamish. It was pretty awesome, I came away feeling like I needed to up my game a bit! Next winter I’m thinking heliboarding and Revelstoke! And also training hard this winter so I can climb hard next summer!