It has been an incredible journey into the backcountry for both the guests and owners of Chatter Creek Mountain Lodge. The company, which is mostly locally owned and operated, with the inclusion of a few clients that have become investors over the years, works hard to support the local economy by hiring and shopping in Golden.
Isabelle Thibeault handles marketing for Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges.
“There are two lodges which are side by side. There is the Vertebrae and Solitude Lodge which are north of Golden, near the Bush Arm River. We cut, peeled and built the lodges ourselves from the wood surrounding the area. It was definitely a labour of love from the beginning,” Thibeault explained.
Thibeault said the weather in the area is perfect for creating great snow for people.
“It is amazing because we have a colder climate than a lot of the other areas, so we get cold, dry snow. This year we have had many days where you would ski, and you would get multiple face shots because that was how dry it was,” she said.
People can come to the lodges to go snowcat skiing, heliskiing, and for three weeks a year snowmobiles take over the area.
“The snowcat offers a peaceful day of skiing where they can get to the bottom and rest for 15 minutes. Then they go to the top again. Some clients think they may have to wait for the snowcat, but the system works so well. By the time the guests get to the bottom the snowcat is arriving at the same time. You will most likely ski 15,000 to 20,000 vertical feet in a day.”
As for the heliskiing, people get the chance to go places that most skiers could only dream of.
“We bring in the helicopter to ski in areas which will not have many, if any, tracks on it. We are still discovering our terrain so it is quite excitings,” she said. “It is such a special time and moment. It is special to be somewhere no one else has been.”
Chatter Creek has a lease for 238 square km of terrain, with about 75 per cent of it being skiable.
Larger groups can stay at the lodge which holds 36 people during the ski season.
“It is you, in nature with the powder. It is a special and unique experience,” Thibeault said.
In April people have the chance to bring their snowmobiles in the area.
“Once the skiers go, we open for snowmobilers. In the last four years we have gotten very busy. We offer guides, but we are mainly accommodation and food. We have space for 36 to 48 snowmobilers. In the past we have been near capacity from places like Manitoba. It is a different experience but it is just as fun,” she said.
Chatter Creek also offers their guests a wide variety of meals.There is also a professional baker who bakes breads, muffins and cookies for the guests.
“The experience of skiing is fun, and when you are finished we have a big lounge, pool table, and a nice bar where you can have everything from fine wine to a regular beer,” she said.
Thibeault added that, “There is fine dining with extremely good food. We have fresh baked bread with other fresh made food on site. The people love the staff and the food. It is a big place, but people feel like they are a part of the family.”