Boars like fairways, sows prefer slopes |

Boars like fairways, sows prefer slopes

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

WHISTLER, B.C. – A bear expert from Whistler reports that animals and people are surprisingly compatible there.

The population reaches up to 120 bears in some years, owing to the resort’s three golf courses and its ski area, Whistler-Blackcomb, bear researcher Michael Allen says.

During two months of spring, the bears get a nutritional boost with the easy pickings of easily digested grass, clover, dandelions and horsetail. In the surrounding mountains, logging of trees, wildfires, and the cutting of ski trails have together resulted in a high density of berries.

Writing in Pique, Allen says bears find a lot to like in Whistler: plenty of clover, dandelions and berries and few physical threats, except when they get brazen and try to walk into kitchens.

He also says that golf courses support mostly male bears, which are called boars, while females gravitated toward the ski area. Why this is, he does not say.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado ” Several weeks ago Vail Resorts announced a new ski pass, the Epic Season Pass. At a cost of $579, it is good for all five of the company’s ski areas, including its flagship mountain plus Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge, all in Colorado, and Heavenly in California.

The pricing strategy potentially challenges Aspen Skiing Co., but also Intrawest, which operates Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and Steamboat.

In response, Intrawest has dropped the cost of the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus, from $470 this season to $439 next season. It provides unlimited skiing at Winter Park and Copper, plus six days at Steamboat. An unrestricted pass at Steamboat, meanwhile, will cost $979.

WHISTLER, B.C. ” The Winter Olympics are fast approaching in Vancouver and Whistler, and it’s still not clear just how organizers of the 2010 event intend to live up to their vow to make it the greenest Olympics ever.

Some things are being done. There are hybrids vehicles in the Olympic fleet, providing improved fuel efficiency. The wood being used to create the Athletes’ Village will come from certified sustainable forests.

But the greatest environmental concern remains emissions of greenhouse gases, and Pique newsmagazine says organizers have not said how they intend to offset those emissions. That has environmental activists concerned.

“We are getting close to 2010 ” it’s less than two years away ” and it does take a certain amount of time to develop offset projects,” said Deborah Carlson, climate change campaigner for the David Suzuki Foundation.

Support Local Journalism