Muddy sword hangs over Whistler | VailDaily.com

Muddy sword hangs over Whistler

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

For decades the community has known about an unstable mass of land about the size of seven football fields and about 100 feet thick that is located 2.5 kilometers above the town on Whistler Mountain.

During the last two years the rocks and soil have sagged about seven feet. While dikes afford the town some protection, concern remains that a torrent could roar down into day-skier parking lots between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. One woman from Washington state was so concerned that she has pulled her two daughter from the ski-racing teams.

The municipal and provincial governments, reports Whistler’s Pique newsmagazine, are tossing the hot potato of responsibility for addressing the danger back and forth.

Houses bigger even as their names shrink

WINTER PARK – Houses keep getting bigger, even as their names shrink.

A good example is in Winter Park, where a home built on speculation – there is no buyer – has a price tag of nearly $1.4 million. For this $1.4 million the developer offers 3,700 square feet, including three master bedroom suites and plenty of perks.

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The house, for example, has a turret, and it’s not any old turret – the walls are 20 inches thick. In other words, this would be a fine place to ride out a hurricane.

So what do you call a fortress like that?

The Winter Park Manifest reports that the real estate and building team developing this fortress are calling it a “craftsman cottage.”

Benzene levels not elevating in Banff

BANFF, Alberta – Measurements of the air in Banff last summer showed that benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, is within limits for human health as determined by the federal government. Still, a health inspector for the provincial government is urging the town to reduce benzene, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Traffic exhaust is believed to be a major source of the chemical. One way to reduce that exhaust is to limit how much cars and trucks can idle. Already, the town has a law that limits idling by commercial vehicles in the municipal core, but the law is enforced only when somebody complains. The health inspector recommends a law against idling non-commercial vehicles.

Telluride earlier this year enacted a ban intended to reduce emissions from idling diesel delivery trucks.