Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 19, 2019
Our meeting this week was very bearable, thanks to an entertaining presentation by Sandy Wightman, who talked about expansion plans at the Big White Ski Resort and some of his adventures in the ‘back country’.
It was difficult at first to get our bearings on the layout of the ski resort, however, with the aid of aerial maps and photos, Sandy guided us through plans to open up a new mountain face to the east for two new ski lifts (planned opening in 2021) and also showed us some stunning photos of the natural areas which lie just beyond the ski area.
The Big White Ski area is home to a many species of game – bears, wolverines, wolves, fox and coyotes, and of course, the dreaded Urus Big Whiteus (shown above), which has Sandy’s granddaughter in its grip.  All joking aside, although this particular bear is fuzzy and beary adorable, the real thing can be very terrifying!
Sandy told us about two personal encounters with grizzly bears (aka, Ursus Arctos).  In the first instance, he and a friend were ‘treed’ for several hours by a grizzly near Prince Rupert after stumbling onto its freshly killed moose dinner – a very embearassing situation!  The second encounter occurred while he was doing a survey along the Coppermine River near the Arctic Ocean.  A grizzly went bear-zerk after smelling pleasant smells in a helicopter and was angered after an insect repellant cannister exploded in its mouth.
Sandy was also able to tell us how to distinguish between different types of bear scat! In general, scat from the brown/grizzly bear tends to be larger (2-inches or more in diameter) than black bear scat, include remnants from animal kills, and as one of our members quipped, also pieces of human feet and shoes 😊.
Other News:
Club Member, Kayla Caruana (Certified Financial Planner) is offering a free seminar on ‘Tax Tips for Retirees’, at 1:30 p.m., on Monday May 5, at the Landmark 4 Conference Centre, on Dickson Avenue.  To register, please go to:
 Save the Date:   Five volunteers are needed on May 25 and 25, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., to help serve breakfast to 500 volunteer firefighters, who will be attending a training course at George Elliot High School.  The Club will receive an honorarium for this service.  A sign-up sheet will be circulated at our next breakfast meeting.
Next Speaker:  Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, will be our guest speaker at our May 2 breakfast meeting.  If you have questions regarding any Provincial matter, you won't want to miss this meeting!