By now we’ve already heard the Queen’s Christmas Message and the Pope’s Christmas Message. I guess they are allowed to use the word “Christmas” in their message rather than the more politically correct “Seasonal”. I can’t remember what the messages said other than the Queen said that last year had been “bumpy”, and the Pope said that God still loves you in spite of all the bad things you did last year. Or something like that; I think the Pope is losing it. He’s been a relatively good Pope, which isn’t saying much.
Our President and Ms Manners are both out of town so unable to deliver the VOC Christmas Message, and everybody else is out having fun so I thought I’d give it a try. I found the past year to be quite bumpy, what with the Authorities making it impossible, nay illegal, for us to use our beloved Harrison Hut for its intended purpose. I spent a while wondering if an electric bike is still “self-propelled” but fortunately I did not buy one. The Brew Hut may or may not have access issues; we are still waiting to find out. Phelix Hut is alive and well and heated and it should be interesting to see if there are any unintended consequences, such as crowding or large numbers of people running naked around the hut at midnight on New Years Eve. Sphinx may have issues if the lake doesn’t freeze this year. I hope nobody drowns. And the solar lighting up there doesn’t work but nobody’s been able to get there to find out why.
In the hot springs department, there seems to be a great deal of un-interest this year compared with other years. Or maybe I wasn’t invited. I really miss those long trips, where you drive for five hours and destroy important parts of your Jeep and do hardly any walking or carrying, and get to eat apple pie and drink coffee in the pools.
I went lift skiing this year, which is the first time for me in the last two years. I found to my amazement that I can still ski fairly well, even doing parallel turns some times, as long as I am on a groomed green run and the snow is good. I was fairly surprised to be charged $56 for an afternoon ticket for a senior on Cypress. Maybe that’s why I don’t like lift skiing. I’m trying to persuade myself that going to Phelix along with everybody else would be a good thing. For a while I had an offer from an Attractive Young Lady to house me in her tent but apparently she got a boyfriend and it’s only a two-person tent, so maybe I have to sleep in the hut, or in the outhouse. Speaking of outhouses, they have also had a bumpy year. Harrison Outhouse is under-utilized as mentioned above. Brew Outhouse got over-designed which resulted in consuming much of the summer and a lot of money, and we don’t know what’s going on up there; everything’s frozen pretty solid. For Phelix, see below.
Ok, enough of last year. What should we expect for next year? To lower our carbon footprint I expect there will be a lot of on-campus trail-running trips and movie or slide show nights. Indoor climbing, besides being very social, is not weather-dependent. Crevasse rescue can be practiced adequately in school playgrounds, and Wreck Beach is an excellent place to practice finding buried avalanche beacons. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and some other social media groups not yet invented, will force VOC’s already limited communication out of existence (You still reading this?). The big project for next year is to build a fine new outhouse at Phelix. The structure is still in the design stage, but the Outhouse Committee tells me that it will incorporate all the newest features, including a lot of insulation and a furnace to heat the place, which will burn only clean dry toilet paper and which will have a chimney. There will be not two, but three toilet seats, labelled MEN, WOMEN, and OTHER, to accommodate the crowds which will come to Phelix now that it has heat. The auto-flush feature will do something magical with the poop but I’m not sure what. There may even be a covered walkway from the sleeping loft so you can get there and back without putting on your shoes. The ACC Marriot Hut has one, so we should have one, or maybe two.
OK, so I don’t really know what will happen next year, but anyway, Merry Seasonal Holiday, everybody!