Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow in the Kootenays

So here's the thing. If you live in the mountains, expect snow. Lots of it. This year, I decided to hire a shoveller to get my car in and out of the back lane. Unfortunately for me, I have two problems. One is that I am almost the only person who drives down this back lane. Second is that my car is pretty close to the ground and I can only do so much snow clearing with it.

Actually I have more problems than that. When the City clears the snow off the road, they leave a mound at the entrance to the alley. And the lane has an incline and a decline. To top that off, the temperature in the mountains is unpredictable so when it warms up, I may be slipping and sliding down that incline.

It sounds like a lot of fuss. Why not park on the street? I live on an emergency route which means that the City is vigilant about cleaning and once they scrape the road, mounds are left beside my car, which means shovelling every time I leave. It is one very messy proposition.

Last Wednesday, when we had received 20 cms of snow and there was some question about my ability to get down the back lane as I demonstrated with a lot of swerving, I decided to hire a truck. Earlier that day, the shoveller had done his job with the parking spot and the entrance. I went off to yoga, relieved that I wouldn't get stuck later. Though it snowed and snowed, I got back in my cosy spot. I had spent $45.

The next morning when I drove out to go to work, my wheels began spinning and I wasn't going anywhere. I was stuck. I pulled out the Yak Trax and walked to work.

My investment of the day before was so that I wouldn't get stuck. And there I was. The problem really wasn't my workers. The problem was that there was so much snow, there just was no place to put it. When I came home from work, my shoveller had stopped by and moved a good deal of the snow bank where I was stuck. Here was what I came home to see:

And the next morning, I left quite easily.

The amount of snow that accumulated left me with having to dig down into the compost. On Thursday morning, this was my backyard:

And then it began to rain; 24 hours later, this was the view of the backyard:

It's been raining pretty much since then, and the temperature both day and night have been above freezing. Most of those piles of snow are gone. I heard today that it is even raining at the ski hill.

For now, those of us in the valley can all take a rest. No doubt there will be another round.

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