Leaving the comfort? of enclosed buildings inside, Trent and I braved the mountains and set up to the top of the first hill, or the bunny hill, or the one with the two rope hill. It was a short distance from the rear entrance to the chalet and the "other" building, and a fairly steep incline.
At the top; we found what appears to be the rusty remains of the tow rope machinery, a ticket/operator/something booth, and about ten feet in front of that in the middle of the slope was a sign that read "unload here". About a thousand "unload" jokes and various word puns later......
...Please move quickly as the person behind you will KNOCK YOU DOWN
There wasn't much left to see here, just some old purple poles and a 2x2 shack on top of a small hill. There was nothing in the shack, and the window was smashed in. The machinery had been picked clean of anything I could assume was worthwhile and then picked clean again by vandals. Every single one of those little bushes you see growing everywhere is FULL of little razor sharp needle- like barbs. It was a lot of fun!
We moved on to the second hill, which was just a continuation of the first hill. It was steeper and really not easy to walk up in the snow, especially when you're wearing steel toed boots. I recommend snowshoes if anyone cares to take this trip in the winter.
At the top of hill #2, or the middle hill, or the "ski jump" hill, there's a large rusting metal ramp pointed upwards supported by a giant slab of concrete stuck into the side of the mountain. I realized this wasn't a jump at all when we got there and the ramp pointed directly out over a cliff. Literally a million foot drop to your untimely death if you were to jump off this thing. Turning around suddenly makes you realize it's actually the T-bar lift....that or the giant steel cable dangling T-bars on a giant wheel/pulley thing.
Here's the view from underneath the metal ramp, where there is surprisingly no guard rail (the rotting fence around the edge?) and you could pretty much see to edmonton.
This is what I don't understand. Why was there a giant ramp on the end of the T-bar lift? Did you ride down the ramp? Was it there in case someone got stuck on the T-bar, just to freak them out? I have to say I got about halfway up this thing and it was terrifying, though I guess the entire foundation of it rotting out from under me was probably a factor.
When I was standing on the ramp I took a picture of where it led downward:
If you look closely you can see the steel purple supports for the T-bar cable. Oh, wait, this camera had zoom:
I stood on the edge of that horrible concrete slab and took a picture, and then we went off to the entire reason I came to this place:
We actually stopped at the lower structure, which was another T-bar lift. It too kind of jutted out from the cliff face supported by giant concrete pillars. There was a wierd hole in the middle of the concrete slab, about big enough for....well, I don't know. Trent and I discussed what this hole could possibly have been for.
There's a picture of the hole in all of its glory, and if you look close you can see a knife in the sand below. I actually clammered down the cliff to get it, and yeah, I kept it.
We were close enough to take a picture of the giant wooden sign on top of the chairlift hill. You can just make out LAKE and "enjoy coke".
I managed to swear and climb my way up this hill, it was muddy and slippery as all hell, but I made it....only to realize that there was a fairly nice path on the other side to climb up.
Here's what's behind that giant wooden sign:
I was kind of surprised that this was all there was at the end of the chair lift. I thought there would be massive support columns and concrete like the T-bar lifts, but no, this was just some steel structures. And the chairs were never less than 12 feet off the ground.....How did people get off? I can't imagine the snow being that deep, perhaps there was an offloading place somewhere?
The chair on the left side was melted, I'm unsure how that was accomplished, as you can see it's pretty high up with nothing surrounding it, so either it was a flaming lucky shot or someone tossed something on fire up there on purpose. This is facing down the hill, towards the bottom of the chairlift.
I wanted to climb the ladder and get a neato picture, but a few rungs into the first ladder and I noticed that the top ladder was held up by a bungee cord. Not wanting to be the guy that fell off a chairlift tower and died in the middle of nowhere, I decided against it.
That last picture is at the ledge of two hills, where the T-bar and the chairlift hill kind of come together and plateau for a few feet.
At the bottom of the hill was a really craptacular wooden structure, the place where you'd board the chairlift I'm assuming, and it was literally just some plywood tacked onto some 2x4's. I would like to think that this wasn't always like this, that perhaps the owners just did that in a failed attempt to keep the structure together. As you can see, time has not been kind to this particular building....
You can still see the chairs inside, still attached to the steel cable. Creepy, isn't it?
Across from this, towards the lake, there was a couple sheds - One turned out to be a portapotty, the other was filled with wooden doors. There were a few odds and ends laying around, mainly ice fishing items and some more piles of wood.
Further down the road at the bottom, we came to the machinery at the bottom of the second T-bar lift we passed at the top, this one still had the cables attached and you could see several T-bars still on the lift. Most of the rectractable cables and T's were still attached, but many had been broken or cut off. It was only rope, and I figure it probably took a good two years of rot to destroy them.
Further down the road, the lake had semi-reclaimed the machinery house at the bottom of the first T-bar lift we passed at the top. There was no cables on this lift, actually no cable in sight, which makes me wonder if previous owners had it taken down or if someone somewhere had just made off with it (though it's probably a ten thousand pound steel cable).
You can still kind of see the path that the lift took up the hill, which the purple supprts every hundred feet or so. This is the lift that run up to that giant metal platform and I still don't understand what the purpose of it was.
We kept along the road on our way back, it ran the length of the lake and then back up to the cabins where we had originally come in to the resort. There were some more buildings along the way, and that will be part four.
Part Four - Leaving Eden Lake