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Tag: Castle Mountain

Auto-Pulse unit, which automates chest compressions, demonstrated on a manequin torso.

Beaver Mines first responders now equipped with AutoPulse unit

It’s known as AutoPulse — an automated, portable, battery-powered device that can help first responders in lifesaving efforts.

Like a person performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the unit, when connected to the patient, provides chest compressions and, if needed, administers electric shocks, just like a defibrillator might, but saving valuable time in the process.

With a price tag of nearly $17,000, the cost can be out of reach for many fire departments and ambulance operations in small communities, particularly if they cover a large area, and when more than one might be needed.

Thankfully, though, through a recent donation by one local business, Pincher Creek Emergency Services has been able to acquire a second such unit, strategically placing it at its Beaver Mines fire hall operation.

“With the growing number of users in the backcountry and with the population aging, it’s just one more tool we can use to get the people the help they need,” said PCES fire Chief Pat Neumann.

“We’ve done the research and we know it makes a difference and increases the chances of positive patient outcomes, and for us, with the help of our donors, it’s a wise investment.”

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

The first unit, already being used in Pincher Creek, has yielded at least two positive outcomes in its time.

“This is an important piece of equipment for our local responders,” said Wendy Desjarlais, Vision Credit Union’s Pincher Creek branch manager, after seeing a demonstration of the AutoPulse in action.

“Especially, where the population at Castle Mountain can explode over the winter, as they said here, to 2,500. There’s so much risk of injury. The fact that this location [Beaver Mines] can respond so much faster and stabilize people so much faster is crucial. You never know. It could help someone you or I know and love.”

Earlier this year, Vision Credit Union presented a cheque for $10,000 to PCES toward the purchase of the unit, a key piece of equipment Division 3 Coun. Dave Cox is glad to see in the fire hall’s arsenal.

“This [unit] will really enhance the capability of our fire-ambulance rescue service in our community. To have this tool in our remote station will really be a benefit,” said Cox, a former fire chief for the region, but also someone who got his start at the Beaver Mines hall.

“The key is timely intervention and anything that comes out of Pincher Creek is 10, maybe 15 minutes out, depending on how fast they can drive, and that’s really the survival window for someone who’s in cardiac arrest.”

And, response time from Pincher can be doubled or tripled, with poor road conditions, if the call is out at Castle Mountain.

While the hope is the unit is never needed, there’s every indication that it will be, and with that in mind, Chief Neumann, knowing its value, is already focusing on adding at least two more units to the fleet — one for the Lundbreck hall, the other for Pincher Creek.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

 

Create wedding ambiance with flowers

Nicki Schoening, owner of C&D Floral in Pincher Creek, loves a good bouquet challenge.

On your wedding day, the flowers should be there for you, but Nicki notes that flexibility is often crucial when seeking out your dream bouquet.

“When you look at pictures on the internet, the shades of flowers that you’re gonna see, the combination of fresh flowers and silk flowers, the availability of flowers in the area where you’re getting married might all change in real life as opposed to what you see on the internet,” says Nicki.

She explains that one thing to consider in picking your flowers is your dress style, such as pairing elegant dresses with elegant flowers, country style with country style or trailing with trailing.

Popularity and trends can be other interesting aspects of choosing your bouquet.

“There are different things that have come and gone in fashion in the time that I’ve been doing this,” says Nicki. She notes that eucalyptus and trailing flowers have been very popular in recent weddings.

 

 

When it comes to floral decor, it is important to consider the place and the weather conditions if you’re outside.

“You have to take the wind into account, because it’s going to make a difference,” says Nicki.

“It’s almost impossible to do tall vase arrangements outside without it blowing over, so you need to think about maybe a lower, broader style of container if you’re putting arrangements outside. Make sure that you’ve got a place where they can be firmly attached if you’re putting them onto an archway or something like that.”

“Challenge us,” says Nicki. “We’re always looking for a fresh challenge. We’ve done a lot of wedding flowers over the years of all different sizes, colours, styles, price points. We love challenge!”

C&D floral is here for you and your wedding for anything flower-related.

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Choosing your wedding music

I really don’t remember much from my wedding — mostly the things that made me laugh and how tired I was that night — but I knew I just needed to hear certain songs that day. If you’re like that, there are ways to make it happen. If your budget doesn’t allow for live musicians, you can always choose the handful of tunes for the special moments and have someone press play and stop.

Basically, there are three songs needed for the ceremony: the processional (walking in), signing the register (this song can be longer as this takes a good five minutes or so for the signing and photos to be finished) and the recessional (walking out). I like to tell the bride or groom to choose something calming for walking in and a peppier tune for walking out, just to help with those jitters everyone gets at the beginning of the ceremony.

Obviously, a generic theme of love songs is a good start when it comes to choosing the music, but if the couple have some special memories tied to certain tunes, that makes it all the more memorable for them. I really don’t recommend having a different song just for one person in the processional (i.e. the bride or groom) — you’ll only hear about a minute of it and the changeover can be awkward. It’s better to just turn up the volume a little bit in that case, or maybe pick a song with a few verses before the chorus comes in.

 

 

We’re not quite done with the ceremony yet — we can’t forget to entertain the guests! Having a playlist about 30 minutes long is great for taking care of before and after the ceremony, while the guests are milling around and visiting with each other. If you have live musicians playing, you can tell them who some of your favourite artists or styles of music are, and they can choose their songs accordingly.

Next comes the reception. Dinner music should just be in the background, as a lot of guests are enjoying catching up with one another and want to hear each other speak. These days, having music on during dinner might not even be necessary, as dinner is a great time to have the speeches instead.

You may need one or two special songs for the first dances (the couple with each other, then split off with parents) but otherwise a playlist does just fine, and even better — a DJ with a professional sound-and-light system. Then you know requests can be taken, the music choices adjusted according to how many people are dancing, and everything is taken care of by someone with a lot of experience. Nobody has to worry about renting equipment they may not know how to use, ideally the DJ has insurance to cover any revelry related mishaps, and it’s one less headache for the honeymooning couple to deal with later.

 

 

For hiring live musicians, keep in mind whether your venue is outside or inside and have a contingency plan in case of bad weather. Most musicians have played outside and know to bring what they need to deal with wind and bugs. Often they can provide a pop-up tent for an extra fee, but if not, this should be provided to keep the instruments and players safe from the elements as they will be stuck in the same place for a long time, often an hour between setup and takedown.

Placing them is also a consideration. Is there power nearby? Do you want to see them in the background of all the photos of the wedding party? I find that setting up somewhere that allows a sight line of the entire procession as well as the action up front is best, so musicians can watch for when to kick it up a notch, and when to stop the tune nicely. Off to the side or near the back with a good view down the aisle works well. Then actions such as getting the next music ready or retuning don’t distract the guests from the ceremony.

Many helpful websites exist with lists of popular choices for wedding music, and of course talking to each other and to the musicians who will play will help narrow things down as well. If you give live musicians about a month with your final choices, they will have enough time to buy or arrange and learn songs they don’t already know.

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Outdoor wedding considerations

From a picture-perfect view to the relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of reasons to have your wedding outside. However, you’ll need to take particular care when choosing your dress, shoes and hairstyle to ensure you look and feel your best. Here are some things to consider.

The ground

If you’ll be walking on grass or sand during the wedding ce­­­remony, stilettos are out of the question. For comfort and balance, choose shoes with a wide heel, or better yet, an elegant pair of ballerina flats.

The wind

A long veil, flowing skirt and loosely pinned-back hair can quickly get out of hand on a gusty day. Consider a birdcage veil and opt for a secure up­do style with beautiful pins to hold your hair in place.

The temperature

For a summer wedding, sandals and a strapless or sleeveless dress are the way to go. Consider a matching jacket or shawl in case it gets cool in the evening. For a fall ceremony, opt for long sleeves and booties.

 

 

Southwestern Alberta is a beautiful place to have your outdoor wedding, and many local venues are ready to accommodate your special day.

Castle Mountain Resort, Crowsnest Mountain Weddings, Heritage Acres and Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village all offer unique wedding packages that allow couples to celebrate their union while celebrating nature and the local scenery.

At Castle Mountain Resort, wedding goers can venture into the backcountry to exchange vows in the heart of nature.

Crowsnest Mountain Weddings uses SpringBreak Flower Farm as its venue. After the garden centre shuts down for the season, an outdoor area is provided for ceremonies and the greenhouse becomes the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful event while protected from the elements.

Heritage Acres is complete with beautiful grounds and heritage barns and buildings that can be rented for ceremony and reception. 

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village offers a gorgeous outdoor space for larger gatherings and rustic antique buildings for smaller gatherings.

The nice thing about outdoor weddings is the scenery itself is part of the decor.

As you plan your outdoor wedding, keep trusted local business in mind!

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Things to do before saying ‘I do’

Use this month-by-month checklist to make sure you don’t forget a thing.

12 months before

  • Decide on the type of wedding you’d like (civil or religious, big or small)
  • Choose a date
  • Determine the number of guests
  • Establish a budget
  • Pick venues for the ceremony and reception (it’s best to reserve early)

11 months before

  • Make your guest list
  • Choose a caterer (meet with a few first)
  • Select your wedding party
  • Hire a wedding planner

10 months before

  • Start shopping for a wedding dress
  • Decide on a theme for your wedding
  • Choose an officiant if you haven’t already done so

 

9 months before

  • Book a photographer
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests
  • Purchase a wedding gown
  • Shop for the groom’s attire and purchase it

8 months before

  • Meet with your officiant to plan your ceremony
  • Book your entertainment (DJ, band, MC, etc.)
  • Shop for and purchase your bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Design and order the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards

7 months before

  • Create a gift registry
  • Hire a florist
  • Plan your honeymoon

 

6 months before

  • Send out the save-the-date cards
  • Book your hair and makeup appointments for the day of (and trial runs for both)
  • Book a hotel room for the wedding night if necessary

5 months before

  • Create a schedule for the big day
  • Decide on dates for bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Shop for and purchase shoes, jewelry and accessories

4 months before

  • Reserve wedding day transportation for the wedding party
  • Select alcohol and other drinks for the reception
  • Taste and choose your wedding cake
  • Buy wedding bands
  • Shop for and order the groomsmen’s attire

 

3 months before

  • Purchase wedding favours for your guests
  • If you’d like a loved one to say or read something during the ceremony, let them know
  • Write down your vows
  • Decide on activities for the reception (photo booth, dancing, games, etc.)

2 months before

  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Do trial runs for both hair and makeup
  • Give your music selections to the DJ or MC

1 month before

  • Finalize the schedule for the big day
  • Choose a seating plan for the reception
  • Break in your shoes

 

1 week before

  • Visit the desired beauty professionals (hair colourist, esthetician, etc.)
  • Practise reading your vows
  • Write out cheques to pay your vendors

1 day before

  • Get your nails done
  • Give the cheques to someone you trust to pay the vendors

Day of, Enjoy!

Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort

Skiers and boarders get early start at Castle Mountain Resort

The immense snowfall that hit the region in late November allowed Castle Mountain to open earlier than ever before in its modern history.

On Nov. 22, a sneak-peek weekend was announced where the Huckleberry Chair, the Green Chair and the Buckaroo Carpet lifts were opened to the public, with the official opening of the season taking place Dec. 2.

By the time Castle Mountain began regular operations, it had already seen a total of 200 centimetres of snow.

While the Westcastle Valley location is well known for having the highest accumulative annual snowfall in Alberta, the initial snowfall proved exceptional even by the resort’s standards.

“It’s been a great start to the season. The snow has been really fantastic,” says Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager at Castle Mountain Resort.

“Since 2019, we’ve extended our season by two full weeks and it has had a positive impact on our ability to host people and bring a few more people out.”

 

 

When Dec. 18 rolled around, the resort’s 19th operating day, the mountain had seen 300 centimetres of snow, roughly a third of its average annual snowfall, only 15 per cent of the way through the season.

However, snowfall has slowed drastically since hitting the 300-centimetre mark. The mountain has seen only another 79 centimetres of total snowfall and just six in the seven days prior to Monday.

Despite low snow accumulation in recent weeks, the resort is still working with a snow base of 128 centimetres and staff remain optimistic about the season continuing to be a great one. 

“We’ve hit a bit of a dry spell, which is kind of sad, but the alpine is still skiing really nice,” says Kevin Aftanas, marketing co-ordinator at the resort.

“The area is obviously fairly windy, and when there’s wind overnight, even if we haven’t seen much snow in a couple of days, it moves the snow around so it skis like new.”

Five of the six lifts are operational during the week, with the T-Rex lift open only on weekends. 

Additionally, 89 of 95 downhill ski trails are currently open for public use.

 

Ad for Sara Hawthorn, Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass realtor

 

While the resort has snowmaking equipment should the dry spell continue to persist, the hope now is that snow will fall at a greater, more consistent pace moving forward.

“If we could get 50 to 70 centimetres every week, kind of just in dribs and drabs, it keeps things fresh, keeps us skiing and riding really good, and it allows us to kind of keep up with things without breaking our backs doing it,” says Cole.

Base-area chairlift operations run every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until April 9, barring any changes.

 

Ad requesting memorabilia from CNP music festival

 

Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort
A snowboarder shreds the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort. Photo courtesy of CMR