Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Roaming AB & BC - xc & AT & DH

Shaganappi Trails - Calgary
View of Calgary skyline from Shaganappi Trails - photo Linda Green
Beautiful cold night ski on rarely groomed classic tracks at Shaganappi Golf course on Thursday night. Most fun area was golf greens #10-12.

Next morning, I was off for an AT adventure with skimo buddy Michelle Katchur Roberts at Norquay. A treat to follow the lead of a confident skier!

Norquay Mtn - Banff, AB
After a steep skin up the lumpy powder on the south slopes, I followed Michelle down an un-groomed black diamond run - fun!
View of Banff townsite from the top of our skin up
Made my way to Golden in the afternoon with only a 1/2 hour road block stop due to an accident in Rogers Pass. Pretty sketchy drive to Revie at night with difficulty seeing through dirty headlights. Stopped many times to clean them.

MacPherson Nordic Trails - Revelstoke, BC
Groomed trails I unfortunately did not get to see this trip - photo MacPherson website

Short visit in Revie with an x-c ski at MacPherson trails on ungroomed trails as the machines had problems in the wet conditions. Warm conditions difficult even for the Zero skis which I borrowed from Janet. Snow would stick to the grip zone. Ended up slogging thru deep snow with skate skis.

Drive towards Rossland was awesome after catching the Nakusp ferry towards New Denver. Beautiful scenery, not a soul on the roads. 

Paulson Nordic Trails - Castlegar, BC
Looked just like this… - photo

Squeaked 30 km out of all the blue trails!

Best groomed classic skiing at the Paulson Nordic trails near Castlegar. Mostly easy-going terrain with many fun single track trails. Good grip with soft waxes VR65 and VR70! The dotted black trails are ungroomed and look to be the most fun and challenging.

Next stop… Kamren and Karina Farr's home in Rossland. They just arrived 1 day prior, the movers were to arrive days later!

Red Mountain - Rossland, BC
Skied with Karina above the Sea of Clouds at Red Mountain
Met up with Coldsmoke Powderfest organizer Karen Reader for ultra amazing tips on downhill skiing. Hopefully, I'll retain some of these!

Enjoyed Red Mtn even though the snow was still filling in. 
Look forward to coming back!

Blackjack Nordic Trails - Rossland, BC

Black trails - best! Blue - ok
Checked out the Blackjack Nordic trails with their groomers constantly buffing the trails. Definitely a nice place for Kamren & Karina to have in their back yard.

An enjoyable drive on the Crowsnest Highway 3 West through Manning Park. So glad I arrived to Vancouver Thursday evening. The radio kept announcing they were prepared with 26 snowplows to clear the roads which was funny for me to hear about this typically super rainy & green winter city.

Jacquie's kids, Dominic and Etienne making a wicked snowman
The first snow I've experienced IN Vancouver. Messy, wet and happy to let the car sit for a few days.

Skating - Robson Square, Vancouver, BC
Skating with Jacquie in Robson Square
Our gang on skates at Robson Square

After driving the Coquihalla packed with holiday travellers without winter tires and semi-trailers declining to put chains on until they were stalled in the middle of the highway… I pulled to the side of the road, ate Jacquie's yummy leftovers from her Christmas party, read, and kept warm in my sleeping bag. A couple hours later, the carnage diminished and I made my way.

By the time I was driving over the Connector highway from Merritt to the Okanagan, it was clear my car was the only one with winter tires as I passed by a few overly slow moving vehicles and more semis stuck in the middle of the highway. The horizontal snowfall was mesmerizing so I followed the red taillights of a truck. Reaching the summit, the snow subsided for the descent and I was finally solo on the snowy roads.

Crystal Mountain - Westbank, BC
Foggy day on the bunny slopes where the
black diamond runs were negligible

Telemark Nordic - Westbank, BC
Crystal Rim Trail, one of my favourite ski trails… lots of climbing
fast, flowy descent with vicious speed on the skinny skis!

4th Annual MitoCanada ski for me

Lured Jeff Krar to join me to ski the two outer loops at Telemark twice for 60 km total… Fern Creek - Crystal Rim, and Telemark- Panorama. Snow gods threw fresh falling snow at us right at the start making for slow sluggish conditions in the mild temperature.

Jeff set a fast race-like pace for our first loop plowing thru fresh snow… 2:30 hr, 30 km, 2750' elevation gain. Switching skis after loop 1, Jeff switched to skate skis as I kept to the classic slogging.

The 2nd loop was way tougher with close to no glide at all, and the odd unassuming ski sticking to the snow while in motion. Jeff did extra mileage to join me at my slogging pace. It was nice to be complete! 2nd loop was 2:50 hr. The extra 20 min felt like forever!!