It is 5:00pm and we are in Golden, awaiting eight others before we helicopter into Mistaya Lodge in the morning.
In December, Murray and I started talking about me going backcountry skiing with him this year. I decided, in order to give this sport a fair shake, I needed my own gear, so over the next month I ordered and purchased all the gear I would need. Skis, bindings, skins, boots, poles – with a view to procure the lightest possible gear for my skiing ability. After all, we will be hiking up mountains with this gear on and then skiing down the same mountain. I purchased a transceiver, probe and shovel. And then I was extravagant and spent moola on pants, jacket and base layer. I am set.
About four weeks ago, Murray said to me that Mistaya Lodge would be the perfect place for me. The group he was already slated to go with had novice skiers in it and the terrain is very beginner friendly. He checked with J, the organizer, and there was a spot available for me.
Once my skis, bindings and skins were set up I did a practice ski at Rabbit Hill with the Edmonton Ski Touring Crew. Walk up the edge of a ski run, onto a path in the woods, up the hill more, across a field to the back of the chairlifts. Take skins off skis and ski down. Two circuits was enough for me that evening. Boots feel good so far.
Two skis with Murray at Snow Valley with my new backcountry skis to tune up my turns.
And here we are.