Our good friends J&R join us in the mountains for a weekend of cross country skiing, fresh air and snow covered mountain views.
After a late start on Saturday, caused by a fire alarm in J&R’s hotel, we head out to the Lake Louise area. We will ski either Pipestone or a new route between the Moraine Lake Road and the chateau.
We opt for the Moraine Lake Road route which takes us parallel to the vehicle road on the Tramline Trail, then onto Fairview back towards the Moraine Lake Road. Once we are skiing on Fairview, the sights are gorgeous with snow decorated trees – whiteness all around.
We do not meet any other skiers. The stillness and silence is amazing. The trail is in great condition and the ski is enjoyable. We wind our way along and soon find ourselves on the Moraine Lake Road. We decide to keep skiing and ski up and up along the road. When we turn around it is a fast glide down in the tracks. Everyone enjoys our first ski of the weekend!
We wake up to snow on Sunday and all agree to ski Mt Shark up the Spray Lakes Road. We pile into our vehicle and head out and up into the wilds. We are surprised at the number of vehicles in the parking lot when we arrive at Mt Shark. We are not the only ones with the idea to ski up here.
We have skied this area before and we all know that the first few kms are gruesome. Lots of steep downs and ups. It has been snowing up here too and the tracks are covered in six inches of snow. Snowplowing through the fluff making S turns (I follow J’s tracks!) down the hills is actually FUN! The deep snow makes herringboning up the hills more difficult and I notice my cough/cold has sapped some strength and endurance from me.
We get to the end of the first section and the fellows say “That’s the way” and we head off to realize quite quickly that we are doing the same loop again. I struggle on, getting further and further behind and breathing harder and harder, and those of you who know me know that this would not make me happy. Anyway, we get through the loop again and decide to follow the signs for a 5 km loop (and I am praying that it isn’t as hard) and we head out after I catch my breath.
It is snowing now and the trees are iced in snow. We truly live in a wonderland and the marvelous thing is that it is in our own backyard. How many people are so fortunate?
The trail winds it way around and soon we are back in the parking lot. Except for some grouching by me, el sicko, another great ski. Time for sandwiches, treats and tea in the car.
It was a good ski weekend, with fresh snow, good conversation, exceptional friends and wonderful snow covered sights.