Off to the Mountains!

Two days of skiing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. For me, day one is cross country skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre and day two is alpine skiing at Sunshine – a chance to test my skiing ability on some more serious terrain. GULP!

Day One

This morning Murray heads out early to meet up with his backcountry buds to venture into the wild. R&D and I decide to cross country ski at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

D takes us up above Banff Trail onto the Olympic Loop. We start out climbing and climbing……and climbing…..and climbing some more. We ski up Beckie’s Hill, named for Beckie Scott after she won a gold medal in the 2005 world cup. We finally stop climbing and are able to take a breather when the tracks level out. We connect to Meadowview and after a couple of speedy hills we take a break above the “meadow” (or mine scar) to admire the crystal blue skies and massive mountains.

Canmore Nordic Centre View

Our view above the meadow

It is a perfect day to be outside enjoying winter.

Canmore Nordic CentreWe descend on the far side of the meadow. R heads down to the Banff Trail for the trip back to the lodge. D and I continue on Meadowview to the end of the trail where it connects to Bow and Banff Trails. It is a great ski, mostly down.

We take a short rest before skiing Banff Trail back to the lodge. I realize very quickly that it is an uphill slog back towards the meadow. I set my pace and once past the meadow the down hill starts that takes me almost to the lodge. D and I check our skis at the end and realize that our kick wax has been totally worn off. A great ski on a beautiful winter day!

Canmore Nordic Centre

Coming in after my ski

Day Two

9:30 finds Murray and me standing at the top of the Wawa Quad Chair at Sunshine Village. This is it! My first day of skiing in the mountains. Here we go!

We ski Meadow Park (a green run) a couple of times and then Tincan Alley (a blue run) a couple of times. I have to work hard on the intermediate runs and think about what I am doing.

After a quick break we ride up the Mount Standish Express and ski a blue run on that side of the mountain. Murray sees a run to do and we do that one too. It is narrow and has a steep drop-off on one side. I am learning about side sloped hills and how to ski them. Loooong turn short turn loooong turn short turn. Later I learn it is actually a black diamond run.

View from Angel Chair

View from the top of Angel Chair

On the more shallow sections of the runs, I practice my technique and tying all the pieces together. Murray says it is looking really good. I find when we are on the steep pitches, I don’t pole as I am concentrating on just getting down.

View from Angel ChairMurray wants to take me down a run called South Divide which starts at the very top of the mountain. The view is breathtaking up here. As we ski down, my body is telling me it is fatigued. My technique is falling apart, I start turning my body instead of just my legs, but I ski it and I’m proud.

skiingBy the time we get back to the lodge area, we both decide to call it a day. We ski Banff Avenue, the ski out all the way down to the parking lot. My only spill for the day and it is on the ski out! My body is not listening to my brain anymore and one leg decides to do something on it’s own and WHAM! on the ground!

As we drive home my body is thrumming in tiredness and I am pleased with my two days of skiing in the mountains.

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