Skibumming in Banff

Posted by jswt | Posted in General | Posted on 23-01-2011

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From Paris, I flew home for a couple days, did laundry, packed up my ski gear, and ran back out the door towards Banff – the quiet little paradise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, on the border of BC and Alberta.

We met up with a couple friends from the east coast who’d booked a sweet pad with some stunning hot tubs.

I did a few days of riding on the local hills, before going and picking Chris up from a flight in from Paris on the Tuesday night.

Santa had been nice enough to book me in for some heli-skiing (which I’d never done before). It was the highest avalanche danger in 30 years, so they kept things tame and towards the tree line, but it was still a sequential series of the best run I’d ever done, after the best run I’d ever done… Crystal clear, waist deep powder, and I never once crossed another track. Santa rules.



Thursday, we drove over to Panorama for an afternoon of snomobiling. I was a little wary, because I’d done a snowmobile trip before in Yellowstone, where they’d limited the machines to 15mph, and you had to stay on the trails, and it was kinda boring (still cool to see Old Faithful, especially when it was -57f and it would freeze in mid-air and the ice crystals would tinkle and shatter as they hit the ground). My worries were unfounded, when the guy took us up 8000 feet over 14 switchbacks to a huge powder bowl up above the treeline. We did an outside loop following the guide, and then once back where we entered he said “You signed a waiver. You break it, you buy it. Stay within the outline we made. Go have fun.” And oh maaaaaan was it fun. Much zooming and vrooming and wooting and woohahing. East coast driving skills did prove insufficient for dodging stationary objects (no, it doesn’t move if you yell louder at it) but aside from one tree hangup, we all made it out unscathed and smiling. A soak in the Radium hot springs on the way home made for a rather perfect day.



Chilled out for a day in the hot tub before one last dinner out, some goodbyes to the east coasters, and a flight back home to Vancouver…

Winter done right.

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