It snowed in the mountains this weekend.
I won’t say we couldn’t have picked a better weekend to go skiing near Banff this past weekend because (a) we didn’t pick the weekend and (b) the heaps of unruly weather made for terrible driving conditions, but it was a pretty nice day on the slopes of Sunshine Village ski resort especially if you like snow.
I, of course, skied with the GoPro… snapped to the side of my helmet for most of the morning until it popped off at lunch from cold… moisture… the three-year-old glue on the mounting… who knows.
There was a bit of wind. The powder was unlike anything I’ve ever seen –tho, that isn’t saying much as I’ve only skied about a dozen times in my life …but everyone was talking about it, so I’ll just go ahead and quote that: “The powder was epic!” -numerous dudes in much more expensive ski gear than me.
Claire experienced her first skiing trip to the mountains and after a two hour lesson was able to maneuver her way down a variety of green runs.
She did fall into a tree well once and had to be pulled out from a four foot hole under an evergreen, a story that she told numerous times that night and will be telling for weeks to come, but she survived and completed the run on her own two feet.
This meant that we got some pretty decent parking (rah-rahs the old guy in me) and were on the slopes shortly after nine am… in stark contrast to some of the other families who were part of the eight family group trip we were quasi-crashing. By 9 am the road was apparently backed up for about ten klicks and by later that morning most people were parking along the lead-in road as far back as just off the highway and then taking a shuttle the seven klicks up to the gondola base.
Lots of snow plus a Saturday equals crazy busy.
While Claire was in lessons Karin and I got some more challenging runs in with the A + C + N family, and then after polishing off a full pizza between a few of us at lunch we had a gentler afternoon on the green slopes with just the three of us.
The weather changed every fifteen minutes… literally. One run it would be bitterly cold and windy atop the lift. The very next ascent the sun was out and you could have skied in a t-shirt.
We were on the mountain for about as full of a day as we could have asked for, and squeezed in one last run up the Strawberry lift before they shut it down for the day, Claire finally kinda sorta almost getting the hang of swooshing her way down the mountainside.
And then it was done.
Karin took the ski out, and Claire piloted her “I fell under a tree!” story to a few strangers on the gondola ride back down. It was a slow, snowy, white-knuckled drive back to the hotel in Canmore, and we slept very that night… sore, tired and stuffed with junk food.