Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 18 Still Going

Simon on the road to Chimo Cabin with his snow skate
 I have still been out everyday, four days since my last post, Cross Country at Strawberry Pass for 3 days and one day at 49 North Ski Resort.  On Sunday with the Red Mountain Freeski Team.  Unfortunately I forgot my phone (camera) and do not have photos of the day there.

It was the first day of the season and I have to give 49 North credit for their opening efforts.  If it is possible to ski 49 will open.  The conditions up high were good, if one stayed on piste I would even say they were mid winter like.  Off piste was pretty much closed and the runs I did venture off-piste on were baseless, in that I sunk through to the ground (which is obviously why they were closed).  Still it was a fantastic day.  I had 13 skiers with me, all super excited to be skiing again.  We all got a great skiing workout through the day.

Early Season Powder

Chimo Cabin

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thug Life

It snowed all day yesterday, looking good.  The conditions at Nancy Greene Lake improved dramatically.  I skied around the lake with good conditions all the way.  It feels like we are on track.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Don Kjorven inducted into CSIA Hall of Fame

My inspirational ski partners
 More Nordic skiing for me, which has been good.  But I am ready to make some turns.  The time factor is my biggest challenge, it is easy to get a good workout (for me) in a short time with the misery sicks.

I skied up Plewman Trail on Monday, as far up as I dared to ski down.  These are the top two photos which would be at about the same elevation as the top of Silverlode Chair.  We need more snow, and it is pretty wet (but good base material).

I have also had a whirlwind trip back and fourth to Banff.  My friend and past Canadian Ski Quest Instructor Don Kjorven was inducted into the CSIA Hall of Fame.  It was an event I did not want to miss.
Bestsy telling me to ski faster

Meaning I drove to Banff yesterday, and back today.  It was well worth the trip.  It was great to see old friends in Banff and to hear KJ's speech, it was a momentous occasion for him.

I took advantage of the geography I was driving through and stopped at Kootenay Pass yesterday and today I skied about halfway up to Boom Lake in Banff National Park.  As you can see from the photos the skiing at higher elevations is on!
Kootenay Pass: Mid winter conditions

Beautiful Winter

The trail to Boom Lake
Me with the Legend Don Kjorven

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Energized Hounds
 My challenge continues and the skiing has improved everyday.  At the very least this challenge has been great for getting me out of the house.  For example, the weather today in Rossland was drab and uninspiring but up at Strawberry Pass the day was transformed into a winter wonderland.

On Friday I skied to Mosquito Cabin via Red Dog, then has a high speed decent down the logging road.  It was the only time the dogs were trying to keep up with me, not vice/versa.
Mosquito Cabin

Finally: proper winter driving conditions
On Saturday I had to go to Grand Forks, so I stopped again at the pass and skied as far and fast as I could for 25 minutes.  It is amazing how far you can go in a short time on skis.  I took about 8 minutes to come down, it was a great diversion from the drive, and a great workout as well.
Marco Santano
 I ran into Red Mountain Ski Team Alumni Jacob Flood and Marco Santano.  I did not stick around for the inevitable build a jump session.  Great to see the guys out there.

Jacob Flood and Marco

Today, the dogs and I skied to Sunspot cabin, it snowed continuously.  Truly a winter wonderland.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

November Cross Country

 Day 6 and 7 of my challenge.  I am back in Rossland now and am happy to report that it has snowed so, my challenge continues.  Yesterday I went for a ski at Strawberry Pass between Rossland and Nancy Greene lake.  The snow was quite good up there, definitely good enough for a cross country outing.  I skied to Red Dog Cabin.  You can see from the photo of the outhouse that much more snow is the winter norm.  I am sure we will be there soon.
Red Dog Cabin

Prepared for huge dumps
November tree skiing
This looks more like winter
Dawn at Nancy Greene Park
Today Dawn and I and dogs went further on (and lower down) to Nancy Green Lake. Skiable-yes it was.

Still skiing

I must admit conditions could be described as "marginal"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nonstop Trainer Training

November 15:  Today was Nonstop Instructor training day.  The Lead Instructors (Ski) from The Fernie Program (Jens Mende) and the Banff program (Anna Steckle) and Red Mountain (myself) had the opportunity to ski together for the day and to get our minds (and bodies) into Nonstop mode.

As you can see from the video, the skiing at Sunshine Village
is amazing right now.  I think I say in the video that it could be Feb 15 not November 15.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Caution Skis

I had the opportunity to ski with Chris Fels today form Caution Skis at Sunshine Village.  I have know Chris for a long time and in the 90's was really impressed with his then Fels ski.  It is great to see Chris back in the ski design business with this new venture and his unique understanding of ski design.

There are a lot of small ski manufacturers around these days, and I think it is great for skiers to have many options.  What I find interesting about Caution Skis is that Chris is doing something different form the other small manufacturers.  There are a couple of design criteria that make Caution unique, particularily the waist of the ski and the camber of the ski.  The waist of the Caution ski is further forward than usual.  As far as I can tell it is right around the binding toe piece while the highest point of the skis camber is under the binding heel piece, further back than usual.  This creates a unique skiing experience!  One of the observations I made is that in long carving turns the front of the ski engaged sooner than I expected and had the effect of pulling me into and through the turn.  The other thing I noticed is that with the camber being back of what I am used to, I felt a strong lifting sensation at the end of the turn.  I really think Chris is on to something with this design.  Interesting.

In other news:  no new snow in the Bow Valley, it was not possible for me to ski yesterday since I was in indoor CSIA training, and not at a ski area.  I will not reach my 29 day target but still am going for as many days as I can.  The skiing at Sunshine Village today was fantastic, or at least it turned out that way in the afternoon.  Fog and heavy snowfall in the morning gave way to clear sky complimented with new snow in the afternoon.  Chris and I took advantage of the conditions, catching last ride on Divide chair, just sneaking in ahead of patrol.  Great day!