Hello again everyone. Courtesy of a very nice locum physician I have the next 2 1/2 weeks off. Thank you Diana.
What better way to celebrate then to get back into skiing. I skied quite a bit when I was younger but lost interest over 30 years ago when I started University. I transitioned to cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, running and eventually adventure traveling.
Last year I took an introduction to backcountry skiing through the University of Calgary and also completed my Avalanche Skills Training I and II. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and rediscovered the joy of skiing through unmanaged snow in the glorious backcountry. I was smitten!
This year I decided to purchase my own equipment and start to get some practical experience. I must admit, I was somewhat overwhelmed with all of the different equipment choices. I finally settled on a system but boy was it a lot of work to purchase, fit and pick everything up. I finally got everything settled two days before I left West!
I organized two days with a mountain guide but wanted to get some downhill experience before I joined him. Luckily, the backcountry gear that I purchased can be used for resort skiing. I have always loved Lake Louise. It just happened that when I was having my boots punched (don’t ask- I really have a melodramatic right foot) at Lou’s Performance Ski Centre, he mentioned a great deal for a private lesson with a level 3/4 instructor at Lake Louise. I thought, this must be fate! I purchased the lesson and called Lake Louise and they happened to have a spot available on January 12 at 830 in the morning.
Saturday and Sunday prior to leaving was crazy! I couldn’t believe how much I had to organize in order to get out for this week. This does seem to get harder as one becomes older. Maybe it is indecision. I’d like to think that is the case and not cognitive decline. I was exhausted when I went to sleep at 930 PM on Sunday night, of course, because I was exhausted I was up at 3 AM on Monday morning. Why, oh why!
I met my instructor Ai (Japanese, not artificial intelligence) and we went out for 90 minutes to check and critique my technique. It was very helpful. I always suspected that I leaned forward too much with my turns. She picked up on this right away and we worked on improving my technique. I then had a glorious day to explore the hill. It brought back great memories. I even remembered most of my favourite runs. There were spectacular views from the top of the Summit T-bar of an enormous cloud bank in the valley below and brilliant blue sky above. I remembered why I love Lake Louise so much.
All of the equipment worked perfectly. Even my right foot did not complain! I was thrilled with my purchases.
I drove to Golden BC afterwards and settled into a hotel after some shopping, a nice dinner and an even nicer hot tub! I got in touch with my mountain guide Mark Klassen- alpinism.com- and we will be heading out to Rogers Pass to try some real Alpine touring and skiing. I hope I am up for it. Certainly the mind is but as I age the body keeps questioning my choices. Hopefully, I will have a much better sleep tonight. We head out early tomorrow morning and our destination is Balu Pass. I think Mark wants to check out my abilities before he offers me more challenging terrain. Smart man.
Stay tuned to see how things turn out.