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Good Times With Maple Syrup on Top

CANADA | Thursday, 18 March 2010 | Views [689]

Note: For those of you following my blogs, just bear in mind that anything pre-November are backlogs of my travels abroad and thus will be short summaries of my whereabouts and whatsabouts.

We spent 4 short months in a little ski resort called Panorama Mountain Village approximately 3.5 hours West of Calgary, in British Columbia, Canada. We were lucky enough to arrive to a decent amount of snow and of course our own little home a mere 7-8mins walking distance to the village. All thanks to our buddy Mark, Tom and I were all set to go with jobs - me, working as a barrister in a coffee shop, and Tom, who managed to weasle his way out of Housekeeping and into a snowboard shop called 'Showcase' with Mark as his manager, haha stoked!

Highlights of Canada included:

  • Snowmobiling throughout the Kootenay Rockies 
  • Experiencing my first ever powder run
  • Getting lost with Tom in Taynton Bowl
  • Shredding fresh lines on many a day
  • Catching swine flu in the last week of our stay
  • Watching the Olympic Torch come to our local town (Invermere)
  • The incredible wildlife including the Cougars which dragged our rubbish bags halway down the road scattering it everywhere
  • Working with a great bunch of people and making some awesome friends
  • Learning how to make latte art
  • Learning how to make glass beads
  • Shopping in Calgary
  • The amount of free stuff I procured (both food-wise and other miscellaneous items)
  • Staff trips to Sunshine and Kicking Horse
  • Many a good night at the Jackpine pub

...and of course all the nights in between with friends, snow, outdoor jacuzzi's and Kootenay Mountain Ale! Ahh.

Needless to say Canada was.. well, cold! And not just your average "brr it's chilly out here" I'm talking "F*** it's COLD"! There is really no other way one can truly express how damn FREEZING that place was. We experienced 3 'cold-snaps' from about the time we got there (mid Nov) until around mid Jan which reached -32 and that doesn't even account for wind chill; so minus another 5 degrees Celsius just for good measure. You can't even walk down the street without protecting your mouth/nose/eyes/ears unless of course ice burn is the desired outcome. In the 7-8 minutes it would take me to normally walk to or from work I would loose all sensation in my legs because as it turns out, jeans and thermals aren't quite adequate enough to protect oneself from these sorts of temperatures. If we wanted to meet up with mates at the bar we had to wear snowboard gear over our 'going-out' gear just for the sake of not freezing to death on the way there. Good thing I will never have to experience these temps in Tahoe, California next season!  

The best thing about Canada was of course riding and how much I improved whilst being there.. although what would you expect from living and breathing snow for 4 months, right? Coming back to New Zealand since then and hearing people who brag about their season passes or going to the mountain makes me laugh. Its a joke. Go on, call me a snow snob :P A mountain's not a mountain without trees, my god. What on earth is there to do over here without trees!? And powder!! Neither of which exist in this country..

So that's that - I've officially thrown in the towel with New Zealand riding. I've figured I'll wait out New Zealand's winter season and kick it in Tahoe for the next Northern Hemisphere winter. Done.


Tags: banff, calgary, kicking horse, panorama mountain village, snow mobiling, sunshine, swine flu, taynton bowl

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