Friday, March 18, 2011

Deeper USA & Canada: Part 2

Day 6 – Vancouver/Banff
I had a midday flight to Calgary. Not wanting to waste the morning I got up for the sunrise and headed out around Richmond to take some photos. Only managed a couple of photos and a very ordinary coffee from Starbucks.

I got a bus to Van airport for the flight to Calgary. The view out the window on the flight was amazing.

My loving sister and her boyfriend picked me up in Calgary and I after a quick stop at Canadian Tire I was on my way to my old haunt of Banff.

I had dinner with my sister and her BF and my olds who had been in Banff for a week prior.

In an attempt to save money, I decided to stay in a dorm at a very crappy hostel. The fella next to me was stinking out the room, not to worry I thought, how could get up eventually and have a shower.

I got all my ski gear ready for Sunshine the next day then watched a few episodes of The Wire on my lappy and went to bed.

Day 7 – Sunshine Village
I woke early and walked to my sisters house and we drove up to Sunshine. I scored a managers pass for $46. We skied all around the resort in the morning. It was great to do a few turns with my sister and the olds. We had a quick lunch then decided it was time to hit the local slack country off Wawa.

The hike out was really nice along the ridge. Everyone was jealous of my touring gear as my sister and her snowboard friends had to boot pack it.

We had some nice deep turns back to the resort. I was loving my new early rise ski setup in the open terrain.

We had a quick look around Banff in the afternoon. The Bow River was frozen creating a short cut to town for us. Mum cooked a nice dinner for us.

The saga continued in the hostel. Old stinky mate still hadn’t left the room, luckily I was so tired I crashed before it could bother me.

Day 8 – Sunshine Village and the Banff Springs Buffet
My sis and her BF had to work so I skied with my parents in the morning. The weather came in pretty bad and the temps dropped to around -20. After lunch I again went for a quick tour in the slackcountry. I was alone this time so took it pretty easy.

Back in Banff we got our ‘nice’ clothes on for the Banff Springs hotel. The buffet we had was incredible; we were suitable stuffed. I managed 5 plates of food traversing the spectrum from seafood chowder, mini mains, Asian dumplings, a stir fry, fruit and chocolate cake.

After such a massive dinner we retired to the cocktail lounge and listened to some very low key tunes.

After dinner I hung around to take some photos of the hotel.

Day 9 – Sunshine Village
Day 9 was a Saturday and I had arranged to have a ski with some old mates who are living in Calgary. The snow was absolutely epic, knee deep dry powder. We were 3rd lift up goats eye. My first four runs down were bottomless powder through the trees. My legs were burning. I didn’t stop to take photos, here are some frame grabs from the gopro.

After Goats Eye we hit some chutes off another lift, Standish. Again I was having to much fun to stop and take photos.

We had a quick lunch then hit the slack country for a few runs. The snow was still beautiful out in the BC. I hit a favourite cliff of mine from back in 2006 and managed to stick the landing.

I got back to the hostel and old mate still hadn’t left the bed. I was starting to get pissed off, hew was stinking the room out bad. I have stayed in some pretty dodgy places in my time but nothing compared to the putrid stench coming from this fellow. I complained to management who couldn’t do a thing. I ended up upgrading to a private room, it felt so good to get out of the hell hole of the basement dorm.

Day 10 – Banff
Day 10 was a Sunday and I decided to have a day off. I had gone pretty hard the last few days and it can get pretty crowded on the weekends. I spent the day checking out Banff and spending money.

I finally bought a shell, made by Westcomb a new startup BC company. Sunday night is wing night in Banff so hot wings and beer it was.

We were heading to Revelstoke early the next day so I went back to my room to get ready and catch some sleep.

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