Friday, January 28, 2011

Victoria

An overnight turn around from Rossland had me heading to Victoria with 2 bikes excited for some trail time.  I was also getting to visit great friends and my brother so it was going to be a good 10 days.

West coast based national mtb riders were descending on Victoria for some good riding.  The tables were turned as I camped out at Matt and Catherine’s place in Vic.  They were pretty awesome hosts and combining in jean ann and Sandra’s culinary skills we were also feasting tremendously.

Since I left Victoria so many phenomenal trails have sprouted up.  The trails were wet, challenging and fun.  The forest felt thriving with life; moist, mossy, green, it was invigorating.  

After the weeklong camp I stayed around to get in some rides with my brother and take advantage of his knowledge patience to work on my manual, drops and jumping!

Pretty tired out I headed home and took a recovery DH ski day with Keith, finding some untouched powder to play in.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Amazing winter weekend

Keith and I took off last Friday for Rossland, BC to revisit the Ram's Head Inn and Granite Mtn. On our way we looked for new ski areas to explore and found a great one right on the route. McCullough Nordic ski trails, located near Big White ski resort just outside Kelowna offered us perfectly groomed and blessedly flat(ish) skating trails. We had some of the weirdest snow we had ever skied though with new rain, and a mix of sun and shade. We flew up the climbs on the shady side only to be almost thrown from our skis as they stopped on the descent and our bodies were still in motion. When the snow suction would increase dramatically was a bit unpredictable, but there were fast enough sections between to make it a nice ski and enjoying a picnic in the snowy sunshine really tops off a good winter day.

After a Pizza break at The twisted tomato in Greenwood we traversed through dense fog at 35km/hr over the Blueberry Paulson and arrived to the cozy ambiance of the Ram's Head inn. The next morning we awoke to more sunshine and a delicious warm breakfast to fuel us for a day on the slopes.

Yesterday's rain and warm temperatures suggested icy skiing so we left the face of the mountain and went directly for the backside. We made the right call as the snow was amazing and got better as the day warmed up. We spent most of the day in the trees, both trying to get some good ski legs and experience. It was probably the best day of downhill I've had. Last run we decided to see if the face of the Mtn had softened and i wanted to see if the bowl was any less steep and intimidating than I remembered. It was, but it was still Really Steep and really icy. I made my way down with memories of skiing in NB on my mind, corning when the ice allowed you to gain an edge.

Italian Dinner a Gabriella's was delicious and allowed us to plan our next adventure. A snowshoe up to mt Lepsoe, the first of Rossland's infamous Seven Summits trail (http://www.rosslandtrails.ca/cms/SEVEN-SUMMITS-TRAIL.7.0.html). We awoke to very wet and heavy snow, but were still game and as we climbed to the Nancy Green summit the snow depth increased and we had great snowshoe conditions. I definitely gained an appreciation for the workload of snowshoes as we broke trail to over 2000m (from about 1500m, but that was enough!). Now we are definitely thinking of acquiring some back country gear.

Back home with a stop in Rock creek, a tiny town, but equipped with its own micro coffee roaster.  Now to unpack and repack for a cycling camp in Victoria!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Search is over

I have finally found a coffee that I love in a bodum. Kicking horse’s Kootenay Crossing will make life on the road that much better this season.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Winter

After moving to the interior of BC from Victoria in 2004 I’ve had to embrace winter training.  Initially I’d hang on to riding way too long (and have fingers and toes hypersensitive to the cold to show for it).  Now that I’m half proficient at skate skiing though winter is much more enjoyable, surrounded by sun reflecting off white snow (and at slower speeds less wind and cold!)

I had the neat opportunity this December to stay with and train with the Alberta World cup ski academy as the prepared for an early season race in Vernon, BC.  It’s always interesting to see how other sports train and prepare, how technical their sport is with waxing and how different training can be when technique must be perfect and weather isn’t always cooperative, but also the similarities in preparation and training.

The team was mostly juniour and under 23 athletes with a lot of talent.  They were very grounded and ambitious so it will be fun to follow their racing. After getting a skate and classic lesson from the coaches during the day…and learning, not unexpectedly, that I have a long way to go, the girls made me an amazing dinner that night and had tons of questions to ask me about racing and training. 

Aside from lots of Nordic skiing, Keith and I decided to get in a bit more DH skiing this winter too so over the holidays we have hit the slopes a couple times here and in Revelstoke.  Some cloudy days meant low visibility and more exciting than expected runs with Keith going off of a several foot drop and me hitting at least  a 1 footer…which relative to my ski level was pretty exciting!