With so much good skiing and blogging this past winter, it’s hard to narrow it down to only 10. What would I have missed the most? What stands out in my mind? What will be fondly remembered for years to come? Rather than making this into an even longer, drawn out affair, I’ve put a link beside the event where you can read more.
1. The Lake Louise to Banff Loppet. I will only get up at 6 a.m. for something very exceptional. Racing in this loppet with Cheryl and Peter has become a delightful winter tradition. Lake Louise to Banff Loppet 2011 – a real basket case.
2. Jeff, John, Jody, and Hans. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that we were receiving timely grooming reports from the groomers themselves. Jeff at Ribbon Creek, John and Hans from Lake Louise/Yoho, and Jody from PLPP and Mt Shark. I thought this was fantastic to get these. A big thanks to all the groomers for making the skiing so easy and pleasurable, and letting us know!
4. Goat Creek. Being able to ski here in Nov on good tracksetting was incredible. This is one of my favourite trails, but many winters we have few opportunities to ski it on good conditions. This winter, despite skiing it at least six times, I can’t wait to get back. Biking it through the summer is fun, too. First day on Goat Creek, More good news, Can’t get enough.
5. The return of wolves to PLPP. This might be wishful thinking, but we saw wolf tracks, often in pairs. It’s been 10 years since an elk hunter killed the alpha female of the old Peter Lougheed pack. Nothing would make me happier than to know a resident pack of wolves is back in its rightful place.
6. Tyrwhitt Loop in PLPP. If there was only one place with snow, I would want it to be this loop. A vigorous climb up Whiskey Jack, the beautiful meadows on Tyrwhitt, spectacular scenery as you double-pole down Elk pass, and the fun of the narrow trails on Fox Creek. The ultimate
7. Animal tracks. I enjoy living in a place where there are still wild animals, and better yet, we can see evidence of it with our own eyes, sometimes within minutes or hours of them having walked on the ski trails. I’m happy we can still share some space with cougar, lynx, wolf, moose, and deer.
8. Pocaterra downhill. I remember the first time I screamed down this stretch of trail, I got to the end and couldn’t believe anything could be so much fun. Still is.
9. Encouraging new skiers. There are many trials and tribulations of getting started at this activity. I take a lot of satisfaction from Sheri’s comment: “The time you took this January with me and my kids was amazing! Thank you again for your time and help, it was a huge confidence booster. I am so glad I came across your website/blog while researching cross country skiing and your site gave me the confidence to try something new and bring my kids along on the journey.”
10. Ribbon Creek. A trail and ski area where snow conditions can be marginal. I spent a lot of time here while learning to ski, so I’m always happy to go back and rember those early days, and this year, there were many opportunities with the excellent conditions. Idyllic, blissful, heavenly paradise.
11. Molly-Jane. I enjoyed watching her race, and her updates were wonderful. Molly-Jane’s Top 10.
12. Redearth Creek. This is yet another trail which suffers from marginal conditions most years, or if we do get good snow and tracks, it doesn’t seem to last long. This year was exceptional. A winter paradise.
13. Meeting you on the trails. Many readers stopped to say hello while out on the trails. Always an enjoyable part of a ski trip.
14. Frozen Thunder. Anything this unusual should get an honourable mention. This was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, to be skiing on good snow in October. First day of skiing.