Best of the West: Hitting the Slopes!

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Head for the hills – it’s ski season!

Last weekend, I woke up far too early for a winter’s Sunday morning. Bundled up like the Michelin man and stumbling around in the dark, I mentally ticked off everything I needed for the day before making a quick exit and jumping in the car. Out the driveway at 7.30am and cursing the dark, I joined the steadily building procession of cars with snow tyres, roof racks, and sleepy-eyed slackers winding their way onto Lionsgate Bridge towards our destination— the mountains. Welcome to ski season. This will be my weekend routine for the next three months (or more).

I may love summer but let’s face it, I didn’t move to Canada for the heat. Living in Vancouver, where it can be rainy and misty for 6 months a year (or more), you take solace in the fact that November’s rainy period will surely bring snow to the surrounding mountains. And this year, after putting in a consistent effort last season, I felt more than ready to start the winter.

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Our mate Dave shows off his skills
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All smiles at Revelstoke last Easter

The first run is always the one where you momentarily think, “God, do I even remember how to do this?” But unlike last year, when I still felt pretty inexperienced on the slopes, I just felt excited and was itching to scream down the slippery hill. The snow wasn’t fresh and there wasn’t that much of it — in fact, only three lifts at Whistler (one of North America’s biggest resorts) were even open. It didn’t matter. For me and my companions, the first day of the season is always the best. Somehow we ended up on a mogul mole hill on our “warm up” run, but after a few runs, we all felt like pros.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve got a cold and have been avoiding exercise all week. It doesn’t matter that it can be freezing on chairlifts, that the wind/snow/freezing rain can make you want to go inside forever, or even that it can be an expensive past-time— the snow is really the reason Mr Midday Musings and I moved to BC. We’ll be back on the hill this weekend. It sounds cheesy, but the joy you can feel flying down the mountain can’t be matched. Well, except for maybe the beers with mates on the hill afterwards!

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. As a recent convert to Canada’s day of thanks (in October), I’ll join in the fun by being thankful for family, friends, love, health, the ability to live this amazing life — and for experiencing real winters, with real winter fun.

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Even the cars are happy to see the snow again
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