Tag archives for Canada Ski Trip

Two full weeks of world-class skiing may have spoiled me rotten, but I’m still enough of a discerning traveler to have picked my favorites. Bear in mind, Canada is a huge place and my ski tracks only dilly-dallied across a tiny corner of it, but for what it’s worth, here’s what I liked best: Skiing…

Digital Skiing

“104 kilometers per hour? There’s no way that can be right.” My ski instructor was incredulous, shaking her head even after I showed her proof on the chairlift — with my phone.That morning I had downloaded the Whistler Blackcomb LIVE app for iPhone, which GPS tracks your entire ski path for the day, measures vertical…

Biathlon

Of all the odd sports televised on the Winter Olympics, biathlon is the one I could never really figure out: athletes skiing uphill with huge effort, balancing on the most awkward-looking skis ever, then lying down in the snow and shooting a rifle at five targets, each one the size of a penny. But if…

Peak 2 Peak

For some reason, my fear of heights always takes me back to British Columbia. It must be the mountains. See, I subscribe to the belief that facing one’s fears is the best way to conquer them. How perfect it is then that the two peaks of Whistler (7,156 ft; 2,181 m) and Blackcomb (7,992 ft;…

I can honestly say that of all the ski towns I’ve been to in the world, none caters to foodies like Whistler does. The world of tastes and ingredients from nearby Vancouver, paired with the passionate farmers of small town Pemberton, and the proximity of Okanagan wine country have all turned Whistler into a gourmet…

Mid-Life Crisis

Just like life, a day of skiing is a day of tough choices. Although Sun Peaks offers the amazing option of 122 different ski runs,  at the end of the day—when you know it’s your last run—you’re always faced with that tough decision. Which run will I ski last? My indecision was accompanied by a…

Skiing With Nancy

“Press on your right foot when you wanna go left . . . and press on your left foot when you wanna go right.” Such are the basics of skiing as taught to me by Olympic gold medalist Nancy Greene, though she gives proper credit where it’s due. “A six-year-old taught me that principle,” she…

Ski towns are like people — each one has its own personality. As I travel from one ski town to the next, I am amazed by the distinct differences from place to place. At the heart of each lies a passion for skiing, but everything else (the hotels, restaurants, nightlife, architecture, snow, residents, and tourists)…

Powder Pilgrims

Matt tries to kill me before I’ve even digested my breakfast. Our first run of the day is a pole-gripping black diamond that drops through the trees and into a channel of menacing moguls. I clench a smile and skid my way downhill, tumbling once or twice but still making it alive. “You’ve got good…

Dogpowered

Of all the many ways I’ve traveled in the world, dogsled is by far the most exuberant mode of transportation I have experienced. To have eight eager, happy dogs all yipping, yapping, and barking with excitement is thrilling — and that’s before they take off running across the snow, pulling you behind them. At times…

Blowing Up Snow

People say that I have a cool job, but I think I just found an even cooler one. Imagine going to work everyday and blowing up gigantic snowdrifts — that’s pretty much a day in the life of the avalanche crew at Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. Even though it sounds (and is) great fun,…

Corduroy

The fate of snow lies in front of me. Feathery flakes blow all around us, but where they fall makes all the difference. The snow on my right will one day melt and flow downward, into creeks, streams, rivers, and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. The drops on the left will one day pour into the…

Like I said, It’s been more than five years since I’ve skied. Riding the lift to the top of Mt. Standish at Sunshine Village, my feet cemented into a pair of boots and skis, I felt pretty anxious. Did I actually know how to ski or did I just make that all up? Everyone tells…

Ice Climbing

Once you fall, the fear of falling goes away. That’s what I learned halfway up a wall of dripping blue-white ice in Banff National Park. Or rather, I learned it halfway down, as my harness halted my plunge and bounced me against the frozen upper falls of Johnston Canyon. I fell because a saucer-size chunk…

Ski Skills

“Do you ski?” That’s the first thing people asked me the minute they found out I was in Banff. At least, the non-skiers did. All the skiers asked, “How’s the snow?” and I can say that it’s stupendous, plentiful, and happening right now. As I write this, snow is falling outside my window. And yes,…

I flew into Calgary yesterday afternoon and then caught the first bus to Banff. The 90-minute drive starts out straight, flat, brown, and boring–but soon, the bare white wheat fields ripple into true hills that roll into the western distance and its promise of great mountains. And then, before you have time to guess when…