Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Day at the Mountains

For Christmas, my parents and us got the kids ski lessons at COP. We thought it was a good idea, because they've shown an interest in skiing for a while now, both of them. The great thing about skiing, it's a fantastic family sport. Although certainly not an inexpensive sport. [I'm sure it wasn't back then either, when I was growing up] Thank you M&D for introducing us to, and taking us skiing. I have a lot of great memories of my brother and I skiing with our Mum and Dad. Every Supertramp song that comes on can take me right back there, as well as a heavy snow fall warning... Check this out:

My parents had a friend, that let us borrow his cabin, right on the ski hill. A great deal of teacher's conventions in February, had us camped out here for 4 days. It was awesome...

I knew I wanted to share that awesomeness with my kids. When they showed an interest in skiing, we were very supportive.

I've skied a LOT. I learned when I was around the age Madelyn is right now. I learned to ski at COP, back when it used to be called Paskapoo... [Yes, I just dated myself there, big time] We skied a lot as a family and as a teenager [before I had my drivers license] I would go over to Market Mall and get on the greyhound shuttle bus to one of the ski hills with friends. [Do you remember that Mum?] To be honest, I can't imagine letting my kids do that... But then again, they're only 9 and 6. Then, somewhere around grade 10, a lot of us started getting our drivers licenses... I remember vividly, a drive up to Lake Louise with Jimmy Z and Roy N; there's a spot on the highway, right past one of the Banff exits, Jimmy's car did a 360° on the highway. [Mum, don't know if I ever told you that or not, but thankfully it worked out...] We weren't farting around, it was just winter driving conditions... [Again, would I ever let my kids Madelyn, get into a car with teenage boys???] At this point in time, I say NO.

I spent a lot of time in the mountains with ski's and cold weather gear. When Barry and I got together, he didn't share my passion for the ski hill, but he was easily talked into trying it out. He hadn't done much down hill skiing, but spent a lot of time as a kid cross-country skiing. It turns out, he liked downhill. So him and I skied quite a bit. We did some ski trips [they were awesome] we skied with family and friends. [One of my most favourite ski stories was when we skied with Chris up at Sunshine and he shoved a nervous nelly off the t-bar...] Hil. Ar. Ious. And then I was pregnant with Mason... A day of skiing is definitely a full-day commitment. I think I might have got out once after he was born, with a trip through the social club at work...Then along came Miss Madelyn. I have not put ski's on since she joined our family. She'll be 7 this spring, so that means it's been at least 8 years since we skied.

Yesterday the kids had a PD at school and we thought it would be perfect, to take them to the mountains skiing. We decided on Nakiska because it's close to home, literally an hour from our front door to the parking lot, we don't need a park pass to get there, the skiing isn't as expensive, it's a great hill for beginners. We went up for a 1/2 day.

The last time I was at Nakiska, this picture was taken:

That's right, the 1988 Olympics... So it's been awhile. I hadn't skied the hill in years, so I had little memory of the actual ski hill, or the runs.

We drove towards the mountains yesterday morning, there was hardly any snow on the country side, hardly any snow in the ditches. We've hardly had any snow... It's weird. The thermometer read 4°. By the time we got to the hill, it was -1° [I know, right? Dreamy...] It was absolutely gorgeous there. The sun was shining. It was warm. It wasn't busy, line ups weren't long at all. It was some of the best conditions I've skied in, ever. It was like the best spring skiing day you could only hope for. We ate our lunch outside on the picnic tables.

It was the perfect kind of day, to show your kids what skiing is all about. Let's face it, they'll spend plenty of time riding up chair lifts in sub-zero temperatures. They'll ski in white out conditions. They'll get frost bite once or twice. But not yesterday, yesterday was perfect.

We had a great time. They had a great time. It made me realize how much I love skiing, and how much I've missed it. It's a great reason to look forward to winter, and I'm glad to have that appreciation back again. [Though this winter is clearly an exception] We even ran into one of Mason's friends and his Dad, so the boys were able to ski a couple of runs together. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

-getting ready to go up the chair for the first
-we did it! we went up the lift!

-the snow was great, conditions were perfect.

-stopping for a bite of lunch.
-Mason running into a friend, then he went up the chairlift with him and his Dad.
-Barry, Madelyn and I took the chair behind. [our very out-dated ski's worked just fine...]

We're totally looking forward to our next ski trip.

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