This is the time of the year that all of the countdowns begin. First: the countdown of the first day trip to the mountains. Then, the countdown to the first vacation to the mountains. Shortly after, the countdown to the first trick landed of the year.... and in a perfect world... this would all happen within a couple of days.
The first trip to the mountains is usually to my favorite mountain in Alberta: Marmot Basin in Jasper. I know what you are thinking..... 'Jasper?? Really?' but here it is:
Jasper is where I learnt to snow surf. Spending countless hours pushing myself up and quickly letting gravity take it's course, that abnormally large mound of rock, ice, snow and trees has treated me well. A quick 3.5 hour drive down the Yellowhead, a stop or two at the same Tim Horton's stops every trip, and maybe a breakfast at the truck stop in Hinton, it always has been my favorite winter road trip.
A recently added favorite destination for the adrenaline of 180's and pseudo cliff drops is the POWDER-FULL Revelstoke Mountain Resort. A music-packed 3 hours in a car with 3 other Panorama employees will teach you to venture out to new resorts every now and then. From the foot of powder that lie on the mountain-top to the cotton candy trees that line the ski-area boundary, this place is like heaven! However, waiting 15 years to see the reality of their future vision? 4 peaks tells me that the impatient person that I am will have to learn to appreciate the suspense and still pay the low $56 per visit to check out their progress.
Another new venture this year was to the ever popular Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. 2 songs, and a death-defying jaunt up the mountain from the town of Golden will get you to this spectacular set up. One gondola ride will take you to the peak of the mountain where you have your choice of 3 bowls to reach the bottom again. If you so desire, a hike along one of the ridges, and you can ride a little more challenging terrain, but I definately DO NOT suggest this if it is snowing, blowing, and a white out at the summit. For the beginner riders, a 13km green run will safely direct you to the chalet. But be careful for the skiiers, they tend to stick to the green run........ and poles flailing about could be a safety hazard if you are too busy looking at the gorgeous scenery!
Next, the one of the most popular countdowns seems to always creep up on me.......