K2inCanada's Blog

February 23, 2014

Urban Winter Weekend

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 3:03 PM

All of last week it was warmer with lots of sunny break and some heavy rain as well but I had been looking forward to do some paddling this weekend. Well it was not to be.

Saturday was always supposed to be a ski day – P’ayak loppet at the Whistler Olympic Park (WOP) in Callaghan Valley. I had been humming and hawing all week to decide if I should do it on my skate skis this year. Last Wednesday we went out for a night ski at Cypress – it was snowing the whole time but I still had a reasonable good skate that night. Jeff was on his classics but only had to slow down to half speed to stay with me :-). I had it in my mind that if it is nice and firm snow on Saturday I would do skate, if it was snowing I was going to use my classic skis. Well guess what, we woke up at 6AM Saturday morning and it was snowing lightly in town. It snowed the whole way up to the WOP – very lightly though. Tom and Dan hitched a ride with us to the loppet and both of them were on skates. Jeff decided to do skate. There wasn’t much accumulation on the trails and they seemed relatively firm – walking on fresh legs! So I gave in to peer pressure and used my skates. Well, nobody really pressured me, I guess I just wanted to see if I can do it. I did end up regretting my decision during the last few climbs up “Mountain View” to the finish. Until then it was just hard skiing – pretty slow for everyone with that fresh snow. I never really stopped though the whole way, big tolerance for suffering.  My time was a minute slower than last year on classics! Jeff and Tom  had a good race. Dan had a tough time. He is a good skier just doesn’t get out as much as Jeff and I. Kudos to Dan for hanging in there for 3.5hrs. Quite a few of the people that started did not finish. We all deserved a stop at the “Shady Tree” on the way home (still snowing) for some excellent food and my post-workout Guinness. All four of us felt like we had accomplish something that day. Jeff and I stayed up till 1AM to watch one of the last events of the Olympics in Sochi, the 50km cross country ski race – maybe we can pick up some tricks :-). Needless to say we didn’t get up again at 4AM to watch the Canadian hockey team beat the Swedes. But I did cheer them on in my dreams.

Sunday morning and it was still snowing. There was/is actually some accumulation outside our door. Definitely not paddling weather. Jeff suggested we should go snowshoeing up some mountain – well my legs today did not feel like some big long hike up a mountain. So we just went for a walk/easy hike on the lower trails on Mount Seymour. Everything was white and we were walking through 5-30cm of snow depending on the trail being in the woods or in the open. It was a really fun 2hr loop, stretching out the legs just enough, having a little bit of elevation gain to stay warm. Afterwards we treated ourselves to brunch at “The Narrows” Pub. They had the best Pulled Pork Eggs Benny in town.

We may still go for a nice easy classic ski tonight at Cypress – if they re-groom the trails. Next weekends loppet – a new addition to our schedule since we skipped two – is a classic loppet in Manning Park, the Cascade Cup. This used to be a popular event many years back, before Jeff and I even started skiing, but had been happening for a few years. There will be a couple big climbs in that one as well.

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