K2inCanada's Blog

December 7, 2014

Kick off to the ski season

Filed under: Canada, Ski, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 8:51 PM

Jeff had been screening the ski places for weeks but nobody really had great snow yet. We could have gone last weekend but we had tickets to Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe Christmas show. We hardly ever do anything “arts” related so I was kind looking forward to it. And it was well worth it. Stuart McLean tells stories – humorous stories of life in Canada. Jeff and I like to listen to them when we go on a long drive – like driving to go skiing. And this weekend we did go skiing, driving all the way to Vernon to ski at Silverstar and Sovereign Lake – the best early season skiing our province has to offer. Well worth the 5hr drive on snowy, icy roads in the dark. Even though I left work early on Friday we still didn’t get to Vernon till 6PM. Traffic getting out of town was slow and the highway past Hope was pretty tricky to drive on – not much snow but lots of ice. Jeff said he was glad when it got dark and he couldn’t really see how bad the road was, headlights covered in dirt. But we made it in one piece and rewarded ourselves with dinner and a Guinness at the Irish Pub across from where we were staying. You may point out that I – just being a passenger on this drive – may not have been in the need of a reward but I did at least as much breaking as Jeff, or more :-). It was cold in Vernon that night and we were looking forward to a nice ski the next day.

The next day we woke up to the sound of .. wet roads. Yep, over night it got warm. The Sovereign Lake website talked about +1C and drizzle. We drove all this way to ski in the rain!!?? It was still 0C in town and we were hoping the hill should be colder. It rained almost the whole drive up. Just as we entered the Provincial Park which the ski resort is a part off did the rain turn into wet snow. Due to some racing happening at Sovereign in the morning we had decided to ski Silverstar Mountain in the AM. Silverstar is a combined Downhill and Cross-Country skiing area with a resort village and lots of resort style houses, while Sovereign is just a cross-country area with only a day lodge. Lucky for us there was still plenty of parking at Silverstar (and I was surprised that it was free!). But we didn’t get to go skiing right away because Jeff had prepped the wrong skis. We had hoped for cold and sun and not warm and wet snow. Oh well, at the end all worked out okay. The trail system at Silverstar is pretty huge BUT you have to cross all the downhill runs getting to the upper trails. Was a bit annoying but worth it. Only problem, the trails had not been groomed since the day before and all the tracks were filled in with snow. Made for a wobbly classic ski up the mountain. No views either!! And I was running out of time exploring the upper trails as I was supposed to meet Jeff back at the village a couple of hours later. Usually I am the one always being late so I really tried to be on time that day so he does not have to wait in the Bistro for too long – it’s not like a day lodge which is there for people to warm up. Bistros want people to buy their food. And of course I did not bring any money and naturally Jeff was late by 30min that day. Good thing it was only just below zero that day so I managed almost 20min waiting outside before I sneaked into the Bistro. And we did buy some food when Jeff and his buddy Guy finally arrived.

In the afternoon we headed over to Sovereign Lake. Their trails were much quieter but the tracks only in a little bit better shape. But after the 45min circling around Woodland Bell the snow finally stopped and they sent their groomer out. NICE!!! I got another almost 2hrs in that afternoon and I knew I will pay for it the next day feeling my legs getting awfully tired near the end.

Day 2 started…cloudy and warm in town. We drove back up to Sovereign – mostly in thick clouds until all sudden close to the top … sunshine and blue skies. The trails were freshly groomed and if not for the races going on restricting the number of trails we could use it would have been a perfect day. No wait, if not for my very badly complaining sore legs it would have been a perfect day :-). I really should have given my skate skis a try after classic-ing all the yesterday but am glad I didn’t. Up the first little rise on Woodland Bell (green beginner trail) my legs already felt like dying. They loosened up a wee little bit but I never felt like I was skiing properly. No grip, no glide. But at least I was outside and it was sunny and not too cold either. So I just muddled along for a couple hours. Unfortunately there are not very many views along the trails I was able to master to really enjoy the sunny skies.

Drive home was uneventful – I think. Slept for half of it. The roads were clear and we left early enough to make it past Hope with still some daylight left. Took actually only 4hrs45min now that the speed limit on the Coquihalla is 120km/h.

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1 Comment »

  1. Oops, was that the speed we were supposed to have been doing? 🙂

    Comment by Jeff — December 10, 2014 @ 8:21 PM


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