K2inCanada's Blog

February 23, 2015

Earlier in February – Thanks to my favourite Wax Tech

Filed under: Canada, Ski, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 11:07 PM

Back to Feb 7-9 weekend – a long weekend thanks to the 3rd ever BC Family Day. Other provinces had family days for some time but in BC it was introduced in 2013 only. And it happened to coincide with the 3rd loppet of the season – at Nickelplate near Penticton. The weather forecast was horrible predicting 9C and light rain on top of the mountain. I almost did not want to go. But it was a long weekend and we planned to visit our friends in Peachland again and … we had already paid for the loppet!

We, Jeff, John and I, left Friday after work and spent the night in Keremeos. It is still a 4+hr drive from Vancouver in the dark with heavy rains and fog all the way to Sunday Summit – the 2nd summit along the drive through the Cascade Mountains. Just past the summit the clouds disappeared and millions of stars lit up the sky – pretty. We stopped for dinner in Princeton at our favourite Pub right in town – high quality food and big portions – for our pre-race dinner. Back on the road we saw the moon rise over the mountains – it looked huge and beautiful. Finally arriving in Keremeos just before 10PM we were lucky to get the last room at the Elks Motel. Jeff had reserved a room but apparently non of those reservations made it to the front desk computer of the Motel.

It was overcast and cool when we woke up the next morning. Half way up the mountain we hit some sunshine and temperature went up! At the top was cloudy again BUT it did not rain. It actually snowed a bit despite the temperatures sitting at +2C when we arrived – hence I decided to use my crowns rather than my new waxables. Jeff followed my lead but poor John did not have crowns. So he had to try to make the wax work. Like most other racers as well. And let me tell you, very few people got it right. Some had good grip but no glide, others had glide but no grip and some had neither. I had relatively good grip – few sections were a bit too icy – and awesome glide. I beat a couple people who would usually finished at least 10min ahead of me despite sucking wind on every climb. Thanks to my favourite wax tech Jeff who had spent over a hundred dollars to buy this high-fluoro wax which apparently is the best for warm wet conditions (remember, we expected rain). But I did not come anywhere close to top finisher in my age class. Hit the wall a bit on the last climb and was passed by a fellow skier from Vancouver, Sandra, who I secretly set as the one I should beat some day. This was not that day – she is way to fit flying up that climb. I did win a couple draw prices though – all in all my lucky day 🙂

We spent that night with our friends, Mary and Keith, in Peachland – always a treat! Even thought the place we went for dinner wasn’t that great. Well, at least Jeff’s and my food wasn’t very tasty. Luckily I had already filled myself up with Mary’s spinach dip all afternoon.

We woke up to a mix of sun and clouds. Took our time with breakfast before hitting the road again. We were going to try out a new ski place today – Kelowna Nordic on the way to Big White. It was warm again with temperatures well above zero. But their trail system was in pretty good shape even thought they did not have the same amount of snow as Nickeplate or Sovereign. I LOVED their trails though. No stupid steep hills – neither up noor down. Long stretches of double poling and gentle uphill striding. I only found one trail, Ol’ 33, which I had to mostly walk up – partly due to the steepness, partly due to lots of sticks and rocks showing through. I could have easily avoided this trail mind you – like Jeff and John. Sun was out here and there and quite a few views along the way. Near the end of my loop were a few water hazards but they could easily be navigated around. I didn’t go fast – legs were tired – but it was a very enjoyable 3+hrs on skis.

We spent the 3rd night in Vernon in our usual place – different room though as it was 3 of us. That room smelled bad – cold smoke – and it took us a while to make the lock work. Maybe it is time to find a different place to stay. It is within walking distance of the “downtown” area though and we made the trip to the “Naked Pig” again. Their pork ribs are still to die for and we washed them down with a few local beers.

3rd day and we finally woke up to the promised rain. But by the time we passed the Sovereign Lake Provincial Park sign up on the mountain the rain turned to snow and it continued to snow heavy most of the time. The groomer had a hard time keeping up with the snow and the 2nd half of my skiing was done on mostly ungroomed trails to the west of the Nordic Centre. I followed the loppet course this time – didn’t remember the back end being that hilly. So it was really slow going. At least it felt like winter up here 🙂


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