Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whistler Adventures

      Oh hey there blog world how’s it going? Long time no chat. I guess that’s what happens when school takes over you life and you don’t have time to travel right... I mean as entertaining as my daily bus commutes are downtown, I don’t think anyone actually wants to read about them. That being said it is now reading week, a wonderful week of freedom that they give to us university students right in February to go do something fun for a week. It’s a beautiful thing. And for the moment I will try and forget about that fact that I have 4 midterms and a paper due the week I get back, because that is besides the point. So what to do with a week off from school in the middle of the winter? Why go out west and snowboard of course. Whistler here I come!

See out in central Canada we have these funny little hills that we like to call mountains and ski down. However once you have been to anything remotely big and interesting, seen real powder and carved some fresh tracks down a double black diamond they almost completely loose their appeal. So then you are left itching to go out to western Canada, to Colorado or Utah, to the Alps or even to South America to get some good true skiing and snowboarding every year! And I have been lucky enough to get to act on that itch this year and head out to Whistler for 5 days of incredible snowboarding. I may be just a tad excited.

I was in Whistler the winter before last and I have to say it is a wonderful place. The entire town is a ski village, and there is hundreds of kilometers of every kind of trail and off-trail kind of riding you can image at your fingertips. Or ski tips should I say. I do have to admit that it is pretty Hollywood and touristy though, but hey that’s what happens when you turn a sleep ski town into an olympic village. It’s popularity has given it ratings higher than some would say it deserves, but if you look past the souvenir shops, the tourists on rental skis and the amateurs taking on runs way too difficult from there you find an incredible world of skiing and snowboarding. Going a little bit off the beaten trail will land you in fresh powder, untouched lines to hit, and wide open snow bowls to play in. You just have to know where to go, or be willing to go on a few adventures to find out! It is definitely worth your while to do so. 

Sitting on this plane writing this I want nothing more than to have a board strapped to my feat and be headed up the mountain rather than the sky. Don’t get me wrong I love to fly, I find it quite relaxing actually, but this has been such a long time coming that I just want to be there already! Though I have to say that the drive from Vancouver is absolutely breathtaking, taking you along the coast line and then plunging you into the heart of the mountains; it is some of the most beautiful scenery especially covered in a blanket of snow. And by blanket I mean a very very thick one, upwards of 500cm at the mountain already and still going strong. Sitting here writing this has also lead me to one very obvious conclusion:

I love snowboarding. And while this is nothing new or surprising, every time I go somewhere good to ride I get this giddy feeling like I’m a 5 year old getting let loose in Disney Land. There is nothing like the feeling of tearing down a mountain, wind blasting in your face and snow flying everywhere, just on the edge of control but never loosing it. You forget about the rest of the world and it’s just you, your board and the snow. It’s challenging and adrenaline inducing (if you so the serious stuff), but it is so incredibly calming and peaceful at the same time. Something about it completely clears my head and can, without fail, put a massive dopey smile on my face at the end of every day out. I don’t think I would ever be able to hang up my board and call it quits unless my body demands it because I just love it way too much. And I think that’s why I enjoy teaching it so much for that matter. There is nothing like watching someones eyes light up when it clicks with them, they figure out that one thing that was holding them back or learn how to stop catching that edge. That look when you see that they’re about to become as addicted and happy with it as you are. And that look makes all the long days, frustrating students and cold chairlift rides worth it more than a thousand times over. Because no matter how bad you think it gets you are still doing something you love and you get to share that passion with other people. 

Looking out the window I can see the flatlands of Saskatchewan disappearing behind us and the majestic Rocky Mountains rising up beneath the scattered clouds. I have to say it’s my favorite part of the flight, it is just so darn beautiful. And exciting because that means we’re getting closer! Another handy thing about ski trips is usually by the end of the day you are so wiped that you come home and sit around for a bit and just recuperate before you can do anything else, perfect blog time! So this should be a week of funny stories about epic falls (hopefully not too many but they are inevitable), tons of pictures of snow and more of me rambling about how much I love snowboarding. Have to say I’m pretty excited about getting to do this again, I actually quite enjoy blogging and sharing my adventures with whoever happens to be reading this :) 

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