Skiing in 2010
Sunshine Village Banff Canada
Sunday January 17, 2010: Travel
The happy traveler
We left San Francisco airport on Sunday and
traveled until 6:00pm local Banff time; so it was a long day, but
not too bad as far as travel goes.However,
the views of Calgary and the mountains around Banff made up for any
inconveniences from the travel. A long gondola ride later and we
were in Sunshine Village ski resort where our ski-in/ski-out hotel
After check-in, and our first sampling of the
hotel food, we passed into sleep and anticipation of skiing the next
Monday January 18, 2010: Sunshine Village
The Sunshine Mountain Lodge
It was very cold on the 7,000 foot mountain this
morning under overcast skies. We decided to take a ski lesson.
would give us a guided tour of the unfamiliar ski runs and allow us
to have our annual skiing brush up. The problem with lessons these
days is that most places only offer all day sessions. In the past
you could take a half day, which I much prefer.
So Julia and I slipped off with our different
instructors and began a day of ski training.
It was very cold all day and I had not dressed
well enough to keep it out. So by the end of the day, of
black-diamond ski lessons and freezing conditions, I was completely
shagged out. Julia on the other hand had dressed more sensibly and
had really enjoyed her day of lessons. Her skiing really improved
We discovered the hotel spa that evening and
after forcing down another of their substandard meals we hit the
Tuesday January 19, 2010: Sunshine Village
Rock and Roll skier
We skied together all day this day and the sun
shone on and off. The scenery from the top of Sunshine Village is
second to none.
Canadian Rockies rambled off into distant valleys in all directions.
And the varying light conditions kept the scene fresh every time we
looked at it. It is an amazing place.
Julia showed off her new and improved skiing
abilities this day as we stumbled about the huge and unfamiliar
mountain. I made several boo boos with run selection and we had to
backtrack in one case and in the other make a scary traverse across
a steep, bumpy, and icy cliff face. These missteps did not endear me
to Julia; but she soldiered on. It was nothing that another visit to
the hotel spa could not cure.
Wednesday January 20, 2010: The Olympic Torch
The Olympic flame in its protective lamp
This morning the 2010 Winter Olympic Torch
arrived at the mountain as it made its way across Canada from Athens
in Greece to the Whistler Ski Resort in British Columbia.
winter games are to be held there this year. We had no idea that
this was going to happen; we lucked out. In the morning a crowd of
onlookers gathered in the freezing cold air and waited for the flame
Sunrise over the Olympic mountains
Two musicians played guitar and bass guitar (with
gloved hands) and kept the crowd entertained, in a muffled manor,
while we waited. Then the torch party arrived with flame in hand.
The crowed spontaneously broke out into the Canadian nation anthem.
Much rejoicing and patriotism was had by all.
We skied more of the mountain this day, venturing to its far flung
corners. It was another good day of skiing. However, the snow
conditions were unseasonably lacking in fresh snow.
So the runs were mostly covered in sheets of ice.
The very hard packed snow was like icy concrete. One could see that
if this place had soft fresh snow on it, it would be a skiing
nirvana. But as with all things skiing: you pays your money and you
takes your chances. In this case we did not experience the place at
Thursday January 21, 2010
The gorgeous Canadian Rockies
Our final day of skiing and the sun came out to light up the mountain.
It had snowed a few inches over night so there was some improvement,
but not much.
Still Julia and I managed to really enjoy
ourselves this day. After another full day of skiing, the now
familiar runs, we took our last spa and ate our last meal at the
hotel. We were sad it was over, but at the same time glad to be
Friday January 22, 2010: Travel
Our transport off the mountain
We spent the day traveling home. We had an unfortunately long stopover
at the Calgary airport, but other than this it was a pleasant trip
back to the warm but rainy shores of Northern Californian.
We have to go back to Alberta as it has not shown
us it full skiing potential on this our first trip to this