The wake up call came at 6 am this morning and for the first time, I was awake instantly. Cheyenne woke up with such a sore throat she could hardly talk. She made the difficult decision not to go boarding and that was disappointing for both of us. She went instead to the walk-in clinic while Chester, Cheney, Mitchell, Tristan and I, all drove from Airdrie to Sunshine Village near Banff. We encountered some slow traffic which was not helped by my impatience I’m sure. And then, we arrived!
It was raining at the base/parking lot and there was quite heavy cloud cover over the mountains. We took the gondola up to the Village base area and headed up Mt. Standish.
I told you I had a good feeling about today, didn’t I? Well, I was right. There was fresh powder everywhere.
The only drawback of the day was the weather. It was definitely the toughest conditions I’ve ever encountered while boarding. Due to high winds near the peaks and constant snowfall, it was a complete whiteout at times. Once we would drop down a few hundred feet, the conditions improved a little. Despite the weather, we got to make first tracks on many of the runs and truly, the snow was incredible. We would board through tree glades, when the only sound that could be heard was the swish of skis and boards atop the pristine powder. Down through the black diamond gates we flew, throwing up white walls of snow- creating what we call the coveted “white room”.
Later in the day, after lunch, we rode the luxury Dopplemayer chairlift (it was heated with a bubble cover) up Lookout Mountain. There was a fantastic run that we rode several times named Angel Flight and then we would traverse to 2 terrain parks with a finale through trees.
Around 2 pm, the temp had risen marginally so we now were encountering a light freezing rain/snow mix. The snow remained surprisingly untouched but we, on the other hand, did not. Water sluiced off our goggles and helmets while our clothes looked as though we had been in a rainstorm. We took a short break and switched out what gear we could, refueled, and headed back out. At 4 pm, the lifts were shutting down so we made our last run down along the gondola trail. As we dropped in elevation, the snow got sticky and the air heavy but it was a good last run.
As luck would have it, Mitchell’s battery died on his truck so his key fob wouldn’t work. He didn’t have a key with him so he and Tristan were effectively locked out. After an hour with various people assisting, the lock was tripped and they got the truck back in working order.
We left Banff and began the drive back to Calgary, stopping briefly for Timmy’s along the way. Cheyenne met us at Buffalo Wild Wings for supper and then we departed for Pincher Creek.