Monday, February 1, 2010


It's been a fun and busy 3 day weekend of Snowtastic fun here in Banff. We've been enjoying the company of our friend Jill from Alaska and dragging her out on some fun, snowy adventures.

Jill is all about fun adventures in the snow, as demonstrated by this photo:

While some of us like to run and ski in winter, Jill likes to ride her bicycle. A lot. She's also a bit of a junk food junkie, so I think she would appreciate another food story....

Cream Cheese and Toblerone Bagel

After a fabulous weekend of skiing, fueled by a giant 400g Toblerone Bar - I was having flashbacks of yet another food story. Twenty-years ago, as a young ski-bum I spent 2 memorable ski seasons working in Switzerland. In those 2 years, I was fueled by a diet of pasta, chocolate and red wine. Life was good, but I came back a wee bit Chunky Monkey due to my largely alcohol and chocolate based diet. My best Swiss friend introduced me to a favorite of her mothers: an almond croissant, cut in half, slathered with butter and filled with squares of swiss chocolate. Whoa. Chocolate in between bread? Yummy! Why not? As well as the weight gain that I took away as a souvenir as my time in Switzerland, I will always remember the Choco-Butter Croissant-wich. It's best consumed on a chairlift, somewhere in the Swiss Alps. I still partake in variations of this Swiss dee-light, like this cream cheese and toblerone bagel which is best enjoyed after or during a long strenuous run, in a beautiful place like the Point Reyes National Seashore or Banff National Park. Wine optional.

I kick started the weekend with my mandatory long run and headed out for an exploration of the Spray River Trail. It was so warm, it felt like spring. This cross country ski trail isn't in great shape for skiing, but it's in primo condition for some running on firm packed snow. After that I headed up and around Tunnel Mountain, to get in a nice 3 hours of running - all on trail. Sweet.

The main event of the day, was dinner at Sunshine Village with Jill and Keith, followed by a moonlight ski tour and some moonlight powder turns. Keith had spent the day giving Jill a lesson in the basics of skiing and ski touring and thought the girl was up for the challenge. The sky, moon and temperature cooperated giving us the perfect evening of skiing by moonlight. Jill did awesome for a beginner and put her fears aside to make some good lookin' wedge turns by the light of the moon.

Jill and Ptarmigan Glacier

The next day, we skiied into Skoki Lodge for a night of backcountry bliss. I bust out the giant 400g Toblerone, which tasted so good out on the trail!

Climbing to Boulder Pass

We took our time and enjoyed the ski in and the company of Jill, Stu and Anna. I love going to Skoki, it's the perfect balance of exercise and relaxation. If there ever was a place designed for winter backcountry ambience and relaxation, Skoki is it. The fire and the food lull you into a exercise induced coma.

She's a Pro.

After rolling into the lodge for a quick coffee and snack, we headed back out for a little look around the Merlin Meadows. Despite the grey day, it was still stunning scenery. I never get tired of this place and these mountains!

Black, White and Me

Jill was a superstar - and Keith is a super teacher. She went from total ski newbie, to moonlit backcountry turns in a day and then followed it up with a couple days of touring. Needless to say, she was sore and tired but we never heard a complaint. It's been fun hangin' with her and it was an awesome weekend of Snowtastic Fun. Keith and Jill have a few more adventures planned in the next couple days...

As for me, the weekend was also a little foreplay for my next adventure. I'm heading to California for a little running trip to Joshua Tree National Park! Even with all the winter fun I've been having, I'm stoked to be going back to the desert and looking forward to road tripping with Meghan. I'm super excited to be exploring yet another National Park, as new trails and new places are always beckoning.


Dan said...

We could use some of that snow in New England. My snowshoe race got cancelled due to lack of snow in southern New Hamshire.

Sara Montgomery said...

Snowtastic indeed! I've been following along on Jill's blog too, sounds like you're all having a great time. That bagel looks interesting, must try that!

Anonymous said...
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Nicola Gildersleeve said...

MMMM toblerone....

here's a story. Mom's, they mean so well, but mine, never quite gets it right. She used to put a giant Toblerone in my stocking every xmas. Then when I started running I became a bit healthier as I used to be a mcdicks junkie back in my high school days. Anywho, she didn't get me one year and I flipped. She was like "I thought you were watching your weight". I was like "hell no, not at xmas!". The next year she redeems herself but opted for the Safeway brand knock off. Again, she meant so well but couldn't quite deliver and I made my voice heard haha. So, this year, what do I get, a small 'fruit and nut' Toblerone. It just keeps getting worse!!!!

Joshua Tree is sooo amazing, I was there last year and we are looking at going back soon. How do you get so much time off. I do because I am self employed but you have a real job! Nice work.

Jo Lynn said...

I just discovered Toblerone this past Christmas and I must say it is DELICIOUS!

Jill Homer said...

Thanks again for the great hospitality and good times, Leslie! Hope you are having fun in the desert. Raining and warm here in Juneau - 43 degrees! Feels like spring.

Mary said...

Hey, I just found your blog via Jill's. Don't know either of you but like reading about your adventures. You women rock! Run on!


Stuart said...

Funtastic snowventures!

Leslie said...

Hi friends,

It's all about the Toblerone Triangles. I love all chocolate, but I'm a chocolate snob. Anyone ever tried Bernard Callebaut? Now that's the goodies.

Hi Jill! Glad you enjoyed your week of "holidays" in Banff. My husband is still recovering. I'm thrilled you came for some more adventures in Banff. May there be many more! Hope all is well in "tropical" Juneau.

...and thanks, Mary! You look like a gal who loves her national parks as well...

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