I have a holiday hangover. You know, that all-over-post-holiday-come-down that hits you like a freight train? Phew. Me So Tired! It didn't stop me from heading out the door for my long run today, but let me tell you: it was ugly out there. I felt like a train wreck, but I was also a little giddy, happy and content with my all over fatigue.
Our holiday destination: Sorcerer Lodge (from the air)
Out the front window - Escargot aka. The Snail
To say my holiday was incredible is a bit of an understatement. I got to travel self-propelled, on my skis, for 6 fantastic days in the Selkirk Mountains! How cool is that? With access by helicopter only, the backcountry surrounding Sorcerer Lodge is epic: it's big, huge and wild.
Sorcerer Lodge is about 200km from Banff, in British Columbia. I had no great expectations, because the area hadn't received much snow this year. In fact, we were told by the owner that the snowpack was the most shallow that they had seen in 20 years! On most years, the lodge is usually buried by snow and it is a great place to go and get some powder turns. Within our group of 14, we were just keen to be getting out for some ski touring in some place new and different. But even with the lack of powder, we were blown away by the jaw dropping landscape of glaciers, rock, ice and snow.
Each day, we were led out into this landscape by 3 ACMG guides who took us on some amazing ski tours and kept us safe from the dangers of winter travel. I'm an experienced resort skiier, but a novice at ski touring. I've taken avalanche courses and am learning more about travelling in winter time with every trip that I do. I've never been on a glacier in winter, because I don't know the first thing about travelling on glaciers and crevasse rescue. All I can say is: Yay for professional Mountain Guides! With their help, our group got to travel across glaciers, climb to high mountain passes, peaks and ridges and enjoy a simply incredible week.
The group. Ready to Go!!
Each day, we were out the door and ready to go by 9:00 and then spent the entire day touring. On average, we were on our skis for the better part of 7 hours daily! Most days would start with a short descent and then would put on our skins and start climbing. And climbing. And climbing. Usually, we would cross a glacier along the way and sometimes the up track was really slick because of the lack of snow. It was challenging and it was awesome! The reward of course, was the ski back down. Considering the marginal snow, we also got in lots of good turns and even found some powder. Sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find the snow!
It just worked out that each day was better than the previous day. By the end of the week we were a group of happy, exhausted, elated skiiers. We were all thrilled to try something new like travelling on a glacier, skinning on challenging slopes, making turns on a glacier and challenging ourselves physically. O.K, I was thrilled! I was impressed hugely by my friends, who endured some fairly long and challenging days and who were totally up for everything and anything. My husband was a star, with his weight loss of over 20 pounds since last winter, he was moving strongly, confidently and expending way less energy than this time last year. As always, he made the prettiest turns, kept everyone entertained and had waaay too much fun!
Keith and his Ladies
We skiied. We saw pretty places. We ate like kings and queens. We visited with our friends. We made some new ones. We slept like babies. It really was a magical week in a very special place.We did a LOT of this:
With a side of this.......
And a whole lot of THIS!