Leaving at the beginning of a long fine spell of weather in the southern alps, I braced myself for the bracing fresh air of the Rockies in late November, and promptly had a few deep days touring amongst the first real snow of the season before spraining my ankle riding. A month of couch time, interspersed with a bit of trade work as it showed up had me pretty fidgety, luckily I was able to get out after a fews weeks for an occasional ski or ice climb, the hard plastic boots holding my ankle sufficiently. Beset by a pleasantly social Christmas season (normally I’m too knackered from ski patrolling to leave the house) I belatedly booked a physiotherapist appointment with Hugh of Active Motion physiotherapy, a full one month after my sprain (dumb eh). I got the green light to ride!
It was quickly obvious I should have gone much earlier, and now I am focusedly exercising and stretching for probably the first time in my entire life, and actually believing in it as I’ve starting seeing real, solid improvements now after a week. About the same time two new Rossi XV’s, and the new XV binding (new to me) arrived, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort confirmed a partnership, as I had approached them due to Kicking horses’ superb alpine terrain, the most suitable training ground I could think of foe the upcoming FWT. I’m now in Golden with fellow Canmor-ites Dan Leon and Andy Gallant, dialling my new setup and loving it, and revelling in the feeling of going to bed stoked to ride the next day, instead of sitting on the couch or putting down boring solitary laps around Sunshine all day. Feel like I’m on holiday! Conditions are good at The Horse, and the terrain has me frothing much like squaw the first time I ride a chair there. Rogers Pass is only an hour away and we put in a dawn till dusk effort today, reward with two absolutely stellar,deep, loooong powder runs top to bottom,(Dagaba and Avalanche Crest) a bit of bluebird, and more movie quality monster pillows than you can shake a stick at. Once again, I make my case; this region has the best day-in day-out snowboarding in the world. I’m smiling. Bring on the tour.