Archive - Feb 2004
Along with a couple of van loads of people, I went to Coyotes in Calgary to see AD & GMF. A good (drunken) time had by all - scarily, I own some of the times GMF was mixing - either he's not cool, or I should get more things from Camden market.
Once again, a sterling bit of ferrying done by Mountain Park Adventures. Thanks to Dan and Steph for driving. Nice.
I was on the lift with three Americans the other day, the conversation went like this:
A1: "So, is that an iPod you got there?"
Me: "yep, it sure is"
A1: "How is that?"
Me: "it totally rocks" (doing my best Canadian)
A1: "You know it's illegal to use them on the mountains in the US?"
Me: "No, I didn't"
A1: "Yeah, if someone hits you, and you're wearing one of those it's still your fault"
Me: "What if your hearing-impaired?"
A2: "Oh, it's okay, because the disabled wear a sign so you know to give them a wide berth"
WHAT? A sign? What's next, tattoos?
I'm just enjoying the freedom afforded to me by this (lovely) country. The US can enjoy it's lawyers.
Having spent a bit of time on planes, busses and recovering, I've read a few books:
Last Tango in Aberystwyth - really good
The Third Policeman - Quite good (very weird)
The Life of Pi (by some Canadian or other) - hmm, pretty good
I'm onto a couple of others (also Canadian), so I'll see how they go.
My 40GB, firmware v2.1, bought Jan 2004, Apple iPod has peculiar charging habits.
Tomorrow will be better... ;-)
14cm at Sunshine overnight, 4cm at Lake Louise and (some) at Norquay. It's been a good day.
In the midst of soft powder, something clicked - you might be forgiven for thinking I can sort of do bumps properly now. Of course, if you'd seen me in the afternoon, you'd know otherwise.
I forgot my camera today, otherwise there'd be a nice picture of my fresh tracks in the trees from this morning. Maybe rectify the situation tomorrow.
Went to Norquay the other day (Monday) for the first time. It's a real pain in the arse to get to - the Brewster busses don't pick up at the Y for Norquay, and they only go once an hour. It's quite a good mountain - probably the best place to learn how to ski, because it's got a long easy green off the chair that's right in front of the lodge. The picture's taken from the Spirit chair - you can see the Lodge and the town of Banff in the background.
Went to Castle Mountain yesterday with the Unlimited/Mountain Park Adventures lot. They charged $45 for the trip, and the lift ticket was another $45 for the day. I had an excellent time, and the mountain is cool too.
Mountain Park Adventures is a little bus/van company serving all the cheap bits of Banff and going (mainly) to Sunshine (but also Lake Louise and Norquay). They pick up from all sorts of places, not least the Y, and go direct in vans. That's way better than the corporate version which is operated by Brewster - they pick up at the Y too, but then you have to switch busses, usually outside the Brewster terminal. Whilst the drivers are really helpful, it adds time and it's a bit of a shlep.
So anyway, MPA decided to do a day trip to Castle Mountain. We had to be at the pick up at 6am, so it was a pretty early start, but most people got a bit of a doze in the van on the way over. Meanwhile, Steph drove whilst Keighley did something of a job of navigating. They switched on the way home, so unfortunately Keighley couldn't drink until we got back to Banff.
Driving to Castle Mountain is kind of good. You have to go through all sorts of hick towns, and past the hick store. It's a weird place, but good for a quick stop. Here's Keighley getting "some gas" on the way home. Also, there's the hick shop (store?), their sign and the hick dog. Oh, and the hick toilet (which needless to say, the girls refused to use).
As you tend to find on these sorts of things, everyone's really nice. Maria and Martin (sp?), the two Danes taught me some rude expressions, which they seemed to find incredibly funny, and I thought sounded a bit like a little song. Are are Danes crazy? Seems like it to me.
Castle Mountain itself if really cool. It's small (only a handful of lifts) but there's some lovely snow, and some incredibly steep slopes. I think most people fell at some point during the day, not least Steph, who somehow seemed to do it in incredible style, mostly sliding half way down the mountain and leaving skis and poles all over the place. She caught some air on her arse in the creek. She wasn't too happy, but we all thought it was great.
We got back to Banff pretty late, and headed to Melissas - man I got so drunk to quickly. I think possibly not enough food had something to do with it ;-)
On the advice of the people in Monods (on Banff Ave.) I plumped for a pair of Rossignol B2 Bandit skis (as opposed to the RPMs which are more of a groomed piste ski). When I picked 'em up, the guy said "you're going to have a great time with these, they're funtastic". He was right...
My skis are getting a service (and a whole lot of love - they need it!). I went out on my blades this morning and found them really hard (in part die to the hardpack at Norquay). I also demo-ed some Rossignol (sp?) RPMs and B2s. The former were fantastic - suddenly my turns are fluid, my carves decisive and my ability in the bumps, noticable. I think my credit card is going to take a bashing very soon... (maybe tonight)