This weekend was one of my Canadian favourites. Thanks to the extra ‘Family Day’ the long weekend was the perfect opportunity to try out some Canadian winter sports. Mount Washington is about a 3 hour drive from Port Hardy and with the weather a little unpredictable through the mountains, we planned to leave bright and early to get to Mount Washington by lunchtime.
As we started the ascent towards the Mount Washington Alpine Resort I felt a bit like I was in a new-car commercial. Along winding roads through walls of snow, imposing mountains, and an expanse of snow-covered fir trees all around; it was a truly breathtaking drive. Even after years of living in Manitoba I have never seen such untouched depths of snow so I felt like a child experiencing the magic of Winter for the first time. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful scene than the winter wonderland that greeted us as we approached the ski chalet.
After a quick lunch we headed straight out for a dose of fresh mountain air to justify a lazy afternoon of relaxation and reading. Our chalet was in prime position for people-watching the slopes and when friends returned from their afernoon of skiing and boarding we hit up the sauna before stuffing ourselves with copious amounts of lasagne and the most amazing carrot cake. Potlucks are definitely the best! Although dinner was delicious and the company was excellent, the highlight of the evening was my first experience of snow-tubing. We acted like big kids spinning on the slopes in twos and threes until we landed in a bed of hay.
After a night of board games, drinking, laughter and not enough sleep I got up on the right side of noon and had even been for a walk complete with dogs before 11am. Anyone who knows me knows that my weekends don’t usually start until 11:30. I loved the feeling of fresh air and playing in snow up to my waist which worked up an appetite for a heart-warming soup before I put on a pair of skis for the first time. Cross country skis that is.
I wasn’t brave enough to downhill ski or snowbard this time but a couple of hours of cross country skiing was a great way to try out skis for the first time. Unlike how I imagined it to be, there were tracks already carved out into the snow which the skis slot perfectly into and meant that when the hills sloped downward with a little push you feel like you are flying. Until you crash land in a snow bank that is! I got the hang of the various movements to push forwards as you ski up and down the gradual inclines and slopes without too much trouble. Despite a couple of tumbles I managed to make it back in one piece feeling pretty satisfied with the days efforts. Maybe next year I’ll try skiing down a mountain for real.