The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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Winter’s last hoorah

We took advantage of Kai and our borrowed child Golo’s spring break for one final winter trip to Lake Louise — our new favourite spot in the world.

The kids took three days of lessons — ending the season with an afternoon of black diamond runs with their instructor. It became clear to us after a day of skiing with them that we could no longer keep up. We accidentally skied down a black diamond run with them (they had done it before so we figured it must be OK), only to have the kids ski through the moguls in seconds while Andreas and I hacked our way down the hill and prayed to the gods that we would survive this. No bones were broken, but Andreas’ telemark ski binding didn’t survive the run. Lesson learned: only green and blue runs for the old people. Nevertheless, we were happy to be on the mountain again. Andreas, in particular, was happy to find his telemark muscles returning.

Unfortunately, the cross-country ski season was over this time — the trails were icy and rough and we discovered this the hard way on an easy trail. Or I should say: I discovered this the hard way after hitting the ground a couple of times. Argh! We moved onto to snowshoes (we are triple threat winter adventure family). Andreas and I snowshoed into the pass behind Bow Lake, and together with the boys we snowshoed onto Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park where we ate lunch in the middle of the frozen lake. The last adventure of the season was a quick snowshoe trip up to the Peyto Lake lookout.

The last few days at Lake Louise were over 10 degrees–warm enough for us to eat dinner outside.

We returned to Edmonton to find that summer had arrived prematurely–it’s been above 20 degrees for the last two days. We have some months of serious work ahead of us and then a real summer adventure awaits us. We will be driving to Ontario in July to meet up with the cousins and other friends. Oh, and we’ve already booked our Lake Louise adventures for next winter!

 

QuinnApril 4, 2016 - 4:04 am

Looking good on those skis!

Lake Louise, Part Two

Last weekend, we moved forward on our plan to turn Kai and Gonzalo (our borrowed kid and neighbour) into proper adventure children. We headed back to Lake Louise for another round of fun.

We skied downhill with them for one day to demonstrate our own flexibility in adventure. Both Andreas and I haven’t been on downhill skis since before Kai was born. Andreas is a proud telemark skier, and while he still looks great, some muscles might not be as strong as they once were. In other words, it kicked his butt! I was smart enough to avoid the telemarking, although Andreas once taught me how in the early days of our relationship. I went back to regular old downhill and as long as we took it easy, I was able to get to the bottom of the hill. This experience did remind me that learning these things as a child is a big advantage. My body knew what to do, even though I haven’t downhill skied for such a long time.

In return for the downhill fun, the boys agreed to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing. We took them snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park, not far from Lake Louise. We hiked from Marble Canyon to the Paint Pots (which were buried in the snow).  The boys found the snowshoeing exhausting, but this might be because they stopped every half kilometre or so to devise some structure out of snow or to bury each other in snow.

The cross country skiing also required pauses for building, but overall went well for the first time. The boys both picked it up easily–it really isn’t hard if you don’t care about looking beautiful–and were able to beat our speed easily. But next winter, we should be able to plan a long trip. My dream is that we will be able to ski into Skoki Lodge soon.

Coming soon: Lake Louise, Part Three. We’ve booked March Break there as well.

 

El Nino winter fun

We have been experiencing an extremely mild winter due to El Nino this year–we’ve hardly seen a day below zero in February so far. This has never happened before in the 10 years that we have lived in Edmonton. While this has put the brakes on our skiing and skating fun (in Edmonton at least), it does mean that the outdoor festivals are more interesting. It’s easier to hang about outdoors if it isn’t -25.

Here are some photos from the Silver Skate festival in Hawrelak Park with our German neighbours who are here in Canada for a year.