Thursday, February 22, 2007

ghost in my room

Like a wraith
that hovers
twisting as though tendrils caught in a breath
i seep into the space

i watch
i wait

Monday, February 19, 2007


The kids built this snowman when the snow was just right for sculpting.

I am hoping his open arms will help welcome our friend back to blogland.

We miss you, Gypsy Noir!

Friday, February 16, 2007


It is as though I've been going about in a fog this past week or so...

George and I celebrated our combined one hundredth birthday together last weekend.
I turned fifty years old on Friday and he caught up with me on Monday.

My weekend began on Thursday afternoon while skiing with Chicks on Sticks.
As it was our last session, we spent more time skiing and less time learning as we laughed and bounced our way through Taynton Bowl.
Nothing like a bit of adrenaline to get a gaggle of girls on the giggle!
The weather was rather odd, with bright sunshine at the summit, a massive fog mid-mountain and cloudy at the base.

That evening we had our windup dinner at a British-style pub in town - bring out the Guiness.
Of course, we had to top it all off at the dance bar across the street with sparkle jeans and feather boas!
Those young chicks amaze me - I had a difficult time keeping up with the never-ending rounds of beer and, at the end of the evening, I was bundled into a taxi and zipped home on the ice across the lake.
George's truck would have to spend the nigh sleeping by the curb instead of me...

It's difficult to believe how wonderful I felt when I greeted my birthday at midnight, and how rotten I felt when I woke up to my screeching alarm the following morning...

I rolled over and croaked at George to call work for me and tell them I would be late.
They'd understand - I hoped.
I knew that I had to be there no later than 10:00, because it's an on-going tradition to have cake and a card at coffee break for the birthday person - especially on such a landmark anniversary.
George came home from work before coffee, picked me up and drove me back across the lake - the quickest route to work.
I was greeted by bear hugs and handshakes - and they did understand!

Come evening, I was still going as we attended our second night of the Starlight Challenge.
The weather was balmy and, instead of doing only our requisite two frozen runs on the race course and fleeing to the warmth of the lodge, we languished on the slopes in above zero temperatures with excellent snow conditions.
We even went so far as to take a sneak run in darkness through the fog on an unlit run.
Better yet, we met the groomer doing it's night shift as it rose up the slope, and we managed to catch some freshies on the way down in its wide track.

The following day we skied at our home resort of Panorama.
George got called in to work that morning but, as his job was to shovel snow from a roof from a house they built at the hill, he was able to get in some turns later in the afternoon.
...I didn't make it the hill much earlier.

The above photo was taken shortly after noon that very day midmountain when the sun was shining brightly at the summit!
The area in which it was taken is called Sunbowl...

I lost my ski buddy in the fog - along with my ski tips...
The clouds were so thick I had to push my way through...
We had to yell in order to be heard...
We could chew it...
It would chew us then spit us out...

Well - you get the idea!

On Saturday evening we met with twelve friends at our favourite Bavarian restaurant to celebrate George's and my birthdays.
I ordered rack of lamb, which superbly satisfied my taste buds, followed by a lovely Black Forest birthday cake - oh how spoiled I felt!
Later, we went to the local pub where George had organised a surprise party for me - it was certainly a surprise!
Our friend's two sons were playing a gig at the pub with their band.
They are all quite young, but they did a great job!
It was very special being able to see my old buddies from over the years, as we don't get out much.

I also received one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given.
About thirty years ago I did a sketch of a horse and I gave it to a dear friend of mine for her twentieth birthday.
Just recently, she had a print made of it and gave it to me for my fiftieth birthday proving, without a doubt, that what goes around comes around!
She and I go back quite a few years - we met in Quebec where we worked together with horses.
After many adventures, marriages, children, and homes, we once again live as neighbours in the same valley.

Jenny and I spent Sunday on our skis at the hill, but it was a mellow day.
There was live entertainment at the cosy log Elkhorn Cabin on the mountain, so we whiled away most of the time taking in the sweet sounds of an acousitc guitar accompanied by Mel's lovely New Zealand-accented vocals.
It was very relaxing, resulting in the fact that we found it a challenge to get on our skis to tackle the rest of the slide to the base.

Ultimately, we arrived home happy, late and contentedly sleepy!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


One third of the way there - Eugene taking a picture of me... taking a picture of him... taking a picture of me... taking a picture of him...

We finally reached the final outreaches of skiing inbounds - almost out of bounds...

Looking up at Brooke coming down...

Looking down at George, Jan, Eugene and Brooke looking up...

After unloading from the final lift at the summit, a twenty-minute boot-pack along the narrow, rocky rim of Taynton Bowl brought us to the most distant run off the peak - Never Never Land.

On the scramble in, the rugged landscape fell away hundreds of metres on both sides, leaving only a scant rutted track along which to balance, as we ascended higher and higher - done mostly with our skis slung over our shoulders...
This climb always brings butterflies to my stomach and a trickle of sweat down my back, as nervousness and exertion mingle to race through my veins in the form of adrenaline.
I found my hands trembling every time I fumbled to snap a shot with my camera!

All was forgotten as I dropped into the steep snowy bowl and, once engaged in my first several turns, I focused exclusively upon keeping my feet below and my shoulders above.
One wrong move, and that would be it - I would have emerged in a frost-bound heap at the bottom of the pitch, and the tackling of that particular descent would have been all for naught...

From there, we continued over a series of undulating rolls, down steep rocky inclines, around trees, and across traverses knee-deep in powder.
As we descended through the bumps and the trees, the slope gradually diminished, and we ultimately arrived at the bottom of Taynton Bowl.
We then continued our final swoop, via the two-kilometre cattrack, to the base of the mountain.

Granted, it's a lengthly round trip, but it's well worth the cold ride to the summit, as well as the arduous hike into the back bowl, for the opportunity to ski that seemingly endless vertical.

Indeed, if I had my way - I'd never, never land...

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I have a whole new admiration for the digital camera!

This afternoon we skied through a thin stratum of ice fog and, after descending through the light layer of dancing airborne crystals, we pointed our skis across the hill to do a run on the opposite flank of the mountain.
As I was skiing along the cat track, I looked back and was greeted by this amazing sight.
The sun through the fog was circled and dogged by an ethereal rim of rainbow hues.
This is no trick of the lens - what you see is exactly what I photographed!

Whither I goest my camera will now be sure to go... never knowing what extraordinary tableau might attract my lens!

Cold Chairs and Starlight

We attended the first of four Friday evenings of fun and ski racing last night.
Fairmont Resort is hosting its twenty-fourth annual Starlight Challenge on the slopes of its small ski hill and the usual crowd of skiing rowdies were there in full force.
Our team of four equally rowdy members consisting of myself, George and two other friends, were on top of things last night...mostly.
My ski racing experience is rather limited and my moderate times on the course drove that fact firmly home.
The sky was was singing cold, accented by bright pinpricks of light piercing its dark dome.
As the full moon rose over the eastern peaks it brought the folds of the valleys and bowls into sharp relief.
On the ride up, we did our best to avoid contact with the icy metal of the chairlift and we were forced to leap and jump about at the top in order to revive the circulation to our numb limbs.
Following our two runs through the course, we did a sharp right turn into the lodge where a warm fire in the fireplace and cold beer on the table welcomed us.
* The above photo is of Thursday's sunset over Bell's Landing at PMV.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Only seven more days before I join the elite ranks of those in the second half of their century...