Too Much Snow

This spring has been quiet.  There were plenty of adventures skiing in the early spring, in the Engadine Meadow, Mt Shark and Sunshine just to name a few.  While other past favorite adventures took a little longer than normal to get reacquainted with, such as Ha Ling.  With the abundance of snow this year, it took longer for the snow to melt away before it allowed us to begin another season of attacking the mountains.  But once it was clear, I let it rip, making it to the top three times in 11 days.  I was fortunate enough to make a new friend too.  The tiny birdie that hangs out at the top of Ha Ling; we are best friends now.  The Canmore Nordic Center took some time to dry off from the winter.  Making for a very muddy and dirty few weeks of Biathlon combo.  Not everything had a slow start.  Canmore played host to several bears of various sizes and colours.  There were reports of three separate bears at the Nordic Center itself at one time.  A Griz, a solo Black bear and a Cinnamon Black bear with a young cub.  I cannot comment as I didn’t see any of the bears myself.  Currently my bear count for the year is 0.  But I am at 1 moose this year.  This spring I tried to stay dry and get some valuable early season volume in.

Not all the fun this spring was training.  Last Thursday I had the opportunity to participate as an athlete in the 4th Annual Right To Play Red Ball Golf Tournament held at the Silver Tip Resort in Canmore.  It turned out to be an incredible experience and the nicest weather the tournament has ever had.  No joke, the first year the tournament was held it snowed.  The next two years it was cold enough to snow, but instead just poured rain.  On its fourth running, the day began with a few light sprinkles, enough for me to put on my rain jacket, though it only stayed on for a hole.  Then the magic happened, the clouds thinned and a marvelous sun shone down, making an epic day out on the course.  Sorry, I lied there was a tiny hurricane that blew through as everyone was returning to the clubhouse.  Besides that it was epic.  I was paired up with the guys from Westjet and we got off to quite the start.  Starting on hole #6, a short par 3, and playing best ball, the three went before me, having two fairly close to the pin and on the green and the third with a great lie but just off the green.  The pressure was off for me to provide the ‘best ball’.  I went up to take my shot, joking that I was nervous.  There was no need to be nervous, as I hit a near-perfect shot, bouncing off the pin a couple of inches above the hole and rolling just off to the side.  My first shot of the day would stand to become the winner of the Men’s Closest to the Pin.  I may not have had the best drives but I had plenty of killer short range shots, including a few clutch shots for birdies or saving par.  The tournament was a huge success both on and off the links, including an inspiring evening that touched deep down.  Focusing on the reasons we were all there, because we believe that every child around the World has the Right to play and grow through play.

After a day of fun in the sun it was time to get back to a different kind of play.  An early start to the day would find me at the Sunshine Village parking lot for a day skiing on the snow.  What a ski it was, amazing tracks, sunshine and great company.  I may have found paradise; you turn right off the Trans-Canada onto the Sunshine Rd follow the road to the top.

The downside of so much snow is that this camp was supposed to be held at the Haig Glacier.  They had so much snow at the base camp that they were forced to cancel the first camp because they couldn’t set up the base camp.  One being the tent base alongside the ski trails (of note:  the tent base is marked with 3 meter high stakes!)  Finding and making operational the water system was a challenge and a half as well.  These are only the issues at the camp, getting there is a whole different adventure.  Last year with only the final fifth of the trail under snow it added almost an hour to the hike into camp.  Right now almost two thirds under snow, I can’t imagine how much longer it would take.

Its another busy week this week, with some large training hours but we’ve reached the halfway point of this first training camp.  The body is holding up for now, fingers crossed that we get into the Haig to start off the final week of this volume period.  Actually just today I received my itinerary for the next training camp.  It never slows down if you want to be the best!

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