Sunday, December 16, 2007


After Brenda's exam on Saturday we drove to Salmon Arm in time to see the CPR Holiday Train.

The train is decorated with thousands of Christmas lights and makes stops all across the US and Canada where entertainers and musicians perform from an open-sided box car. There were two huge bonfires and bleachers set up to watch the show. Classic Canadiana. More on the train at the CPR website.

On Sunday we put the chains on to get Steve's van up the road. Actually we got up the road just fine but got bogged down in the soft snow when we parked. Chains are cool.

This is the parking area at km 15 which I often refer to.

Lots of people out today. Enormous 4x4's are de rigueur and we're usually the exception to the rule in Brenda's CRV or Steve's all-wheel drive van.

We were lucky enough to come across a rare and elusive British Columbia Snow Elephant.

They're very shy and are rarely caught on film so we were very lucky to get this shot. This is why you should carry peanuts when traveling in the backcountry.

Today we again did a bit if exploring. Rather taking off the skins and heading down at the first opportunity we instead traveled up and over the 17km summit and followed a saddle over to the next ridge to the southwest. We've often looked at this feature from 17 and from that vantage point it appears to be quite steep. It turned out to be a fairly mild slope and we enjoyed the ski down into the valley.

Thankfully there was a skin track in place and we didn't have to break trail back up to the top of 17. From there we could see the parking area and we basically just made a beeline straight down to the car. Steve and Brenda chose a more adventurous route that left them temporarily cliffed. Fred, Junko and I and couldn't see them above us but we could follow their progress by the steady stream of snow they were knocking down and by the general thrashing about and cursing until they eventually popped out of the trees.

A bit of crappy video from the day...

Sunday, December 02, 2007


There was a big storm in the forecast for Sunday so we again opted for a day trip to The Gorge. We drove up to Salmon Arm on Saturday evening, stayed at Fred's, and had dinner at an excellent Thai restaurant right across the street. I like Salmon Arm. It's got a nice small town feel.

On Sunday we made a few runs at km 17 and did a bit of exploring. I tried to shoot some video but with the heavy snow there wasn't much light and the aging digital camera that I use just wasn't up to the task. I'd like to upgrade to a real video camera one day but then I'd need to upgrade my computer to edit the video. Then I'd want to get some decent video editing software. Then I'd need...urk. It's a slippery slope.

Here's Fred doing what he does best.

At the end of the day we came across this rascal who had just cut down a small tree to take home for Christmas.

We talked with him for a while but he was reluctant to show us his face. When we asked if he had a tree cutting permit he quickly skied off. I snapped a photo of him as he sped away. He seemed like a nice guy so I've blocked out his face so as not to reveal his identity. I think he was Norwegian...