Monday, 30 January 2012

Thank you Invermere District Hospital!!!!

First and foremost, Bob & I are very grateful for the quick and absolutely wonderful care, diagnosis and treatment for Bob by Dr. Theresa Ross and staff.  He had taken a fall in his ski boots on Thursday and fractured 3 ribs (# 5, #6, #7) as well as a punctured right lung.  He was then transferred to Cranbrook via ambulance for treatment (possible chest tube to drain the fluid from the lung).
Powder Day on Outrider run
Bob skiing the bumps in Sunna
Thank you to both Paramedics who made Bob's 2 hour trip very comfortable.  Emergency staff was waiting for Bob when he arrived and monitored his progress throughout the night. 

The fluid had dispersed by morning and the surgeon decided a CT scan was not necessary, and only an ultrasound was needed.  A phone call personally from Bob to drive to Cranbrook as he no longer needed a return trip by ambulance and no further treatment was necessary.

 We both thank God that it was only his ribs and lung.  A quick recovery is in progress.  (I think Bob is "The Fountain of Youth")

Today, we returned to Invermere District Hospital for a follow up X ray to monitor his lung.  Dr.  Francois Louw did not feel an X ray was needed as he had healed so quickly, and only an ultra sound was done. The neumothorax still exists, but has already began to heal.  Dr. Louw feels he will be back to normal in 4 weeks.   
Four weeks is not a long time considering he already has 40 ski days behind him and still possible for an additional 72!!!!   He will be ready for action by the time our daughter Tammy arrives on February 20.
"This Chick's in Charge"
On a lighter note;   OK, Bob you had three injuries,  and now your done....No more injuries allowed!!!! A ski bum is resilient and tough.  This is only a bump in the road and the road is paved with sunshine, snow and plenty of life in stored for both Bob and myself.  The season is just beginning to rev up.  We have so much to look forward to.  The snow is falling as I write this post. 
Tomorrow, it will be day 51 for me.  Yes, I will see 100+ ski days!

Thursday was Australia Day @ Panorama.

Australia Day, or Foundation Day, as it was then known was described in the stirring last stanza:

Austalia Day @ the Sunbird Chair
This is the joy-inspiring day

That gave these blessings to our lot

Then let us share the social rites

Join hands, all malice be forgot!

This little star, once marked by none
Now shines a bright - a BLAZING SUN!

Our new friends in and around Panorama are absolutely wonderful and we both thank everyone for their kindness, friendship and support.  They keep me company when Bob is recovering, once again.  They are not just Mountain Friends;  They are our friends!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Snowflake Festival, a House of Rocks & The Enchanted Forest

What a better weekend to enjoy the "Panorama Snowflake Festival" as well as "Taste of the Valley" and "Bonspeil on  the Lake". 
Mother Nature is at her best these days, with lots of snowflakes, sunny and almost tropical (-8 - 10 c) winter weather for us to enjoy the activities both on the mountain and in Invermere.  

House of rocks on Lake Inevermere
Friday evening the Bonspeil on Lake Invermere had begun. 
Sixty Four teams, 12 rinks, and a house full of rocks.    Hurry....Hurry....Hard!  Releasing the rock from the hack, Sweeping and sliding.....on the button, well almost.  It all began at 4pm, Friday....continuous sweeping, hurry, hurry, day and night until Sunday afternoon and if this is not enough, you can skate around the lake on one of the longest ice skating tracks around.
Betty the sweeper

A chili good nite

And the Food!
Seven assorted food establishments kept our bellies content with exceptional treats on the ice,
along with a
Frank & Bob (bandaged nose)
fabulous band,"L8" to entertain us.  With our Taste of the Valley pass, we enjoyed an assortment of delectible appetizers, chili, mexican meatballs, to mouth watering apple pie with vanilla cream; and of course, Cabot Trail maple cream liquer.  If the food did not completely warm the soul, the wood fire stove dotted along the lake shore did the trick.  Great food, company with all of our new friends, aquaintances, entertainment and the grand finale: fireworks completed the atmoshere of the night.
Now, back on the mountain.  Panorama was busy with activities throughout the weekend, including a camera crew filming Panorama's new upcoming promotional video.

Fort Panorama
The weekend began with movie night featuring "The Fine Line".  Saturday Bob demo'ed Solomon skiis in the morning (a new pair is in the forecast).

The kids are creating the biggest and best snow fort I have ever seen!
 Frank took us on a tour of "The Extreme Dream Zone" on the mountain.  We began by dropping into "Elmo" and hopped and turned our way into the "Enchanted Forest"  
The Enchanted Forest

The Extreme Dream Zone
A few years ago, the Enchanted Forest had characters on the dead trees resembling Fraggle Rock creatures.  Today, they are now gone, but you can only imagine these creatures peaking behind the smooth wood, tree trunks and snow covered branches stretching out towards the blue sky.  After that enchanting experience we travelled back up only to drop into Pi and played towards First Chance, Last Chance and done for the day.

We finished skiing just in time to catch the "Swillbillies" at the Great Hall (our rec room) downstairs. 
The Swillbillies
Vern at the Great Hall

Excellent music and entertainment for everyone.  Of course, a jug of cold to share.   Frank: thanks for the great tour.  A new playground awaits us in the following days to come.
It was perfect timing for my "addiction"; knitting of course.  A completed snowflake sweater.  How appropriate.  Yes, it was a Cat walk in the village on Sunday afternoon to show off my new creation.
My new knit snowflake sweater

The weekend finished off with a fly by, courtesy of RK Heli skiing with a chopper above Showoff and a dip and hover over the village.  (an no camera) it figures!

And today we were skiing Last Chance glades and as I was dodging the trees...out jumps a Snowshow Rabbit!!
FEED YOUR HEAD..... Over the top of my skis as I was turning.  Who frightened who? "And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know your going to fall....

  I screeched, he jumped, I giggled and he ran all over the forest in leaps and jumps.  Frank, you see everything!
Snow Bunny
Think Young,  Play Young,      and you will alway be Young.

White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said;

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Blood, Sweat & Fears

This has been an interesting week.  First, We are honoured to meet Manny Osborne-Paradis and Kelly Vanderbeek (both Canadian World Cup racers) who have been training here at Panorama.
 We can only dream to ski at their level.
Our bodies are being challenged by outside obstacles.
Let me explain:
riding the Sunbird's snowing!!!
Saturday we are having a blast in the Sun Bowl and Founder's Ridge.  With all the new snow, it has been a skiver's playground.  Deep powder, fresh tracks, bumps and trees and snow like cotton candy.  Our skis drift and slide through dry, western champagne powder ever so silent.  It is almost hypnotic and tranquil.  Then...a recipe for disaster, we hit.  I was blindsided by a 6 foot 4 inch, 220+ Aussie truck, Dave. My skis remained stationary in the snow placed perfectly as if you were ready to clip in.  I flew like "Rocky the Flying Squirrel" (6 feet in the air) as it was explained to me as I lay face down on the trail.  We were both eyeing the same exit out of Founder's ridge and did not see each other until the last second.  It was a long last second.  Shaken up we were...  I felt my organs shift upward towards my chest, but we were both able to recover and ski towards a cold beer.  A skier's medicine. (and a good dose of anti inflammatory drugs)
The next morning, however was a different story.  I was hit on my right shoulder and it is now very sore.  Not to mention the bruised ribs and pulled calf muscles as my feet were torn from the bindings and skis and of course a very sore neck!  I'm sooo stubborn and won't miss a day of skiing.  Fourty Two Days and counting!
all cleaned up and bandaged
Frank and Bob
Bob's turn today.  He is regaining confidence skiing the trees.  So, today was the day; we both went out alone  with all the fresh snow and powder, the terrain is very forgiving.  So, off we went.  Today, it will be the bowls and the trees.  Sun Bowl glades, Alive glades and C.F.I. glades.  Some great tree skiing was found here.  We both did great turns in the powder and trees.  Success and accomplishment and we both felt exhilarated after that run. We dropped out of the glades to the bumps and I turn around to see Bob and Blood.   What happened?   "I fell on my face" Bob replied.  "Yes, I can see that"  But how?  "don't ask" was the reply.  Bloody nose, cuts and a face trench in the snow with broken goggles.
fresh tracks & more powder on the way

Steri strips to the rescue and back out for the afternoon with one of the best runs of the season.  Mike(mountain friend) said a few more hits to the head and Bob will be a great skier!
The temperature has warmed up to a tropical -16 Celsius and only one frostbite to my nose today. We sweat the small stuff and at the end of the day we are enjoying a bit of skier's medicine and as a child we smile and look forward to another glorious day in paradise.  And it's still snowing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Boys are back in town

Founder's Ridge
Steve, Larry & Bob at the Mile 1 Hut
The Boys...Larry, Steve and Wayne.  We met these guys a few years ago skiing in Owl's Head, Quebec.  They are here to rip up the mountain for 14 days.  Larry, who is made of rubber and can bounce and squeak through the tightest trees even when he is wearing his reading glasses with one lens....He is lovestruck and misses he sweetheart in Simcoe, Ontario.
 Steve, can barrel through anything, but will leave a trench when he goes down!!!  A fabulous skier, and a teddy bear at heart.  He can groom a steep when he goes for the big slide. Steve is from Port Dover and a great guy (a bit homophobic) no mercy big guy! 
Wayne: I think we found
Wayne, (also from Port Dover) well: what can I say; Gotta luv him. "Don't like the trees"...."Your trying to Kill Me!!" ..."It's too cold" ...."I'm not going down there!!"  (*#$@%)  Wayne is here until March.  Suck it up Princess!  We'll break ya! There is only so much beer on this mountain, so pace yourself.....We know you can rip it down the hill...riding towards beer at the end of the day.
 What Dedication!  All in total: Three Rednecks from Ontario.
Bob, skiing down MacIntosh Way
 (yes a powder day, again) we skied the bowls, Sun Bowl and Founder's Ridge...
trees, stumps, and bumps.  Sore legs and thirsty. And a bonus: frostbite!  I know my nose is big, but I don't need a red bulge (never mind a sore one) at the tip of my nose.  I feel like Pinocchio after telling a lie!  My first trip to Ski Patrol to check it out at mid mountain.  I froze my beek riding up the Champagne chair in the wind and the cold (-21c) I think tomorrow I will be wearing a face mask.

"I'm beautiful and I Rip" (read the helmet)
  A great day all round.  I never thought exhaustion would feel sooo...good.  Riding my new skis in the powder took a day to adjust my "sweet spot".  Once I found it, there was no stopping me.  Ripping and bouncing through the bumps is fabulous.  I am still working on my technique and it is coming.  The goal for this  season is to ski the trees and bumps with some sort of grace.  It's coming slow, but sure.  Being anal, and a perfectionist has is advantages. Last run of the day; The Sun Bowl....sweet.   Sore bodies, but sweet souls........
The Boys.....

We can't wait for tomorrow to ski again.  A new playground awaits.....
Founder's Ridge

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Imortal AttraXtion, Junk, and a Cougar?

Say What!!!!!
Ski bum classic! (no, these are not mine)
Yes, the Cat has new skiis! Rossignol Attraxtion 8. I demo'd three pair of high performance skiis on Friday. Nordica "Cinnamon Girl" Rossignol Attraxtion 8 154 cm & 146cm.  Loved them all. 
But, the Attraxtion were superior in the powder and bumps particularly 146cm length. Now, they are mine.

Saturday we were invited to hitch a ride with Rod and Christine to Cranbrook for some shopping.
 A tough decision since we awoke with a dump of snow and it was still snowing!  Off we went to meet them at their B & B (Windermere Lakeside Bed and Breakfast) 
Windermere Lakeside B & B
Cranbrook is 103 km outside of Invermere. Originally inhabited by Ktunaxa peoples, the land that Cranbrook now occupies was bought by European settlers, notably Colonel James Baker who named his newly acquired land Cranbrook after his home in Cranbrook, Kent, England.In 1898 Baker had successfully convinced Canadian Pacific Railway to establish their Crowsnest Pass line through Cranbrook rather than nearby Gold Rush Boom Town Fort Steele. With that accomplishment Cranbrook became the major centre of the region, while Fort Steele declined; however, the latter is today a preserved heritage town.
Fort Steele
On November 1, 1905, Cranbrook was incorporated as a city.

Can't do a thing with my hair!!!

These are not inline skates

Television repair gone wrong

Here we shopped for groceries and had a bit of fun exploring the antique shops. I will let the photos tell the story.

Neither can I....



 Homeward bound with a vehicle full of food, alcohol, a repaired television and hungry stomaches.

 Rod and Christine have a delicious pot roast waiting for us and we were joined by our Australian friends Sue and Dave. 
Rod & Christine

A great night, but the snow... 

More snow had fallen during dinner...29 cm in total.  It is 10:00 p.m. and time to travel up the mountain and snuggle in our warm beds.
What a ride!  The highway covered in fresh snow and more dumping down and we can't see in spots.  The mountain road is the first to be plowed and was in good condition.  A crawl up the winding road 20 km up to the resort.  With the high beams on, our Jeep (yes, a ski bum's dependable vehicle) is climbing and vision is good.  What is that climbing up the side of the mountain beside the road?  A large animal....Cougar! and not the two legged kind.  She was large and slowing scaling the steep pitch of the mountainside.  Amazing.  A cougar back home is a 40+ single female.  My Chinese Doctor explains the definition of women:  Ah, woman in 40's..they be cougar!  Oh, but woman in 50's...they be badger!  Well, I guess I am BADGER! (with skiis)  What an AttraXion!

Sun Bowl
Sunburst trail
I'm Hungry

After a great power snooze we awoke to even more snow.  A ski bum's dream.  We gear up and out we go.  What can I say?  Sorry for all the skiers back home in Ontario. They are just beginning to play in the snow.  We are now on day 37 for myself and 29 ski days for Bob; and counting.
More snow is on the way, as I gaze out the window waiting patiently...for tomorrow.  It will be another glorious day living our dream.

Igloo building in progress atop the Sunbird Chair
As for now... we wait, snow is on the way

Monday, 9 January 2012

Last Chance...Bobby's Back in the saddle

Bobby's Back
Judy in Last Chance Glades
Last Chance run in the trees.  What can I say.  Absolutely amazing and what a rush skiing in the trees, the steeps and the beauty and peace of the snow and nature all mixed in such a decadent exciting decent!  Thank you Judy for the tour!  We have been Skiing Panorama for 8 years and we are still astounded to find more hidden secrets to this wonderful mountain.

Ed Mc Master
Bob in Stump Farm
The Mountain Friends have been touring me around Panorama Resort for the last 32 days of skiing.  Especially since Bob has been injured.  He is now back in service and skiing for the last 4 days.
 Catrien remarked on his recovery as:  "You have the healing capability of a 12 year old!"  I have my Bobby Back in great form.  Today he is skiing the bumps and trees, gingerly, but with gusto.  Nothing is stopping him now! 

Today the weather was sunny and warm.  More snow on the way.  We were on the hill by 9:30 and skied until they kicked us off and managed to jump on the last lift of the day.  

Judy in Last Chance glades
 Time for a beer at the T-Bar and meet our new arrivals from Port Dover, Ontario.  Good ski friends: Wayne, Steve and Larry,  They are here to rip up the hill and get some great skiing in the next 14 days.  Wayne will be staying on until March. 

Dave from Australia

Today we met  Stacy, "Animal" as you can see by the head gear.  They are visiting from Calgary for a few days enjoying the snow and sun.  Gotta luv the headgear.  The only way he would wear his helmet was to make a statement.  I think you did a good job Stacy!

the "Animal" Stacy Millions
Again, I/we must thank the Mountain Friends of Panorama for their dedication, knowledge, and skiing ability of the mountain.  They are now our friends, friends of the mountain as we enjoy each day meeting at 10:00 am in the morning for a new adventure.  They have the skill  and expertise of touring new and not so new visitors to Panorama.  They ski with passion of the sport despite any previous injuries.  They are the tried and true Ski Bums in Yellow Jackets!  What would we do without you?

Ed the master boot fitter

How many people does it take for a boot adjustment...
And lest we forget about Ed,  The master  boot fitter!  My boots are wearing out.  The lining is now punched and very loose for skiing the bumps. So, as an adjustment, I have to tighten my buckles as far as they will go.  I am not strong enough to reef the buckles as tight as I need to prevent my foot from wobbling in the boot.  Ed came to the rescue with his expertise and brute strength.  Try to do this on skies and a steep angle on the hill.  My arms on his back, his arms around my leg, balancing and pulling and a little help from my yellow clothed friends. Not a pretty site!  Finally, success and the buckle is secure.  Time to ski.  I think new boots are on the list for purchase. 
But until then, we await more snow (in the forecast) and another great day ahead. 

Tomorrow:    More trees... and bumps... and hope for fresh snow...