April 26, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Silver Star Mountain Resort, Skiing & Snowboarding
Find more information about Silver Star Mountain Resort - Skiing & Snowboarding
I made it to Vernon for my first and last run of the year on the Easter weekend and all I can say is... FANTASTIC!!! I arrived and stayed overnight in Vernon on Thursday night and headed for the hill on Friday morning. I left Vernon at 9:30am and I was strapped in my bindings at 10:30am. Ok, i'm not the die-hard-boarder making it there for first tracks... but why bother when we had the whole hill to ourselves?! We still found the runs where no one had been all day! Fresh tracks - CHECK! Perfect spring skiing conditions: weather and snow - CHECK! Exhausted by the end of the day - CHECK! Do it again the next day?! - CHECK! Yes, for a day pass of $53 the resort had a special deal that weekend: $53 for a 4 day pass! How could we resist? The second day was even better only because it had snowed overnight and left us fresh powder in the morning! For the rest of the day the weather was pretty good minus the interludes of fog but we had moments where it was snowing when the sun was shining and blue skies were over our heads! It was a pretty surreal moment if you have never experienced it before and NO... I don't smoke wacky grass... The higher elevation winds were moving the snow clouds so fast that the snow fell slower than the winds blew the clouds... Anyways, the backside of the hill was closed on Saturday but the hill still offered a lot of terrain. We managed to find a circuit route that gave us a lot of opportunities to explore off the main runs and into the trees... yah, it was pretty fantastic! For the 3rd & 4th day... I could see the mountain ranges from where I was staying and again, it looked like the snow had fallen overnight... Fresh snow! I wish I could say I went up again but regretfully I had to stay home and get rid of the jello feeling in my legs. Yes, I'm out of shape and yes, I've put myself to shame by blogging this, but I thought I needed to share this to those who are interested in finding a great place to ski or board for next year! Silver S
April 13, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Victoria - Hiking
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hike the famous West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. For one week we were completely disconnected from everything. Just 75KM of nothing but rain forest, beach and the most awesome scenery imaginable.
We hiked the trail from Port Renfrew to Bamfield (south to north). It's supposed to be a little easier because you're still fresh when you do the hardest part first. Others argue it's better do start north so your pack is lighter near the end. The trail leads you along the ocean shoreline, either on the beach, or up on the cliffs. So the only climbing is up and down cliffs. This often involves wooden ladders, some very high and steep. And because you're in a rain forest, you have a fair chance you'll get (you got it) RAIN. That makes the ladders a little more challenging but after climbing a few of them we got the hang of it. we just took our time. We got our fair share of rain during the trip, but it didn't bring our spirits down at all. The scenery and the experience of being in the middle of nowhere made it all worth while.
You're allowed to camp almost anywhere so you can isolate yourself from all other hikers if you like. We chose the safety of the bigger campsites, equipped with bear locks and outhouses. We're not the most experienced multi-day hikers so we liked to stay close to people who knew what they were doing better than us. The bear locks in particularly are very useful because a couple of times we had to hang our food up in a tree to make sure the bears wouldn't get to it. And performing this activity in the dark and rain is not ea