March 11, 2009 | Tips from Travellers >
Prince George, Skiing & Snowboarding
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Inspired by a North America-wide Burton contest that encouraged growth and participation in women’s snowboarding, seven friends and I embarked on a six-mountain, seven-day snowboarding tour of northern BC in February 2009. The second hill we hit was Hart Highlands in Prince George.
Hart Highlands is a totally volunteer run hill that started in 1968. The lifties are all fathers, friends or supporters that volunteer to hang out in the sometimes numbing cold weather so their kids and kids' friends can have a good time on the hill. Wow! They've even got a $500 bursary program for high school kids that volunteer.
When we arrived at Hart Highlands, we immediately loved it. We parked in the parking lot, right at the bottom of the hill, and watched some of the kids rip around, giving it their all. Immediately, we were stoked!?
At the lodge, the first thing I saw was our tour poster, printed and hanging next to the main entrance. Inside, on the way up the stairs, Mike the president of the hill had printed and posted our profiles and blog info on the bulletin board. Wow! We were so touched. We felt like celebrities.
Mike welcomed us with open arms, gave us free reign of the concession, and introduced us to some great peeps.Then we got to ride.
I have to admit, and I believe I'm speaking for all the ladies on this tour, that though Hart Highlands is a smaller, family hill, it humbled me. We had to watch the 5- to 20-year-old rippers around us to learn how to load onto 'the platter' – a lift similar to a T-bar but in the shape of a small disc and for only one person at a time. It took a bit of time and support from the other women on the tour but I finally strapped in and cruised up. No problem.
We traversed to the top of the hill's second platter lift and regrouped. At the bottom, the locals were sessioning massive jumps. Hit after hit, they were killin' it. Stacey and Sam, our whippersnappers (the youngest in our group), joined in the fun. The rest of us finally gathered our courage and hit it too. Yeehaa!?
At the bottom of the rope tow, though, we were suddenly scared to death. The thing was whipping around at top speed. To get on and up, you had to grab the wire. No handles! I saddled up slowly, bit my lip and went for it. Wooooopppp. On my way. Under three seconds, I was at the top. To dismount, I threw myself to the side, heart pumping.
We regrouped again at the top, all of us a little stunned. None of us had ever experienced a rope tow like that before!
All of us agree that Hart Highlands is a bomber place to learn how to ride. It's also a perfect place to learn spins, 360s, front side shifties, methods, grabs, etc. Whatever you want to work on, Hart is the place to do it as it’s possible to ride down, pull a wicked trick, and whip back up the tow rope within a minute.
At the end of the night Mike and some of Hart's ski club volunteers hosted us with a big tasty plate of fries and onion rings, and some cold beverages. Lovely!?They were awesome to us and we are so impressed by them. What an inspiring crew of people – so passionate and generous.
Thanks Hart for everything! We are so glad we came!