Monday, February 28, 2011

Embracing Winter

My weather preference would be warm blue sunny skied days, day after day. But, well, I live in Vancouver, and while the weather here is in my opinion better than pretty much anywhere else in Canada, we still do have winter, and wintry days. It is a La Nina year, and my expectations were that we’d have a lot of snow on the ground close to sea level this year, similar to the winter of a few years ago. I decided in the fall that I would embrace winter. While I do enjoy skiing, it is not my thing as much as it is Graeme’s, but I knew between that and some other snowy weather activities, I would enjoy the winter more.

Luckily the expected winter snow hasn’t really materialized, but this past week we did have real snow. Between that and the cold and the rain, I have had enough of weekday trainer riding to want to do that on the weekend too. With a snowy weekend on tap, we decided to make the most of it.

Saturday morning we were driving up to Squamish by 7:30am. We stopped in Britannia Beach as we always do, for coffee at Galileo Roasting House. I wish this coffee shop was closer to home. I love it.

By 9:00 we were starting our skin into Red Heather Hut at Elfin Lakes. It snowed lightly the entire skin in, which was 1:20 continuous. My legs were ok, but I am having some blistering issues with my feet. I thought between my new ski socks and body glide I would be ok, but it didn’t seem to help much. Unfortunately this meant not much actual skiing. We skinned up from Red Heather Hut and skied down, but my feet just didn’t have more skinning in them.

We were driving back down to Squamish and in the Howe Sound Brew Pub for lunch by 12:30. We had our first try of Total Eclipse of the Hop, which is their great new IPA. We bought a couple bottles to go along with the new red ale.

Sunday I had a longer trainer ride planned, but I was having a hard time getting up for it. With the dump of fresh snow, we instead decided to head up to Cypress to play. With my feet still not happy from Saturday I went the snowshoe route while Graeme went on skis again. It was puking snow and I have never seen such fluffy snow at Cypress. We headed up to Hollyburn and back, a good 1:15 of hard working snowshoeing. This meant only an hour was necessary on the trainer which was a lot better than the alternative!

My snowy weekend was also highlighted by snowy runs on both Saturday and Sunday. Footing was fine, but some drivers really need to either properly equip their cars for winter driving or leave their cars at home. I had one close call with an out of control driver who ended up running a stop sign and veering into the oncoming traffic lane while laying on her horn at me, all because she was going too fast down a slight hill. I think she thought she was closer to hitting me than she actually was, but still!

Of course, it's Monday and the snow is quickly melting away.

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