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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Flat spot between Pacific and Sierras

    How not to do Banff

    I have been getting together with the same group of friends nearly every year for the past 4 decades. The group is down to 5 Old Men now. Old Man S. started things in the fall, suggesting Banff to stay at a lower elevation. Reservation was made for a Canmore condo. Just before the trip OM P. canceled due to life pressures. Accommodations got a little more expensive. The others were flying from the Midwest to Calgary, but I was planning a roadtrip from central California. Conditions didn't look great along my route, but there was another storm hitting California as I left.

    Day 1. (Presidents day Monday) drive to Chico to stay with my son and his family.

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    Day 2. Drive to Shasta Snow Park, Rain and Snow most of the way. Upper lifts buried in 2 feet of wet snow, not running. After 4 runs in low visibility, I headed to the Bar and then up the road to Bend.

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    Day 3. Gear dried out by spreading it around my cheap motel room, I was off to Bachelor. The storm was still with me as the upper mountain was closed, and even the lower lifts were in the clouds at the top. Everyone was happy to see the snow.

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    I got enough exercise to keep me happy, and headed to the Tri-Cities for the night.

    Day 5. After a bit of a drive, I found myself at Silver Mountain. A bit of new snow made the foggy conditions bearable, still too thin to open the bottom. Another place I would like to see again in better conditions.

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    Headed up the road to Sandpoint.

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    Day 6. Schweitzer, snow and fog at the top, ice at the bottom, Groomed runs were nice if you knew where they went. Glimpses of sunshine and vistas of mountain resort. Threw everything back into the car and headed for Canada. I had forgotten my passport, but I had the new and improved CA drivers license so it should work. Uh No. Instead I got a lecture at the border that California did not have the enhanced Drivers License required to cross the border. I was eventually let through to find my way to yet another cheap motel.

    Day 7. Headed to Canmore to meet my friends. We met up and took care of provisioning and tickets while waiting to check into the condo. Old Man S. was having some stomach problems. His decision to prepurchase a 7day ticket for the 7 days we were there no longer seemed like such a great idea.

    Day 8. A few inches of new during the night. OM S. takes the day off. 3 of us head to Norquay and find that a Grom Slalom event has filled the parking lot and lifts (not surprising for a Sunday) Cover was thin, but still building.

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    Day 9. Snowing at Lake Louise. OM S. rallies for the ride, but takes a mid morning break. OM S. ends up getting a sled ride from the mid mountain restaurant to the ski patrol shack at the bottom. Same gastric problems. OM A. stayed with S. while the other 2 of us explored the area. Low visibility, and lower temps. I didn't take many pictures on the slopes because it was so cold and/or poor visibility.

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    Day 10. Tuesday. S. takes another day off. More snow overnight. Even with extra layers it is still f-n cold. (-13 c high temp) at Sunshine. Clouds and snow keep much of the resort hidden.

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    Day 11. We all decided to take a day off. More groceries, beer, good gloves, and goggles bought in anticipation of continued colder temps. An afternoon hot tub session and a full course restaurant dinner left us in a great mood, but when we got back to the condo, we found that some lights weren't working. A call to the manager revealed that it was a problem throughout the complex, and that we shouldn't use the hot tub since the lights were now flashing on and off randomly. An hour or so later we got to watch the utility company bucket truck remedy the situation a few feet from our 3rd floor deck.

    Day 12. After 2 days at Lake Louise there are still parts of the resort that we haven't seen. Still cold and snow showers and fog.

    Day 13. Rookie mistake leaving my goggles in my helmet overnight results in fog between the lenses. I didn't notice it till skiing for a bit at Sunshine, because visibility was not so good anyway. A trip to the car and the full sun lens was an improvement. Not much new, but conditions had been improving all week. Last day skiing for the group.

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    Day 14. I'm headed to Montana. Got another stern lecture at the US border. A long drive to my sisters house near Hamilton.

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    Day 15. After a late start, We headed to Lost Trail. My sister was a regular there until she broke her leg a couple years ago and stopped skiing. She and her friend caught up with old acquaintances, while I spun a few laps in the sun.

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    Day 16, 17. Drove home. Could have stopped for another cloudy day of skiing at Sun Valley, but I had had enough. Tahoe was still digging out from a heavy weekend, and it took an extra hour to get back across Donner Pass, but I was glad to get home.

    Day 18. Happy to be back home doing laundry and mowing the lawn. Glad to have made the trip despite the less than optimum conditions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Nice! I took this year off, but I am looking forward to road trips next year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Wow, I’m impressed you got across the border without the proper documents!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    Wow, I’m impressed you got across the border without the proper documents!
    No kidding.
    what's orange and looks good on hippies?

    rails are for trains
    If I had a dollar for every time capitalism was blamed for problems caused by the government I'd be a rich fat film maker in a baseball hat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Tough to leave good snow for bad, but seeing new places and spending quality time with buddies is never a bad choice. Throwing the goggles on the dash and blasting the windshield defogger usually does the trick, good for damp gloves as well.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Down on Electric Avenue
    Sailcat! What's up my friend?

    Good to see you're still chasing the snow. Funny tale of yours tho. That's some tough luck but you been around the block; you know the deal.

    Maybe swing into Jackson next year, yes?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Flat spot between Pacific and Sierras
    Quote Originally Posted by MarsB View Post
    seeing new places and spending quality time with buddies is never a bad choice
    If I don't make it next year, I'll be one year older when I do...

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