12/13/13 – Boarding Again

 It is nice to know that the weather forecasters in Canada are just as bad as the ones in Colorado.  A one inch prediction of snow turns into three inches and 2 inches turns into 6 inches.  I am sure the opposite is true as well, just as it is in Colorado.  Since there was a fair bit more snow than predicted, M and I decided to take advantage and head back up to Revelstoke Mountain Resort again today.  It turned out to be a very good decision.

We arrived again at just after 8:30 and had to stand in a really long line of at least 2 or 3 people in order to get our lift tickets which had been ordered online.  The line for the lower gondola was terrible as well since we had to pause for at least 5 seconds to have our tickets scanned before walking straight on to the gondola.  Hopefully you are getting the idea that the mountain is not crowded. 

We made it up to the top fairly quickly, having become old hands at the process by now.  The top was again shrouded in clouds, but to a lesser degree than the other day allowing for much better visibility.  I make mention of this visibility issue because unless one wants to take the “Easy Road” down (known as the Last Spike) the only options are rather steep and seeing where one wants to travel is very helpful.

In order to warm up a bit, we decided to do a run we had done previously and discovered there was even more new snow than we had expected.  This new snow was just a bit heavier than the super light stuff we had the first day.  The new snow was more in line with what we think of as powder in Colorado.  It turns out that the slightly wetter snow gives more support to your skis/boards and instead of sinking into the snow so much, you tend to stay on top a little better.  Don’t misunderstand, we were still plowing through snow over our knees in some spots and we still had huge smiles the whole way down.

My plan for this trip had been to enjoy the easy runs and not do any of the crazy things I have done in the past while snowboarding.  That was before I encountered the tree runs.  I have not been boarding too many places, but I can say that Revelstoke has the best tree runs I have ever boarded.  The trees are widely spaced and there is a natural flow to the paths between them.  Where there should be a gap, there is a gap and where there should be a turn, one appears. 

The biggest difference is the cliffs.  I am not a fan of 10-20 foot drops.  In the trees at Revelstoke these cliffs are abundant.  Generally speaking there is usually a way around these cliffs, but I didn’t happen to find many of those alternate routes until it was really too late.  I did find plenty of cliffs which I would not have done even in my more risky years of snowboarding.  The cliffs were simply too big. 

Encountering my first cliff at Revelstoke was really the crux of the whole matter.  I either had to go off or climb back up a bit to get around.  With all the snow I decided to risk it and was elated to find that I had not only lived but really enjoyed the experience.  This of course set me up for future experimentation, having found that the snow was very accommodating to dropping off cliffs.  I managed to land all of my attempts off various cliffs.  Fortunately, I believe this fix has cured me from this particular ailment.

Also fortunately, M did not have to see me doing any of this as she had wisely chosen to stay out of the trees.  She was also happy that I had lived because she does not enjoy writing a blog about our vacation lives.

My day ended a bit earlier than I expected due to the clouds coming in en masse.  During my last run the visibility dropped to about 15 feet and I decided that was too little to live with.  This brings up the only real problem with Revelstoke and that is the lack of sun.  We haven’t seen the sun since we have been here and with sunrise at nearly 8 am and sunset at before 4pm it makes for some fairly bleak days.  I think that more sun is the only thing that could make the mountain more enjoyable though as the rest of it is just about perfect.