The early morning hours of 07 February 2010 were witness to a gathering of 35 skiers trudging to and fro between car and bus. On this occasion however, a youngish, lanky fellow had himself scrunched into the underbelly of the bus and was singlehandedly loading it just the way he liked. That’s right….the driver loaded by himself! Our driver Bruce Howes, (who was quickly becoming our favorite) welcomed us on board with remarks of anticipated weather and road conditions en route to VERNON…..such a card! We straightened him out, had a good laugh and off we went with the tone set for a fun journey.
We arrived at destination Trickle Creek Lodge with almost two hours to settle and refresh ourselves prior to the welcome dinner. Our meal that night was good old fashioned comfort food of lasagna (veggie and meat choices) and salads. Toward the end of what turned out to be a typically robust evening, Mike Person and his wife Linda invited everyone to their room an hour and half prior to our group dinner on Tuesday night. Their intriguing invitation was for “winter margaritas” with strict instructions not to bring anything, not even glasses. By now, Mike and Linda were becoming our favorites too and we could hardly wait.
The time did pass very nicely however as snow conditions were quite wonderful. We were greeted by groomed runs, no slush, and no fog in the steady -6 °C temperatures. There were no crowds to contend with… just “up and down” to our heart’s content.
Tuesday night found room 203 to be a raucous epicenter of laughing, talking and an all round jolly good time. We travelled into town for our group dinner at Gasthaus Platzl and enjoyed yummy food, nicely plated and served with genuine and warm hospitality.
The optional day trip to Fernie was taken by 23 of us. We were not disappointed with the challenge of steep pitches, flat light and newer snow.
Time trials for the Para Olympics were run during our stay in Kimberley. We were witness to a riveting display of athleticism by these skiers who were either parapelgic or amputees. Their abilities on the hill became even more astonishing as we mixed with them in the hotel and made our way among a clutter of wheelchairs and crutches.
If you don’t know what a winter margarita is…you should have come on the trip. It was a blast.
by Pat Campbell