On February 26, 35 brave, fun-minded souls loaded a Traxx bus driven safely by Don Bury. Don provided some National Parks history en-route to Lake Louise Inn. After a quiet start, we had a coffee stop in Red Deer, lunch in Canmore, and continued the trip with much talking and excitement. Dennis Brooks gave an entertaining and education talk on local geology. Our on-time arrival was followed by an excellent welcome Prime Rib buffet in Legends Dining Room. Most participants retired early and awoke the next morning to a beautiful, clear day with glistening snow, albeit a chilly -13C. The temperature increased through the day to -8C, a typical daytime temperature for Louise at this time of year.
Our dedicated skiing seniors were waiting first in line for the lifts to open at 9AM every day. Each day, however, became more overcast. A Wednesday night a trace of new snow was found by many skiing the back bowls. On Thursday, our final day, it was overcast with new snow threatening. Snow conditions were mostly excellent though there were those who skied to the extreme and found a few bare spots. There is never enough snow! As the tour progressed, some felt more comfortable having a shorter day, or spending time looking at the recent January Ice Sculptures.
Those who tried the “Rock Garden” were later amazed to learn that this is where the bears tend to hibernate beneath the humungous rocks, now covered in snow. A rock “snow well” is a hard thing to avoid.
Tuesday night cocktails and an extremely tasty “Club Dinner” was consumed by every member on the trip. There was much reflection and discussion of our first two ski days and plans were made for the two to follow. Departure day, Thursday, March 1, led to a shorter ski day. We were all showing some exhaustion and were probably happy *not* to have to do “that one last run.
The return Traxx bus was driven by friendly and co-operative Patrick Nihill, our driver from the Panorama trip. The safe and comfortable ride home was made more mellow with an unexpected “antibiotic cough syrup.” It seemed to appear en-route for those who trusted the tour host’s vino talents. We stopped at CrossIron Mills outside of Airdrie for a food-court supper. Some slept and some talked as we journeyed back to Edmonton, arriving at approximately 9:00 PM.
Overall, the participants enjoyed another successful Rocky Mountain Seniors Ski Trip.
Many pictures have already been loaded to facebook which can be accessed through our website. An always remarkable, if not religious, collection of reflective mountain views awaits your perusal. Close to heaven comes to mind. Thanks to all the photographers and thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event: planners, bus loaders, organizers and all others who assisted with the minor tasks that had to be done. Most of all, thanks to all of the participants for their cooperation and support during the trip.
Overall, it was another successful, enjoyable and injury-free Rocky Mountain Seniors Ski Club tour.
Submitted by Alan Burkin.