At one point during every month I panic a bit thinking of a new sport for the next EA sports column. Then I read something, meet someone new or see a segment on a sports channel that makes me realize they are so many sports I haven’t even touched on yet. It was actually due to a friend’s CBC sports blog about her husband’s retirement that sparked my June article.
Photo by Keith Ilavsky
As I carry the western saddle out of the barn, the first memory I have of horseback riding comes back to haunt me. It’s 1994 and I’m at summer camp, bouncing up and down on the saddle of a horse, when suddenly I find myself flying into the air and landing in a pile of cow dung. The horse behind bit my horse’s rear and I was bucked from the saddle like a pebble from a slingshot.
A few years later I find myself horseback riding with some friends for a birthday party. I only remember being afraid that the first experience would occur again.
I do not, I think we will all agree, mince my words and if I am dissatisfied with somewhere or something, I do not tarry to say so. The Lisa McGonigle No Bullshit policy, if you will.
In childhood my parents took my sister and I to the base of the Ski Hill Road, where we would sit on the hatch of our mint green Oldsmobile and watch as Powder, Pedal, Paddle (PPP) participants flew past us. First they skied, then they biked, then they hopped in canoes or kayaks, before stripping off lifejackets and running the last stretch to the finish line. I never imagined that one day I would do the same, as a solo competitor.
We’re halfway up the snowshoe trail on Castle Mountain and I’m certain I’m wearing more layers than I need. Long johns, sweatpants, wool sweater, jacket; I feel like the Michelin Man tromping around in a pair of duck feet. I am not a practiced snowshoer, and lack the smooth style of the others—friends who speed ahead with expertise. They aren’t fidgeting with their snowshoe straps and tripping over their own feet in the snow.
photo by V.Croome, the 2012 winners of the PPP paddling their way to victory
I often comment on the calibre of athletes in this town. They are passionate, dedicated and hardcore. One Fernie sporting event that showcases our athletes’ talents and friendly competitive nature is the Powder, Pedal, Paddle or better known as the PPP.
This month I asked Fernie resident Cathy Morris of the Massage Place to enlighten us on the world of ski cross.
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Early in November, 2011 I was chatting with a friend about spending the winter in Whistler and mentioned that I was considering talking to Dave Ellis (Director of Sport, Canada Ski Cross) about massage opportunities with the Canadian Ski Cross team. I left her office, and literally bumped into Dave. Our conversation went something like this:
“I was just talking about you. Would you by any chance need any help with the Ski Cross team this winter?”
Photo by Ben Jackman
The start of February marks the halfway point of another ski season at Fernie Alpine Resort. The 50th season has experienced many milestones so far, and even more highlights. We have skied some of the deepest powder of our lives, and marvelled at vistas that others only dream of. With the best yet to come, our Golden Jubilee continues to be pure gold.
The Krazy Karpet
On January 17 at 4:30pm, during one of the biggest snow storms Fernie has seen in recent years, I sat with Ann Amundsen (formally Bowman) to remember the good ol’ days.
Wear your helmet, photo by V.Croome
Sports bring joy to people in so many ways, through personal accomplishment, winning euphoria, the adrenaline of participation and even just the entertainment of being a spectator. Unfortunately as with anything in life there are lows amongst these highs. As such an avid sports fan it is tough to discuss such a downer topic but the reality is if you play a sport competitively or recreationally injuries can and will happen.
With legendary powder restored and Polar Lift complete, it is time for back to basic mountain fun at Fernie Alpine Resort. Skiing and boarding continues to get better and better each and every day. Most of your favourite lines are filled in and ready to shred!
Winds of Change
As we delve deeper into Fernie’s 50th season of lift access skiing, and the Fernie Museum continues its work on a new exhibit (The Power of Powder) to celebrate this accomplishment, we decided to collaborate and highlight some of the characters, friendships and stories that have arisen through an inherent addiction to deep pow.
There is nothing quite like ringing in the New Year ski patrol style- with explosives and powder skiing! Happy 2012 Fernie! Now that the distractions of the holiday season are behind us, it’s time to get back to our main focus- legendary winters. So far, the 50th season at Fernie Alpine Resort has been fantastic. Great snow conditions, and of course Polar Peak. With the best of the ski season yet to come, make a New Year’s resolution to get up on the mountain, and soak in as much of this winter as possible.
The Ski Patrol Jolly Jumper