It is not often you see a pair of skinny skis on the hill anymore. Everyone is ripping around on fat, reverse camber skis and the long thin boards are a thing of the past. But if you take a look just off the hill you may see an influx of longer, skinny skis. Cross country skiing appears to be gaining in popularity in our town, perhaps thanks to an influx of new born babies (alpine skiing with a baby back-pack is apparently a no-no these days) and also to the excellent grooming and maintenance of our cross country ski trails.
Fernie is obviously well known for sport and its high-class calibre of athletes that recreate here. We often just associate these athletes as rippin’ skiers, boarders and bikers. I am recently realizing that many of these ‘on hill talents’ translate to awesome athleticism on the courts and rinks. I have also come to notice that it is many of Fernie’s female athletes that are dedicating themselves to more than just the well-known Fernie sports.
Photo by Steve Ruskay - Road to The Peak!
Here’s to a new ski season!
Photo by V. Croome
Being the first year anniversary of EA Sports I thought I would update the sports covered over the 2010-11 season. It has been an action packed year with many highs; Aaron Rodgers dominant Super Bowl performance in Green Bay’s victory, Erik Guay’s DH World Championship win, and unfortunately a few lows; Canucks just missing hoisting the cup and the terrible tragic crash of the Russian charter flight carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Hurtling yourself down trails at speed on a two-wheeled self-propelled mechanical device with very little between you and the surrounding environment does seem a little risky at times. However, mountain biking isn’t as dangerous as many people believe. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to manage what risk there is.
Last year I had the opportunity to ride with Nick Dunn on Three Kings, 48 Hrs and Dopamine. I use the term “with” loosely as he was miles ahead as I attempted to find my way down these epic trails (I actually volunteered to shuttle for the last lap on Dopamine). I wasn’t surprised to learn that he was a rising star on the downhill mountain biking scene and was happy to catch up with him again this year as he continues to make a name for himself in the field.
For most September signals the end of the summer. Kids are back to school, a chill returns to the evenings and the streets are a little quieter. I however have always found September to be an extension of summer in Fernie. Weekends are packed with activities, the sun still shines brightly during the day and locals are out recreating in full force. Summer started late this year so let’s extend our summer and our summer activities even later!
With your well-maintained steed in gloved hands with a comfortable hydration pack on your back full of the right tools after last month’s Fix, it’s time to hit the trails. But where to and who with?
photo by Mike McPhee
The Elk River and local tributaries opened June15 to begin a much anticipated fly fishing season. The above average snow pack held the fishing back much longer than normal and most anglers were finding success a few weeks into July. We were fortunate to receive the warmer weather in the last two weeks of July as it helped bring the water levels down and the clarity up.
If you’ve ever watched or competed in the PPP, you may know who this speedy ball of energy is, as she undoubtedly passed you on a solo mission. On a more recent mission (the Elkford Triathlon) Laura proceeded to bike home after winning the solo woman category and heard, “Miss, the finish is in the other direction.” She responded, “I’m already done, just heading home to Fernie,” and saw a very confused look on the course marshal’s face.
Learning a new sport is not always easy. Learning mountain biking, where consequences can be a little more alarming than say learning tennis, trial and error did not seem a smart method when you’re pursuing biking as your career and passion in your mid-thirties. A better option I decided was to become an instructor. Riding with exceptional bikers also works well, if you can keep up. As does taking every opportunity to ask expert riders questions.
The season is off to a great start with courses in the area opening in excellent condition. The greens are as green as can be and the ball is rolling smoother than ever. Thus, we have one less excuse as to why we’ve scored so high!