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!
July is the month fly fishing in Fernie gets off to a fresh start every year. Millions of litres of fresh water flows down the tributaries into the Elk River as the winter snow pack melts under the warmth of the summer sun. Anglers, having suffered a long, cold, grey winter are keen to get out into some fresh air and sunshine in anticipation of some of the very best dry fly trout fishing anywhere on the planet.
Lizard Range Golf Course - Photo by David Couse
I have actually found a sport I know basically nothing about, Disc golf. Lucky for me I was able to chat with someone who not only plays, but has also designed Fernie’s own Disc Golf course and organizes the yearly Lizard Range Disc Golf tournament. Serge Gosselin took some time to explain the game of Disc Golf which in theory is very similar to regular golf.
I want to start off the year with an article that is going to help you improve your golf game throughout the season. The best way to improve is to practice, but more importantly practice with a purpose. This means quality over quantity! I see so many people go out to the range and hit hundreds of balls with no improvement because they’re not practicing the right way.
June is a month of preparation in anticipation of the amazing fly fishing season which, for anglers who prefer fast water, kicks off when the world renowned Elk River and its many tributaries reopen on June 15, having been closed since April 1 for the Cutthroat Trout spawning season. The Elk is one of the last frontiers in North America for pure strain wild Cutthroat Trout which provide unparalleled fishing for the dry fly enthusiast.
There are so many individuals in our community that recreate and challenge themselves on a regular basis, but do so a tad more behind the scenes than say previous Racers’ Corner national mountaineer James Minifie or upcoming Tour Divide competitor Paul Attalla. Phil Gadd is one of them, and it wasn’t until he pulled an amazing finish in last year’s Tears & Gears that it was brought to my attention.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
~ Mark Twain
Anyone who has ever swung a golf club can attest to the frustration of the sport. The first couple times I ever played 18 holes, my score was around 150. Safe to say my arms were sore but I definitely got my money’s worth.