Sunday, February 07, 2010

Perfect Canmore Weekend

My perfect Canmore weekend began with a test drive of my new ice axe. I got it used from the University of Calgary Outdoor Club for a song. Had fun practicing self-arrest on the snow and found it remarkably useful in the heavier scree. I climbed Mt Lady Mac behind the house with it and found it to be a worthy ally that made some icy sections very comfortable. My 6.5 hr total up and down time didn't break any records but it was above zero even at the summit, calm and sunny all day! Behind me in the picture is Mt Grotto which I climbed last year.






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Next day, Suz and I walked up to the Canmore Nordic Center where they were holding a World Cup cross-country ski race. It's the last big race before the Olympics, so everyone was there and in peak form. I was awestruck at the speed! Both men and women were skiing up massive hills not much slower than I would bicycle down! Canmore residents were well represented in the races and local girl Sara Renner put on an amazing display of determination to place 3rd. The crowd, which lined the entire course, nearly exploded while watching her attack over the last 1km straightaway seen in the picture. It's a real privilege to witness up close such rarefied talent, determination, strength, endurance and execution. Here's a short vid I took to get an appreciation of how fast these guys can climb.





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After the races were over, we hiked back down to town for some winter carnival events. Main street was blocked off and a ton of snow was dumped. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see people skiing down main street instead of driving! One of the more civilized sights I've seen.













Once you've ditched the cars and left the snow on the street, there's really only one thing left to do-
grudge match dog sled racing!

The best race of the day had to be a couple that was getting married down the street who put their carefully orchestrated wedding on hold, and appeared impromptu in full wedding regalia. The groom raced the bride with her wedding dress blowing furiously in the wake!



As dusk approached we settled down with a coffee and watched ice sculptors carving. The end of a great weekend.

3 comments:

CaptainOrange said...

Mind-blowing! It's great to see you involved in such powerful community AND world events. Our main streets are lined with snow here, too. But, we still insist on driving on them. Sled dogs would be a great improvement.

McNally Robinson Saskatoon said...

Ah, sled dogs & skis... elegant modes of transportation for a more civilized age.

It looks like a perfect weekend, and it quacks like a perfect weekend...

Kevin Aschim said...

What a wonderful sense of community! Even communing with tools!

I truly think one is actually better off buying used tools. These mongrel tools of uncertain breeding and heritage were borne of a time before planned obsolescence and mass production of lowest bidder feedstocks that would guarantee a shorter and disappointing life. The mixed genetic heritage of these tools confers upon them a sense of loyalty to their master and beholder that results in greater trust and improved creative output. They bear with them the trials and successes of their previous owners, craftsmen in individual endeavours of livelihood, passion and failure in the creative and constructive arts. These tools have so much more respect when placed in the uncalloused hands of the new disciple. And thereby conveying in them a greater sense of purpose and determination in the new owner and a responsibility to do them justice.

Such tools demand so much more respect than the shiny new tool in the display case. These tools are as green as the new practioner and fit the hand as uncomfortably as a new suit fits one's figure.

Thoughts of basement fridges, wooden canoes and comfortably warn hammers, saws and drills come to mind still in yeoman service of their owners!