So today, I'm talking about skiing, (well, actually snowboarding) on the west coast of Canada when there's no snow. "What?" you ask. "How can that be?" Well, the truth of the matter is, we're really desperate out here. We'll take anything. But I learned something fascinating watching Grouse Mountain every day, my hands pushed together, my teeth clenched, and sweet beading my neck as I watched snow appear and then disappear by the end of the day.
You see, Grouse Mountain has these awesome snow making machines that they turn on whenever the humidity and temperature are right. And when it gets cold enough, you see these circles of snow growing right before your eyes when the sky is cloudless. Then, later on, they've seemingly melted away.
Well, my son and I would groan at the end of the day seeing our dreams melted by the sun like the wax wings of Icarus when he flew too close to the burning orb. But then, lo and behold, Grouse Mountain announced it was opening up for Spring Break. Seems they have some sort of machine that moves snow around on the mountain, placing it strategically where they need it. So all this time we thought the snow was melting, it was simply being moved to Paradise Bowl. We haven't been up yet, but we're still hoping for a March snow storm that'll restore Grouse Mountain to its former glory.
In the meantime, we went to Whistler yesterday, again in search of snow, only to find out it was in rough shape too. Most of the lower end of the slope consisted of grassly hills covered with artificial snow paths made to allow skiers to ski out. It seems they have some sort of groomers that pack down snow to only a few cm thick, like a thickcarpet, really. I ended up on one of these artificial trails that equate to snow covered logging roads. So, there I was going down this trail too narrow for my middle-aged attempts at snowboarding, and suddenly I hit a rock that sent me flying.
When I landed, it was directly on my knee caps. I let out a loud, horrible yell akin to a wild sasquatch mating call (except that I'm not interested in sasquatches). Fortuneately no one heard it (especially not sasquatches) except my two sons.
I passed out. When I came to, my 14-year-old son asked me if I could move my arms. I said yes. My 12-year-old yelled at me in a really grumpy voice, "Hurry up." Sure, just let me rise from the dead first, hobble down the hill on shattered knee caps, collapse in the ski patrol hut, mumbling crazy words .
Alright, so I'm exagerrating. I got up and rode the rest of the day, growing more and more fatiqued, and wobbly as I went until I finally stood up for my rights, the rights of all middle-aged moms whose sons convinced her to try snowboarding, and I cried, "Enough! We're going home!" And that's how I survived snowboarding with barely any snow. Next week, inland to Sun Peaks where I know they have tons of it.