Battling My Ski Demons
On this recent trip home, with our own internal goal to Go! Outside! and enjoy all that a winter in Alberta has to offer, skiing had to be on that list. I was ready to crush the inner demons that kept me off the slopes. I would master it, or at least fall off a mountain trying.
Enter Nigel. Thank heavens for Nigel.
If ever someone needed a gentle reintroduction to a sport associated solely with tears and bruises, it was me. As Pete drove the switchbacks up to the base of Mount Norquay, I deeply, secretly, hopefully wished that it wouldn’t be possible to ski. That the fog was too low, that the snow was falling too heavy, that the wind was too strong.
But the mountains shielded us from the wind and the fog wasn’t as dense as it first seemed. And the snow that was falling? Well, that just makes for a better day on skis with fresh powder beneath, stupid.
But with Nigel’s persistence I stuck with it, and dare I say, loved it?!
Damn, but I was a waste of space.
How is that I lived next to the mountains for so, so many years, and never knew how awesome it can be to enjoy winter like this? To appreciate the sensational views of the mountains from within them, to finally and successfully make a right turn, and to even kick up a little powder as I carved to completion at the bottom of the hill. I have many friends over the years who tried to woo me into skiing with them, and I always declined, letting the demons win. But now, but now, I understand the addiction, and the need to do it again. Because for every day after during our winter in Alberta, when my boots would kick up a fresh skiff of snow during any excursion outdoors, all I could think about was getting back on the slopes again.
Mount Norquay Ski Resort
There are a number of reasons why Mount Norquay is awesome, and not just because of Nigel (although he is our ski-hero). The entire time we were there we enjoyed the very friendly and helpful vibe from all the staff. And not only did we enjoy the ski hills, but there is a tubing hill as well, complete with a lift to the top, and some super fun and fast runs down. Also, this summer they will be opening a via ferrata, which will ensure that the awesome continues all year round. Go!
Where We Stayed
While in Banff we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa. It included a top-notch breakfast buffet, supremely comfortable bed and pillows (so important!) and the best part, the luxury Red Earth Spa in the lower level. Pete and I were treated to a sublime couples massage after exhausting ourselves battling ski demons, and came away refreshed and feeling put back together. (That is no small feat.)