Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Holiday Photos

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Some of our holiday pictures from the past two weeks.

  • Catherine relaxes on a almost submerged park bench
  • More Snowshoeing at Lake Louise Chateau
  • Catherine snowshoeing at Lake Louise Chateau
  • The view from the base at Nakiska
  • Nakiska from the highest chairlift
  • Wide open perfectly groomed pists at Nakiska
  • Snowmobiling in Golden, British Columbia
  • The closest Catherine got to the wildlife
  • Sunset at Mount Norquay night skiing
  • The "Top of the World" chairlift at Lake Louise
  • Mount Norquay
  • The top of the Mystic chairlift at Mount Norquay
  • Dog Sledding on the trail at Spray Lake
  • Catherine at Spray Lake
  • Dog Sledding, with Diesel eating his harness
  • Cascade Mountain at Sunset
  • Catherine walks on the frozen Lake Minnewanka
  • Lake Minnewanka
  • The base area at Lake Louise looking up the Grizzly Express gondola
  • Lake Louise, View from the top of the Paradise Chairlift
  • The Glacier Express chairlift at Lake Louise
  • Lake Louise at Dawn
  • Sunshine Village, Looking down the Green Run under the Continental Divide quad chairlift
  • Lake Louise
  • Lake Louise

Tuesday – Last Day

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

For our last day in Banff we went on the Discover Lake Louise tour.

We had some time at the actual lake and were able to go snowshoeing out on to it. Snow shoes really weren’t neccessary, but good fun nonetheless. Even with the snowshoes I still managed to sink 8 inches into the snow, and Catherine ended up on her backside – though it was probably my fault!

Our trip home is still looking a bit iffy, but now we’ve got upgraded seats and priority unloading, so there’s a small chance we’ll make the connection.

It’s been a great holiday – we’ve made some real progress skiing, had fantastic weather and good snow conditions. We’ve done far more black runs than either of us anticipated, and the non-ski days were good fun too. We even visited a ski centre we didn’t know about until we got here, and it turned out to be a hidden gem.

Sunshine Village is probably still our favourite, but in the right weather the other resorts are excellent too. We made great progress at Norquay, where three years ago some of the runs looked impossible.

The “Inns of Banff” turned out fine as well. We don’t normally do budget hotels, but the rooms are clean, warm and spacious. There is ski hire on site, and hassle free overnight ski servicing. Free wireless internet in room, great views of the mountains from the hot tub, free town bus pass, friendly staff and good food in the restaurant all make the difference. It’s first stop on the ski bus route too. OK, it’s not the Fairmont, but it’s still the same snow.

I’ll post some more pictures from the real camera when we’re back home.

Monday – Nakiska

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Today was our last ski day here in Canada, and we decided to go to the Nakiska ski centre, constructed for the alpine ski events of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

The weather forecast was not great, but it turned out much better than forecast and we had excellent snow conditions on the upper mountain, though soaring temperatures lower down made it heavy going.

There was a ski race event on, featuring some of the Canadian olympic squad – unfortunately they had reserved all the blue runs on the upper mountain, leaving Catherine and I with no choice other than the much steeper black runs!

It was an excellent day, and we’re now quite confident on black runs where there are few bumps – the bumpy blues are still a challenge that Catherine doesn’t particulary enjoy so we’ve been sticking to the groomed runs, of which Nakiska has loads. All in all an excellent last ski day.

Tomorrow we’re going on a tour to Lake Louise including some snowshoeing.

The good news about the travel difficulties is the dog kennels are able to look after the dogs for the extra time should it be neccessary, though we’ve still not head from the rep at 22:00 local time.

Sunday – Sunshine Village

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The weather was not so great today with higher winds and a hazy overcast. However the snow conditions at Sunshine were excellent lower down so we were able to tackle some more black runs. No photos today though.

This evening we had a message from the rep informing us of the pickup times for our return flight on Wednesday. Apparently we’re now flying back with Thomas Cook rather than Monach as Inghams decided to combine the flights. They did this three weeks ago, just after we booked, but didn’t bother to tell us. The new flight is a couple of hours later, so we’ll almost certainly miss our FlyBe connection back to the island. So rather than a relaxing last day skiing tomorrow, we’ve got to call FlyBe and try and arrange a later flight, and hope the kennels can look after the dogs for the extra time.

Perhaps the rep can work something out for us, but I’m not optimistic as Inghams are almost certainly the worst tour operator ever, and their telephone staff in the UK are universally ignorant and rude.

After the first Canada trip back in 2007 when we booked directly with them and they changed the flights upsetting the whole holiday (ski school started on Sunday and our flight was moved to arriving late on Sunday!), we swore we would never use them again. Unfortunately when booking with lastminute you don’t know for sure who the operator is until you’ve gone through the booking process.

Anyway, hopefully FlyBe will be able to help, but those Dash 8s are normally quite full out of Gatwick and we’ve got a lot of luggage.

Saturday – Snowmobiling

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Today we went out to Golden, British Columbia to spend the day snowmobiling. Excellent fun, but much harder work than anticipated.

The snowmobiles are powered by a 380cc Rotax and made by Bombardier. With myself and Catherine on the same snowmobile it did seem a touch underpowered, but there was a 500cc option available.

We spent four hours up in the hills, with a barbecue lunch at the top where they even had veggie food.