Sunday, January 08, 2006

Canada: Days 1-4

As my internet connections are few and far between my frequency of online blogging will be also. After the initial mixture of trepidation and excitement, all my fears have been laid to rest and everybody on the course is "normal".

Thursday 5th January 2006 - Traveling to Red Mountain
The trip here was a bit of a monster clocking up approximately 20 hours, 9 hour flight, 3 hour second flight, 5 hour bus transfer. When we arrived we headed strict to bed. I have my own room in the "downstairs penthouse", as we have called it. Dan, another computer programmer from SE London is in the other room. According to the organisers we were placed there for a bit of peace and quiet, with the youngsters upstairs. The house is the "frat" house of the company with the other houses appearing to be over a quieter more refined nature. On the first day one of our fridges was full of beer, which reflects the collective nature of the house inhabitants.

Friday 6th January 2006 - Tour of Rossland
The second day (6th Jan) was spent on a tour of the local businesses, in which we got lots of free goodies, including chocolate from the grocery store and badges from the chamber of commerce. On a small stroll down town, everyone is so friendly in this (3500 ppl) small town. We spent the afternoon relaxing and bonding in the frat house; the evening spent on our welcoming banquet. To illustrate the small and friendly nature of this town, the mayor came to meet us at the meal, and was very keen to encourage people to move / invest in the town. This place has a great small town feel which you don't tend to feel in the bigger urban scrawls. After a few beers at the only real bar, The Flying Steamshovel, we went home for another nights sleep as the next day was our introduction to the slopes.

Saturday 7th January 2006 - First day on slopes
Saturday (7th Jan) we traveled to the slopes and were met by, The head of the lodge, the mountain manager, and the head of the ski patrol; who all welcomed us to the mountain and gave us some useful advice for our stay, although I cannot remember it at the moment, however do not travel out of bounds, will stick with me. There are four snowboarders and one teacher, Gene (Me), Dan, Dave, Alan, and someone else yet to turn up; our teacher is Aubrey. Everyone is of similar abilities, which was a major relief, which will be good for the whole group to see each other progress at the same rate. The snow of the mountain is fantastic, with approaching 360 degrees of ridable mountain available on both Granite and Red. It was a little cloudy today, a mushy at the base, but the emptiness of the slopes and the style of the mountain indicates that the next few months should be awesome, or "stoked" as I should be saying as I develop my snowboarding vocabulary. We went through the terrain park, with the visibility being fairly low, I nearly launched myself off a small kicker (for the skiers that is a jump), luckily my superhero snowboarding prowess avoided any injury. The instructor pointed out a "rainbow" rail which is a semi-circular pole, protruding out and back into the snow, he said we will be spending some days practicing those; I think that will be a good day. That evening I was pretty tired so I went to bed at around 9pm, and slept until 10am the next day, an epic sleep which I am going to enjoy having over the next three months.

Sunday 8th January 2006 - Day of rest
Lazily emerged from bed at around 10pm and headed downtown to find a local coffee shop. Found the Grind Cafe bar, an organic coffee shop, a place I think I will head for my chilled out, book reading coffee sessions. There was quite a bit of snow last night and I think some people have headed for the mountains, but I am going to take it easy, don't want to be knackered (err someone must have possessed me for me to write that), for the first day of training tomorrow.

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