Sunday, December 21, 2014

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Trip Date: December 2014

Revy has been at the top of my snowboarding bucket list for quite some time.  I'm not sure why I hadn't made it that far west, but 2014 was my lucky year.  Nine of us, plus Devin and two dogs, headed out on Thursday afternoon for our annual ski/snowboard weekend.  We booked a place, Catherwood Lodge, that was only one kilometre from the base of the mountain.  The lodge sits on thirteen acres of land and includes a hot tub.  You could literally see the runs from the back deck.  

Revelstoke Mountain Resort Trail Map
Revelstoke is approximately 410km west of Calgary along the Trans Canada Highway.  The resort boasts North America's greatest vertical at 1,713 metres and features 3,121 skiable acres.  It is also the only resort in the world to offer lift, cat, heli, and backcountry skiing from the same village base.  We would only be using the lift-assisted skiing and riding option on this trip, however.

Catherwood Lodge
Unfortunately the snow was a bit crusty and some of the runs were icy in places, thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures in southern B.C.  We did, however, manage to find a few pockets of fresh snow higher-up on the mountain, more specifically Vertigo and Separate Reality.  Here's a few photos from the trip that were taken by a number of different people.

The Mackenzie Outpost at the top of the Revelation Gondola, partway up the mountain
The view from the summit
Christine and Sarah doing laps off The Ripper chairlift
The skiing and boarding crew minus Dan, who was taking the photo
The second day started off really foggy!

The trees were covered in hoar frost
A close-up of the frosty trees
Matt and Ashley at the top
After lunch the fog burned off and gave us some great views of the town
Despite the subpar snow we still had a great weekend.  The skiing and snowboarding are only part of the reason we all make the trip each year anyway.  We are already talking about coming back when the mountain is covered in its legendary powder.  Until then I'll be looking forward to my next Revelstoke experience.

Third Annual Christmas Tree Hunt

Trip Date: December 2014

December 2014 marked the third year in a row that we searched for and cut down our own Christmas Trees.  You can read about our previous trips here and here.  This year's event was special because it was Gabe's and Devin's (and Dan's) first time out.  Our group grew exponentially from the first two years as we welcomed nine additional people (and one additional dog) to our hunting party.  Like years past, we headed out to the Ghost Area in the Southern Rockies Region, but searched in a different spot.  It paid off as we all found our perfect tree in a relatively short amount of time.  Remember any Alberta resident can harvest their own Christmas Tree, all you need is a $5.00 Tree Cutting Permit from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.  

The ridge that overlooks the Ghost Valley
The tree hunting crew for 2014
We all parked on the ridge overlooking the Ghost Valley that featured amazing views of the Rocky Mountains.  We lit a bon fire that was used to cook lunch before setting off to search for our trees.  The weather couldn't have been better as it hovered around 0°C throughout the day, which was perfect for the newest, and youngest, members of our group.

Christine cutting down our tree
Our 2014 Christmas Tree
Rome and Murphy in a total standoff!
Another great outing
As usual, Ryan and Ashley played host to our Christmas Tree after-party.  It's always a great way to wrap-up a perfect day outside.  

Rocky Mountains
I wrote a brief story for Calgary is Awesome that outlines how to harvest your own tree if you've never done it before.  The story, titled The Search for the Perfect Tree, was published on their blog in late November 2014.