Saturday, March 01, 2003

A post from Fernie, B.C.

Skiing has been great -- haven't 'boarded yet, but think I'll get the snowboard out of the locker tomorrow. Because this is a Learning Diary, I thought I'd connect and post a couple of things I learned today:

When the signs say "Marginal Skiing, Not Recommended" you might consider turning around and heading back the way you came (this is what I did -- I walked back down to where I took this pic and descended from there).

After his descent Eric remarked that a "Skull and Crossbones" might have been a more appropriate marker than the Double-Black Diamond marking access to the Knot Chutes at Fernie.

Pic of Eric making his ascent to the Knot Chutes

The view from the top of Fernie is spectacular -- even on a cloudy day

Pic of Eric from the top of the hill at Fernie -- you can see the townsite in the background (top left)

It's hard to take a self-portrait at the top of a mountain when both you and your camera are shaking -- in this case, me from fear and the camera because the wind was blowing it, and bamboo pole to which it was attached, back and forth. (Eric had already begun his descent by the time I took this pic).

Pic of Doug from the top of the hill at Fernie

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I've got my "snow safety" equipment and am making the final preparations for the trip to Fernie.

Co-workers were laughing at me when I told them that I was picking up a transceiver et al. As they noted, "unless someone you're with also has a transceiver, it's not going to do you much good." While this is true, I'll still be wearing one that is "transmitting" while out this weekend.

I know that I'll feel better knowing that I have the equipment I need to be found, or to look for others, if the unthinkable happens.

I rented a "snow safety package" -- transceiver, probe and shovel from MEC -- got the package for ~$30.00 (with $300.00 deposit) for the weekend. Not a very expensive "insurance policy" the way I look at it.

Watch this space for pics from the weekend's adventure. Not sure if I'll have 'net access from the Griz Inn, but I'll definitely post some pics early next week at the latest.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Home from Texas.

Was lucky to be in Houston and not Dallas over the past couple of days. We heard on the Houston local news last night that 10 had died in Dallas. Seven in traffic mishaps and three from hypothermia. People were stranded in their cars on closed freeways -- I'd hoped to provide a link to the story, but any relevant ones I could find were subscription based.

It's snowing in Calgary tonight, but that's to be expected. In fact I'm off to Fernie, B.C. to do some 'boarding and/or skiing over the weekend.

Although I'll remain well within bounds during my visit, I think I'll be off to MEC [I've been a member since 1977. They have what you need when "out of doors"] for probe, shovel and transceiver.

When in the mountains it pays to be prepared for the "unexpected." In fact it may save your life.

I've never been too inclined to push the avalanche risk. I've worked as ski patroller in Ontario and Alberta, but never at areas that required avalanche control. My experience was limited to areas with at least partial snowmaking capabilities and grooming of runs; therefore less risk of slides. Tilled corduroy isn't as likely to slide.

Nonetheless, there are definitely inherent risks in sliding on snow at speed -- groomed or not.

Rumour has it that Fernie's had some snow over the past few days.

I'll be back with a report.

After I get my avalanche gear.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Here's a picture of me, taken this afternoon, standing in the Visitor's dugout of Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX

Picture of me in the Visitor's dugout at Minute Maid Park in Houston -- click for larger image

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Quick post from Houston, TX. I'm here ahead of a SMART Master's Event session for the SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboard on Tuesday morning.

The blogger interface will be down for maintenance this evening and I've got a couple of minutes to get this post to the server ahead of shut-down.

I can say that it's nice to be back in a part of the world where the temperatures are more temperate. Experienced another big swing in temperatures today -- this time from -20 to +20 degrees Celsius. At least this time the change was in the right direction!