Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hidden Valley Skiing

Molly and I started out Valentine's day by first sleeping in, then walking down to The Egg and I for a late breakfast, and then heading up to RMNP for a little BC ski session. Oh, I bought her flowers too! Anyway this blog is about the skiing.

Quite a while ago, there used to be a small ski resort called Hidden Valley. I am not sure when, but at some point the land was reclaimed by the parks department and the ski area was shut down. Now it is part of RMNP. I have heard from several people that this is a great spot to learn to BC ski. This is because the slopes are not very steep, making them easier to ski plus greatly reducing the avalanche danger. So, with a plan we grabbed our stuff and headed out.

As it turns out, Hidden Valley is also one of the few places they allow sledding in RMNP so it was packed with kids and families. However, we quickly left the circus behind and were soon skinning through the quiet woods while fresh snow fell all around us. Here is Molly trying to catch some snowflakes on her tongue.

We followed a skin track up a fairly wide drainage. Because of the falling snow, it was difficult to see where we were headed but we figured we would just head up until we ran out of energy. Here is Molly getting smelly

After about an hour we decided that we had enough climbing, so we found a flat spot and stripped the skins off our skis.

Here is Molly getting ready to drop in

And here she is showing me up. She made it back to the car with zero crashes. I dug in twice.

We made it back to the car in about 10 minutes. I know I had a big grin on my face. Molly is still not quite convinced that it is worth all the work but I'll keep working on her.

So after a hot shower and a quick nap, we are getting our fancy duds on and heading out to the Dunraven for a fancy supper. So far, it has been a Valentines day to remember.

EDIT: It is now the day after Valentines day and I just wanted to finish the story. We ended up taking a 26 minute nap (Mikey told me about the 26 minute nap and it works!) and then heading out to the Dunraven Inn. Wow, what a great restaurant. Wine, steaks, seafood, bread, pasta, salads, and finally black coffee. Outstanding. Too bad it costs so much. I could eat there often. The ambiance there was perfect, romantically dark with candles and really friendly staff (but not the fake friendly or cheesy friendly). According to the menu, there has been some form of a structure on this location since 1907. Plus, they have this strange tradition of customers stapling one dollar bills on the wall. Odd but really cool. The bills are each decorated by the person who stuck 'em up. The foyer is completely covered in one dollar bills, even the ceiling. They estimate there is more than $16,000 stapled to the wall. Awesome...

No comments: