Banff, Canada

Day 1

Had our first day on the slopes today in glorious sunshine. Started off with a half day group lesson but was the only one in the group so that worked out well. Went exploring the other slopes in the afternoon with Neil. Currently on the bus heading back to the resort. Pretty much everyone is half asleep with exhaustion. Went to a British bar last night and had a “traditional” IPA. Not quite sure of the British tradition of having their IPA cold, fizzy, and tasting of weak lager. Might buy knee pads tonight as they took a battering today. Neil brought 10 kilos of thermals and spent the whole day complaining that he is sweating profusely. Just seen the 3rd highest mountain in Canada. Looked quite big. Neil snores a lot. Looking forward to a big steak tonight if we can stay awake for it. Will try a different resort tomorrow.

Day 2

End of day 2 and no breakages yet! Have finished today at 2:15pm. Have been getting up at 7am though so have had a good long day and therefore don’t feel too guilty. Had ribs for tea last night and was asleep by 10pm. My snowboarding is coming along nicely. Did some black runs today but had to climb back up the slope when I chickened out of one of them – it was too vertical. Have been watching the snowboarding at the olympics too. Am not at that standard yet. Lots of injuries, I see, in the downhill and luge events. It snowed today a little but no vast quantities of powder yet. Was in a resort called Sunshine Village today about 20 mins from the hotel. Seemed pretty good and I’m sure we’ll split our time evenly between the 2 resorts we’ve been to so far. Looking forward to a traditional IPA now.

Day 5

Was very, very cold today so have not been boarding, instead went bathing in a hot spring and then took a tour up Banff mountain.

Day 7

Laziness overwith now so we were back on the slopes today. Temperature was much warmer at -19c. Skies have been clear all week so although there has been no fresh snow there has at least been lovely clear skies. I think my boarding was getting a little better today so am looking forward to more tomorrow. Some new snow is forecast for next week. Have enjoyed that famous traditional Irish dish of lamb and garlic burger at the Irish pub for the last few nights. Neil likes the waitresses’ short skirts but of course I am not interested. Neil complains that the beer here is giving him wind. He’s not wrong. But so far I haven’t been able to stop him drinking the stuff. Not much else to report right now. Looking forward to my hot shower.

Day 9

10:40am. It has snowed in the town! Almost a millimetre in places. Hopefully there may be more on the mountain. Have now watched 7 of the 10 Star Trek films, in sequence. Played pool and ate shepherd’s pie last night. Am cutting down to one burger a day.

3:30pm. Had quite a good day. It snowed a little all day which made it hard to see but didn’t leave a load of snow on the ground. Did a few new runs. Met an oldish American couple who couldn’t apologise enough about their president. Had a double burger for lunch. Neil has been moaning about his bruised feet for 2 days now. Am currently graced with good health. Finished my book this morning. Star trek 8 will be on soon…

Day 10

1:40pm. Having lunch with Neil. Conditions are good as it has been lightly snowing for a full day now. Unfortunately this hasn’t stopped Neil complaining about his foot. Just had a large hot chocolate with Grand Marnier in. Was very nice. And had a burger. Went to a Mexican restaurant last night and ate fajitas and drank margheritas. Neil ate pizza and drank lager so didn’t really get into the spirit of things. Fell asleep with Neil swearing at his laptop. He has got some kind of virus which asks him every 2 minutes whether he wants to download porn, gamble in an online casino, or buy some viagra for his erectile problems. Sun’s out now so time to get back on the slopes.

3:05pm. Knackered. Couldn’t board anymore and Neil says his left heel might have fallen off. Still snowing so am hoping for good conditions tomorrow. Didn’t fall at all today and if you don’t count the wobbles and my arms frequently looking like I’m communicating with the mountain in sign language then all in all it was a good day. Neil and I just stick to blue and black runs now (North American’s don’t have red runs – with blues being the equivalent). Only one Star Trek film left to watch now. We watch it on the hotel TV played from Neil’s laptop. Hopefully we won’t be asked for viagra every 2 minutes. We now have 3 days left of the holiday and only 2 days on the lift pass. So dilema is whether to buy an extra day or to take a day off.

Day 12

2:30pm. Having a cup of tea on my own somewhere on a mountain. Quite hungover from yesterday when we had a day of “rest”. It involved a lie in and then lunch and the afternoon in a bar playing pool. We played 29 games in total plus a few extra ones with the bar owner’s 10 year old kids. We beat the kids. We then played cards in the Irish pub before heading home to watch Lost. Which wasn’t on, so we watched Barca beat Chelsea. Sounds very grim what happened to Sissoko the day before. Had been drinking for 9 hours when we stopped, with rounds consisting of both pints and tequilas.
It has been snowing quite a lot over the last couple of days. Tried the Lake Louise resort today but surprisingly it is still very icy in many places. Definitely back to Sunshine Village tomorrow for the last day. Neil has just arrived covered in snow. He found some off-piste run and by the looks of it tumbled all the way down it.

4:00pm. On the bus. Was fairly incapable of boarding today. Felt very wobbly! Neil is asleep and snoring next to me on the bus. Had a burger for lunch. Also had a burger yesterday – a 16oz one. It has stopped snowing now which is ok as the last lift is at 4pm. Might not drink tonight in order to make a good go of the last day. Neil’s computer is still riddled with viruses and this is causing him much upset. Not much else to report so will sign off.

Day 13

12:30pm. Boarding is going well today. Only had a face full of snow once so far. The snow is lovely and the sun is out so having a good last day so far.

2:30pm. Had lunch in our normal lunch venue. Won’t be coming to this cafe again as the chef missed the cheese off both our burgers. It’s snowing again so the visibility has deteriorated some what. I prefer being able to plot my path down the mountain rather than guess my way down.

3:25pm. Finished. Just did a couple of runs after lunch and now we’re back on the bus to Banff for the final time. Had a really good day today and an quite pleased with how I’ve improved over the 2 weeks.