Confusion set in early. Nine years on the Coast between Pat and I and neither of us had ever indulged in the Blackcomb summer ski experience. Pat tried to start the day at Lot 8, our habitual staging area during the colder months of the year.
In the end we guessed that The Wizard would send us in the right direction, and we were right. We walked awkwardly, boards in hand, and boarded the lift. Our calculations indicated that the one hour journey snow-ward would take about two beers apiece, and we were right again.
Yes indeed, we were getting the hang of things.
Two lifts later and we boarded the bus with a few unsavoury glaciergoers and a number of wide-eyed sightseers. The ride was highly educational and the bus driver pointed out some of the alpine wildlife. One of the glaciergoers decided that it would be funny to spit on said wildlife. I imagine his thought process went something like this:
“Je should hork on le fu$%ing marmot through the fenetre of the autobus!”
Or something like that. Either way, the marmot escaped fairly dry and we carried on our merry way. One more lift and we were there, at the top of The Hortsman Glacier, beholding the glory of it all.
Confusion took hold once again. Where should we go? Being the washed up freeriders that we are, we hit the steeps that fall off the main cat track.
Then we began the day-long process of embarrassing our old, dangling balls in the public park. But the snow was nice and fast so we made the best of it, cheating seasons and surf slashing the summer slush.
On the T-Bar, Pat and I faced one another like lovers and took it all in. There was so much action in this concentrated collision of worlds. Moguls skiers here, double corks there and good times everywhere. There were even a couple of snow betties clad in jean shorts, their bronzed getaway sticks catching the late July ray rays.
It occurred to Pat and I that we should do this more often.
The day went on and once we felt sufficiently humiliated by our lack of tasty moves in the park, we set sail back towards summer. There was an ample strip of snow down the frontside of 7th Heaven and Pat and I thought it best to lay down some hot carves of the European variety.
What with the snowlessness and the soreness of our spines, we were happy to download back to the valley. The ride down was muy relaxo and we smiled politely at all the late day sightseers being whisked in the other direction.
Our bodies were seizing up like rusty old engines, but we chalked the day up as a win while we donned our flip flops and shorts back at the truck. You know, as long as nobody saw us fall off the T-Bar.
Special thanks to Patty Mckinnon for his I-Phone documention of the day . . .