Saying sayonara to the ski season

It wasn’t meant to be a four-hour outing but with a brilliant sunny, warm day, corn snow, excellent skis, and no deadline

It wasn’t meant to be a four-hour outing but with a brilliant sunny, warm day, corn snow, excellent skis, and no deadline last Saturday we decided to make the best of it.

Jim and I took off from the chalet thinking to go only to Cec’s Cabin but having never been out the Far East, a trail in the Larch Hills system that has been trackset a few times a season lately, we ultimately made the Far East Lookout our quest.

Heading down North Whoopee we found Eagle View at the bottom, followed it up to where the Far East trail begins. The constant uphill climb on this decommissioned logging road albeit gentle, was no problem in the corn snow with our double crown no-wax skis.

Nearing the end we were faced with a couple of steep switchbacks then came to the turnaround spot for the tracksetter. Evident were the tracks of previous skiers up onto a small hill from which one can see almost 360 degrees. So well worth the trip!

So much snow, so few skiers. The final tracksetting of the season was done by George Jackson on Wednesday, March 23.

The three of us that took off from the chalet on the weekly Wednesday Wenches outing just followed his fresh tracks and had the most marvelous spring ski up Sky Trail to Cec’s Cabin where we found fresh snow on the trees, and an unexpected layer of the white stuff on the roof of the cabin.

Down Larch Lake Loop, Panorama, across Frodo’s Bog – where the igloos of February were a sad little puddle – up and over Stig’s Loop back to the chalet. Two-and-a-half hours of bliss.  Thanks, George, and thanks to all the tracksetters over the season who have made the Larch Hills such an amazing experience.

A number of Larch Hills Nordics skiers travelled over to Canmore to watch the final four races of the World Cup early March.

What a thrill to see the top Nordic skiers in the world compete in Canada. The courses in Canmore are set up so that one can watch a lot of the action right from the stadium or walk out on the course, as they do in Europe, to be up close and personal with the athletes skiing by.

The Norwegians dominated, but we can be very proud of our Canadians, led by Alex Harvey, with their strong showing.

The competitive season finished with the National Cross Country Ski Championships late March in Whitehorse.

Larch Hills fielded a strong team – many top-10 finishes, with three silver medals –two garnered by Konrad Van Varseveld and one by Andrew Nash.

Congrats to these athletes, their coaches and parents on their fine showing at Nationals. Proud of ya!

Must sign off on this column now until the snow flies in the fall.

An amazing ski season behind, and many more to come.

Happy spring.