Lake Louise Village

About Us



Our goals and motivation

The options are endless. A mind-boggling number of possibilities exist in the Western region of Canada to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter season, but how many people know?

SnowSeekers Inc. is a media company dedicated to highlighting the vast number of winter destinations in Alberta and British Columbia to prospective visitors from across Canada and throughout the world, through a variety of media platforms including print, web and television.

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SNOW CONDITIONS

Through the season SnowSeekers provides up-to-date snow conditions for over 20 ski resorts. Share this page with your friends and bookmark it for an easy check-in to your favourite resorts and to stay in the know on who's getting snow.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


'', 'Baker' => '', 'Big White' => '/britishcolumbia/bigwhite', 'Castle' => '/alberta/castlemountain', 'Cypress' => '', 'Edmonton' => '/alberta/edmonton', 'Fairmont' => '/britishcolumbia/fairmont', 'Fernie' => '/britishcolumbia/fernie', 'Grouse' => '', 'Hudson Bay' => '/britishcolumbia/smithers', 'Kicking Horse' => '/britishcolumbia/kickinghorse', 'Kimberley' => '/britishcolumbia/kimberley', 'Lake Louise' => '/alberta/lakelouise', 'Marmot Basin' => '/alberta/jasper', 'Mount Norquay' => '/alberta/banff', 'Mount Seymour' => '', 'Mount Washington' => '/britishcolumbia/mountwashington', 'Nakiska' => '/alberta/canmore', 'Panorama' => '/britishcolumbia/panorama', 'Powder King' => '/britishcolumbia/powderking', 'Red Mountain' => '/britishcolumbia/redmountain', 'Revelstoke' => '/britishcolumbia/revelstoke', 'Schweitzer' => 'http://www.schweitzer.com/', 'Shames Mountain' => '/britishcolumbia/terrace', 'Silver Star' => '/britishcolumbia/silverstar', 'Sun Peaks' => '/britishcolumbia/sunpeaks', 'Sunshine Village' => '/alberta/sunshine', 'Whistler' => '/britishcolumbia/whistlerblackcomb', 'Whitefish' => '/montana/whitefish', 'Whitewater' => '/britishcolumbia/whitewater' ); ?>

SNOWFALL IN THE LAST 24 HOURS

Conditions last updated on at

If the snowfall from this section is not listed on a specific resort's website, then we calculated the total based on the amount of snow that's been reported in previous 24 hr reports.

'0' AND Resort != 'Edmonton' ORDER BY Amount DESC"); while ($resort = db_fetch_array($oneday)){ if ($i == NULL){ $i = floor($resort['Amount']); $width = 280; $color = 'd5372e'; } else { if (floor($resort["Amount"]) == 0){ $width = 50; $color = '043558'; } else { $width = 280/($i/floor($resort["Amount"])); if ($width == 280){ $color = 'd5372e'; } else { $color = '043558'; } if ($width < 50){ $width = 50; $color = '043558'; } } } if (floor($resort['Amount']) != NULL || floor($resort['Amount']) != 0){ print "
".floor($resort['Amount'])." cm
"; } } ?>

SNOWFALL IN THE LAST 48 HOURS

Conditions last updated on at

If the snowfall from this section is not listed on a specific resort's website, then we calculated the total based on the amount of snow that's been reported in previous 24 hr reports.

".$resort['FortyEightHour']." cm
"; } } ?>

SNOWFALL IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

Conditions last updated on at

If the snowfall from this section is not listed on a specific resort's website, then we calculated the total based on the amount of snow that's been reported in previous 24 hr reports.

".floor($resort['SevenDay'])." cm
"; } } ?>

TOTAL SNOWFALL TO DATE THIS SEASON

Conditions last updated on at

If the snowfall from this section is not listed on a specific resort's website, then we calculated the total based on the amount of snow that's been reported in previous 24 hr reports.

".floor($resort['YearToDate'])." cm
"; } } ?>

BASE PACKED SNOW

Conditions last updated on at

If the snowfall from this section is not listed on a specific resort's website, then we calculated the total based on the amount of snow that's been reported in previous 24 hr reports.

'0' ORDER BY BasePacked DESC"); while ($resort = db_fetch_array($base)){ if ($i == NULL){ $i = floor($resort['BasePacked']); $width = 280; $color = 'd5372e'; } else { if (floor($resort["BasePacked"]) == 0){ $width = 50; $color = '043558'; } else { $width = 280/($i/floor($resort["BasePacked"])); if ($width == 280){ $color = 'd5372e'; } else { $color = '043558'; } if ($width < 50){ $width = 50; $color = '043558'; } } } if (floor($resort['BasePacked']) != NULL || floor($resort['BasePacked']) != 0){ print "
".floor($resort['BasePacked'])." cm
"; } } db_set_active($prev_db); ?>Read More

About Us



Our goals and motivation

The options are endless. A mind-boggling number of possibilities exist in the Western region of Canada to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter season, but how many people know?

SnowSeekers Inc. is a media company dedicated to highlighting the vast number of winter destinations in Alberta and British Columbia to prospective visitors from across Canada and throughout the world, through a variety of media platforms including print, web and television.

Read More

Big White Ski Resort Home

Found in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan, Big White ski resort carries the name for good reason. They’ve got snow ghosts galore, giving the place an unearthly look. You’ll find plenty of Champagne powder here, enough to make you feel giddy. Families, friends, and first timers will love Big Whites mountain village, which is packed with a solid array of amenities and adventures. Read more about Big White Ski Resort here.

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Mount Baker

link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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Photo of the Day: Jan. 24, 2012

As a celebration of all our Aussie friends that cross the pond to play around in the snow with all us Westerners, several ski resorts are hosting Australia Day festivities over the next few days.

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That's a wrap

Acura's Rocky Mountain Road Trip
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

KEVIN PRISIAK

Sitting in the Vancouver airport after a 10-day snow seeking adventure, it all seemed a blur. 

So many days, so many hotels/resorts and so much delicious pow. Would I ever go on a trip like this again? Sure as hell I would! I will probably need a good month of recovery time before attempting anything close to this again though.

Trips like this are a feast of memories, which slowly trickle back like a stream winding its way through a valley in the Rocky Mountains. Both Chris (Tobias) and I are constantly laughing to ourselves as flashbacks from the last 10 days creep into our minds. So many good times with so many awesome people; the hospitality we received was incredible.

Acura's Rocky Mountain Road Trip
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

Hitting the road on day one and meeting Brian Rode at Marmot Basin and then Mike Moynihan at Lake Louise and right through to Jennifer Tice at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the people we met on our escapade through the Rockies made it so much more memorable. Whether it was the man I met at the Library Lounge in the Hume Hotel in Nelson who claimed his name was Nanuk, the group of 70-year-old ladies who were ripping up the slopes at Red Mountain, or the guy in a skin-coloured, skin tight one-piece suit dancing in the cage at Buffalo Bills in Whistler ... all of them helped make this trip a mountain of memories.

Our last night in Whistler consisted of checking out the Telus Fire and Ice Show. It was a beautiful show of talented riders, captivating fire spinners, and fireworks. The show is every Sunday night through ‘til April 17th and features a group of talented riders who launch off a huge jump through a flaming hoop, as well as some awesome fire spinners, and finally a nice blast of fireworks to finish off the show. It’s a great spectacle and definitely a fun family event worth checking out if you are ever in Whistler on a Sunday night.

Leaving Whistler was a hard thing to do this morning (emotionally).  So much fresh snow! Another 23 cm of snow fell last night and the entire mountain was a powder heaven. I so wanted to be out riding.

The trip back was snowy and ice covered, then rainy and warmer as we headed past Squamish. There were lots of snow plows, and travellers on the Sea to Sky Highway this Monday morning and into the afternoon. We arrived at the airport, dropped off the Acura ZDX, checked in, checked some bags, and now it’s back to Edmonton.

Goodbye Rocky Mountains, I will truly miss you.

Until next time.

Acura's Rocky Mountain Road Trip
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
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Banff/Mount Norquay Resort

Where else can you ski by the hour? Known as the locals’ favourite, this small and friendly resort is located within minutes from downtown Banff.  Mt. Norquay has five lifts and 28 runs, to suit all skiing abilities. Experts can whoop it up on the gnarly Lone Pine, while cruisers will love Bruno’s Gully. Switch your skis or snowboard for a snow tube and slide the slopes in the tube park.

Read more about Banff and Mount Norquay here.

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Our Team

 

 

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SMARTPHONE APPS


DISCLAIMER: The SnowSeekers apps that are currently in the iTunes store are LAST YEAR's versions. The text on this page is referring to the 2.0 version that will be coming out in November.

Unlock the best of Western Canada with the SnowSeekers‚Ñ¢             Go-Guide Apps


In 2009, SnowSeekers launched a series of 12 iPhone applications - the SnowSeekers Go-Guides. These digital guidebooks informed users about where to go and what to do at their favourite ski resorts in Alberta and British Columbia.

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Company News

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Photo of the Day: Jan. 16, 2012

If you crave the backcountry, be smart about it. Get some training. If you've had some training, get refreshed. It's your life—and the life of your backcountry buddies—at stake.

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Schweitzer

link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Whistler Blackcomb

CHRIS TOBIAS

Day 08: Vancouver, BC

Trip Odometer Total: 1,767 km (1,098 miles)

616 km is what separated us from Vancouver, without doubt it was the longest leg of our trip. We had left early in the morning, hoping to avoid another night of treacherous mountain driving. The first half was an absolute pleasure, with warm weather and sunny skies we made our way through dry mountain passes and beautiful valleys. The Westward path on Crowsnest Highway brought us right along the US/Canada border at multiple points, and we had some fun trying to figure out which pieces of land where physically on the American side.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

Through the long drive there was definitely no shortage of audio entertainment. While we had the selection of XM radio available, I also had my iPhone connected via USB and at the same time Kevin had his smartphone synced via Bluetooth. The ELS surround sound audio system has been a great companion, blasting crisp quality sound through the ZDX’s 10-speakers. I’ve enjoyed the nice arm massage the door speaker gives me when there’s deep base, all without any rattle or distortion. In contrast, the ZDX is equipped with Active Noise Cancellation and fabric insulation, so whether we’re reminiscing about our day on the hill or arguing about which route to take, the cabin has been exceptionally quiet when needed.

It seemed the closer we got to Vancouver, the harder the rain began to hit us. As the sun slowly sank behind the clouds and fog, our ZDX rallied through the last stretch of steep, curvy, and wet mountainous roads without a hitch. We eventually linked back to the Trans-Canada Highway for some smooth cruising to the big city. I’m not sure what’s more stressing, mountain driving through a snow storm or navigating the busy streets of Vancouver on a dark rainy night.

Day 09: Blackcomb Mountain

Trip Odometer Total: 1,897 km (1,179 miles)

It’s been a long 8 days, but the home stretch to our final destination Whistler was only 125 km away. I haven’t been up Highway 99 since it had completed its upgrades for the 2010 Winter Olympics, so it was nice to breeze through without stopping for any construction. Highway 99 is also known as the Sea to Sky highway, with the coast on one side and mountains on the other, it’s setup for some spectacular views. The scenic drive is highly recommended if you’re ever in the Vancouver area.

We arrived for an early check-in at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort Hotel which is situated at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. It has all the services and amenities you would expect from a Fairmont hotel, but it’s also tailored specifically for the skiing and snowboarding experience. With true ski-in/ski-out convenience, it’s just a few steps away from the Blackcomb Daylodge and the Wizard Express Lift. There’s also the rental shop and handy ski valet service attached to the hotel, so you can drop off your gear after your last run and pick it up the next morning.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

Surprisingly there was no line at the Blackcomb base, so we quickly headed up the lifts and into the clouds. It was foggy and slushy at the lower mountain, but once you head up above the clouds on Solar Coaster you’re looking at blue skies and drier snow. 16 cm of the white stuff fell overnight, so higher up even further on the 7th Heaven we found ourselves cutting through some nice fluffy pow. With a ton of terrain still left to explore, we rode the day out until the lifts closed, then headed back to our room to get ready for a night out in Whistler village.

Day 10: Whistler Mountain

Exhausted and sore from nine days of driving and snowboarding, we’ve survived to make it to day ten. And on our last day of riding, we received a little gift from our old friend Mother Nature: 25 cm of fresh snow overnight. It was a welcomed gift considering what she made us battle through to get here.

Today we planned to hit up Whistler Mountain, so we made our way atop Blackcomb to the Peak 2 Peak loading station. Opened in 2008, the Peak 2 Peak gondola stretches across 4.4 km to connect the two massive side-by-side mountains together. It would be my first time on this record breaking gondola, so we decided to wait a few minutes for one of two special cabins that offer an extra perspective – a glass floor that lets you see 436 metres down to the ground below.

With Whistler Blackcomb’s 39 lifts and over 200 trails, there’s just too much terrain for us to completely explore in two days. The snow continued to fall throughout the afternoon, but after 7 days of riding in the past 10 days, our legs just couldn’t keep up. From the village base we returned to Blackcomb Mountain where we rode to the top of Glacier Express for our last run of the trip. I took my time getting down, prolonging the final descent and making sure I enjoyed every last cut and turn through the snow.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias
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Calgary

Experience the thrill of being hurled down a bobsleigh run with 14 turns at speeds of up to 120 km per hour, or soak up some Olympic history at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park. You can also brush up on your ski stance before heading out to the Canadian Rockies resorts. Another must-see polar experience is the Calgary Zoo’s penguin exhibit.

Read more about COP here.

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Cranbrook

Nestled between the Kootenay and Rocky Mountain ranges, Cranbrook, British Columbia boasts more sunshine than anywhere else in the province. With mountains on either side, a vibrant history and a collection of cultural experiences that can only be found within the Kootenay Rockies, Cranbrook boasts history, culture all in the heart of nature.

After visiting once, you’ll know why Cranbrook is a perfect winter adventure base camp.

By choosing to stay in Cranbrook, you'll have the opportunity to experience two separate ski resorts in the same weekend, only 15 minutes from Kimberley and less then an hour to Fernie. Fly into the Canadian Rockies International Airport, located only minutes from downtown and you’ll get a glimpse at how central Cranbrook really is.

Snow Fall for ' . $snowfall_resort . '

'; ## Display chart here ## $now = date("Y-m-d"); $amounts = db_fetch_array(db_query("SELECT Amount as '24 hours', FortyEightHour as '48 hours', SevenDay as 'Last 7 days', YearToDate as 'Year to Date', BasePacked as 'Base Packed' FROM snowcontest.Snowfall WHERE Date='". date("Y-m-d") ."' AND Resort='%s'", $snowfall_resort)); $width_max = 410; if($amounts){ print'
'; foreach($amounts as $key=>$value){ # Logrithmic modifier using all values as the set to determine the highest if($value == 0){ $modifier = 0; } else { $modifier = log($value,max($amounts)); } if(is_infinite($modifier)) $modifier = 0; /****** For having the logrithmic scales compare 24h/48h/7d and Year/Base separately switch($key){ case "24 hours": case "48 hours": case "Last 7 days": $modifier = log($amounts[$key], $amounts['Last 7 days']); break; case "Year to Date": case "Base Packed": if($amounts['Year to Date'] > $amounts['Base Packed']) $higher_value = $amounts['Year to Date']; else $higher_value = $amounts['Base Packed']; $modifier = log($amounts[$key], $higher_value); break; default: $modifier = $amount_max_2days / $width_max; *******/ # Set width of bar $width = floor($width_max * $modifier) + 40; if ($width < 40) $width = 40; if ($width > ($width_max + 40)) $width = ($width_max + 40); # Set color of bar if ($key == '24 hours') $color = 'D5372E'; else $color = '043558'; print "
".$key."
".floor($value)." cm
"; } } if($amounts){ print '
'; } print '

Conditions last updated on ' . date("F j") . ' at ' . date("g a") . '

'; print '

Compare Snowfall for all resorts

'; ?>Read More

Contact Us

Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation @ NAIT
W207 11762 106 St

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
T5G 2R1

info@snowseekers.ca
 
 
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Whitefish Mountain Resort Home

There’s a reason why the town and the ski resort share the same name. This destination exists for one purpose - to ski and have fun. The mountain has three high-speed quads which whisks snowboarders, skiers, and snow-seekers to some grand experiences.  Its annual winter Carnival in February is something to experience.  With wallet-friendly après ski amenities, the town is full of ski junkies and it’s not hard to enjoy some Montana cheer and revel in its love for everything snow. Read more about Whitefish here.

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VIDEOS

THIS IS WHERE SOME SNOWSEEKERS VIDEOS WILL GO WITHIN OUR WEBSITE!!!!111!!1!

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Related Links

Adventure

For the true adventure enthusiast. If you're researching your next catskiing, heliskiing, or overseas excursion, we recommend taking a look at the sites below. You'll find all the best info from Canada, Australia, the UK, and more. Research potential adventure opportunities, plan and prepare accommodations and dining, or register for top of the line instructor courses.Read More

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Home

This is bound to become a family favourite. We’re certain everyone will enjoy the cold-water plunge pools and hot water pools to soak the bones after a day on the slopes. Fairmont Hot Springs is a full-service resort that not only offers slope-side accommodations, but also each lift ticket includes access to the hot springs.  It’s located along the Powder Highway in British Columbia’s interior, about an hour north of the Canadian Rockies International Airport, about 16 km from Cranbrook. Read more about Fairmont here.

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Photo of the Day: Jan. 12, 2012

The helmet says it all...

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Banff ski and snowboard coupons

Welcome to our Banff, Alberta coupon page. 

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

After another delicious breakfast served up from the fine people at The Ram’s Head Inn at the base of Red Mountain, it was time to pack up and get on the road for the last leg of our journey: a quick eight hour drive from Rossland to Vancouver. 

The drive was quite scenic down the number 3 Highway. Going through Osoyoos and wine country made me want to make that drive again, only this time in the summer. Fruit stands and wineries dotted what seemed the entire highway. Leaving Rossland and Red Mountain behind with 2 meters of snow at the roadside, to green grass and almost no snow to be seen anywhere was a huge difference.

After an amazing night in Van catching up with old friends, we headed out bright and early (too early...) and made the trip to Whistler and the illustirous Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is amazing! After a night out on the town in Vancouver, I was in no shape to be riding...yet. I rested for about an hour in a marvelous bed, before I decided that hitting the hill was a good idea. I felt a little bit out of sorts, but the cool mountain air was quite refreshing.

Whistler Blackcomb was in excellent shape. We find out later that the 7th Heaven chair (on Blackcomb Mountain) had been closed for about 2 days before we had got there due to about 40 cm of snow and crazy wind. Riding the 7th Heaven chair at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday, we were still finding stashes of untouched powder all over the place. It made for a very diverse day of riding: powder at the top, slushy spring skiing at the base, and lots of traversing the middle.

There is so much snow at Whistler Blackcomb right now, and the diversity of terrain at is unbelievable; there is something for every level of rider in almost any direction to choose. It is pretty much all there; whatever you are looking for, you will find it. 

It seemed like we found a new terrain park every time we rode a new lift. There are a total of 5 terrain parks on Whistler Blackcomb and 2 half pipes. One is a 22-foot (Olympic sized) and the other is a smaller 14-foot half pipe. I am not sure if someone can actually ride every lift on both mountains in one day, but the next time I'm here, that is my goal.

My last trip to Whistler was a few years ago and they had just installed the new Peak 2 Peak Gondola. On Sunday it was decided that we would check it out, as Chris had never been on it. The Peak 2 Peak is a marvel, as far as an engineering masterpiece goes, breaking three world records: with the longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres, the highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor, and it completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe. We met people on the Peak 2 Peak who to the mountain with the sole purpose of riding it.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

In Whistler there is the Upper Village and the Lower Village. If you are on Blackcomb Mountain, you will probably see more of the Upper Village, and if you are riding Whistler Mountain, you will probably end up in the Lower Village. For our trip to Whistler Blackcomb we stayed at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Located in the Upper Village, right at the base of the Wizard Express lift (at the base of Blackcomb Mountain), the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is an exceptional hotel. One of the highlights for me was getting down the hill, unstrapping, walking down a flight of stairs and handing my snowboard to a friendly attendant at the Ski Valet. How cool is that? 

I found all the staff very friendly and super helpful any time we needed anything. The Fairmont had everything you could imagine for amenities, and probably some you never thought of, like the ski valet for example. Pretty sure that of all the beds I slept during the Rocky Mountain Road Trip, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler was at the top of the list ... but I can't at all complain about any of the exceptional accoms we've had along the way. They were all terrific. 

With Whistler, our 10-day undertaking definitely ended in style. I think I will head to the day spa just two doors down and see if they can make me pretty.

Tomorrow we fly back to Edmonton. I am not sure how I feel about that. Perhaps some sense of relief, a sense of accomplishment, sadness, and happiness. To be able to do this trip and have everything work out is good enough for me. I never like leaving the mountains behind, and I am sure that as relieved as I will be to get home, I will miss the snowy slopes of the Rocky Mountains very much.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
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ADVERTISERS

Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation @ NAIT
W207 11762 106 St
 
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
T5G 2R1

info@snowseekers.ca
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Industry News

 

National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week, Jan. 16-24

 

 

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Contact Us

Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation @ NAIT
W207 11762 106 St

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
T5G 2R1

info@snowseekers.ca
 
 
Read More

Fernie Home

Fernie is a ski town where you can feast on enchiladas from a Mexican diner while the spicy Curry Bowl awaits at the ski resort. Just a two-hour drive from Calgary, you’ll find powder-filled days paired with this friendly former mining town with a rugged charm.  Fernie and its namesake alpine resort are blessed by snow gods. His name is The Grizz and legend has it that he lives above Polar Peak and bestows the slopes with a snowy bounty. Each year the resort receives well over 30 feet of snow.Read More

Photo of the Day: Jan. 9, 2012

A killer photo taken from the peak of the Knob, at Jasper's Marmot Basin.

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Canmore ski and snowboard coupons

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

Click on coupons to view/print.

 

Canmore

Click the link for more information on Canmore/Kananaskis winter activities..
Click on a coupon to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

Georgetown Inn coupon, CanmoreFalcon Crest coupon, Canmore Howling Dog Tours 10% off deal, CanmoreFalcon Crest coupon, Canmore Stoneridge coupon, Canmore Yamnuska coupon, Canmore Copperstone Resort, Canmore

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 07: Red Mountain

CHRIS TOBIAS

Rossland, BC

The trip from Whitewater to Red Mountain was the shortest leg of our journey, just a 88 km jaunt Southwest towards the town of Rossland, BC. We’re actually so far South at this point that the Canada/US border is only 10 km away. After a quick and easy drive through some small BC towns, we arrived at our lodge located at the base of Red Mountain. I wouldn’t exactly consider it “on-hill” accommodations, but with just a short walk to the nearest lift we could skip the usual early morning drive to the hill.

Red Mountain, British Columbia, Canada
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

We’ve spent many hours in the Acura ZDX’s spacious front cabin, and I still can’t get enough of its fluid design and many luxuries. The panoramic glass roof has been perfect for our mountain trip, refreshing us with natural light and an open view to the sky. The leather dash, surrounding leather trim and contrasting silver accents add to its richness and showcase the level of detail Acura has put into the ZDX. Continuing with the overall theme and feel, the steering wheel and instrument panel are stylish, but still remain intuitive and functional. I’ve loved the symmetry of the centre stack and button layout, as well as the dark brushed texture used throughout.

Behind us the rear heated leather seats can be a bit tricky to get into, but both Kevin and I agree there is adequate leg room. Even with the sloping roof line, I just manage to sit comfortably without my head touching the top.

Red Mountain, British Columbia, Canada
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

Day 07: Red Mountain Resort

Trip Odometer Total: 1232 km (765.5 miles)

I spent yesterday night studying the trail map of Red Mountain and was anxious to explore its unique “3-D” layout. There hasn’t been much snowfall in the past few days, but right off the bottom Silverlode chair I was presented with a few wide open groomed blues to start off. The ride to the top via the Motherlode Chair was long and steep, and it gave us the opportunity to scope out some of the interesting terrain beneath us. With numerous drops and chutes, it’s a paradise for expert skiers and riders.

From the top we made our way around to the backside of Granite Mountain, an area with a good mix of green, blue, and black runs. Another clear day and warm temperatures lead to spring-like conditions, and by midday we were able to grip the softened snow and take in a healthy dose of vitamin D. What’s nice about Granite Mountain is that you can go choose to ride around either side and still get back to the base. The other peak, “Red Mountain” was considerably smaller but had some of the steepest and fastest cruiser runs I’ve ever seen.

A brochure I picked up claimed Red Mountain is the “last great undiscovered resort”, a statement I do find some truth in. Bring me in on a good powder day and I might just have to bump it up on my personal resort rankings.

For more on Red Mountain, check out SnowSeekers' Red Mountain section.

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Canmore/ Nakiska Home

Only 45 minutes west of Calgary, Canmore is the perfect basecamp to tackle the Canadian Rockies.  With its own mountain town charm, Canmore is home to great dining and many winter adventures.  Places such as Fortress Mountain, Kananaskis Provincial Park for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing, plus the ski slopes of the Bow Valley (Sunshine, Norquay and Lake Louise) will leave any snow-seeker satisfied.  Canmore has been on the world stage many times with its internationally acclaimed Nordic ski centre, located just minutes from the town centre.

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Big White Accommodations

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Photo of the Day: Jan. 3, 2012

If you’re looking to get your riding fix and save some dineros at the same time, Kokanee Winterfest at Mount Washington delivers the goods from Monday, January 9th to Friday, January 13th.

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Castle Mountain ski and snowboard coupon book

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

Click on coupons to view/print.

 

Castle Mountain

Click the link for more information on Castle Mountain.
Click on a coupon and to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

   Castle coupon, AlbertaCastle coupon, Alberta

 

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Day Seven: Red Mountain Resort

KEVIN PRISIAK

Never having been to Red Mountain Resort, or Rossland for that matter, I had no idea what Chris and I were in for. A quick drive through the town, and it was quick—with a population around 3500, Rossland is pretty small—we made it to Red Mountain in about 3 minutes. Scoping out a couple of different places to stay, we decided on the Ram’s Head Inn.

The Ram’s Head Inn is a quaint little bed and breakfast situated about a 5 minute walk to the lifts, which is perfect. The Ram’s Head has a hot tub, sauna, guest ski storage, and one hella awesome breakfast every morning. After a hearty breakfast, we were off to explore Red Mountain Resort.

After trekking through a bit of trees and a parking lot, I’m already getting on a lift. First impression – this place is massive! I can see terrain everywhere! The trail maps reveal that there’s a fully accessible backside as well. 360 degrees of mountain to explore, with lifts all around … it is a perfect setup. 

Acura Road Trip, Red Mountain, Rossland
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

Granite Mountain is the main show, with Red Mountain providing some awesome terrain as well.  I didn’t really keep track, but I am pretty sure that Red got more love from me, as I rode the long blue groomed cruisers over and over again – I absolutely loved speeding down those runs without a soul in sight. The snow was in perfect shape for getting maximum speed. Chris has an app on his iPhone, and I think he clocked himself at around 92km/h.

The day was wicked sunny. It was a spring ski day, for sure. Finally … a goggle tan! A stop at the Paradise Lodge at mid-mountain for some beverages provided some much needed tan time. It looked like everyone else on the mountain was there – young and old alike were loving the sunshine out on the Paradise Lodge’s wonderful deck.

Checking in with the locals, nobody was bragging, everyone told me to stay on the groomers, and if I felt adventurous, make a trek (a 20 minute walk) over to some back country for untouched (all season long) powder. Such awesome honesty is only found in a place like this – pretentious is out the window!

Acura Road Trip, Red Mountain, Rossland
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

With the sun shining, it doesn’t take long for the hill to heat up; by 11 am we are already feeling the snow soften up. It’s great, and will most likely be in awesome shape for spring skiing. There is a lot of snow on this mountain, regardless of the fact there were only 3 cm in 7 days.  But once the sun came out it only took a couple hours to make that snow ready for carving fun. 

Red mountain is somewhere I must come back to. They have tons of events planned pretty much until they shut the hill down in April. If you are looking for some awesome spring riding later this season you might want to consider Red Mountain Resort. The friendly people and wicked terrain will make it worth the drive.

Acura Road Trip, Red Mountain, Rossland
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
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Resort News

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Castle Mountain Resort Home

Mount Haig dominates the landscape and puts Castle Mountain smack in the middle of this epic landscape. One of only two Cat-skiing operations in Alberta, Castle is considered one of the best-kept secrets of the Canadian Rockies.  Find out more about Castle Mountain here.

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Island Lake Image Gallery

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 23, 2011

Santa has a special meaning in the hearts of all of us this time of year, but did you know Santa is a great snowboarder? 

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Day Six – Whitewater

KEVIN PRISIAK

After a night at the Library Lounge and chatting with some of the locals, I realized Nelson is the type of place where work and play can live harmoniously. 

I talked to a local music teacher and he told me that when it snows 20 cm businesses shut down, people call in sick, and Whitewater is flooded with locals.

The Hume Hotel served up some delightful flavours: the beer, the people, and the delightful atmosphere. When I come back to Nelson, I will definitely be stopping in to the Hume Hotel.

Rocky Mountain Road Trip Whitewater, Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

An excellent breakfast of blueberry pancakes (free breakfast with your room) and coffee at the Hume, and we were on our way to Whitewater Ski Resort.

The weather was looking quite good. It was the first day we’ve gotten to a hill and seen sunshine.  Yay, sunny skies! 

Whitewater Ski Resort is a short drive from Nelson. It only takes us 15 to 20 minutes to get to the hill. It is one of those places that when you go, you feel like you’ve found something special. It has a nice small town, holistic, vibe … it is hard to describe, but easy to feel. The menu at the Fresh Tracks Café in the Lodge is awesome. I don’t know of a hill that serves up fresher more delicious food, I’ve never seen falafel on the menu at a day lodge before! Ihad the veggie burger with yam fries and people in the lodge that saw my food commented on how good it looked!

Strapping in and getting on the lift, we see tons of good looking stashes of snow. I think the longest we ever had to wait in a lift line was about 1 or maybe 2 minutes.  Once our boards hit the mountain, we discover lots of fresh, easily carvable snow. It snowed here almost 48 hours ago, but there is still lots good stuff left for us.

Rocky Mountain Road Trip Whitewater, Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

Working our way down the hillsides, we found lots of freshly groomed cruiser runs which we went all out on. There is also a nice park with lots of beginner and intermediate hits, which I do like, but the terrain is quite good, and spending time in the park seems like a waste. Being that it was Wednesday, the crowd was light and lift lines were non-existent. 

Whitewater Ski Resort is a beautiful gem. Beautiful riding, friendly people, an unpretentious attitude, and quaint lifts are some of the ways I would describe our day on the hill. If you want a ski hill where you can chat with the locals, laugh with the lifties, and hit runs you have all to yourself, Whitewater is it.

Rocky Mountain Road Trip Whitewater, Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
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Edmonton

Ranked as one of North America’s premier trail-filled urban environments, Edmonton is known for having one of the world’s most concentrated areas of greens. But in winter it has a reputation as a premier winter city. Choose from dozens of trails to snowshoe, Nordic or alpine ski, or hit the slopes at four separate ski hills, all within the city limits.Read More

Related Links

Adventure

For the true adventure enthusiast. If you're researching your next catskiing, heliskiing, or overseas excursion, we recommend taking a look at the sites below. You'll find all the best info from Canada, Australia, the UK, and more. Research potential adventure opportunities, plan and prepare accommodations and dining, or register for top of the line instructor courses.Read More

Golden/ Kicking Horse Home

Golden is surrounded by the highest concentration of heli and cat ski operations in N. America and home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Historically known for the steep and deep chutes and bowls, Kicking Horse also has great terrain for intermediates, beginners and families.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 22, 2011

There's nothing better than a day (or two!) on the hill with a friend.

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 05/06: Nelson/Whitewater

CHRIS TOBIAS

Day 05: Nelson, BC

My muscles were extra sore this morning, likely from all that heavy snow I had to dig myself out of in Revelstoke yesterday. At least the rain had tapered off and we had some blue sky for the first time during our trip. Today the destination was the city of Nelson, a new experience for both Kevin and myself. We would be making full use of the Acura’s navigation system for this stage, so with a few easy turns of the centre console dial we had our route entered and calculated.

Acura Road Trip: Whitewater, Nelson, BC
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

We headed South on Highway 23 until we reached Galena Bay, a ferry terminal for crossing Upper Arrow Lake. The ferry ride across wasn’t very long, but it gave us a moment to take in the gorgeous view surrounding the lake and inhale some of the fresh mountain air. It would of been a great opportunity for some awesome photos, but the two semi trucks parked beside the ZDX had left me with limited angles to play with.

We continued South without a single rain drop or snowflake hitting the windshield, a nice change compared to our last two stages of the trip. With dry conditions, nice winding roads and more beautiful scenery, I finally had the opportunity to really “connect” with the vehicle. The ZDX’s smooth 6-speed automatic transmission shifts crisply, and under normal acceleration you can barely feel the gear changes. Cruising at 100 km/h the engine purrs comfortably at around 1500 rpms with plenty of punch left if needed. On multiple occasions I’ve been able to easily overtake semi trucks while in the passing lane. Being in the rockies, we’ve climbed some incredibly steep hills so far, and the 300 hp engine has always been able to conquer them with little effort.

The suspension has done well to keep the ride accommodating and comfortable, even over hard packed snow, grooves of ice and pot holes. Soft enough to negate small impacts, but stiff enough to hold a steady line through the mountain curves. US models will have the option of Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System for a stiffer suspension and performance handling. A nice feature if you’re looking for both comfort and sportiness.

Acura’s navigation system had successfully led us to Nelson, and we managed our best fuel economy rating so far: 9.2 litres/100 km or 25.6 MPG. We stayed at the famous Hume Hotel, known for its dining and nightlife as well as historic presence in Nelson. The staff was friendly and dinner was fantastic, but their trendy night club the Spiritbar was closed that night. Probably for the best since we wanted to get in an early day at Whitewater.

Acura Road Trip: Whitewater, Nelson, BC
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias

Day 06: Whitewater Ski Resort

Trip Odometer Total: 1,142 kms (710 miles)

There was no new snow overnight in Whitewater, but with 11 cm in 48 hours and bluebird skies there was no complaining. We started off the morning with a few warmup runs on the Silver King chair, a great face for beginners with a variety of green and blue runs. Up next was the Summit chair which offers the option to ride the “Summit Side” face, or head down the backside to the new Glory Ridge chair. We did a few laps on the Summit Side, dipping into the trees for some fresh snow and then some hard carving on the steep cruiser runs.

Installed just recently in the 2010-2011 ski season, the new Glory Ridge Chair opens up a huge amount of accessible terrain for Whitewater. It was unfortunately closed for most of the day, but we were still able to ride out the backside thanks to the shuttle bus  which cycled every 15 mins. One thing I noticed was an unusual amount of natural hits all over the mountain, which in my case, is a good thing. We found a ton of them on the backside, and with some unique terrain it made the new “Glory Ridge Side” my favourite of the three. For more on Whitewater Ski Resort, visit SnowSeekers.ca

The ZDX wasn’t the only Acura having fun in the Rockies this week. I found 2 fourth generation SH-AWD TLs in the Whitewater parking lot today, one from Alberta and the other coming all the way from Quebec. SH-AWD: don’t leave home without it.

Acura Road Trip: Whitewater, Nelson, BC
Images courtesy of Chris Tobias
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Fort McMurray/Vista Ridge

Want to experience some of the world’s best viewing sites for the Northern Lights? Then hit Fort McMurray, AB.  Outside of its oil production reputation, the city boasts miles of snowmobiling, Nordic skiing, and lots of ice fishing locations. Fort McMurray is also home to Vista Ridge. Enjoy great skiing and snowboarding with modern lifts and awesome parks plus a friendly beginners area.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 21, 2011

Be sure to enter our Fountain Tire Total Snowfall Contest, which can win you 2 SEASON PASSSES to any resort listed on SnowSeekers.ca, and 4 GOODYEAR TIRES.

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On the Road to Nelson, BC: Photo Blog

Acura road trip to Nelson
The Hume Hotel in Nelson, BC.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
Acura road trip to Nelson
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak
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Kimberley Home

This is a place where the laundromat's magazine rack includes the latest ski magazine. Its Nordic ski tracks extend for 64 kilometres – all lit up nightly. Kimberley is an ideal stop for families and skiers looking to rip up some glades and surf some sweet snow. The convenience of getting here includes arriving by air at the Canadian Rockies International Airport, 20 kilometres from Kimberley. That puts you on the chairlift within 20 minutes. Read more about Kimberley Ski Resort here.

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Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is an alpine skiing ski resort located on Mount Washington on the eastern edge of the Vancouver Island Ranges in British Columbia, Canada. Read more about Mount Washington Alpine Resort here.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 16, 2011

This photo was posted or our Facebook page by fan Tony Byrnes, who had a stellar shoot at Sunshine that day. Seriously, this is just one of half a dozen epic pow shots he sent us.

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Revelstoke Mountain Resort provides a "Top 3 Powder Day"

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

CHRIS TOBIAS

Trip Odometer Total: 868 kms (539.4 miles)

Everything was on schedule after we left Lake Louise late yesterday afternoon. Ahead of us was a 3.5 hour drive West on the Trans-Canada Highway to Revelstoke, British Columbia. It was another scenic route with winding two-lane roads carving right through the mountains. There was some light rain and the roads were damp, but nothing out of the ordinary… until we reached the town of Golden.

We slowly made our way through to the town’s edge but were suddenly redirected off the road by BC highway workers. Road block – Highway 1 to Revelstoke was closed due to avalanche control. We followed the updates via radio and internet for about 3 hours until they finally announced the highway would reopen at 7 pm Mountain Standard Time.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Acura Rocky Mountain Road Trip day 4
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias

Our initial schedule was planned so that we wouldn’t be driving at night through the mountains, but in this case it was unavoidable. Thankfully the ZDX was equipped with standard HID headlights and fog lights to help illuminate the path. The highway started out fairly calm but we quickly found out why they had it closed in the first place. Mother Nature had struck with a new barrage of tricks for our ZDX to battle. A combination of rain, snow, slush, massive puddles and patches of fog stood in our way on the 149 km stretch of road to Revelstoke. The long train of vehicles followed closely, and it was nice to have the ZDX’s extra height to see ahead over some of the smaller sedans in front of us. Again, the SH-AWD system and winter tires came through for us. Our vehicle moved exactly the way we wanted it to, the steering and handling was uncompromised even with the mix of unpredictable road conditions.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The  morning rain was an unpleasant sight to wake up to, but at least it cleaned off some of the mud and dirt that had accumulated on the ZDX. We were hoping the rain would equate to snow higher up at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. I’ve been to “Revy” only once a few years ago, but today I quickly noticed huge developments in terms of accommodations and retail stores at the base. Revelstoke is still fairly new as a resort, but it looks like they have plans for mega expansions in the next few years.

Revelstoke Resort has the longest vertical descent in North America, so the trip to the top was expected to be a bit lengthy. We shared a gondola with a trio who were also stuck in Golden, and they asked us how our drive up to Revy was. “It wasn’t so bad, we were in an Acura ZDX” Kevin responded. The three instantly let out a groan in jealously. Apparently they drove out in a compact sedan with summer tires, a scary thought after what we experienced last night in the ZDX.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Acura Rocky Mountain Road Trip day 4
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias

6 cm overnight is what the snow report read, but with such a slushy base we weren’t sure what to expect once we reached the summit. Folks, snap on your powder skirts and tighten those goggles, because it was another day of epic snow at Revelstoke. That 6 cm felt about the same, if not more than the 26 cm we saw at Lake Louise the day before. We stuck to the “Stoke” chair for most of the morning because we just couldn’t get away from all the good stuff up top. Riding through the trees was where we found the best thigh-high and even waist-high snow. I should have brought my powder board, because I must of dug myself out at least 6 times. Today definitely took a slot in my personal “Top 3 Powder Days” list. For more on Revelstoke Mountain Resort visit SnowSeekers.ca/britishcolumbia/revelstoke

Tomorrow we head out to the city of Nelson for our visit to Whitewater Ski Resort. Can our snow streak continue?

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Hinton

This is the northern basecamp to the Canadian Rockies.  Its luging club keeps the love for winter alive as does its annual Ice Magic winter festival every February, which plays host to a collection of adventures for many snow-seekers. About a three-hour drive west of Edmonton, a stay in Hinton puts you just 45 minutes from Marmot Basin ski resort, at the entrance to Jasper National Park. 

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Jasper/ Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin is set in spectacular Jasper National Park. With eight lifts, it delivers generous servings of the light, fluffy, Canadian Rockies Champagne powder.  It can be like surfing on a cloud. Located about 350 kilometres west of Edmonton, Jasper is one of Canada’s signature ski towns. Known for its natural rough-cut beauty, this is a real mountain town that loves winter, putting it in a category of its own. From one end of the park to the other, you’ll also find miles of ice canyons, and glaciers.Read More

Nelson/ Whitewater Home

Nelson, British Columbia is home to Whitewater ski resort, which boasts 12 metres of snow in a season. Choose your adventure - backcountry ski lodges or Cat or heli-ski operations. There is no shortage of powder-packed adventures. Whitewater and area will leave you with a permanent grin and make you the envy of your ski buddies. The resort is home to three lifts and 78 runs, including the new Glory Chair, which offers excellent intermediate and advanced adventures. Read more about Whitewater Ski Resort here.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 15, 2011

Sterling Todd Keys, a friend of SnowSeekers since last season, has just signed on as an official correspondent for us! We're super stoked to officially have Sterling in the fold, and you will be too, as his work is always stellar. Just take a look at this epic panoramic shot he took yesterday on Mount Washington!

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Day Four – Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Acura Road Trip
Through four days the Acura Rocky Mountain Road trip has been blessed with a bounty of POW.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

KEVIN PRISIAK

The Revelstoke Sandman Inn served up some delicious beds, perfect after a long day on the slopes of Lake Louise, and waiting for avalanche control in Golden for about 3 hours.

Up at the crack of 7 am and ready for another day of riding, a glance out the window revealed rain ... I mean pouring rain. I was optimistic that rain in town would have translated into powder at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The past weekend at Revy was pretty awesome, according to a gentleman snowboarder we talked to on the lift at Lake Louise the day before. He had mentioned that he was at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Friday and told us that we were going to love it. Needless to say, expectations were high, and seeing the rain made me both sceptical and anxious.

A special thanks to Sarah Windsor at Revelstoke Mountain Resort for helping us out with this massive 10-day trek through the Rockies and beyond. With my lift pass firmly lashed to my one piece snowsuit, we were off to The Revelation Gondola. It’s was a Monday, yet the crowd was a lot bigger than we expected.

Chatting with people on the lifts at Revy, we found an assortment of people from Quebec, Colorado, and Germany. It seems Revy is finding its way onto the world stage as far as epic riding goes!

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Acura Road Trip
If it's raining in town, never fear. Revy's got enough vertical to keep the snow flying up top.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

A unique experience

Once at the top of The Revelation Gondola the rain turned to snow. We rode over to The Stoke Chair and up into the clouds we went. On the way down we were blessed with three feet of powder in the trees, so much snow that it felt like silk under our boards, and the turns were so glorious that it felt like the gravity at Revelstoke Mountain Resort was somehow different than anywhere I've ever been. 

Screams of joy, yells from gleeful riders ... this is what has put Revy on the world stage. Epic powder!

With just 6 cm of snow overnight, how did we still find untouched three-foot powder stashes? How could we ride half way down the mountain and not see another rider? 

Homer would be proud

This mountain is unbelievable. We rode the Stoke all day, over and over, finding paths through the trees (where I love going) rich with pow ... deep, luscious pow. (Insert drooling sound effect here).

The Mid-Mountain Lodge was our stop for some much needed refueling during the day. I quite enjoyed the local beer (brewed right in Revelstoke) on tap, and the butternut squash soup was great. Lots of people dressed in waterproof gear, or soaking wet in gear that wasn’t so waterproof. I don’t think a single person didn’t want to be there, regardless of the gear they were wearing.

I can only imagine it will be another splendid day of riding for anyone lucky enough to be riding Revy tomorrow.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Acura Road Trip
Three hills down, three more to go on the Acura Road Trip.
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias
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Kinosoo Ridge

Many of us only think west when we look for our next snow fix.  But Kinosoo Ridge east along the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, provides families with not only some solid turns, but also some excellent bonding time.  It’s known for its family-friendly vibe plus it’s a great place for any beginner to get their ski legs.

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Panorama Mountain Village Home

Panorama Mountain Resort is located just outside of Invermere, B.C.  About an hour and a half north from the Canadian Rockies International Airport, Panorama invites you to unplug and get away from it all. Get your day started on fresh tracks within any of its 2,800 acres of snow-filled glory only to retire later that night to outdoor pools and hot tubs known as Panorama Springs.  Feeling adventurous?  Hit RK Heli-Skiing, which runs from Panorama’s base. It’s the perfect spot to get you psyched for the backcountry.Read More

Photo of the Day: Dec. 12, 2011

In recognition of the unbelievable start to the season in Western Canada, here's a photo that celebrates the best feature of snowfall (at least in this guy's opinion): snow ghosts!

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Day Three — Skiing and Riding at Lake Louise

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

KEVIN PRISIAK

Day 3 of 10. Wow. What a day, on so many levels!

Creeping out of my delightfully comfortable bed in my great room in the Lake Louise Inn at 6 am, I noticed the car covered in snow. I could barely get a wink of sleep in after that. The Lake Louise Inn is a great hotel, with awesome facilities that include a pool, hot tubs, a steam room, a nice little gift shop, and three different places to eat.   would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to stay in Lake Louise, be it a couple of snowboarders looking for a place super close to the mountain, or a family hoping to see some bears in the summertime.

My addiction to coffee was satisfied by the delicious Starbucks coffee served at the Lake Louise Inn, then a quick stop to say farewell (aka check out) to the awesome front desk staff at the Lake Louise Inn, and we were good to go. Off to the hill. Lake Louise reported 26c m of fresh snow overnight! YES! 

Upon our arrival at the hill, our guide for the day, Mike Moynihan, met us, and I think he was more anxious to get riding than we were…which says a lot. It was 8.30 am, a nice 30 minutes before the general public is allowed up. Fresh tracks! Smooth, creamy, delicious...some of the best snow I have ever been able to ride, and I have been riding religiously for about a decade. 

First tracks for all

Acura Road Trip day three, Lake Louise
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias

Mike was telling us how if you have a craving to get on the hill before everyone else, you can book a “First Tracks – Locals Favourite” lesson (max 2 people). With Mike as our guide for the day, we took on Lake Louise full bore. After the warm-up run Mike realized that he did not have to hold back, and we were taken on an awesome adventure to some of Lake Louise’s best powder stashes. 

By 11:30 we had already done 9 runs (that we could remember). After a stop to rest our legs and fill our bellies at the Temple Lodge on the backside of the mountain, it was back to a great day with tons of great pow in the trees, open bowls full of knee-deep snow to cruise through, and one wicked terrain park. I cannot honestly write about the mountain at Lake Louise without mentioning the park. The features of the park are nearly endless, with something for everyone, beginner to pro: a boardercross track, jumps of all sizes, rails, and boxes. It might just be the best terrain park in the Rockies. Sadly (actually gladly), we only did one run through the park, as the powder was just too awesome!

An enjoyable day at Lake Louise is a gross understatement. Mike saw us off after a delicious après appetizer and beverage at the Great Bear Lounge at the base.

With destination number two under our belts, we hit the road once again. Revelstoke is the next foray into powder bliss (hopefully).

Surprise! Unbeknownst to us, Highway number 1 was closed from Golden to Revelstoke. Sure wasn’t expecting that. Talking to a truck driver from Moose Jaw, I found out the highway had been closed since the day before at 6 pm. More investigation of the situation revealed that the road might be opened up at 7 pm—a 3 hour delay for us—but at least there was a chance of the road opening. After waiting for what seemed like 2 large Americanos, the road to Revelstoke was cleared and we were on our way once again.

A check-in at the Sandman Inn in Revelstoke, and I am ready for mountain number 3 on the list of 6!

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Lake Louise Ski Resort Home

Lake Louise is known as one of the world’s most beautiful ski and snowboard destinations. When you get there you’ll see why, once you take in all of that vertical. Choose from a luxury stay at the Chateau Lake Louise or a rustic backcountry cabin. The cloaked- in-snow landscape makes winter the most romantic time in this Rocky Mountain destination. Read more about Lake Louise here.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 9, 2011

A personalized ski area, new beginner areas in Revy, and a contest that can win you a round-trip ticket to Cranbrook, two days of skiing in Kimberley, two nights accommodations, a snowmobile tour and a gourmet dinner.

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 02/03: Lake Louise

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

CHRIS TOBIAS

Day 02: Ice Fields Parkway

Trip Odometer Total: 633 kms(294 miles)

Acura Road Trip, Lake Louise
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias

In the summer months, the stretch of road from Jasper to Lake Louise is one of the most scenic routes you can travel if you’re looking to experience the Canadian Rockies. Highway 93 also known as Icefields Parkway, parallels the Alberta/BC border for 230 km(140 miles) and is a popular tourist attraction. During the winter it’s quite the opposite, extreme weather is common and traffic is minimal.

Just before we reached the Highway 93 gates, we were greeted with a road sign that read “Poor” winter travel conditions, we took heed and marched on cautiously. The roads were fair for the first 100 kms, the two lanes bordered by snow on each side. As we progressed south, the conditions became more erratic with increasing flurries and gusts of wind. Here is where our ZDX got its first true battle with winter. Near the half way point we reached the Columbia Ice Fields where I had initially planned to make a stop for some photos. Stopping however was not an option this time. The openness of the area created intense crosswinds that pounded us from the side, blowing in a complete whiteout of snow. We felt the vehicle sway a bit, but for once I think the heavier frame of the ZDX was a real benefit.

Acura Road Trip, Lake Louise
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias

The strong winds had pushed snow banks stretching across the road, I did my best to slowly swerve around the bigger ones, but at times there was no choice but to plow right over. This is where the ZDX’s SH-AWD, and 200 mm(7.9 in) of ground clearance was a huge asset. The ZDX performed confidently and manoeuvred as it would on dry pavement. I had solid control throughout, not once did I ever lose traction or feel any slip.

After our 3.5 hour drive we finally reached the village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. We checked into our rooms at the Lake Louise Inn, a popular hotel resort with a ton of amenities, on-site restaurants and its own outdoor ice skating rink. The best part: it’s the closest hotel to Lake Louise Mountain, skiing and snowboarding is just a few minutes away.

Day 03: Lake Louise Mountain Resort

We awoke to a layer of snow on the ZDX, usually a good sign when you’re hoping for good mountain conditions. After checking the snow report we confirmed our suspicions, 26 cm overnight meant a powder day at Lake Louise. We hooked up with our guide, Lake Louise veteran Mike Moynihan who brought us up a half hour before the public for some fresh tracks. I soon found out that Mike was a huge fan of the original NSX and we chatted about some of the features of new concept.

With 139 runs and 4200 skiable acres, there was more than enough fresh snow for everyone on a day like today. Mike took us down some of his favorite trails, most were untracked with creamy powder to our knees. We ripped our way through until about 2 pm when our legs burned fire. Who said riding pow was easy? We finished off our final run with a lap through Lake Louise’s massive terrain park. With a ton of features and multiple lines, there’s something for skiers and riders of all levels.

Visit SnowSeekers' Lake Louise section for more on this great resort.

As we returned to the vehicle we noticed a man circling the ZDX, slowly analyzing its every angle. He mentioned that he has never seen one before. I gave him the quick rundown on the ZDX as he seemed legitimately interested with his questions about model years and the type of engine. “It looks sporty, I love the huge wheels” he said.

We packed up our gear and got ready for the 231 km drive to Revelstoke.

Acura Road Trip, Lake Louise
Photo courtesy of Chris Tobias
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Powder King/ Prince George Home

Like a little rock n’ roll on the slopes? Ski slopes named Revolution, Twist and Shout, and Satisfaction makes Powder King your kind of place. Known as the “Whisper of the North” by the locals for its near unbelievable snowfall counts, this is a place where you’ll have to have a good sense of direction.  That’s because locals have been known to steal the sign off the highway to keep this powder gem to themselves. Powder King is about 45 minutes north of Prince George, B.C., and offers up a variety of snow-seeking satisfaction, from heli-skiing, to snowshoeing in an old-growth forest.Read More

Revelstoke home

Revelstoke has a raw energy.  It has the pulse of a big city, but the adrenaline is all natural coming from the pleasure of serious powder. Fact: If you ski Revelstoke Mountain Resort from top to bottom eight times in one day, you will have skied the height of Mt. Everest - because RMR has bragging rights with its 5,620 feet of vertical. Pack your ski legs for the awesome glades and expect nothing less than a premier experience on the rest of slopes. Stay in accommodations that include a powder concierge – whose job it is to uncover some snowy stashes just for you.Read More

Photo of the Day: Dec. 8, 2011

With Marmot Basin already reaching half its average annual total snowfall by the end of November, tree skiing in Jasper doesn't get much better than this. New SnowSeekers correspondent, Todd O'Keefe hit up Marmot's trees last weekend and produced this photo. Check out his article here, as well, where you can discover some of the mountain's finest lines.

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Lake Louise Inn offers up some great hospitality

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

KEVIN PRISIAK

Day 2 of our 10-day mountain adventure began at the Bear’s Paw Bakery in beautiful Jasper, Alberta. I scored a raspberry white chocolate scone…seriously, I’d marry that treat if I could.  Next time you’re in Jasper, do yourself a favour and make a stop at the Bear’s Paw. Otherwise, you’re doing a your trip a disservice.

Lake Louise is our target destination today. Light snow and an icy highway lent itself to a leisurely cruise down the Icefield Parkway in “poor” driving conditions en route to the Lake Louise Inn. We made a few pit stops along the way, just to take in the awesome scenery and wildlife.

I have not been snowboarding in Lake Louise for a couple of years now, and I’m excited to see what the improvements have been and how the snow is! 

Acura Road Trip day three, Lake Louise
A half dozen ice climbers doing their thing.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Prisiak

The Lake Louise Inn is about a 4-minute drive from the highway (depending on traffic), just a short jaunt from the Tourist Info Centre (first hotel on the right after the Tourist Center).  The staff at the Lake Louise Inn were more than accommodating and very friendly. After checking in we went to get some sustenance, and being that I’m pescatarian (a diet that includes seafood but not the flesh of other animals), the options are usually limited. The Explorer’s Lounge seemed like a good choice for some supper, and they were more than happy to bring me a menu from the Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta café on the third floor. 

My friend, Chris, ordered the steak sandwich, but he wanted the awesome Veggie Lasagna I ordered (I always love it when others are jealous of my food), but I was honestly envious of his beautiful looking steak sandwich! The ice sculptures around the main driveway are all very cool at the Lake Louise Inn, and they have put in a skating rink just for some winter fun – so bring your blades!

Tomorrow is an early day and the alarm is set for 7 am!  I don’t even remember the last time I got up this early…especially on a Sunday. All for the love of powder.

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Lesser Slave Lake

Some could call Lesser Slave Lake the ice fishing capital of Canada, but then you’d also be overlooking the options of snowmobiling, snow-shoeing and a stellar display of dazzling northern lights.

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Sunshine Village Ski Resort Home

From the parking lot, take the 18-minute gondola ride up to a scene straight out of a snow-globe at 8,954 feet above sea level. Sunshine village is located 1 hour and 20 minutes west of Calgary, just outside of the town of Banff, Alberta.Read More

Photo of the Day: Dec 7, 2011

Sunshine Village, a long supporter of snowboarders and snowboard culture, will be celebrating World Snowboard Day on December 18. Click here for more info on what should be a pretty stellar celebration.

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Rossland/Red Mountain Home

RED has been delivering incredible skiing longer than any other resort in Western Canada, with the first recorded powder turns in 1896. Offering incredible terrain with a 2,919 foot vertical drop (884 meters) that annually features over 300 inches (750cm) of snowfall, the resort boasts a terrain park, easy-to-access backcountry, snowshoeing, friendly locals, fine dining and affordable luxury slope-side lodging. All this is seasoned with authentic winter enthusiasm and turn-of-the-century charm of Rossland, minutes away.Read More

Whitecourt

Located about three hours north of Edmonton, snowmobile fans will love Whitecourt. The region offers so many trails that it easily supports four local snowmobile clubs.  Ride “hut to hut” across acres of marked terrain.

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Silver Star Mountain Resort Home

Its new My1Pass program offers guests six snow-filled experiences all with one pass - among them skiing, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country, snowshoeing and ice-skating. Located just outside of the town of Vernon, B.C., and 30 minutes north of Kelowna’s International Airport, Silver Star Mountain Resort is a stellar destination. The condos, townhouses and slope-side accommodations provide a colourful backdrop to the main event – which is on the slopes. Resort bylaws mandate purples, oranges and blues for the on-site buildings.Read More

Photo of the Day: Dec. 6, 2011

Want some of your best winter shots to appear as SnowSeekers.ca's Photo of the Day? Post your pics to our Facebook wall. We'll be choosing one great shot every day. Post often and get bragging rights among your friends!

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Day One – Boarding at Jasper's Marmot Basin

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

KEVIN PRISIAK

Acura Rocky Mountain Road Trip — Jasper, Marmot Basin

So far so good. With Morgan Page pumping through the super sweet sound system of our Acura ZDX, we are on the road to the first of six glorious mountains. A planned road trip (mostly planned anyway) to Jasper – Marmot Basin, Lake Louise, Revelstoke, Red Mountian, Whitewater, and ultimately Whistler/Blackcomb is underway.  

The whole thing started waaay back in 2011 when my friend Chris asked me if I would be interested in doing a trip through the Rockies, hitting the slopes along the way.  Hell ya I’m interested! It is now in motion, and I am hoping that this will be an epic adventure. Thanks to the awesome Doc Pow (President) and Rick (Manager of Communications) at Snowseekers for being so…well, awesome!

Marmot Basin is in excellent condition. Who didn’t know that, right? I’ve heard nothing but how great the snow has been all year up here in Jasper. With about 10 cm in the last week or so, we were still able to find some pow in the trees. Splendid and creamy – those are the two words I will use to describe day one of a 10-day adventure in the Rocky Mountains and beyond.  

More lifts and faster lifts are definitely the highlights over the last year at Marmot Basin.  With yet another high speed quad (replacing the old triple chair) getting higher faster is ther order of the day.  With an eight-minute ride (assuming the lift doesn’t stop for “that guy”) from the bottom to the top, it has never been more fun to ride Marmot.  

If you haven’t been in a while, you will be amazed at how accessible the whole mountain has become. Thanks to Brian Rode at Marmot for giving us the heads up on some awesome parking spots.  Being able to snowboard right down to our Acura ZDX at the end of the day was a perfect finish…other than the après ski in Jasper that is!

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 5, 2011

Be sure to enter our Fountain Tire Total Snowfall Contest, which can win you 2 SEASON PASSSES to any resort listed on SnowSeekers.ca, and 4 GOODYEAR TIRES.

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Edmonton ski and snowboard coupons

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

 

Edmonton

Click the link for more information on Edmonton winter activities.
Click on a coupon and to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

   Sundance coupon, Edmonton

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Acura's Rocky Mountain Road Trip – Introduction

SnowSeekers.ca correspondents Chris Tobias and Kevin Prisiak have embarked on a 10-day, 6-resort tour across Western Canada in search of epic powder courtesy of Acura. They'll be blogging throughout their trip, right here at SnowSeekers.ca/acura-road-trip

Acura Rocky Mountain Road Trip

CHRIS TOBIAS

This isn’t your average road trip.

For me, a snowboarder of nearly 10 years, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. A 10-day tour of the Canadian Rockies ... destination: epic powder. This is an adventure that will take us from Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton and down through the continental divide into interior British Columbia, where Kevin and I will make our way to our final ski destination, Whistler.

Along the way we’ll get a chance to experience some of the best ski resorts Western Canada has to offer: Marmot Basin, Lake Louise, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Red Mountain, and Whistler Blackcomb.

Every road trip requires a vehicle, and when we’re in the midst of winter with roughly 2000 kms of potentially hazardous road to travel, the vehicle of choice will have to meet certain criteria. Reliability and all-wheel drive are absolute necessities. Some extra ground clearance and cargo space are definitely helpful. And finally, a comfortable cabin for those long, grueling hours on the road.

Enter the 2012 ZDX, a unique crossover with luxury, utility, performance, and Acura’s reputation for reliability. With its powerful 300-hp V-6 engine, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and a never-ending list of features, the ZDX is the perfect candidate for our Rocky Mountain Road Tour.

Follow our review as we take the ZDX for the next 10-days through scenic drives as well as harsh winter conditions on our quest for fresh snow and glorious riding.

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Sled BC

With access to a wide range of Snowmobile Tour operators, Guides and Rentals, daily and multi-day tours Sledding in BC is a must. Secret states of powder, groomed trails, and terrain to match your abilities, there is something for everyone in BC.

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Smithers/ Hudson Bay Home

The name of the ski resort is Hudson Bay Mountain, located just minutes outside of Smithers in Northern B.C. Snowmobiling, endless powder fields, and laying down tracks in one of North America’s top back-country ski areas is all possible here.  Lift services at the resort allow you to rent a cabin and stay on the mountain. Read more about Hudson Bay Mountain here.

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Photo of the Day: Dec. 2, 2011

A beautiful sundown shot from Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in March of 2011.

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Enter the Coldsmoke Contest presented by SnowSeekers

Win 4 lift tickets to Whitewater Ski Resort and a stay at the Mountain Hound Inn

Coldsmoke Powder Fest contest

Mountains are the foundation of the skiing and boarding experience, and the Coldsmoke Powder Fest—held at the beautiful Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, BC—celebrates them like no other event.

The four-day festival is packed with opportunities for people to celebrate the backcountry experience. There are clinics from beginner to advanced levels, where people learn skills like route finding, skiing style for off-piste, avalanche training, and telemark skiing.

Taking place from February 24-27th, the Coldsmoke Powder Fest is packed with clinics and backcountry travel & freeski competitions that will test the fittest folks out there; and, of course, the après ski scene will be packed. Dances, music, and socials to celebrate fine days in the mountains reward all in attendance.

The Contest

To celebrate the upcoming Coldsmoke Powder Fest, SnowSeekers, Whitewater Ski Resort, the Mountain Hound Inn, and KNL Tourism are partnering to send one lucky winner to Whitewater (in Nelson, BC) with:

All you have to do is fill out the form below, and make sure you answer the skill-testing question! The contest will run until February 14th.

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Sun Peaks Home

A family-friendly destination, Sun Peaks allows kids to become skiers and snow-seekers for life. Its pedestrian-friendly village is a nice balance of European meets Canadiana.  This is all within an hour’s flight from Calgary, or a 3.5-hour drive from Vancouver. Sun Peaks is an easy getaway that puts you smack in the middle of some fluffy skiable terrain. It is also famed for its annual wine festival, which pairs two of our favourite things - fine British Columbia wines and winter fun.Read More

Photo of the Day: Dec. 1, 2011

Say hello to Huck, a CARDA Avalanche Dog from Castle Mountain.

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Terrace/ Shames Home

Shames Mountain gets some of the world’s biggest snowfalls. We dare to say, it probably gets more snow than any other lift serviced operation on earth. It’s been known to snow so much here that people get stranded over night in the day lodge because the parking lot transforms into a mogul field. Looking to make a snow-seeking adventure you won’t forget? Head to northern British Columbia and head to places such as Terrace, Smithers, and Prince George.

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Photo of the Day: Nov. 30, 2011

"I was a volunteer for the Men's set-up and events just gone at the World Cup at Lake Louise... This was the sunrise from the platter on the first training day. A view like this makes dragging B-netting all the more pleasant!"

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Golden/Kicking Horse ski and snowboard coupons

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

Click on coupons to view/print.

 

Golden

Click the link for more information on Golden and Kicking Horse winter activities.
Click on a coupon to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

Sportsman Lodge coupon, Golden, BC Kicking Horse River Lodge coupon, Golden Fire Pit BBQ & Smokehouse coupon, Golden Peaks Grill coupon, Golden Whitetooth Mountain Bistro, Golden, BC

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How to ... dryland train for the snow season

CALGARY, AB — With the mornings having that crisp chill in the air it is clear that the seasons are changing. How do you prepare for the winter snow season? Have you thought about how doing some physical preparation will help you once you get on snow?

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Ucluelet Home

Located on the West Coast of B.C.’s Vancouver Island, when you get to Ucluelet you’ve run out of road.  Heading any further west requires a sea-faring vessel because the next land mass is Japan.  “Uki,” as it’s known as by the locals has two big winter claims to fame: It has some of the biggest swells for surfing, which happens year-round and because of this phenomenon, it’s also become famous for its storm-watching tours in winter.  You can opt to watch the intensity of the storms from the comforts of a lodge or put on some rain gear and experience it first-hand.

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Photo of the Day: Nov. 29, 2011

100 cm of new snow at Marmot Basin from Nov. 22 to Nov. 29!

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Whistler Home

At SnowSeekers, we call this Canada’s Las Vegas. With more than 200 runs and 80 nightclubs and restaurants in a pedestrian-friendly setting, it’s evocative of the Alps. And, it’s all within 1.5 hours of the world-class Vancouver International Airport.  All eyes were on Whistler during the 2010 Olympic Games, but it has been recognized by the world’s media for years as one of the top ski and snowboard destinations. Read more about Whistler Blackcomb here.

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Kimberley Alpine Resort ski and snowboard coupons

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

Click on coupons to view/print.

 

Kimberley

Click the link for more information on Kimberley winter activities.
Click on a coupon to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

Kimberley Lodging Company coupon, Kimberley

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Revelstoke Mountain Resort ski and snowboard coupons

Each of these coupons can be found in our SnowSeekers Go-Guide smartphone application. All you have to do is show the coupon on your phone at one of these businesses, and you get the deal. Pretty simple. 

But these coupons aren't just for smartphone users. If you don't own an iPhone, or BlackBerry, or Android, simply click on a coupon below and print it out. Show this printed version the same as you would the digital version, and away you go.

Click on coupons to view/print.

 

Revelstoke

Click the link for more information on Revelstoke.
Click on a coupon to view/print.
Bring your printed coupon to the business in question to receive your deal.

The Last Drop coupon, Revelstoke MacKenzie's coupon, Revelstoke Best Western Revelstoke coupon, Revelstoke

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VIDEO: Fountain Tire Presents the Total Snowfall Contest brought to you by SnowSeekers

 

SnowSeekers is kicking off the 2011/12 snow season with its best contest yet!

One lucky winner will receive TWO SEASON PASSES for the 2012/13 season to ANY resort that we cover on SnowSeekers.ca, as well as FOUR GOODYEAR TIRES (installed), courtesy of Fountain Tire.

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What is SnowSeekers.ca?

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Castle Mountain News

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Discovering Banff’s Mount Rundle

Doc Pow visited the Town of Banff and had a very adventurous and varied visit as he approached the slopes from a different perspective, by doing some winter hiking on Mount Rundle. 

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Banff: the perfect base

Staying right in the Town of Banff is stellar. Banff, located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, hums with activity: a rockin’ nightlife, great family activities, plenty of accommodation options and of course, some excellent dining. 

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This castle was made for storming

Tucked in the southwest corner of Alberta, along the North American Continental Divide, is one of North America’s snow-filled hidden gems: Castle Mountain Resort.

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Becoming king of the castle

Interested in a secret? There is this little known place with terrain so stellar and snow so thick, that it rounds up a few firsts for ski resorts here in Canada.

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Lake Louise Ski Area News

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A Locke on Lake Louise

What one receives out of life comes back to how much passion one brings to the table. With the return of Charlie Locke to one of North America’s most iconic snowbound destinations, not only is the passion back at Lake Louise Mountain Resort, its heart and soul is stronger than ever.

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A good pint is a great ending

Whether you’ve spent the day skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing or dogsledding, at the end of the day there is nothing like a good pint of beer to quench your thirst.

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The secret of Marmot lies in its ridges

Doc Pow gives some insight into how to find the most stellar views from Marmot's ridgelines.

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A warm welcome awaits in the Town of Jasper

Located approx. 350 kilometres west of Edmonton, Alberta, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, you will find a little piece of true wilderness nirvana.

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Sunshine delivers turns to remember

BANFF, AB — Well what can I say. Sunshine Village just never seems to disappoint! But who would be disappointed in mid-May strapped to a snowboard? I certainly can’t think of anyone.

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Sunshine Village’s wild side

Even just standing at the lip of it is intimidating. Sunshine Village’s Delirium Dive is infamous amoungst skiers and snowboarders across Canada, and it’s only one of three free ride zones here – the other two being Wild West and Silver City.

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The history of Sunshine Village

BANFF, AB — The history of Sunshine Village, found in one of the world’s most recognized parks – Canada’s Banff National – is a storied one. In the early 20s Sunshine Meadows, which is now home to Sunshine Village, had been a popular camping spot.

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A return to the sticks thanks to Sunshine’s ski school

BANFF AB — It’s funny how I get the butterflies, a little nervous to be on the snow. Me! I have been a snowboarder for over eight years now, but I grew up a skier, so once in a while I get to put on the sticks and head out for ski.

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Guilty pleasures at Sunshine Village

BANFF, AB — Finally! After a long summer of anticipation I was back on the slopes, cleansing the soul with some crisp mountain air and the incredible views of the Canadian Rockies – and Mother Nature had provided her own present in the form of 11 centimetres of snow over night.

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Banff News

Back to Banff

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Big White is a boarder’s delight

BIG WHITE, BC — Minimal traverses and big, big snows make Big White the perfect destination for those of us on a board. This resort, situated about 40 minutes out of Kelowna, British Columbia, was one of the first in Western Canada to welcome snowboarders. With its epic glades, big sweeping runs and stellar terrain it really is a snowboarder’s mountain.

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High expectations at Kicking Horse Resort

KICKING HORSE, BC — When the dinner bell rings at Kicking Horse Resort, there are a few options on how to fuel up, but none will be as uplifting as a visit to Canada’s most elevated dining experience – Eagle’s Eye Restaurant.

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Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offers stellar fall lines

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort deserves respect as a stellar spot to shred some serious gnar. If you're not careful, 'The Horse' will buck you off any of its three ridge lines: CPR, Terminator, and Redemption.

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Kicking Horse lives up to its reputation

KICKING HORSE, BC — The anticipation was as thick as the powder we were all waiting for. It was 8:20 p.m. on a Saturday morning and Kicking Horse Resort was just about ready to crack its season wide open.

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Kimberley is no kid sister

KIMBERLEY, BC — Tucked away in the East Kootenays in British Columbia is a resort that defies it’s reputation. Part of the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies family, for many, Kimberley Alpine Resort is a family resort and it is – but a family resort that caters to every member of the family, including those who love to dive into chutes and hit the glades.

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Diving into Taynton Bowl at Panorama Mountain Village

PANORAMA VILLAGE, BC — It really started to feel like we weren’t in a resort anymore. The run from the summit of Panorama Mountain Resort is so long, at about four miles, and with so much terrain to choose from, it’s easy to escape that "resort" feel.

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Panorama’s perfect snow day

PANORAMA, BC — All I could hear was the sound of boots stomping down the hallway – and plenty of laugher. It’s not the sound you want to wake up to when you’ve only been asleep for a couple of hours.

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Powder King delivers a one-of-a-kind ski experience

POWDER KING, B.C. - Tucked up in the northeast corner of British Columbia, not far from Prince George, and close to the Alberta border is a place where many a skier or rider’s powder-filled dreams come true.

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Powder King is a secret worth discovering

POWDER KING, BC — Powder King isn’t an easy destination to get to, but if you’re looking to acquire some legendary times in a place that is on the cusp of reality, British Columbia’s Powder King is your destination.

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Red’s history is gold

RED MOUNTAIN, BC — Rossland, British Columbia, home to Red Mountain Resort, is a town that is stoked in ski history. It was in the late 40s that the first chair lift in Western Canada went in, with remnants that are still there today.

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Red continues its legacy as a great ski hill

RED MOUNTAIN, BC — When I first met Howard Katkov, president and CEO of Red Mountain Ventures in 2005, he and a few others had just bought Red Mountain Resort located deep in British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains – only a short drive away from the Canadian-US border.

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Northern Escape lives up to its name

TERRACE, BC — Have you ever been swept away by a place so much that you just didn’t want to leave? It’s exactly what happened to my buddy, Dave Wilson on his first trip in a chopper with Northern Escape Heli-Skiing.

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Northern Escape’s terrain gives you a perma-grin

TERRACE, BC — "Looking back on the perfect powder 8’s that we laid, it was amazing," said a good friend of mine, Julie Henderson after another glorious day with Northern Escape Heli-Skiing (NEH) which is located about 30 minutes outside of Terrace, British Columbia.

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Big glades and stellar ridges at Fernie

FERNIE, BC — It’s the only way to stay on top of it – you’ve got to be on a pair of skis or a snowboard.

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Canada’s island of Snow

MOUNT WASHINGTON, BC — When someone says the word island to you, do you immediately think of palm trees and a Corona?

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Riding the Outback at Mount Washington Resort

MOUNT WASHINGTON, BC — A dude walks up to a bar that houses a surf board overhead and orders up a Mai-Tai. He’s geared up in snowboard boots with his deck under his arm; no this is not the start of a bad joke – it’s just another great day at Fat Teddy’s Bar & Grill, found at one of British Columbia’s top ski resorts—Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

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Sun Peaks Resort News

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Sun Peaks: more than a family affair

From past visits to Sun Peaks, located just outside of Kamloops, British Columbia, I concluded it was a nice “family destination.” Oh how wrong I was.

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A completely different mountain experience

Want to give the skis or board a break for a while, or maybe you don’t even ski or snowboard but you still want to get out and enjoy Mother Nature.

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Ucluelet’s famous and unique winter adventure

UCLUELET, BC — It’s not known as the Wild Pacific Trail for nothing. Set along the shoreline of Ucluelet, British Columbia, visitors will find an accessible hiking trail that will do a whole lot more than just getting them out into the great outoors.

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Journey to Ucluelet a relaxing odyssey

UCLUELET, BC — The Village of Ucluelet takes its name from the local tribe which means "the people from the safe harbour" and is home to about 2,000 people. But a ’village’ ... it is anything but.

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Up close with Ucluelet’s celebrated visitors

UCLUELET, BC — The west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia is a treasure trove of outstanding adventures that can be had any time of the year.

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The secrets of Whistler/Blackcomb

WHISTLER, B.C. — There are many great debates to have when in Whistler, such as where to party, which restaurant to eat at, which patio to hit for après, but none can be so challenging as standing at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb and making the call on which mountain to hit.

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All three beds were just right

LAKE LOUISE, AB — Lake Louise is a premier winter destination offering over 20 outdoor activities; with all the wondrous adventures to be had, finding the right place to reside is integral to achieving your perfect holiday.

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The steeps and deeps

When it comes time to get out and shred some gnar, there are few other places like Lake Louise Ski Area who offer just what anyone needs right where you want it.

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A local’s low-down on Jasper’s aprés ski culture

You’re legs are throbbing, your skin is chapped and you’ve got a wicked case of toque-hair. Isn’t life in Jasper great?

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Riding Sunshine’s terrain park

BANFF, AB — This season has really gotten off to an epic start and with big snow dumps early this season, it means everyone has lots of snow to play in or with, including the terrain park team at Sunshine Village.

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Castle provides an epiphany moment

Arriving at Castle Mountain at 9:30 p.m. from the Calgary Airport, I wasn’t able to preview the mountain, so I went looking for some clues to get an idea of what I was in for.

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Canmore’s Nordic gold

CANMORE, AB — A little over 20 years ago Calgary, Alberta and the surrounding area, including Canmore, welcomed the world during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

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Canmore News

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Canmore Events

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Newbie grabs lessons at Snow Valley

EDMONTON, AB — Given that I'm a relatively new skier, I'm sure there are some on-hill moments where I look like a baby giraffe that’s escaped from the zoo and has somehow gotten a hold of a pair of skis. 

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Marmot Basin / Jasper Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Lobstick offers a good night sleep

In Jasper, hotels range from pure luxury to family-friendly like the Lobstick Lodge located on Geikie Street.

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Great music, great times at the Astoria Hotel

If it's Friday night and you find yourself in the Town of Jasper, you need to be at the De'd Dog Bar & Grill, a funky local's pub housed in the Astoria Hotel.

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This country inn offers delightful cuisine

Sometimes deciding on a simple meal of tomato soup followed by a steak is not as simple in taste as it sounds, especially when you are dining at Jasper's Country Inn Restaurant.

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Ice climbing is all about staying focused

CANMORE, AB — Hanging from a sheet of ice on the side of a mountain is a pretty gripping experience. For Marco Delesalle, a Canmore-based member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, it's a regular occurrence and one he likes to share with everyone.

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Lake Louise Events

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Lake Louise Dining & Nightlife

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Lake Louise Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Canmore Off-Hill Activities

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Canmore Dining & Nightlife

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>

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Canmore Accommodations & Recreational Properties

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>Read More

Castle Mountain Events

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Castle Mountain Apres

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>Read More

Castle Mountain Accommodations & Recreational Properties

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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Castle Mountain Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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Sunshine Village Events

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Sunshine Village Dining & Nightlife

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Sunshine Village Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Sunshine Village Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Big White Ski Resort Events

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Big White Ski Resort Dining & Nightlife

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Big White Ski Resort Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Big White Ski Resort Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Fernie Alpine Resort Dining & Nightlife

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Fernie Alpine Resort Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Fernie Alpine Resort Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Kicking Horse Events

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Mt. Washington Resort Events

 

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Mt. Washington Resort Dining & Nightlife

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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Mt. Washington Resort Accommodations & Recreational Properties

The latest info about accommodations, hotels and condos at Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Snowseekers is your source for the latest ski and snowboard resort information.

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Mount Washington Resort Apres

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Panorama Mountain Village News

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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Panorama Events

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Panorama Dining & Nightlife

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Panorama Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Panorama Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Red Mountain Resort News

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>Read More

Red Mountain Resort Events

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Red Mountain Resort Dining & Nightlife

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Red Mountain Resort Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Red Mountain Resort Apres

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Revelstoke Resort News

Stay tuned for updates through the 2012/13 winter season.

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>Read More

Revelstoke Mountain Resort Events

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Revelstoke Mountain Resort Dining & Nightlife

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Revelstoke Mountain Resort Accommodations & Rental Properties

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Revelstoke Mountain Resort Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Silver Star Dining & Nightlife

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Silver Star Accommodations & Rental Properties

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Silver Star Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Sun Peaks Resort Events

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Sun Peaks Resort Dining & Nightlife

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Sun Peaks Resort Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Sun Peaks Resort Off-Hill Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Ucluelet Stats & Info

Getting There

There are several ways to get to Ucluelet, including driving, ferry, private boat, and regular or charter flights. Most visitors, especially those from out of province, start their journey by air landing on Vancouver Island in either Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Ucluelet itself or on the mainland in Vancouver. With the exception of Vancouver (add in a 1.5 hour ferry ride), all destinations have easy scenic driving access to Ucluelet.

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Ucluelet News

<h1>Stay tuned for updates through the 2012/13 winter season.</h1>

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Ucluelet / Pacific Rim Park Events

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Ucluelet / Pacific Rim Park Activities

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Ucluelet / Pacific Rim Park Dining & Nightlife

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Ucluelet / Pacific Rim Park Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Whistler/Blackcomb Events

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Whistler/Blackcomb Dining & Nightlife

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?> Read More

Whistler/Blackcomb Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Whistler/Blackcomb Off-Hill Activities

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Whistler/Blackomb & Vancouver 2010 Olympics

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All in the family at Trickle Creek

KIMBERLEY, BC — There are almost too many reasons to come to Kimberley: alpine skiing, nordic skiing, ice fishing, fly fishing, white-water rafting, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, heli tours, and even a mining railway tour.

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Winding down at the Stemwinder

KIMBERLEY, BC — After a long day of shredding at Kimberley Alpine Resort, you want nothing more than to sit back and relax with a heaping pile of nachos, a couple of beers, and some stellar tunes. It’s time to hit up the Stemwinder Bar & Grill.

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Head for Kimberley’s trees

KIMBERLEY, BC — It takes some time to unlock the glory that is found in tree skiing. Some of my happiest days are getting lost within an outstanding gladded run. Off the groomer and into the trees provides a unique look at the snow. 

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Fernie is on the mark

FERNIE, BC — With five powder bowls – the most in the Canadian Rockies of any resort – there is a lot to explore when you get to Fernie Alpine Resort, which is located five minutes outside of the City of Fernie, British Columbia.

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Kimberley’s snowshoe “fundue”

KIMBERLEY, BC — If you’ve spent your winter shredding the mountain on a pair of skis or a snowboard and are looking for a relaxing change of pace, or even if you don’t ski or snowboard at all and just want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, then the Snowshoe Fondue Experience at Kimberley Alpine Resort might be just what you’re looking for.

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Nostalgia builds at Silver Star

SILVER STAR, BC — The ski industry has changed dramatically since I started skiing; on a dare, riding without poles in a one-piece snowsuit. Leaving Alberta at an early age, my family settled in Armstrong, just outside Vernon, British Columbia in the Okanagan Valley. In those days, the Okanagan’s main industry was not tourism or wine, but logging. The people were all hard working and homes were not strictly used for vacationers from Calgary, Alberta.

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Worth it, at any price

There are some people who have discovered the true in-bound treasures the Lake offers, and it's these rarely-accessed gems that keep them coming back every year. If you want to get into some of these unbelievable areas, you're going to have to work for it.

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A Lake Louise I never knew

Will Colford reveals through his own experience that Lake Louise has a large amount of advanced terrain accessible by lift, located on the backside of the mountain that few people know about.

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Banff Events

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More
"; } ?>Read More

Lake Louise Village

'0' ORDER BY weight ASC")); $links = db_query("SELECT link_title, link_path FROM {menu_links} LEFT JOIN {node} ON substring(link_path, 6) = {node}.nid WHERE plid='{$plid}' AND {node}.status = '1' ORDER BY weight ASC"); while ($this_link = db_fetch_object($links)){ $pathTo = db_result(db_query("SELECT dst FROM {url_alias} WHERE src='{$this_link->link_path}'")); $nid = explode('/', $this_link->link_path); $teaser = db_result(db_query("SELECT teaser FROM {node_revisions} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}' AND vid=(SELECT vid FROM {node} WHERE nid='{$nid['1']}')")); print "

".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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A lifelong passion for carving

FORT SMITH, AB — Now retired from his 'civilian job,' Sonny MacDonald is a larger-than-life, self-taught artist who started carving at the age of seven. Among others, he has done commissioned work for both Pope John Paul II and Prince Phillip of England, but whether it's a commissioned piece or something for a trade show, anyone visiting his workshop can clearly see that MacDonald 'needs to carve.'

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Playing in Big White's snow ghost fields

BIG WHITE, BC — While you're having fun doing your turns and taking in the snowy expanse, you can see how this ski resort got its name - Big White. It’s a snow-hound's playground with 118 runs, 460-odd acres of open free-ride areas, about a dozen off-slope adventures (be sure to hit the snow coaster), 17,000 pillows and a village chock full of excellent dining and après offerings. 

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SnowSeekers Beyond Borders


View SnowSeekers Winter Destinations Map in a larger map "; $sitewide_boxes_array = glob("./sites/snowseekers.ca/files/ads/sitewide/boxes/" . "*"); $local_boxes_array = glob("./sites/snowseekers.ca/files/ads/banff/boxes/" . "*"); $number_of_available_boxes = count($sitewide_boxes_array) + count($local_boxes_array); for ($i=0;$i<$NUMBER_OF_BOXES;$i++){ $box_number = rand(0,$number_of_available_boxes-1); $box_to_display = $sitewide_boxes_array[$box_number]; $num_sitewide_boxes = count($sitewide_boxes_array); if ($box_number < $num_sitewide_boxes) { $box_to_display = $sitewide_boxes_array[$box_number]; } else { $box_number = $box_number - $num_sitewide_boxes; $box_to_display = $local_boxes_array[$box_number]; } $box_and_link = glob($box_to_display . "/*"); // Print the link if one exists. for ($j=0;$j"; fclose($file); } } // Output the box ad. for ($j=0;$j240, 'width'=>240)); } else { $box_name = substr($box_and_link[$j],1); echo "box ad

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Mt. Norquay delivers one sweet ride

A modest hill overshadowed by Lake Louise and Sunshine, Mount Norquay is an excellent winter playground for all ages and abilities. Minor lift lines and stellar scenery add to the Norquay experience.

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Johnston Canyon's breathtaking winter beauty

Johnston Canyon offers a lot. From the tranquility, to the hiking, and even some wildlife, the walk is a great way to experience winter off the hill, and more importantly, experience a signature slice of Banff.

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Alberta's disappearing road

FORT MCMURRAY, AB — Beginning the middle of December a road appears between Fort McMurray, in Alberta's northeastern corner, and Fort Smith in the North West Territories, and every year, by the end of March, it disappears. This road is known as Alberta's Winter Road – and what an adventure it provides for winter enthusiasts looking for something that is truly "off the beaten track."

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Blazing a well groomed trail

Whitecourt is the snowmobile capital of Alberta, with over 350 km of trails that residents of the town can access directly from their garage.

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Running in the woods

My adolescent dream of being a coureur des bois, an unlicensed fur trader navigating the Canadian wilds with nothing more than a pair of snowshoes and a few provisions while circumventing the law, was briefly awakened as I shoed the Lower Lake, Spray Lake, and Hogarth Trail in Canmore, Alta.

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Banff Dining & Nightlife

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Banff Accommodations & Recreational Properties

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Alberta's oldest community a real gem

FORT CHIPEWYAN, AB — Located 280 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan (or Fort Chip as many call it) is Alberta's oldest European settlement. Established in 1788 by the North West Company, it's location on the northwestern tip of Lake Athabasca plus the convergence of two more bodies of water in the immediate area, the Rocher and Quatre Fourches rivers, made it an ideal site for a fur trading post.

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Searching for the aurora in Fort Mac

FORT MCMURRAY, AB — Alberta's Winter Road begins north of Fort McMurray, but before you hit that wintery trail, spend a few days exploring the many winter adventures that are available in this dynamic city that acts as the urban gateway to Alberta's northeast and beyond.

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Fairmont Hot Springs Dining & Nightlife

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Fairmont Hot Springs Accomodations & Recreational Properties

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Fort Smith nourishes the arts

FORT SMITH, NWT — Fort Smith, located just above the Alberta border in the Northwest Territories, is totally different from what I had expected. Than again, I didn't know what I expected, only that I was glad I could finally say, "I've been to the Northwest Territories."

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A walk through the forest

FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, BC — Some things are inescapably synonymous with one another: peanut butter and jam, Burt and Ernie, Doc Pow and "lovin' life." This season has added another pairing to that list: snowshoes and fondue.

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Life lesson from a ski bum

FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, BC — When I moved to Western Canada six months ago I was incredibly green to ski culture. At the beginning of the season I heard mutterings here and there about the "Ski Gods" and how each winter they bless Western Canada with an incredible season of powder.

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Family hill delivers surprising terrain

PANORAMA, BC — What's separated me from the rest of the SnowSeekers crew for much of this season has been the fact that for almost every hill we've visited it's been my first time there. This most recent tour saw us hit up Norquay, Fairmont, and finally Panorama, three of the more family-oriented hills in the Canadian Rockies. It was interesting to see how each one did things a little differently.

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Spring skiing at its finest

BANFF, AB — It’s mid-April and 24º C. I’m wearing the legal limit for clothing, and drinking my beer as fast as I can so it doesn’t get disgustingly warm. Where am I? Honolulu? Nope. Puerto Vallarta? Nuh uh. Believe it or not, I’m sitting on the deck outside of Mad Trapper’s Saloon at the base of Sunshine Village. 

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"My Jasper" immortalizes the town in song

Edmonton based singer/songwriter Jessica Heine lent her incredible talent and time to Jasper, Alberta, with the recording of "Give Me Jasper".

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Super days ahead at the Horse

GOLDEN, BC – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is about to get sooo much better. Some new terrain is opening this coming season – a fourth bowl – which will add some new powder pathways that are sure to leave us powder hounds with an even wider case of the permagrins.

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The world arrives at Lake Louise

LAKE LOUISE, AB – The next time you’re driving down the highway I want you to consider what it would be like to be outside your vehicle travelling at 110 km/h. Then imagine strapping on a pair of skis and pointing them straight down the side of a mountain at this same speed. Now add another 50 km and you’ll be have an idea of just how fast the world’s best ski racers are.

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Copyright

All opinions expressed on SnowSeekers.ca website are solely those of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of SnowSeekers.ca. All content appearing on the SnowSeekers.ca website are © copyright of their respective authors or producers and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

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Privacy Policy

SnowSeekers.ca does not sell or rent your personal information to anyone. When SnowSeekers.ca does share information, it is of a general nature and does not contain personal information.

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Northern Escape Heli Skiing Stats & Info

Getting there:

With easy air access from many of the major western Canadian cities into the Terrace Regional Airport, a short 30 minute drive will soon ensconce you in lodges that are the definition of luxury, Northern Escape Heli-Skiing provides the ultimate heli-ski experience. 

 

The terrain:

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November 3rd photo at Sun Peaks

Anne Haight, Sun Peaks, Nov. 3, 2010
Photo courtesy of www.sunpeaksnews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whistler weather update – November 8th

Temperature outlook – Freezing levels are currently hovering near 1200m (mid mountain) and are expected to remain steady throughout the week.

Forecasted snow – A small storm is expected to move in tomorrow bringing 5-10cm (2-4 inches) followed by sunny breaks Wednesday before another storm rolls in on Thursday bringing upwards of 20cm (8 inches) by the end of this week. 

Current snow line – accumulations to near the middle of Wizard Express on Blackcomb or Fitzsimmons Express on Whistler

New snow / Base – A storm delivered around 15cm (6 inches) of new snow over the last couple of days with a current snow base of 68cm (27 inches) as measured at the Pig Alley weather station at 1650m on Whistler Mountain.  In the high alpine accumulations are sitting at over 100cm+ (40 inches)

Whistler, British Columbia, Nov. 8, 2010
Photo courtesy of Doug MacFarlane

 

Whistler, British Columbia, Nov. 8, 2010
Photo courtesy of Doug MacFarlane

 

Whistler, British Columbia, Nov. 8, 2010
Photo courtesy of Doug MacFarlane

 

Whistler, British Columbia, Nov. 8, 2010
Photo courtesy of Doug MacFarlane
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Peace Country’s ‘Joie de Vivre’


PEACE RIVER, AB — My last Alberta road trip started off as it usually does. My boyfriend and I have our heads in a map, determining which secondary highway or off-the-beaten-path route we are going to take.

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Sunshine Village News

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Big White Ski Resort News

Test - Check back for updates and the latest info about skiing and snowboarding at Big White ski resort in British Columbia. Snowseekers is your source for the latest ski and snowboard resort information. - Test

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Fairmont Hot Springs News

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Kicking Horse Mountain Resort / Golden News

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Mount Washington Alpine Resort News

The latest info about skiing and snowboarding at Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Snowseekers is your source for the latest ski and snowboard resort information.

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Another snowstorm blankets Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin, October 15th, 2010

Marmot Basin got hit with a whopping 25 cm of snow last night!

While work crews are busy making final preparations for Marmot’s November 11 opening, local skiers and snowboarders woke up to a big surprise: snow covered peaks in all directions. “There’s nothing like a huge snowstorm in mid October to get our local skiers and boarders fired up”, said Brian Rode, Marmot’s VP of Marketing and Sales. This is shaping up to be a repeat performance of last season when we had record snowfall in October and November”, added Rode.

Marmot ski patrol and lift maintenance crews are getting the mountain ready for opening day and, while the snow that blankets the mountain will force them to make some changes to their work schedule, it will not slow them down. It just means that some of their work will now be done on skis and snowmobiles rather than on foot or by truck, something no one here is complaining about!

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Fernie Alpine Resort News

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Whistler Blackcomb News

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Poll - Best Summer Activity

Contest content/details to go here

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Meet the Author: Rebecca Coleman

 

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Vermilion

Located about two hours east of Edmonton, Vermilion is home to Olympic gold champion nordic skier Becky Scott. There's also the Vermilion Provincial Park, so if you are looking for a new venue to get out on the skinny skis or a unique spot for a snowshoe, you've found your next destination.  A full service community, Vermilion is home to a host of excellent tourism amenities and events, including its annual Winter Fair and the Good Life Institute.  The institute produces a wealth of education and enlightening events that showcase new ideas for living.Read More

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Video Page Test

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Add a Friend

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Whistler/Blackomb & Vancouver 2010 Olympics

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SnowSeekers birthday celebrations

To celebrate our fifth birthday, SnowSeekers has a five-week contest going on where each week anyone has the chance to win two Lake Louise Ski cards and in the final week a grand prize from Rackanize!

In the first week we asked you to fill in the blanks: If I could be at any ski resort in the world right now, I would be at _______ because _______.

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Marmot Basin gets its first big snowstorm of the season

Jan Hudec, Lake Louise, 2007 Canada
Marmot Basin on Sept. 20, 2010. The mid-mountain snow fall was approximately 12 cms. 
Photo courtesy of Marmot Basin

November 11th – targeted opening day

Canada’s most elevated ski area, Jasper’s Marmot Basin, received over 10 cms of snow on Monday, and higher elevations received a significant amount more than that.

At 1,700 metres, Marmot boasts the highest base elevation of all Canadian ski resorts, meaning it often gets large amounts of snow when it's raining down in the Athabasca Valley and the town of Jasper. That was exactly the case this week when a mix of rain and snow fell on the valley floor while heaps of wet, white snow fell on the mountain slopes.

Last winter Marmot opened on November 11, its earliest opening date ever, with ideal snow conditions. So far this fall is shaping up to deliver a repeat performance. Our fingers are crossed that this season can start off even better, and we can help break Marmot’s record setting year for attendance (last season).

“I think this snow is here to stay”, predicted an optimistic Brian Rode, Marmot’s VP of marketing and sales. “We may still get some warm weather, but given that it’s nearing the end of September, I am quite sure this is the beginning of a very good base layer.”

Marmot Basin is once again targeting November 11 as the opening day of the season, only 49 days from today. For a preview of what to expect this season, check out this photo from just a few days ago.

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New Title Page

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Canyon Ski Resort

Canyon Ski Resort is located just about 8 minutes East of Red Deer Alberta, Canada. Canyon offers a 164 meter vertical drop which gives everyone a slope to suit their preference. With 6 different lifts, 18 runs, a new and improved Terrain Park and Super Pipe, Canyon gives you more time on the slopes and less in line-ups!

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The winter of 1998/99

by DOC POW

Doc Pow, snowboarding in powder, 2010
Doc Pow cuts some stellar lines in a blanket of champagne powder.
DOC POW/SnowSeekers

If it wasn’t snowing 20 centimetres a night that season, there was something wrong. From what we’ve been hearing here at SnowSeekers, the 2010/2011 season could be just like what we experienced 11 years ago. 

Folks in Nelson, British Columbia are saying the rabbits are putting on an extra furry coat, while people out in Eastern Canada are seeing high numbers of wolley worms. Folks, including the Farmers Almanac, are calling for the return of La Nina. Could it be?

The season of 1998/99 is the year I picked up snowboarding. My first day official day snowboarding was actually a night, a night that was powder-packed with over 72 cms on the ground. With the return of La Nina this coming season, it gets a guy like me really, really stoked. Oh boy, did everyone pack their snorkel gear in 98/99!

That legendary season I was working up at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, and was in my office through the day with a radio on my desk; that radio helped me monitor when we might be opening (we’d been closed for two days due to the massive blizzard). Patrol made the call that afternoon around 4 p.m. that they were opening for night skiing around 7 p.m. that night. I immediately got on the phone to my buddy ‘Brownie’ down in the city not saying much other than, “Dude, you gotta get up here.” Brownie was there and we set out in this big white bliss.

When you land in a pillow of powder, and it’s over 76 cms (2.5 feet) deep, you’re left with a sensation that is hard to describe. But what I can say is it leaves you with the most incredible feeling of your life.  

Brownie was similar to I. He’d only been boarding once before too, but that night was one of those nights that will do down as history, actually the entire season will. Working to get the groove on a snowboard is pretty easy when the bailouts let you down gentle with a big “poof” into a big white fluffy pillow. That season Cypress came second in the world to the highest snow fall for a season – 2891 cms (that’s around 95 feet). We started calling the road up to the ski resort Cypress Canyon Road, as on either side were about seven metre snow banks!

As referenced in this recent Whitewater blog – it talks about why the rabbits are bustin’ out their best white coats and the wolley worms are a sign things are about to get white.

Let ‘er snow, let ‘er snow.

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Meet the Author: Stephanie Knaak

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Life at the 2010 Olympics

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Stay Tuned starting February 11 through March 1 the SnowSeekers team will be live from Whistler/Vancouver to bring you our look at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

 

This coverage will include:

 

Daily video blogs at http://www.youtube.com/user/SnowSeekersInc

Engaging stories via our blog at www.snowseekersblog.blogspot.com

Facebook updates on www.facebook.com/snowseekers

Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/doc_pow

and lots of incredible photos.

 

Starting February 11th this page at www.snowseekers.ca/olympics will bring you the action with feeds from all of the above.  Don’t miss out on any of the action, bookmark this page today and be sure to subscribe to follow the feeds above.



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It's winter!

Came across this pretty cool video by Nuulife Cinema called It's Winter.

With each Fall season the people of Whistler wait for the first snow to hit the ground and the chance to get out and shred. Well, the snow is here and there is a ton of it. The wait is over and your powder dreams have become reality once again.

Whistler's supposed to get 70+ cms of snow this week. If you still need a kick in the @$$, check this out.

 

 

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SnowSeekers Beyond Borders


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Why SnowSeekers

 

Western Canada, home to the 2010 Olympics, is one of the top destinations in the world for ski, snowboard and snow-filled winter adventure vacations. For deep powder fans, there is no better place to play than in the champagne snow of the Canadian Rockies and the mountain ranges that butt up against them. 

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Win lift tickets all season long with SnowSeekers' Lift Ticket Tuesdays

Ski Big 3 and SnowSeekers team up for ticket giveaways every Tuesday on the SnowSeekers Facebook page 

Starting Tuesday, October 19th, head to the SnowSeekers Facebook page for your chance to get in on a sweet ticket giveaway. Every Tuesday from now until the end of the season, we'll be giving away a pair (and sometimes a few pairs!) of tickets to any Ski Big 3 resort – winner's choice. 

We'll be doing contests via our fan page each week to determine who brings home the prizes. There'll be photo contests, scavenger hunts, video contests, and more. This Tuesday (Oct. 19), we're kicking things off with a day-long trivia event, where we'll be posting 1 question an hour for 8 hours, and the person (or people) with the most correct answers wins a pair of tickets, to be redeemed at any time through the season.

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your dog if he has a facebook account. And make sure you "Like" the SnowSeekers page, because you can't win unless you're a fan. 

See you this Tuesday, and even better, see you at a Ski Big 3 resort this season.

Think snow!

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SnowSeekers Go-Guide App - Frequently Asked Questions

How up-to-date is the information on each resort?

What kinds of off-hill activities are featured in the guides?

Do the guides contain information related to the 2010 Olympics?

What information is included on the "Mountain" section of each guide?

Are there links to each accommodation/restaurant/store?

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Welcome to ZenSeekers: Where health, wellness and happiness intersect

Welcome to ZenSeekers: Where health, wellness and happiness intersect 

 

Definition of zen –  

  1. A total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.  

  1. Complete and absolute peace.  

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SnowSeekers Go-Guide App - Comments

COMMENTS GO HERE

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Submission Form

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Ski and snowboard guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

Mount Norquay, Banff, Alberta

Mt. Norquay delivers one sweet ride

VIDEO: The Snow Show - Banff episode

 

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Whistler Blackcomb gets 37 cms in 24 hrs

With the way the current weather system is hitting Whistler, the conditions for skiing and riding are getting better and better every day.

Whistler Blackcomb has a current snow base of 137 cms with total of 266 cms (8.7 feet) snow so far this season. The forecast is calling for more snow to hit Whistler Blackcomb today, followed by sunny skies; it doesn't get much better than that!  

Whistler Blackcomb,  Dec. 1, 2010
Photo courtesy of Logan Swayze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resort Recommender

Less Important More Important
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Alberta & BC Ski Resort Closure Dates (Spring 2010)

Alberta Resorts:

Snow Valley in Edmonton CLOSED
Castle Mountain CLOSED (April 5th)
Nakiska April 11th
Mt.
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Vancouver 2010 Blog Posts

From sporting and cultural events to fantastic finds for anyone visiting Whistler anytime, the SnowSeeker team covered it all.

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Jobs available at Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler, BC, 2010
 

Instead of throwing out a list of adjectives about Whistler Blackcomb and what it's like to work there, I'm going to, instead, say to you, "Why in the hell wouldn't you want to work at Whistler Blackcomb!!"

The only thing about skiing/boarding 8,171 acres of the best powder on the PLANET, is getting paid to do it. Yeah.

It's not just a job, it's a frickin' sweet job.

 

Before applying, you should be aware of the following:

1.  You must be legally entitled to work in Canada (i.e. have a valid work permit, permanent residency or Canadian citizenship)

2. You must be present in Whistler for the interview process. 

3.  You can apply for up to three positions at a time (this is not mandatory).  However, you will only be considered for one position at a time. 

4.  If you have any recruiting related questions/inquiries, or are experiencing any problems copying and pasting your resume, please contact Employee Experience at 604-938-7557 or employeeexperience@intrawest.com 

5.  If a position is classified as "INTERNAL ONLY", you must currently be working for Whistler Blackcomb or you must have worked for Whistler Blackcomb within the last 18 months.

PLEASE NOTE: All Whistler Blackcomb employees must provide a satisfactory criminal record check when hired. 

All Whistler Blackcomb postings show a closing date; however, depending on the volume of applications received, a position may close early. If a closing date shows April 16th, note the posting will actually close on April 15th at midnight. So we strongly recommend that you apply for a position as soon as you see it, to avoid missing out on the opportunity.

For a complete listing of available jobs, CLICK HERE.

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Let this man's epic ski adventure inspire you

Join SnowSeekers this winter with The Challenge  

DOC POW   

Ted Allsopp has a passion for skiing that inspired him to do something most western Canadian skiers might only dream or think about - ski every resort in Alberta and British Columbia. 

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Manning Park Resort

Manning Park Resort is located in the stunning E.C. Manning Provincial Park in the heart of the Cascade Mountains.
 
An easy drive from Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan, Manning Park Resort offers Fresh Air Experiences any time of year.Read More

NE Heli-Ski

Located in Terrace BC is the planets LARGEST heli-ski tenure. Northern Escape Heli-Ski is an amazing place. The tenure is a quarter of the size of Switzerland. Leaving what seems like an infinite amount of terrain to shred. Unfortunately the weather has not been co-operating this morning. We are here on assignment to get coverage on the 4 day doctor conference. Doctors from all over sign up for this educational adventure to gain credits, and at the same time get some amazing turns in. The skies seem to be clearing. Hopefully we can get some good footy today up there. Stay tuned!

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Pacific Coastal adds more flights to bring skiers to B.C.’s best powder

You can almost hear the Frank Sinatra tunes, hearkening back to an early, more pleasant time of flying as you walk onto the tarmac and step into the prop plane, waving to the pilot before finding your seat.

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#WinterIsHere

It's gone from zero to hero in two weeks now, and doesn't show any signs of stopping. #WinterisHere is a collection of the most up-to-date reports on conditions at resorts across Alberta and B.C.

That means it's time to start making those plans and getting yourself in tune for the season by getting those skis waxed and calling on all your friends and family who like to get out and hit up all the resorts out there. 

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Last Call!

So this is it! Unfortunately I'm off today to the coast. Great time with the doctors. The conferences were very interesting, and a pleasure to shoot. Its puking snow again, hopefully they get out in the chopper for a few last turns before they take off tonight. Yesterday they got a full day in, which means I got to make another little something for them. They took more video this time which was great. Unfortunately I was unable to go up with them! blast! haha oh well. I got some turns in at Shames Mountain. Interesting terrain there. Very soft powder though. Anyways, the breakfast bell is ringing. Enjoy.

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Surfs Up!

 

SO I've had quite the amazing last couple days. To start off I got to see the ocean for the first time on a little solo assignment shooting a segment on BC Ferry's. The ferry runs from Prince Rupert along the west coast all the way down to Port Hardy. From there I picked Jim up at the airport in Campbell River. STELLAR DRIVE through Vancouver Island. From Campbell we drove 3 hours to a town call Ucluelet. Rad town to say the least. Total surf town. The surf shop doesn't close down for the winter, as the best waves here are IN the winter. Pretty crazy. We got geared up with some wet suits and some board courtesy of Inner Rhythm Surf Shop and off we went. Hitting the water with a board for the first time was an amazing experience. I knew the water was salt water. But its HONESTLY super salty, I was amazed. The scenery here is crazy. It doesn't even feel like I'm in Canada. Its so green, and rich, and it looks so foreign. Pretty rad. Anyways were rained in rite now, we were suppose to go shoot some surfing with some dudes from Inner Rhythm but being the rain capital of the WORLD, time will tell when were able to grab some good footy. Stay tuned!. ALSO a new video has been posted on the SnowSeekers site. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Be sure to check it out!! http://www.snowseekers.ca

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From Surf to Snow

Out of Ucluelet and onto the ski hill. The ocean is only visible now from the top of Mount Washington. Were here now, back to the normal game of SnowSeekers to bring you a segment on Mount Washington Alpine Resort. I cant help but keep looking back at all the surf pics and the clips of footage we got. Jim bought a rad little camera thats waterproof so we took er' for a spin! I put together a little video to show what we were up to splashin around in the Pacific. Special thanks to Inner Rhythm Surf Shop for all the surf gear and especially Mark for those crucial lessons! They came in pretty handy, tho the video will display otherwise. Let it be known that there WAS some waves to be stood on by the two of us haha. Another thanks to the Surfs Inn for letting us crash there for a couple nights while in town. Enjoy the video! Back to snow, check out the new Panorama video at www.snowseekers.ca  

SURFS UP!

 

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Northern Escape Steep Camp

 


 

SnowSeekers is on special assignment this week up in Terrace BC - home to Northern Escape Heli-skiing. This is Doc Pow here and I am fortunate enough to be up here for five days as part of their new program entitled Steep Camp.



We all have seen the movies, those segments where you think, "how is this guy going to navigate this line and get off that mountain face in one piece." While if you wanted to really get an answer to that question and at the same time maybe try a line or four that is going to push your big mountain snow shredding buttons than this camp is for you.



We've been hanging with Yvan Saborin for the last few days up here who is responsible for managing the film crews and programs for Northern Escape (NEH). Since its start five years ago the operation has been featured in a bunch of films by Matchstick Productions, Standard Films and a host of others. Its Saborin's job to take the atheletes out and get them what they are looking for - some phat lines that will translate well on camera.

 

"What you dont see in the movies is the amount of preperation that has to go into each shot," explains Saborin. But here at steep camp you sure get to and its awesome.

 

What I am loving about this program is the fact that not only do you get to ski some phat lines but also you get a stellar amount of education behind it. Big mountain riding does not come easy, you have to be savy to the wealth of hazards that are out there- cravasees, avalanche dangers and many other factors that may not have you come back in one piece.
The biggest thing is experience, and that is sure what we are getting up here at steep camp.
more updates and a movie from our days to come in the next bit....

 

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Big Mountain Education

 

As mentioned below in my last post, one of the stellar things
about Nothern Escape's annual steep camp program is the education that comes with it.

"We pass along this eduction because then people can be aware of their skiing, the terrain and make the most of it," explainsYvan Sabourin, 12 year mountain ski guide with Northern Escape.

For my buddy Michael Grand, a big lesson was learned about looking before your leaping, as the guides lead us off with the words, “ok so I want you to just get out on this slope and take which ever line you think is the right one.” Grand, a first time backcountry skier, charged over a lip where you couldn’t see to the other side only to be in one of those, “oh shi*t” moments dropping I’d say about 15 feet into a creek bed and into asizeable hole. A double eject later and a strong sense of pride missing, Grand was back, with that lesson learned. “You want to establish the run before you and asses which hazards could be out there, if you just ski into it blindly, that is where you can get into trouble. Always look before you leap," says John Forrest, anouther of Northern Escape's stellar guides.

Some big lessons came into play yesterday morning, when they took us to one of the venues to be featured in this fall's release of Standard Film's Black Winter. This one was all about how to read the terrain and prepare yourself for potential sluff hazardsSluff is the small stream of snow that can come loose as a skier or shredder makes their traverse.
“On a particular slope you can give a big cut turn, I’d say on anything with an over 45 grade pitch. Do a big wide cut turn on top of it and continue to ski out to the side. You could experience a sluffslide, wait for it to run out and than which will clear the way for your turns below," explainedSabourin. "Should you get caught in it, work your best to ski out to the side." As he explained, even this little stuff can really get you in trouble.

As for the run from the top its was gnarly, big mountain riding at its best, two shoots, some trees and a few major cliffs to avoid but all us steep campers made it out in one piece, all fully charged to get up and do it all again.
It's stellar this is five days...lots more ops to shred some more gnar!

doc pow over and out
http://www.snowseekers.ca/

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Come to Castle

 

On our tour through Southern Alberta, we had the luxury of hitting this place up. Castle Mountain Resort prints "powder to share" on their lift tickets, and they aren't kidding. When we got in the first night, there was this hilarious staff party going on at the T-Bar pub and grub located at the bottom of the hill. These guys were awesome, they have a themed party every other wednesday. This party was themed 80's night. Twister was rockin' and so was the rest of the clan. This place isn't just a great night scene, but for apres after a hard day of riding you can't go wrong either. Their pizza is definitely something to write home about. On the hill is just as good. The mountain sits rite along the continental divide with some epic views to say the least. They recently installed a new chairlift opening up a wealth of terrain for the resort. You can't go wrong at Castle. See for yourself, watch the video on our website! www.snowseekers.ca

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Lovin Life at Mount Washington

Well what can I say. Mount Washington was another amazing experience to tack onto the west coast tour. We hit the slopes with a fellow snow seeking friend Brent from Mount Washington Alpine Resort. We toured around the mountain with him all morning, filming the good stuff Mount Washington has to offer. Came across some pretty rad stuff! Jim and Brent hiked up this steep slope on a run off the Boomerang chair so I could get a nice shot. Successful ski tour to say the least. I love these ski tours. While I'm out there filming, its like being on a giant location scout for the runs I want to hit on my free time. Brent took us over to the Outback. This has the gnarliest runs of them all. With a massive dump of snow a couple days before, shredding the trees of runs like Billabong and the Copper Glades was ridiculous. Being my first actual double black diamond runs I was amped as hell. If hit some pretty steep terrain at Kicking Horse. But hiking past a double black diamond sign and dropping into a chute as wide as something like my car is defiantly something to write home about, and I don't drive a limo. After a gnarly day on the hill, why not go down to the Crown Isle Golf Club and shoot some balls? Can it get any better. I don't even golf, and I knew I was getting myself into something really cool. One second I'm dropping into some double diamond glades, and the next me and the Doc are shooting 9 at Crown Isle. I'll stop bragging now. Anyways make sure you check out the video! It turned out well.---->snowseekers<------

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Sunny Sun Peaks

 

Only about half an hour away from beautiful Kamloops, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort is quite the site to see. Three mountains for one ski resort. Are you serious? We got the chance to get out with Senator Nancy Greene to show us some of her favorite spots on this wicked mountain, and really show us what makes Sun Peaks shine. Epic views into foggy valleys as you burn down their wide open groomers is a sensational experience, but ripping down the crystal bowl's intense moguls is a whole nether story. Two mountains chalked with steep terrain and epic glades not good enough? Ride down to the bridge crosswalk and head up to Mount Morrisey for even more action. Special thanks to Nancy and the crew at Sun Peaks for making the experience happen. Read more about the trip -->here<---

And don't forget to check out the video for a little sneak peak of what your missing out on!
-->snowseekers.ca<--

 

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TubeMogul!

TubeMogul is THE new hot spot for uploading online video.

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The Olympic Snowleopard Challenge (15th August 2009)


Welcome to The Olympic Snowleopard Challenge.
On behalf of the Ghana Ski Team and one of the UK's premier adventure tour operations entitled the Base Camp Group are introducing the Olympic Snowleopard Challenge 2009.
For those on that side of the pond, this year’s competition will be held at The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead on the 15th of August. The event which begins at 5pm will feature a dual slalom with the usual overdose of prizes.
About The Event
The Challenge has evolved over the last 4 years, doubling in competitor size from 2005 with 40 competitors and between 100 - 150 friends/family members watching (excluding the general public).
In 2007 the event attracted over 200 people. After a year break the challenge is back and this year we are expecting over 100 athletes, their families, media/press, charities and sponsors.
The challenge is a dual slalom race for both skiers and boarders. The event program will have:
1. A dual slalom race.
2. Followed by a catwalk show.
3. Then the prize ceremony.
4. Lastly, the after event party (a chance to relax after a hectic race evening).
for more info visit http://www.basecampgroup.com/content/view/147/212/

 

 

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A Leopard Who SKIS?

 

When you hear the word snowleopard many of us would think of an elusive mountain cat, but did you think he could ski?


Hailing out of Ghana - within the African continent, is Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong who carries the aka of the SnowLeopard. And after a stellar season this past on the international slalom circut, we need to re-phrase this alias to The Olympic SnowLeopard.
Western Canada will roar with the leopard's presence as he arrives to rip the slopes of Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Kwame a father of two, has spent the last four years in pursuit of his goal, to ski in one of the world's most elite group of skiers.
Keep you eye on this leopard- he is skiing places.
Some of Kwame's sponsors include adventure training specialists The Base Camp Group and Italian and ski helmet producer Beori.

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Big News!

 

 SnowSeekers has sealed a deal with The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. We're set to move operations into their Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation Sept 1 '09. We'll be stationed close to the pub, the gym and it allows us to work with some of the top students from the world of digital media. Some very exciting results for SnowSeekers every where.

 
Although working from home IS nice, it will be good to get up and GO to work.
Now that that's settled, we just need some snow so I can really get down to business!

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The Way's with Westjet

 

Not that this should come off as a commercial.

but I am pretty stoked on this westjet care-ante- if you get snowed in you get to stay another night and ski the next day- with westjet picking up the tab for the overnight....
www.westjet.com
 

now you just have to explain it to the boss - label it a "call in well" day......

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MARMOT BASIN:LONGEST HIGH SPEED QUAD CHAIR IN THE ALBERTA CANADIAN ROCKIES

 

Jasper’s Marmot Basin ski resort is completing the next phase of one of Canada’s most significant ski lift development projects for the winter of 2009/2010 – the in

stallation of 26 towers which will support The Canadian Rockies Express, the longest new high-speed quad chairlift in

the Alberta Canadian Rocky Mountains.

“It’s an incredibly exciting project which is going to take Marmot into the 21st Century,” said Dave Gibson, President of Marmot Basin. “I am thrilled to be able to work with the very proactive shareholders who purchased Marmot Basin five years ago. This new $8 million dollar expenditure, in addition to the $8 million the shareholders have spent on operational and capital expenditures over the last five years, will certainly enhance the overall experience for our skiers and boarders.”

 

The new lift has a slope length of approximately 2,300 meters and a vertical rise of 596 meters. The bottom terminal will be at the base of the lower mountain adjacent to the existing Eagle Express quad chair terminal. The lift will whisk 2,400 passengers per hour from the lower base area and unload them adjacent to the top of the Paradise chair. With an 800 horse power, top-drive engine and a design speed of 5.08 meters per second (1,000 ft/min), skiers and riders can sit back and enjoy the 7.5 minute ride plus the magnificent scenery of the surrounding mountains that make up Jasper National Park.

 

 

For more information on The Canadian Rockies Express, please contact Brian Rode at 1-866-952-3816 or HYPERLINK "mailto:brrode@skimarmot.com"brrode@skimarmot.com

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SnowSeekers - Promotional Video

This video shows a wide variety of winter adventures to be had in Western Canada.
Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh2c6OPvovM



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TGR Kicks Off Re: Session!

Re:Session World Tour Kicks Off in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, WY (Sept 2009) - Re:Session, the latest ski & snowboard film by Teton Gravity Research (TGR), is now available and on tour . This past Saturday, TGR presented the world debut of the film in their own backyard of Jackson Hole, WY. Stoked on by the energy of a sold-out crowd of thousands of snow-crazed enthusiasts, the film kicked off with a smashing debut and raging after-party. In attendance was media from around the country, a star-studded roster of the film’s athletes and, of course, the TGR filmmakers and crew who made it all happen.
 
Click here to view a video clip from the Re:Session World Premier in Jackson Hole
Check TetonGravity.com to see when the Re:Session World Tour hits your neck of the woods. There are a limited number of complimentary VIP tickets available for media and industry friends.

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Revelstoke Rated #5 in North America by Skiing Magazine

September 23, 2009, Revelstoke, BC: Skiing Magazine recently released their 2010 Resort Awards and a new favourite was listed in the top five for “Best Overall Resort” – Revelstoke.    The ratings, based on results by reader polls ranks resorts based on terrain, snow, backcountry access, trees, nightlife and parks, with the most prestigious ranking listing the “Best Overall Resort.”


New for the 09-10 season Revelstoke Mountain Resort is launching the Revelstoke Outdoors Centre (ROC), bringing together the industry’s top ski and boarding pros with guiding excellence.  Programs include avalanche skills courses, guided backcountry/slackcountry trips, Cat-Heli Prep sessions and specialty education options. 
Also new this winter, Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing is expanding its programs to include more customized options, one of which is to fly directly from the Nelsen Lodge, at the base of RMR.  Guests will be able to walk out the door of their suite into their waiting A-Star helicopter.   The new luxury hotel features studio to four bedroom suites and is available now.  Bookings can be made online atwww.thenelsenlodge.com.

To learn more about Revelstoke click here!

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WOW Catch a whole new lift this season!

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Here Comes the Pow!

October 27, 2009 Revelstoke, BC – With 51cm of new snow on the mountain and more snow in the forecast later this week, it is shaping up for a great winter at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Staff are wading through over 50cm of snow in The Ripper area as it is a north-facing aspect,” said Steve Parsons, Director of Mountain Operations.  “At the weather station at 1950 meters we’ve measured 51 cm of new snow and the freezing levels are expected to stay at about 1000 metres which is ideal conditions to keep snow on the mountain.”


Learn more about Revelstoke here.

And if that doesn't excite you. Check out Sun Peaks!

 

 

 

Sun Peaks Sports Director Alain Brunelle tested the powder up at Sun Peaks this morning. The last couple days have brought 40cm of snow, bringing the base at Sun Peaks to 70cm! More storms are on the way, with snow expected Wednesday night, Thursday, and Saturday this week.


Learn more about Sun Peaks here.

 

 

 

 

How sweet is that?

 

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SnowSeekers New Home Page

Here is a sneak peak to SnowSeekers new website launching later this month!

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Only 7 more sleeps!

MARMOT BASIN OPENS NOVEMBER 11th

 EARLIEST OPENING EVER!

Jasper, Alberta

November 3, 2009 –Marmot Basin opens on Wednesday November 11th, the earliest opening date ever for the ski area located in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Six lifts will be open on the first day of the season including the Eagle Express Quad Chair, Paradise Triple Chair, School House T-bar, Eagle Ridge Chairlift, the Magic Carpet and the NEW Canadian Rockies Express.

A combination of natural and manmade snow has given the area a solid base with good snow coverage throughout the mountain. Marmot Basin will open with 38 runs on the 11th with more runs expected to open soon thereafter. The runs will include terrain in the lower area, upper mountain and the Eagle Ridge area.

With above average snow coverage Marmot Basin will open the new Canadian Rockies Express, the longest high speed quad chairlift in the Canadian Rockies.

From the ski area base, the Canadian Rockies Express travels 2.3 km (1.5 miles), whisking skiers and boarders 596 vertical metres (1,955 ft) up to the mountain top in less than eight minutes. The lift is the largest chairlift development in North America this season.


For more information be sure to check out our Jasper section.



 

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And only 3 More Sleeps Till Lake Louise!

Lake Louise Opens Friday, November 6

Lake Louise, Alberta: Lake Louise, Canada’s Favourite Ski Area, will officially open for the season on Friday, November 6 thanks to Mother Nature and one of the most sophisticated snowmaking systems in the world.

Skiers and snowboarders will be able to experience those first delightful turns of the season from the top of Glacier Express Chair down three runs: Bald Eagle, Wiwaxy, and Easy Street.  These runs descend 1,450 vertical feet over their 3 kilometer length.  More runs and lifts should be open by the following weekend, and most of the mountain following one or two more good snowfalls.

All amenities at the full-service base area will be open, including food and beverage facilities, retail, rental and repair shops, the daycare and ski school.

 

“We’re extremely excited about being the first major ski area in Canada to open” says Lake Louise Marketing Director John Ross. “Because we are one of the few ski areas in the world that can offer superior early season snow, the World Cup circuit will once again start at Lake Louise on the weekend of November 28th prior to moving to the U.S. and Europe.  This winter will also be jam packed with various other exciting events such as the Canadian Powder 8 Championships, The Olympic Torch relay, and various other races, festivals, and snowboard events”.

 

Lake Louise is also reaffirming its commitment to offering a superior terrain park and is pleased to welcome back Jeff Patterson who is world-famous for his designs. Offering a unique and exceptional variety of rails, boxes, jumps and other special features, small portions of the park will be ready, already, by Friday.

Reduced lift ticket prices will be in effect for opening weekend. Adults can ski or ride for $38, seniors (>65) and youths (13-17) for $26.40 and children (6-12) $12.50. Louise Card holders will receive a $10 discount and do not have to use their first day free.

And of corse, for more information visit our Lake Louise section.

 

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SnowSeekers first of many go-guides submitted to Apple

Yesterday was a big day in SnowSeekers world.  We made our first of many submissions to our friends at Apple with our SnowSeekers Go-Guides.  Launching Dec 15, 2009 SnowSeekers is stoked to announce a world first- Go-Guides for your iPhone and Blackberry....




Here is the outline we sent into Apple:

Heading into any winter resort can be a daunting experience especially when you consider something the size of Whistler - consistently ranked as the number 1 ski resort in North America (13 years running by Skiing Magazine - October 2009).  Unlock the best of Whistler by having the latest and greatest information from the resort right on your iPhone.  Over 40 years of industry expertise has gone into the construction of these SnowSeekers Go-Guides.

Considering between the two mountains - Whistler and Blackcomb - that there are well over 200 runs and that the village of Whistler includes dozens of bars, restaurants and shopping options, this app will provide you with all the information you need to maximize your winter vacation.  Not knowing where to eat, where to ski and what to do while in town is a challenge for any skier or snowboarder, whether it’s your first or tenth visit to the destination.  Leave Whistler having the best time possible, pick up a the Whistler SnowSeekers Go-Guide today.

This app includes:

      STILL TOP SECRET!!! but things like GPS locator technology, digital trail maps and daily snow reports are all in there, plus lots of other exciting features.

This digital guide book was crafted by the ski and snowboard industry experts at SnowSeekers™ Inc.  Recently recognized by the Canadian Government as one of Canada’s most innovative companies these SnowSeekers™ Go-Guides are part of a cross platform Western Canadian based new media company which brings its audience the best of the best from the winter destinations throughout Alberta and BC via a TV series, an e-newsmagazine website @www.snowseekers.ca and a series of SnowSeekers™ Go-Guides including Whistler, Fernie, Banff and many others found here in iTunes.

Upon the start of the Whistler SnowSeekers™ Go-Guide you will be welcomed by a short video introducing Whistler and all its potentials.  After this short movie a table of contents allows you to further your areas of interest with chapters on:

-The Mountain

-Dining, Après and Nightlife

-Accommodations

-Off-Hill Attractions/Events

-Transportation

-Shopping

-Deals & Coupons

and within each section you’ll find those tips from the locals to deliver you the “inside edge” to what Whistler has to offer.

13 titles are coming including Mount Washington/Comox, Whistler, Vancouver (Cypress/Grouse/Seymour), Sun Peaks, Big White, SilverStar, Revelstoke, Golden/Kicking Horse, Red Mountain/Rossland, Fernie, Kimberley, Banff (Sunshine/Lake Louise/Norquay) and Jasper/Marmot Basin.  They will retail for only $1.99 per title and will be available soon off the iTunes and BlakcBerry apps stores.

For more info drop us a line at info@snowseekers.ca

Languages:

English

Requirements:

Compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch

Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later

Data connection

 

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Happy First-Day!

There are a few excellent things we can say to a person, one is to wish them a happy birth-day, the other is to wish them a happy first-day with the start of a ski season!

SnowSeekers, Tanya Roth aka "Tweety" and Marmot's Brian Rhode celebrating their happy first-day!


There were a whole lot of those wishes going around yesterday at Marmot Basin in Jasper- and it was with some serious just cause- Mother Nature had all delivered us a serious first-day present!


"This is the best first-day I have ever had," said snowboarder Jaro Malanowski of Edmonton, Alberta. "The snow is fantastic! Man I love this sport and it's wicked to be back out on the board."  The snow was light, fluffy and there's lots of it!  I think Marmot's been thanked by Ullr, the Snow God, for the recent install of their new chairlift and that thanks resulted in a whole lot of hootin' and hollering yesterday on the slopes.

 The snow continued to fall all day at Marmot Basin- over two feet in the past two weeks!

Moving through the Grizzly Glades yesterday morning, found under the Eagle East Quad, my buddy Will Colford and I were met with face shot after face shot.  "This is cat ski quality skiing right now," exclaimed a seriously stoked Colford after our second lap.
It's epic to be getting days like this in so early in the season when traditionally are not meet with this type of euphoria until maybe mid-December....but hey who is complaining?

Marmot's Supreme Poster Child- Meg Gibson and her good friend Nicole celebrate the slopes epic offerings!

With the install of this new chair, the Canadian Rockies Express, any snow seeker can get from the base of Marmot and into the goods so much quicker,  it's now only a smooth seven and a half min ride away.  For more on this impressive system have a look to some of their videos off the Marmot website

Marmot's opening with four lifts turning and 43 runs - the most amount of terrain available currently in Western Canada!  These kind of stats can't help but make it a happy first-day!  For more on all the adventures in Jasper, consult our Jasper page.

While in Jasper getting in these goods you are going to need a place to stay so dial up a night a two with any of Decore Hotel's properties.  We stayed at the Tonquin which is home to some awesome outdoor hot tubs, a pool and Nick's Prime Rib Village, who makes a mean prime rib sandwich.


FYI, Banff's Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, are now open as well and are getting some glowing reports.  It's time to get out there and enjoy the winter.

 

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The snow if flying at Marmot- more on the way!

Marmot’s rec’d over 47 cms in the past 24 hours and 35 cms since the blizzard blew in Sunday night….

they are expecting another 20 cms in the next 24 hours with another storm cell hitting this Saturday.

One of Marmot's marketing gurus Meg's Gibson said to me this morning that they physically could not ski all the lines yesterday….you may want to look into booking your flight now.

As she drove up to the mountain this morning she had tears in their eyes from the epic conditions they were witnessing.



giddy up! and get up there!

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Marmot Vids

it just keeps snowing at Marmot, check out the vid from yesterday- 


Marmot's Got some serious snow from Jim Barr on Vimeo.

For more on what you may be missing check out the Marmot section of our site....

let 'er snow, let 'er snow

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Lake Louise Opens up all lifts this weekend!



Get Ready for a really powder filled weekend at Lake Louise as ALL LIFTS OPEN THIS WEEKEND!!


Thanks to abundant natural snowfall during the first three weeks of November, the Lake Louise Ski Area is pleased to announce that all nine lifts at the popular Banff National Park ski resort will be operational for the upcoming November 21-22 weekend.

With 30cms of new snow during the past week and a settled upper mountain snow base of 87cms, both the Larch and Ptarmigan Chairs will be opening for the season at 9 am on Friday, November 20.

“This is truly an exceptional start to the ski and snowboarding season,” confirms Lake Louise Ski Area Marketing Director John Ross. “With all nine lifts in operation, skiers and snowboarders will be able to explore all four mountain faces and enjoy over 60 different runs at Lake Louise. The weather forecast is also calling for continued snowfall, so conditions throughout the mountain will only get better.”

Although ski conditions are exceptional for mid-November, skiers and snowboarders should still exercise caution as plenty of natural hazards still exist throughout the mountain. Please be aware and ski with care!

For more on the Lake please click here

 

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Snow days are continuing

Alberta hills are getting hit with the good stuff, but British Columbia is getting blasted with snow as well which is causing delirious smiles on resort staff throughout the province. Records are being broken and resorts are continuing to get a jump on the season and open earlier.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort received a memorable November snow lambasting over the last two weeks. With more snow in the forecast for the next few days, the resort announced that it will open for winter operations on Saturday, Nov. 28, two full weeks before the originally scheduled opening day of Dec. 11.

Kicking Horse is getting dumped on as well, and is looking to give everyone a sneak peak on Dec. 5 and 6, with full operations beginning Dec. 11.

Big White was scheduled to open this weekend, but the amazing snow dumbs had the crews flickin' the switches on the lifts last weekend. With an alpine base of over 65 cm, epic turns are being made off the Ridge Rocket Express, Plaza Chair and Lara's Gondola. Sister hill, Silver Star, where Nordic fans have already been enjoying the trails for the last two weeks, is also set to fire up the lifts this weekend with amazing conditions for everyone attending its opening weekend festivities. 

Sun Peaks, another hill that opened early thanks to Mother Nature, has eight of its 11 lifts in operation and there is skiing and riding from top to bottom.
With over 362 cms (142.5 inches) of snow so far this month, Whistler Blackcomb has more than doubled its average November snowfall of 148 cm (58 inches) and is well on its way to the possibility of breaking the record of snow in the month of November, 416 cm (164 inches).

Shot at Marmot Basin Wednesday Nov 18th. 


Now that's some serious snow.

Giddy UP!!

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Affirming the Passion

Last night I watched a girl learn to make the most of winter; I watched her learning to ski and it was an event that re-affirmed just why I love snow sports so much. With eyes wide open and a big smile on both her and her mother’s face, Sunny Gantumur took to the slopes and nailed it.

                                                                         Photo by Kristy-Lynn Polowich

It was really the debut of a project we here at SnowSeekers have been working on since July - that to produce a documentary about a little girl who learns to ski.  It's in partnership with theDigital Media Students at NAIT, so it was a full on film crew out there last night, boom mic, two cameras and all.

With rosy cheeks and a big cheer in her eyes, I sat at the end of the lesson in awe with how energized our subject of the film was. The biggest and brightest surprise I received was when she asked if after her lesson this Saturday if she could stay on to practice and this was after her first lesson! As her family originates from Mongolia, only moving to Canada four years ago, Sunny was already conditioned for a big winter outside. With a brother who speed skates Sunny was looking to enjoy winter in a new way by hitting the slopes instead of the ice.



We were down at Snow Valley, a ski resort here in the heart of Edmonton Alberta for the first shoot of our documentary to be released February 1, 2010 and in association with the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance. After a few stretches in the parking lot, Sunny took to the slopes like a champ. “She is really picking things up quick,” said her instructor Christina Schmidtke, who learned to ski on these same slopes and now gives back by instructing a few hours a week. We watched as Schmidtke passed Sunny through a few drills, like getting in and out of her skis and becoming confident in moving around in them. After the first half an hour of giggles and laughs shared by Sunny and her instructor I asked if she was cold and needed a break, “no I am good, but my cheeks they feel a bit cold,” my immediate response was “yah, you’ll be the one in class tomorrow with the rosy cheeks and all your class mates will be asking you where you were last night!” You could see her eyes light up with excitement from the statement as she jumped back onto the magic carpet for another spin.



Those rosy cheeks are the sign of a skier, snowboarder or fan of the snow. Get out there and get your glow back! Watch for more updates as Sunny takes to the slopes through the next few weeks leading up to her climax December 12th weekend at Castle Mountain Ski Resort as she tackles the Canadian Rockies for her first time. 

Stay Tuned!

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SnowSeekers first turns of the season!

check it out! we got our first turns in with the cameras at Sunshine Village in Banff. It was a great day, having some fun with the cameras, shredding some gnar.

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SnowSeekers Receives front page coverage

Today's Edmonton Journal has a great story about our documentary with Sunny.

Have a read by clicking here

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More terrain for Big White and Sunshine Village

British Columbia's Big White Resort now has 18 runs open as of Nov. 21 while Alberta's Sunshine Village announced the opening of Goat's Eye and the terrain park today. Sunshine now has all three mountains open, giving skiers and riders a tonne of options to play on.
Ready for a preview of the Olympics? Make sure to head to Alberta's Lake Louise Ski Area for the Louise World Cup which kicks off with the men's alpine events Saturday, Nov. 28 followed by the ladies Dec. 4. The races are part of Banff's WinterStart Festival – a kick off to the ski season and Christmas.

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300 CMS in Seven DAYS!


Image:  Mount Washington’s grooming crews have their hands full with 300 centimetres of snow in 7 days!
Credit:  Mount Washington Alpine Resort

It’s official; Mount Washington Alpine Resort has now surpassed- make that blown past- their old snowfall record for the month of November.  The resort received a whopping 440 centimetres of snow over the last three weeks.  With one week left this month, conditions are looking ideal for this Saturday’s opening day.

“Our old record for November snowfall was 300 centimetres in 2006,” explains resort spokesperson Brent Curtain.  “Needless to say, this month we’ve seen unprecedented amounts of snow up here.  We received 300 centimetres in the last week alone!”

As of Monday, November 23rd, Mount Washington was reporting a snowbase of 240cms.  “This is a base we usually see in mid-January.  We’re standing on 6 feet of compacted snow in front of the Alpine Lodge and it gets deeper the further you look up the mountain,” Curtain adds.

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Sunny Nails The Slopes

NAIT's board room POW-WOW

Sunny isn't just hitting the slopes - she is nailing them, three lessons in and she is attacking the slopes with a serious appitite.  And everyone involved in the production of this documentary is loving it.  Today they took a chance to go through footage and see how things are shaping up.

Progression on the documentary being produced between SnowSeekers and NAIT showcasing the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance is coming along better then anyone could have expected.  Just this week SnowSeekers announced the addition of Jaro Malanowski to it's team, recognized as one of Canada's preeminent directors/film producers. Malanowski's job in working with SnowSeekers Director of Photography, Brandon Boucher is to take the film from an idea to reality.

The reality is securing the film's goal of increasing diversity on the slopes, attracting a wider demographic to take up skiing and with Sunny and her family being from Mongolia, things are looking bright.  "One thing we notice is the diversity on the slopes of Snow Valley, let's capture this with more b-roll," says Malanowski.

Things really picked up this past weekend when mom took to the slopes with Sunny- taking a lesson program on site at Snow Valley right along side her daughter.  Word is that the dad is not far behind, stay tuned as the whole family gets ready to tackle the Canadian Rockies, Dec 10-12th weekend down at Castle Mountain Ski Resort just outside of Pincher Creek.

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Sunny's final shoot at Snow Valley

by Justin Kowalczuk 


Upon arriving at SnowValley we noticed the fresh powder being made on the hill, thus., it was apparent from the get go that today was going to be an epic shoot. The crew was fully determined to shoot the final day with ease and confidence that presented the true strength of each other. With some quick planning by the director Brandon Boucher any scenes that were once missed were completed. Furthermore, we were able to film some truly great scenes that will lend a hand in the editing room. Also, Sunny continues to tear up the slopes, and it seems with each day she is getting better, and better. Today, she was carving down the slopes with Christina like a pro. It is apparent in their smiles that both Sunny and Christina have created a natural bond together, and trust one another as they shred the pow. Sunny’s mother stood at the bottom of the hill watching proudly as her daughter tackled what seemed like a beast of a hill on the first day. Today was a truly glorious day, everything ran smoothly and perfectly. Next, we will all be heading to Castle Mountain! Stay tuned for more updates about the crew and Sunny’s adventure in achieving our goals.

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Delirium Dive is Now Open

Delirium Dive is back in business. 

The ultimate in big mountain experiences got the green light from Sunshine’s snow safety team and is open for the season. It’s the earliest opening in the Dive’s 10-year history.

“This is what extreme skiers and riders wait for all year,” says Doug Firby, associate director of communications at Sunshine Village. “The fact that we’re able to open the Dive so early in the season is proof of how much snow there is at Sunshine Village right now.”

Big mountain riders know that an influential Australian newspaper last year named the Dive one of the top 10 off-piste runs in the world. That’s because, with 600 acres and 2,000 vertical feet, this in-bound terrain is enough to make its expert skiers and riders, well, delirious.

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Sunny On The Slopes Is Being Cut!

So after some amazing holiday cheer, we enter 2010 with a fresh start and a thirst for snow. The Sunny On The Slopes film is well under way in the editing room. SnowSeeekrs assistant editor for the film (Nick Sieben) has been a busy guy over the past week. We finished shooting the film during the top of December, with our final shoot being at Castle Mountain, AB. It was a hit, the story is becoming more than we expected and we are very thrilled for the release. Sunny's parents both got the ski bug, resulting in mom on ski's, and dad on a snowboard for the final shoot. Absolutely thrilling to see. More blogs on the edit process to come!     



                                                                                    Stay tuned!

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Warm weather and the promise of great skiing

Weather's fantastic here in Jasper. No new freshies, but the smilin' bartender at the D'ed Dog tells me the skiing at Marmot Basin is still fantastic - 'bloody beautiful' to be exact. Can't wait to get up there today. Hope you're all getting in some great turns this weekend.

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White tails and coyotes

Normally when you head out on an animal wilderness tour, you are taking your chances on actually seeing any wildlife; after all it's not like someone opens the gates and says, "Okay fellas, go do your thing for the tourists." but not 10 minutes out with Jasper Adventure Centre and we had to slow down for a small herd of White Tail deer on the road. If we would have been faster, I would have had pictures to prove it, but these deer are skittish and with a flick of their tails, they were bounding over the ditch and disappearing into the trees.
Less than two minutes later, who's coming up the road? Mr. Coyote himself (or herself). Nonchalantly trotting up the road towards us and ignoring the crows diving over his/her head. Our guide, Dieter Regett brought back the reality of the animal kingdom by suggesting that there must have been a kill that both scavengers were after, thus the dive-bombing crows.
This was just the beginning of our morning adventure here in Jasper National Park, and what a way to start. To find out more, visit our Jasper section over the next few days for the follow-up stories and more on Jasper, Marmot Basin and the upcoming Jasper in January Festival.
Cheers, Barb

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SnowSeekers Becomes Travel Alberta's Roving Reporters

SnowSeekers, bringing its audience the best of winter in Western Canada, is stoked to have become Travel Alberta's roving reporters for the Olympic Torch Relay through the province!

Watch for updates throughout Jan 12-21 where we will deliver you top notch video, photos, blog posts, tweets and updates via facebook giving you a front row seat to the action.

 

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The Final Cut Is Under-Way!

So today was a big day at the office for SnowSeekers. With just arriving back from an amazing tour of British Columbia's finest, I stepped into the office today to find a hard drive sitting on my desk. My assistant editor Nick has finished the rough cut of the film, now the fun begins. I am beginning to make the final cut on the film. Watching Sunny's progression on film is really something else. We here at SnowSeekers are very excited for the final cut of the film to be finished.

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Brothers in arms

By Rick MacDonnell

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Olympics, it’s that it brings all kinds of people together. Lloydminster’s Bud Miller Park was brimming with people from all walks of life, including twins Harold and Harvey Hawer, lifetime residents of Lloydminster, who have been waiting 77 years to see the Olympic Torch with their own eyes."

“It’s great to see all these kids out having so much fun with [the festivities], but when you’ve been waiting to see the torch as long as we have, it’s an entirely different experience,” said Harvey. “When you get to be a little older and a little wiser, you realize that this moment means so much more than the symbol of some games.”

“It’s about community, and spirit, and ... and coming together,” added Harold.

Content to stand far to the side of Bud Miller Park, the Hawer brothers were all business when it came to waiting for the torch to arrive. Arms clasped behind their backs – mirror images of one another – both Harold and Harvey kept their eyes fixed on the point where Merv Mann, a local hockey player and coach, would later enter the park, torch ablaze.

Such controlled intensity would be envied by the Olympians themselves, to be sure.

No strangers to sport, Harold and Harvey still take part in a curling league twice a week, and together they’ve participated in the Canadian Senior Games three times in lawn bowling.

“There’s a 55 to 70 group, and there’s a 70+ group. If you’re over 70, you can still play in the 55 to 70 group, if you want. Each time we’ve gone, we’ve competed in separate divisions,” said Harvey. “We don’t ever want to compete against one another.”

“He just doesn’t want me to beat him,” laughed Harold.

Later in the evening, as the torch finally entered Bud Miller Park and parted the sea of passionate supporters, I glanced across the crowd and saw Harold and Harvey, still in that same spot, still with their arms clasped behind their backs.

No shouts, no screams, no claps. Just a turn, a look, and a nod.

Then a smile.




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Getting' the show on the road

For me today was very special. It was the first time that I got to see the Olympic torch up close and personal. As we were driving out from Edmonton to Lloydminster to bring you this coverage, it was like I was heading to a concert that I have been awaiting for a long while. 

It was 14 years ago, while living in Vancouver, that I got a look at what was to be the country’s collective future. At the time, a group that included Arthur Griffiths, one-time owner of the Vancouver Canucks, was working to secure for Canada and British Columbia the world’s largest winter sporting event. I was working for the Greater Vancouver Open, a PGA stop and this Olympic bid office shared with ours. Everyday I’d pop my head in there to investigate thinking all along how incredible it would be to welcome the world.

After years of effort, that dream came true and now the Olympic Torch is making its way across the country, and along the way, igniting the hearts and minds of millions. The numbers of this three and a half month tour are staggering. The relay touches 1,038 communities in 106 days including 187 community celebrations with 12,000 torch bearers covering over 45,000 kilometers.

When the torch was here in Alberta at the end of November, it made its way by plane but this is certainly not the only mode of transport now. The torch will be conveyed by horse drawn carriages, sled dogs and even Alberta’s own Charlie Locke, owner of Lake Louise, is offering up a unique mode of transport – snowmobile on Jan. 21. 


Here in Alberta, the torch will be carried by 1,000 torch bearers and will cover over 3,400 kms throughout the province before it is handed off to the British Columbia residents for the final push to Whistler.

Over the next 10 days, the torch will stop in dozens of communities throughout the province, including our capital city, Edmonton. It will head down to Drumheller to hang with the dinosaurs, into the UNESCO World Heritage site of Head-Smashed in Buffalo Jump and back to Alberta’s Olympic roots at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Smaller centres such as Airdrie, Vegreville and High River will also see the flame carried through the hometown streets, and of course, it will head into the Canadian Rockies of CanmoreBanff and Lake Louise.


Watch for more updates as we bring them to you daily from the road.

 

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Dreams Realized

By Rick MacDonnell

When Tim Squire moved from England to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the age of 14, his mother told him that they did it so he could realize his dreams. More than 30 years later, as the Olympic Torch made its way through Lloydminster, Alberta, Squire's dreams became a reality.

A little more than a year ago, Squire wrote his application essay to become a torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Citing his more than 20 years as a youth soccer coach and community mentor, Squire hoped his contributions would be enough to garner him a spot. However, he wasn't holding his breath.

"It wasn't until June or July that I received the word. They contacted me in an e-mail, so I didn't really believe it," laughed Squire. "There are so many hoaxes out there, you know, and I thought that I was such a longshot. But in the next month or two, I kept receiving these emails and then in August, I received one that specifically mentioned my coaching background, and I then knew. This was real."

When asked what it was like to be chosen as a torch bearer in Canada, rather than his native England, Squire beamed with Canadian pride. "Most Canadians don't understand just how beautiful their country is. It's the most beautiful country in the world. I couldn't be more proud to carry the torch as a Canadian."

And Canada couldn't be more proud of Squire. At the evening's celebration in Lloydminster's Bud Miller Park, Squire couldn't walk five feet without being asked for a photo, or hounded for an autograph.

"It's surreal. I feel like a celebrity. Everyone's just so nice, asking to take my picture or shake my hand ... it's an unbelievable impact that this torch has. It's incredible how it brings out the best in everyone it touches."

Canada's torch run is the longest in the history of the games. By the time it reaches Vancouver, British Columbia, the relay will have covered over 45,000 kilometres.


"That's longer than the circumference of the Earth. Hearing something like that makes a person feel so small, but looking at the torch makes a person feel like they can do anything," said Squire.

 

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A lost art

By Rick MacDonnell

 

Often lost in the fanfare of the Olympic athletes are the hundreds of artists who make the Torch relay and Olympic games so beautiful. One such artist is Edmontonian Stephen Chung, who's been an ice sculptor for over 20 years. For the folks of Vegreville, Alberta -- the second stop in the Torch's current trek through the province -- Chung crafted two marvelous representations of the Canadian Olympic spirit: a figure skater and a hockey player.


"Each figure took about five hours to sculpt," Chung said. "Because they're so heavy, and we had to transport them here from another site, each sculpture was made in several block pieces. This morning we had to assemble them back together, which took about four hours total."

The combined 14 man-hours was well worth the effort, as Chung's sculptures generated loads of interest throughout the morning's proceedings. "We've received such great support from everybody here. It's interesting to see how into it people are. It's really exciting to see that my sculptures are making people happy."


Chung had to laugh at one of his own creations, though. "The figure skater couldn't be made too slim because there would be a danger of it breaking. That's why it looks so chunky. Like a skater in a snowsuit," Chung laughed.

If you're going to be in the Edmonton (Whyte Ave., evening -- Jan. 13) or Devon (morning -- Jan. 15) areas for the Torch relay, be sure to check out Chung's sculptures. He still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

"We're making an Inukshuk, a 2010 and the Olympic rings," Chung said. "We're thinking of a yeti for one of the events, too, but we're still not sure."

 

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Coke to step it up in Vancouver

By Rick MacDonnell

Question: How many hours of television can a person watch on the
amount of energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can?

This was just one of several dozens of questions included in Coke's "Green Jeopardy" game outside of its trailer in Vegreville, Alberta today, the second stop in the Olympic Torch run through the province. Kids competed for bragging rights, rather than prizes, and that was more than fine with them. Answers were shouted with a gusto usually reserved for race tracks.


"The concept of the games is to teach kids about green practices in a way that's fun and enjoyable," said Kristy Payne, Coke's public affairs manager, who will be carrying the torch in Edmonton tonight. "Kids need to know that living green isn't just about grand gestures; it's also about living an active lifestyle and doing small things to help the environment every day."

Coke, an Olympic sponsor for since 1928, is making great strides to decrease its environmental footprint, especially with the 2010 games in Vancouver.

"At Coke, we now have something called a 'plant bottle,' which is a bottle of Coke made from 30% natural plant materials," Payne said. "Every single coke bottle at the games will be a plant bottle."


Most staggering is Coke's plan to leave the Olympic games having created no waste whatsoever. "We're shooting for zero waste in Vancouver. By working closely with both WWF Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation, we've formulated a plan that should allow Coke to achieve 100% collection of all waste products, and we will recycle 99.9% of that."

At each of the Torch relay stops, as well as throughout the entire Olympic games, Coke employees will wear clothing completely manufactured through recycled Coke products. "Each employee you see is wearing approximately 234 recycled Coke products. Our jackets are 25, our ski pants are 20, our gloves are 3, and so on. The numbers are printed right on each piece of clothing, so it's a great way to generate awareness," Payne said.

They look great, too.




Oh, and the answer was three.

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Wearing Your Heart On the Sleeves You Have On



            Extra underwear, three pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, two shirts, two sweaters, one wind breaker, one jacket, extra mitts, touque, heavy boots, a hockey jersey and one great big smile.  “I feel like I’m in Hawaii,” says Pam Cholak.  She and her two children – Zack and Alyssa – stand affront a crowd of flag waivers on a clear Edmonton night, the very front.  However, spirits are only getting higher as the mercury drops lower, and the Olympic torch draws nearer.  
            Edmontonians are a hearty people.  They cheer for their hockey team during a ten game losing streak.  They read “second coldest place on Earth” and feel regret they were only ‘second’ coldest.  They miss shoveling the walks during tropical vacations.  When most people would be isolated by the winters, Edmontonians rally behind it.  
A trait that is immediately apparent as suddenly, the crowd begins to stir and jeer.  The most iconic winter symbol of all enters the grounds: an Edmontonian protected by layers of warm clothes, carrying an undying flame to the centre of the stage.  Kids and parents alike line the centre isle.  Jubilation erupts when the torchlight reflects in their eyes. 
“It’s great seeing all these people around,” says Truman Giant.  Visiting from Slave Lake to see the Olympic torch come to the provincial capital, Truman feels at home.  “I just like the winter so much. It’s refreshing.”  Turning back to Pam I ask if all her layers are keeping her warm. 
            “I only need three things to keep me warm,” she says as the flame is transferred to the dais.  “Alberta blood, Olympic spirit, and the smiles on my kids faces. 

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The Heritage Flame

As former Olympian and Edmontonian native Doreen Ryan finishes raising her arms in spiritual triumph, Native Edmontonian singing group Asani raise their voices in triumphant spirit.  
In school, we had to learn both the English and French versions of O Canada, no different than two sides of a cereal box.  The bi-lingually legislated part of our heritage is omni present.  But, Canada is not a bi-lingual country, and we share a far deeper heritage beyond that of our colonial ancestry.  Edmonton especially has a rich history involving our Native heritage.  So like the crisp night air stealing breath, Asani’s rendition of O Canada was both refreshing and overwhelming.  
Asani are described as a “contemporary Women’s trio from Edmonton, who [carry] with them the traditional influences of First Nations and Metis music accompanied by drums and rattles.  Their songs resonate with their own blend of traditional vocals infused with the sounds of jazz, folk and blues.”  They, thankfully, were on stage during the pinnacle moment of tonight’s torch relay. 
As the crowd grew close, and all generations of Edmontonains cheered on the torch’s arrival, the crowd became one and the singing of the National Anthem was announced.  Just like we’ve all been taught, everyone straightened and prepared to belt out a familiar rendition.  But then something unexpected happened.  Debbie Houle began a low vocal rhythm, lightly rattled her drum, and everyone gave pause.  Before anyone knew what to expect, Sarah Pocklington charged ahead with a vibrant melody and Sherryl Sewepagham carried everyone’s ears with a swooping and bold harmony.  The words of the anthem were gone, replaced instead by a comforting feeling, like finding something you never knew was lost.  It perfectly articulated the symbolic nature of the torch, the enduring human spirit of the games, and the deep connection Albertan’s and Canadian’s share with one another.    

 

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A Run of Olympic Proportions

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

Today was day four of the torch being back in the province and its fourth community celebration – Camrose. Yesterday was a day off for the torch and the massive train that travels along with it, and the job that VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee) is doing to bring the Olympic spirit into communities throughout this country is really impressive.

The day off was a great opportunity for everyone involved to take a breather, regroup and take stock of what we had been witnessed to so far – most of which is truly amazing.


Wednesday night, Brandon Boucher, SnowSeekers’ director of Photography, and I got the chance to see the relay up close and personal as it made its way through the streets of Edmonton. It wasn’t intentional. 
We were at the Parliament Buildings (there’s an excellent tour you can take virtually anytime) and as the torch made its way out from the celebration they had on its steps, we decided that it would be a good idea to follow it up the road to bring you the best possible video of it. 

As we made our way back out onto the street, we started to run alongside the bearer keeping pace right to the end of his run which allowed us to witness the passing of the flame to the next torch bearer – which was really, really cool.  Than the next bearer started to run and he was moving fast – fast enough that we had some challenges just trying to keep up but we weren’t letting that flame out of our site. 

VANOC has about 10 support vehicles which travel with the flame (stay tuned to future blog posts and we’ll bring you a look at the vehicles). As each torch bearer is finished his or her leg, VANOC picks them up and bring them all up to the main community celebration, which in this case, was Edmonton’s Sir Winston Churchill Square in the centre of the city.  

If you are as fascinated by the operation as myself, have a go to www.vancouver2010.com and click on Olympic Torch Relay where you can even find a cool map laying out all the stops.

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Fire department on hand in case Olympic spirit flares out of control

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers


The Deputy Chief of the Camrose Fire Department said, “The Olympic torch is one flame we can let burn.”  
Here in Camrose, however, there is another flame that burns in the members of the community. With seemingly the entire town closed down for the Olympic Torch Relay, there appears to be more volunteers than spectators. 
 Jenn Cook, Wilma Shields, and Doris Hoffman are three such outgoing folks who volunteer at every community event.  “It’s just great to be out in the town and see old friends you haven’t seen in a while. By volunteering at every event, we get to go to every event.” Though they were excited for their local hockey and curling tournaments, the Olympic Torch Relay was one event they won’t soon forget.  
Local artist Andrew Phillips noted how the community gives “….an amazing amount of support for artists. I’m here at the torch relay with a booth.  Not only am I not being charged for the booth, the city had volunteers to help me set up.”  
Further to the volunteerism and community spirit, Deputy Chief Don Rosland remembers a fire at the elderly care centre not too far away from the relay event.  “As the fire grew, we needed volunteers to help move the patients inside. The head nurse had her pick as the entire street was lined with local residents who were on hand willing to help in what ever way they could.” 
One would almost think that the torch was hardly needed to inspire community spirit in Camrose; it was plain to see that its symbol of enduring community spirit is already reflected in every town member.

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The influence of the Gibber

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers

Dr. Garry Gibson – lead torch bearer for Camrose, and affectionately known as the Gibber – told the crowd carrying the torch was “a major highlight of [his] life, made all the more wonderful by sharing it with [his] community.”
It appeared as if the whole town was closed that day to come out and celebrate its leg of the torch relay. Most excited were the school kids, who not only got to “miss math class” for the event, but they shared a connection to Dr. Gibson through their teacher, Miss Olsen.  
Garry “taught me in high school,” remembers Olsen. “He taught Phys Ed. and coached me in both volley ball and basket ball. It was before he stared the biathlon program. Before the program, only the army was concerned with biathlon.”  
Having not one, but two former biathlete Olympians – David Leony and Glenn Rubertus  – Dr. Garry’s influence on the community is as strong as ever. I had a chance to ask Glenn and David about the Nordic tradition in Camrose.  
“Camrose owes its Nordic skiing tradition to its Scandinavian heritage. Many Swedes and Norwegians settled here and brought with them cross country skiing. Now we have a prominent ski jumping, cross country, and biathlon program,” says David.  As such, representing their country in the sport of their home town makes both Glenn and David feel as though they “carry the town with [them] wherever [they] go.”  

 

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Barn burner in Red Deer

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling describes Red Deer Alberta as a community with “a strong tradition of coming together for one big party.”  Looking across the crowd, I’m reminded of the endless wheat and canola fields surrounding Red Deer. After attending several relay legs, it’s clear the mayor knows his town, as this is the biggest torch event I’ve seen.  
A hay-bail ball-hockey rink is packed with future Olympians. Not one, but two stages feature Alberta entertainment. Families line up for hot maple syrup cured on beds of fresh snow. A local break dance troop is throwing down. And overlooking everything is a massive JumboTron with a live feed of the approaching torch, making its way through the city.  
Interwoven in the “one big party,” former Olympians, Deidra Dionne and Jamie Salé enjoy the company from their hometown.  
Local Jordan White thinks the turn out is because the ‘community’ of Red Deer encompasses so much more than just the city itself.  “All the surrounding rural communities are apart of the central Alberta metropolis. They’re what gives Red Deer its flair.”  
As award-winning alternative country musician, Corb Lund takes to the stage for a second time, his talk of a bigger turnout in Red Deer than Edmonton is met with little surprise. But as the mayor said himself, “I’m not surprised it’s a barn burner. We get so many great events through here the city and the community just knows to expect a great time.”

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City of Champions might be a little further south

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
“My daughter’s running beside the torch tonight,” says Andrew Ruain of Red Deer, Alberta.  He wonders if there will come a time when, instead of just running beside the torch, she’ll run holding the torch. Fortunately, Ruain’s daughter is in the right city.
  Mayor Morris Flewwelling is quick to point out the city of Red Deer is a community that “…backs the arts, sports, and thrives in winter. We have the highest concentration of medal contending Olympians per capita.”  
The mayor is a strong individual with confidence in his community, and he’s right. Red Deer backs its athletes and, as a result, nurtures some of our country’s top medal contenders.  
As I used to work with Olympic aerialist, Deidra Dionne during college, I am familiar with the time and effort the athletes, and the community as a whole, put into training and perfecting their sport of choice. Though I have no personal connection to Olympian and hometown girl, Jamie Salé, her presence tonight at the torch relay shows the pride the community takes in her being from central Alberta.  
Even CBC sportscaster Ron McLean is beaming and boasting of his Red Deer heritage. Speaking to all the easy-going people out for a good time, there definitely seems to be something special about the city of Red Deer.  

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Alberta is defined by it's people

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

The Olympic movement is about bringing people together, its about sharing cultures, learning from one another and acheiving goals. As our team makes its way around this province, I have been asking those who are part of the celebrations and the tens of thousands of Albertan's who are out to share in the Olympic glory, "What makes this a great place to live?" 

For Susan and David Guba from Drumheller, that answer was simple. 

"Our province is an incredible place to live and its the people that make it great. We are a province that is full of people who are there to help each other out," said Susan. 

And certainly the Gubas were there in 1988 to help people out, volunteering for the '88 Calgary Olympics. They had the chance to reflect back on that experience yesterday, seeing the Olympic flame up close again as it marched into The Canadian Bad Lands Passion Play Theatre in Drummheller. It was sight that brought both of them to tears. 

"It was such an incredible exerpience, to be apart of history and share in the excitement, its really hard to explain," said Susan. For David, his times during the Calgary games was about the chance to connect with fellow Albertans, Canadaians and people around the world. 

"The people that we laughed with, the opportunity for us to share stories from our province and to be proud of what we are so fortunate to have. Then to see that flame back in Alberta here today ... it really choked me up and brought tears to my eyes."

This theme of hospitality is one we've been hearing a lot of as we make our way around the province, we really are a place where people care. 

"We are strong. We work hard and we really work to see our dreams come true," explained Gisselle Beauchesne of Medicine Hat at last night, where the celebrations took place under the world's largest teepee- the Saamis Teepee (which was constructed for the Calgary '88 Olympics to showcase Alberta's heritage.)

Stay tuned for lots more as we make our way into Taber and Lethbridge today – where the torch will be making its way across the 100 year old railway bridge through town.

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Inspiring more than just athletes

By Will Colford
       
         The torch relays allow the community and its members to showcase talents beyond coming together.  Each town on the relay has its own heroes, former Olympians, and rising stars.  Courtney Morris, a senior at Drumheller Composite High School, is one such star who draws inspiration from the OLympic spirit, her community, and other home town heroes.
         "Getting to sing with my classmates at this, of all venues, was extremely special," said Morris.  Being the lead singer for the performance, Morris exemplified the leadership qualities of the lead torchbearers, and Olympians themselves.
         "Her voice is strong enough to carry the torch," remarks a crowd member.  Morris plans to take her singing to a professional evel as she's already applied to several prominent musical schools within North America.  She Aspires to be like another prominent singer in the community, Canadian Idol contestant, Jenn Beaupré.  But in my opinion, She doesn't have very far to go.
         "I really look up to her for inspiration and hope to be as good or better some day."  Above all the hype, people like Morris are what the torch relay is all about.  It's a chance for a community to come together and celebrate the people who make it special.

For more on the festivities in Drumheller please check out Travel Alberta's  You Tube channel

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Overcoming Challanges

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.

    As an avid snowboarder, it shocked me to see a thriving ski hill in Drumheller Alberta; however, having learned on a river valley hill myself it should have came as no surprise such a small hill fosters such big dreams.

    Having been opened for approximately 15 years, Drumheller Ski area faces constant challenges to keep the lift turning and the snow flying.  One local is no stranger to facing challenges and is very glad the hill, like himself, rises to the occasion, giving him a place to train and ski.  Jay Dekyser raced during the World Special Winter Games in Quebec last year.

    "Fifth fastest in the country," exclaims Dekyser.  He is proud of his accomplishments, as is the greater Drumheller community and his coach Martin McSwede -- Drumheller's lead torchbearer. 

    The hill, coincidentally, is located one hoodoo away from the cauldron site.  "Having the flame come to this spot means a lot for our winter program and athletes such as Jay," said McSwede.

    Without hills like the Drumheller ski area and their enduring spirit to provide the community with facilities and training programs, Alberta would be without many prominent Olympians and opportunities for athletes like Dekyser's love for skiing and the local hill are synonymous: it lets him "go real fast ... real fast."  

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J-Fish Crew Changing Perceptions of B-Boys

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.

           ‘Menace’, ‘Scourge’, ‘Gang Member’, though often wildly inaccurate portrayals of B-Boy dance crews have cast them in a negative light, Medicine Hat’s own dance troop has never felt the community stigma.  “Usually B-Boy crews don’t have great reputations in the community, but hear in the Hat we have overwhelming community support,” said long time J-Fish member Kevin.  
            General Manager says the support stems from a new approach on behalf of both parties.  First, “Medicine Hat is a town that’s open to new ideas.”  Like the troop itself, a southern Alberta town open to new ideas and change is a refreshing opposite to the stereotype.  Second, “to be successful in the hip-hop scene for as long as we have and will continue to be, it takes hard work, dedication, and a healthy life style.  There’s been better crews out there, but they burn out from all the late nights and partying.”  J-Fish on the other hand is dedicated to dancing, and the community respects that; in turn, the crew respects the community and is all too willing to represent them at an event like the torch relay.  
            It’s not uncommon for the team to put in three-hour daily practices.  Like the other artists performing, and the Olympians they’re cheering on, J-Fish Crew are driven by an enduring commitment to their art.  In fact, ten year vet Loki worked 200 hours in the two weeks preceding the event, then took two flights, had a 14 hour layover between them, arrived in Medicine Hat an hour before the crew had to be at the event, and was still the first one to show up – with bells on.  “Being able to represent my town, and perform for them at the same time gives me all the energy I need.”  
            J-Fish Crew embodies the spirit of the torch and sets the bar for anyone wanting to know what kind of dedication it takes to achieve your dreams.

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A Culturally Significant Venue

By Will Colford, Snowseekrs Inc.         
          Alberta is no stranger to “world’s largest”.  Off the top of my head, there’s the worlds largest cowboy boot, egg, golf tee, sausage, and baseball bat.  However, Medicine Hat is home to a structure that is equally large in cultural significance as it is in height.  The World’s largest Tipi is more than a kitche gimmick.  It takes something this large to represent the local First Nations communities as an identified whole.  “For me, this place is my culture, it’s more than just a structure, it’s where I feel most at peace,” said former cultural interpreter Carrie Lloyd-Stewart.  
            The Tipi was constructed for the 1988 Calgary Olympics, and then was reconstructed in order to ad more support and relocate.  “Each pole,” remembers Carrie, “took about five to six hours to erect.  The Tipi stands as a landmark everyone from Medicine Hat identifies with, and feels pride for.  Within the inner ring are “paintings that run in conjunction with each other to tell the story and represent all the tribes and people surrounding Medicine Hat.”  
            As the torch relay represents enduring spirit and community pride, the world’s largest Tipi is a fitting location to house the festivities.  It is perhaps the only place on the relay that holds a candle to the symbolism of the torch itself. Taken together, Medicine Hat’s torch lighting ceremony is overwhelmingly spiritual.  

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It's in the Music

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
      
            Why do Albertan’s love country music so much?  The question seemingly answers itself; however, they might be a deeper explanation.  Terri Clark, North American Country Music star, happily flew home to Medicine Hat for the torch ceremony.  “It’s been great being back,” she says.  “I’ve got to run into all my old high school friends and take a tour around and see all the changes.  My school is a lot bigger than I remember.”  Terri was glad to see an event like this bring the whole community together, and honoured to be apart of it.

Outside of the torch relay, however there was still the question of why people from Medicine Hat, and Albertan’s in general love country music.  When you think of the phrase ‘country music’, you think of the country: barns, dogs, hay fields, do-goods and done wrongs.  In truth, however, the phrase “country music” can be thought of as national music.  People who identify with Canada can find themselves, their community, their culture within the lyrics and rhythms of country music because it’s about our country.  It’s about Canada.  Albertan's
especially, then, identify with country music because Canada can be identified within the people and small town communities of the province.           
  Terri’s set list kicked off with “No Fear”.  “The song,” says Terri, “is about being able to shrug off the fear surrounding following your dreams.  I myself had to overcome fear when I left for Nashville to follow my own dreams, just like every Olympian has to overcome theirs.”  The second song is called “Burn”, aptly named for the theme of passion.  It is no coincidence Teri opens the torch relay with songs of overcoming fear and being passionate.  “The next three are about having a big party,” laughs Terri.  But, again, her music perfectly exemplifies the feeling of the relay, the identities of Alberta towns, and relation Albertan’s have to our country.

 

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Delivering the pages

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
Jeannine Patrick is no stranger to the news industry. Over the summer she delivered papers for the local Taber Times. “Who are you with? Taber Times or the Herald?”  She asks. Her boldness only helps foreshadow her future in the industry.  
“I think the torch coming through town will most likely make the paper. I’d put it in if I ran it.” Jeannine is not only one of the local Taber people, lined along the street to see the torch run by their homes, she is also apart of the school choir selected to sing the national anthem during today’s cauldron ceremony. So, not only does she aspire to report the news, but she’s also – for today – apart of it.  
Her father, Malcolm is understandably proud of his daughter. “Her singing in the choir today makes her apart of the history and legacy of the torch as it comes through this town.”  
Though she still has the world in front of her, Jeannine knows success is made through dedication and hard work. “Delivering papers was hard, but I made one $125.00.  It was worth it.” As the torch connects her and others like her to a greater tradition, it’s an experience she will always carry.
Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube athttp://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Historical Arrival for the Olympic Torch

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

As the Olympic Torch makes its way across this province, it’s travelling by more ways than one. Snowmobile, Horse Drawn Carriage and in today's case, an Olympic first – via a vintage hand railcar across the world's longest and tallest railway bridge, Lethbridge’s High Level Bridge.

I caught up with one of the four who had the chance to pump their way into the history books. "When we got to the other side I could see my kids standing in the audience and tears started to well up in my eyes … it’s a pretty emotional experience," said Olympic torch bearer, Don Burla. 

And a little hair-raising I'd gather as Burla and his mates where not just on any ordinary set of tracks; the bridge is a steel structure suspended 314 feet above the ground. Burla was joined by CP locomotive engineers, Brian Lagace and Gord Balderston along with rail car mechanic, Roger Brown on a vintage handrail car on loan from Calgary's Heritage Park.

The Lethbridge Viaduct as it’s known, is owned and operated by Canadian Pacific Railway and just celebrated its own 100th anniversary. It's a piece of history Burla's been working on since 1978. 

The bridge spans over a one mile and took over two years to build – construction took two years, from 1907 to 1909. "I started with Canadian Pacific as a bridgeman and worked on keeping this very bridge in great shape," said Burla. 
I asked him if there were any memorable moments from working on a bridge of this magnitude. "Well you certainly know when there is a wind about, it can get pretty interesting out there.” 

Lucky for all of us the sun was shinning and the temperatures were mild. I am sure Burla and his team would have kept themselves warm pumping their way across the bridge for their 20-minute ride pulling the Olympic cauldron behind them.

It was a once in a lifetime sight. 

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube

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Back to the well

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
Up to his knees in muck, award-winning country musician, Corb Lund and his buddies realized they weren’t getting their truck unstuck for some time. Frustrated and tired of pushing and digging, Lund took out his guitar and wrote the country music radio hit, Truck Stuck in the Mud. Unlike the mainstream Nashville style of country, Truck Stuck in the Mud was written in the underground country-style known as the cowboy ballad. Simply put, these are stories that stem from real life experiences, people, and places.  
“I didn’t really know any better, right from the start I just wrote songs about my experiences. The style is very personal.” As such, Lund’s listeners are able to find a relatable quality in his songs that speak to their own experiences, especially here in Alberta.  
Lund has played all over the world singing about the experiences of his hometown, Taber Alberta. And now things have come full circle as he is playing two sets on this leg of the Olympic Torch Relay in the town where his music stems. As we walk through the crowd to a quieter space, Corb seems to be on a first name basis with practically everyone we pass. In fact, before we can even begin, he has to go quickly check on his Mom. Local Harley Phillips notes, “Nice part about Corb is he hasn’t forgot his grass roots.”  
“My Folks still farm south side of town. I grew up in that one and only house,” says Corb. Whether he’s singing about his brother the tool push, the wisdom of his grandfather, or the critters on his ranch, Corb is singing about home and the people he knows there. 
Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube athttp://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Every hoop has meaning

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
       
    JJ First Charger, who competed at the International Hoop Dancing Competition in Phoenix, Arizona, has used his dedication to teach others the art and importance of his art. Quentin Ross Crazy Wolf describes JJ as his best friend. There is a heartfelt tone and deep admiration in his voice.  It is clear JJ has mentored Quentin through some times.  
“JJ is dedicated. It took him a long way to get where he is … a long way.”  To perform at the level JJ does, Wolf says, “He had to practice at least two hours a day on top of teaching.”
            Wolf can’t speak for Lethbridge, but for the Native community, JJ and especially the art of hoop dancing, has had insurmountable positive influence and cultural significance.  Seeing him perform on stage, JJ appears to be concentrating on the hoops he picks up, but, according to Wolf, “Each hoop you pick up, there’s a meaning. It matters.” At least that’s what JJ told him during teaching.
            Wolf, however, no longer practices. “I have my own family now. Three kids I have to be a father to. I dedicate my time to them instead.”
            Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

 

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The light of Lethbridge

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
Shaking off the cold, they stood backstage in high spirits, waiting to go on. The University of Lethbridge Women’s Choir were about to sing the official community theme song – composed by Gregory Charles – There’s a Light.  
            “It a great song and is a lot of fun compared to what we usually sing,” said Naggie Ambler. “You can tell time really went into creating it, and having sections in both English and French speaks to our Canadian identity.”  
            The ladies recognize the prestige of being selected for the song. “Having the flame come to Lethbridge is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but then to be selected to sing the official community song for our community is just indescribable,” says Ambler. 
            But then, it may not be all that surprising for a choir from the University to be selected to represent a community it is such a big part of. The University of Lethbridge is – to put it simply – involved. Southern Alberta is a sports centric region, and the facilities at the University hold every major elementary, high school, and semi-professional sporting event south of Calgary.  
            However, the University contributes in another major way, and is largely responsible for giving Lethbridge and Southern Alberta such a strong arts scene.  
            “Not only are the fine arts a huge part of the program, but the University exposes Lethbridge and Southern Alberta to five new forms of theatre every year,” said Alexa Shapiro, a current student of the theatre program. “Very shortly, the theatre program is putting on a rendition of the musical, Hair.  For a Southern Alberta community, Hair should raise a few eyebrows.
            As the Women’s Choir finishes a heart-felt and melodic rendition of There’s a Light, it’s apparent that light in Lethbridge is due in no small part to the University and its students. 
            Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Bonny and Bob, 22 years apart and together forever

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
        
   Walking through the festival grounds, a curious sight passes by. Walking together are two torchbearers, from different Canadian Olympics.  
Donning the fluid colors of the Vancouver 2010 games is Bob Chabay. Bob recently retired from the Provincial Government after 35 years of loyal service to the province he loves. As a parting gift, he thought it might be great to carry the torch in the city he prides – Lethbridge.  His pledge on the application was to both live and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
Beside him stands his wife, charged up for her husband and nostalgic about her time with the torch during Alberta’s own 88 Calgary Olympics. Her onepiece Red and Whites are pristine and vibrant, as though she could run a few legs of the relay tomorrow.              What really strikes me is her touque, which has retained the maple leaf points after all these years. Bonny, however, garnered her spot in the Calgary torch relay in a much different fashion. “Back then you could pick up the applications from the Petro Can. It began one day when I picked up two. One for me and one for Bob, but I ended up filling out both. Before I knew it, I was tracking down stacks of a hundred and sending them all in. All told, I filled out 11,001 applications.”  
For the torch to come to Lethbridge and for Bob to carry it epitomizes the fire of Southern Albertan’s have for sport. “Southern Alberta is a sporting region. We grow up on the ponds or the hills, so an event like this just brings the whole community together.” 
Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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The three pillars

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
        
             Growing up in a small town, I know first-hand the importance of staying busy.  Idle hands are, after all, the Devil’s playthings. I know it now and my parents knew it then. As a result they kept me busy and involved with as many sports and recreational programs as possible. The community of High River, however, has a significant advantage over my hometown: a recreation centre.  
            Above the entrance are three signs designating the three activities contained within the rec centre, or as I call them, the three recreational pillars of any small town, swimming, curling, and ice rinks. “Without the rec programs the kids are out on the street, maybe getting up to stuff they shouldn’t be,” said Darryn Gold Thorpe, director of the centre. 
 Cynthia Phaero, the center’s program administrator tries, “to implement a wide variety of sports programs to see which ones the kids like best, then promote those.” The local care foundation donates money, enabling a free swim twice a week.  
            The centre isn’t just for the youth either. “During the day the seniors use all the facilities through a wide variety of programs like aquatic aerobics, a curling league, and even a senior men’s hockey league called the Old Timers. But more than just a sporting facility, the rec centre is a social hub where people of all ages within the community go to be social and enjoy sport. 
It was a fitting site for the Olympic Torch Relay ceremonies in High River. Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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A community in need

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

Synonymous with community and cross-cultural togetherness, the Olympics have rarely, if ever, been a platform for such an important relief effort as the one that is taking place right now in Haiti.

Tonight, at the Torch's stop in Calgary, Alberta, Merv Chia, volunteer regional president for the Red Cross's Southern Alberta chapter, came out to speak to the gathered crowd of nearly 20,000 about the work being done in Haiti, and all the work that yet needs to be done.

"Here in Canada, (the Olympics) really pull Canadians together," Chia said. "It's so gratifying for us to be a part of this and to band with the Olympics to spread this very important message."
That message: keep up the hard work.

"On the regional level, we're fundraising all across the country. So far, across Canada, we've received approximately $26 million in funds already. The support and generosity is really incredible. And the funds are matched by the government, so you can really double that number."

Despite the massive relief efforts that are taking place, not just here, but all over the world, Haiti is still in a state of utter and total disrepair.

"As soon as the earthquake hit, the Red Cross organized what's called 'Disaster Response Teams.' The Canadian Red Cross has sent staff there. We've sent volunteers there providing emergency disaster response, which at this stage is emergency shelter, food, and water.

"But the need is huge, and it's going to continue because the devastation to the country is enormous. The last statistic that I read was that 70% of all their buildings have been destroyed. So there's really no basic infrastructure left, it's been crushed. So what we're focused on is just trying to help rebuild communities."

In addition to disaster response teams and medical personnel, the Red Cross has organized psychosocial programs to help people cope with the trauma that they've received.

"The shock itself is just so inhibiting."

If there was ever a time to embrace your worldwide community, this is it. For not only does the Olympic Torch connect communities, it most certainly connects the world. Please donate.

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So you think you can dance a man's fancy?

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

So much of the Olympics rests in people's freedom to create and spirit to achieve. For Luke Whiteman of Calgary, Alberta, that freedom and spirit take shape in the form of Men's Fancy Dancing, an Aboriginal style of dance native to Montana, where he was born. He has lived in Calgary for the last 11 years.

"Opportunities like the these (Torch) relays are wonderful because they're all about being recognized," Whiteman said. "People from other countries, maybe they don't hear about Native culture; so getting to dance in so big a place, and for it to be seen worldwide, it gives us that chance to show our culture."

Whiteman wowed the crowd at Olympic Plaza with his vivacious performance, one simultaneously breathtaking for both the performers and onlookers alike. If you take most forms of dance and consider them walking, then Men's Fancy Dancing is sprinting. It's fast, energetic, exciting, and powerful.

"I always tell children that in order to be healthy, you have to eat right. To be physically fit, you have to exercise. And that's what I tell them when I dance. Get motivated."

Although it's also about health, it's even more so about pride. "We dance because we love it and because it's our culture. Most importantly, though, we do it to show our children that it's important to (preserve) our culture through dance. To have that opportunity, it allows us to be role models. We want to show the kids, 'Don't be ashamed of your culture.' Don't be shy. It's who we are.'"

Whiteman's opportunity to educate and strengthen his people isn't over in Calgary, however. Just six days ago he was informed that he has been chosen to participate in the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver.

"(Tonight's dance) was just a teaser," Whiteman laughed. "Just wait until Vancouver. I can do a lot more."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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A return of the Buffalo Runners

Check here for a deeper history of the Buffalo Runners:

By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.            
     
      “We didn’t know until four o’clock last night, and then we got the call from the Olympic committee. We are very proud of our grandson,” said Liander Strikes With A Gun, grandfather of today’s torchbearer, Mike. In addition to being selected for the torch relay, Mike was selected or “captured” for another prestigious and historical society: the Buffalo Runners.  
            Ken Williams, who reinstituted the society, told me that before the introduction of the horse and rifle, Native bands would use sites like Head Smashed In to great affect.  The Society of Buffalo Runners was a separate group within each tribe. It was their mandate to identify runners at a young age and “capture” them into the society. A very spiritual affair, these elite runners would be trained and instituted to herd the buffalo to these site. The Runners were prided for their speed, legendary endurance, and skill.
            The real work of the Runners began after locating the herd. “There would be a few runners in the front and a few behind the herd. It was the rear runners’ job to haze the buffalo. They’d wear coyote skins and act as predators pushing the herd forward. The runners in the front would dress as buffalo calves and goad the matriarchal sows ahead by calling out to them,” explained Williams. This way the runners in the front would pull the herd along.  
            The runners would move the herd in this manner all the way to a large gathering basin just behind the cliff. Once there, an appropriate time would be selected based on many factors. “Sunrise is always a good time for both spiritual and practical reasons.”             After inciting a stampede, the rear runners would haze the buffalo ever forward.  The community would be on hand to haze any splintering buffalo back on course. The forward runners, however, were in danger of being trampled. Through their training, however, they would have previously scouted spots – such as boulders or crevasses – in which to quickly duck into. The noise of a herd of stampeding buffalo, thundering overhead and all around must have been terrifying.
             This is the society that Mike Strikes With A Gun, today’s torchbearer, is apart of. The society is very prominent today thanks to the efforts of people like Williams. A runners’ rally is held every few years that carries the community’s own ‘torch’ across hundreds of kilometers of prairie. Like the Olympic torch relay, “It’s not competitive. It’s not for points or high scores. It’s to unite the community, by bringing people together within one of our oldest traditions.”

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at  
http://www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada 

 

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The fever's on fire

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers 

These last few days have really taught me a lot about the human spirit. Travelling on the road with Olympic flame has educated me on the fact that so many of us really do care about each other, we really do want to help each other out and make a positive difference in the lives of others.   It's the 12,000 torch bearers who emulate this to a tee and after continued discussions with them these past few days, it's easy to see just why they were chosen for their historic roles.

There was a lot of history in the crowd last night in Calgary as this city welcomed back the Olympic torch for the first time since 1988. Many were sporting the vintage '88 Sun Ice Olympic jackets - many very proud Albertan's. Folks like Don Goodrow, who remembers his time as an Olympic torch escort runner like it was yesterday.   "My responsibilities were to travel along side the torch as it made its way across the country. I helped if anyone wanted pictures with the torch and or allow people to run along side of it. Those were still the most emotional days of my life."

When I asked him about what it was like seeing that torch again tonight some 22 years later, just what that meant for him, and with tears in his eyes, Goodrow said, "When the torch bearer spoke of emotion it was such a true statement, it brought it all back. Those incredible moments that we shared with the entire world."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube. 

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Saddeling up with the Flame

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers

Albertan Mac MaKenny, owner of the HomePlace Ranch in southern Alberta, rode his way into the history books tonight, by becoming the first and only torch bearer to have ever taken the Olympic Torch by horseback.   He was on the back of his trusted steed, Rollin' Thunder on the corner of the famous "Red Mile" or 17th Ave and 4th St getting ready to saddle up with the Olympic flame. For him it was certainly not just another day out on the ranch.   "It was a magnificent experience and great to do it on horseback. This horse was pretty comfortable with it, he's been in a few movies and has even had Jack Hanna on his back when he was up here shooting his TV show this past summer."


For MaKenny, the Olympics are a time to reflect, to think about all the good things that have come our way."You think back to how quickly time has gone by and how many things have happened since 1988. It makes you appreciate all the things that have made you happy and all the people along the way that have helped to create those memories."

For MaKenny and his horse, Mr. Thunder, I wanted to know what they thought about this great province,  "Alberta has so much here, its western spirit, its Canadian Badlands, the beautiful Canadian Rockies and than to be in the City of Calgary tonight with all this excitment, this province really has everything."  But with all of this is there anything that surprises him about Alberta? "Everything surprises me about this province, we have so much going on here."

Finally I asked MaKenny if there were any specific messages he'd like to send out to the atheletes that will be in these games in only 25 days. "This is our opportunity to shine, leave it all on the ice, the slopes or the in the sleds, do you'r best and bring us back gold!" For more on MaKenny's hometown hospitality, take a trip out to his dude ranch sometime, consult www.homeplaceranch.com  For all the latest on our Olympic coverage, consult Travel Alberta's YouTube channel 

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Torch Relay, a first class experience

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For teacher Judy Sliwinski's grade 6 class at Chestermere Middle School, the Olympic Torch couldn't have come through Chestermere, Alberta at a better time. 

"My grade 6 kids are learning all about ancient Greece in class right now, so I think that makes them feel really tied to an event like this," Sliwinski said.


Sliwinski's class was one of dozens of classes that attended Tuesday's Torch relay in Chestermere. In all, five local elementary schools sent their kids to watch and take part in the festivities.

"This is a once in a lifetime event that they (the kids) are able to witness here today. Who knows when the flame with pass through Alberta again, so for some of them this might be the last chance they ever have to see it."

For Sliwinski, she's relishing the opportunity to see the Torch this time around. "As far as I recall, the Torch didn't pass through Chestermere on its way to Calgary in 1988. So just like the kids, this is a once lifetime opportunity for people like me as well."

The Torch's presence in Chestermere today was a symbol of the town's rapid evolution over the past number of years. Sliwinski feels a sense of validation, that her town is finally on the map.


"This is a huge deal for Chestermere, and we want the kids to see that. This town has grown so much in just the last few years, so I think that today is, in part, a celebration of that. Chestermere is a significant place now. We now have the facilities to accommodate an event like this."

As important as this moment is the for town as a whole, Sliwinski knows that the real winners on this day are the children. "Today will show the kids how important these games are to people, and how they aren't just games. It's great for them to see how the whole community comes together to celebrate."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Chestermere's brightest light

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.


On a day when the Olympic Torch came through the town, Chestermere, Alberta's brightest light was the Keister Family Fiddlers.

"Words cannot describe how excited and proud we are to be involved with the Olympic Torch Relay here in our home of Chestermere!" said Sherry Keister, guitarist and mother of the Keister Family Fiddlers.

The Keisters got Chestermere's Torch celebration started with a bang today, as they took to the stage and electrified the home crowd. Consisting of mother Sherry, and daughters Quinn, 14, Claire, 13, and twins Faith and Paige, 10, the Keister Family Fiddlers have been wowing audiences all over Alberta for the last four years.

"We all started playing the fiddle when we each turned six, but we started playing together as a group four years ago," Quinn said. In addition to their fiddling, the girls also step dance and sing – all at the same time.

While today's Olympic rally was undoubtedly one of the group's career highlights, these young girls are no strangers to the spotlight. Just last year they managed to perform a whopping 150 times.

"The girls have already gone through a lot," Sherry said. "They've played in minus 30 weather at the the Airdrie Festival of Lights, and performed to almost 25,000 at the BMO Kids Day Breakfast at last year's Calgary Stampede."

While Chestermere's crowd wasn't quite 25,000, the ovation they received would have fooled anyone. The town is clearly proud of their hometown girls. "Playing at home, at the Torch rally, it makes things more exciting, but it also makes you more nervous," Quinn said. "I had an idea what it would be like, from seeing it on television, but it completely exceeded my expectations."

"It was a lot of fun," said the twins, Faith and Paige.

Because of the group's busy schedule, the girls have actually been going to school online this year. This "virtual schooling" seems to be working out quite well for them all. "We love it," Claire said. "It makes things a lot easier. And because of the CD, we don't really have a lot of time."

The CD in question is a planned Keister disc that should be hitting shelves this spring. The girls have been working diligently on it for months, and based on today's performance, it can't come too soon.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Olympic Torch connecting athletes and fans

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For Jim Richards, director of torch relays for VANOC, the Torch's trip through Alberta has been something of a homecoming.

"I've been living abroad for many years, and I thought that getting involved (with the relay) would be a great opportunity to come back to Canada. I've worked with the
Olympics since 1988 in Calgary, and ever since then it's been a big part of my life.
The entire torch relay has been magic, but particularly so here in Alberta. "

Tonight's leg of the Torch relay was in Airdrie, just minutes away from Richards' hometown of Calgary. The close proximity allowed him to reconnect with not only his friends and his family, but the province and culture that raised him.

"Half of Canadian Olympic athletes reside in Alberta, so I can't help but believe that there's a huge connection between their success and their families, friends, relatives, and neighborhoods. There's a feeling and a good that's created as a result of the games, and the result of participation in sport. Albertans truly understand this and it's a huge part of our culture. That, to me, says so much about who we are as Albertans."

All bias aside, Richard's favourite moment of the entire Torch relay thus far took place this morning at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

"For me, the epitome was when we had the chance to take the Olympic Flame down to the ice where Canada started to build out its heritage (in '88). To share that flame with the athletes that will be representing Canada in three short weeks, to watch their eyes connect to the people in the stands, the message, the Olympic flame, to see them recognize that we were all there to support them ... that was just beautiful. That was the best moment of the entire relay."

When asked for a message he'd like to send to all of Canada's Olympic hopefuls, Richards' said, "Do your best. Give it your all. Don't hold back. Do yourself proud and do your country proud."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Singing for their country

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

Each stage of the Olympic Torch Relay has featured a performance of our national anthem, and tonight's rendition, by a local elementary choir from Airdrie, Alberta, was certainly one of my favourites.

The invitation to sing tonight's anthem was personally extended to L'ecole Francophone D'Airdrie by Mayor Linda Bruce herself, in recognition of the school’s dedication to strengthening the forming pillars of learning: learning to do, learning to know, learning to be, and learning to live together.

I had the chance to chat with two of the performers, Desiree and Aimee Sweetapple, aged seven and five respectively. They were sweet (pardon the pun) enough to give me a private rendition of what they told me is their favourite song.

When asked what her favourite song was, young Aimee immediately cried, "Oh Canada!" and looked at me like I was crazy to think that there could possibly be a better song out there. I asked her why it was her favourite, and she said, "Because ... the flag," then proceeded to giggle and wave her tiny Canadian flag back and forth to hammer home her point.

There's something about the innocence of a child that can take you out of your familiarity with something and reveal just how powerful and precious it is. The Sweetapples' performance of our national anthem – their obvious pride in singing it – was a poignant reminder that this song we all know so well has a power and meaning beyond those simple words.

So many of us mouth the words and sing along to the anthem at sporting events and community gatherings, but rarely do we listen to those words and take in what they mean. Hearing them from the Sweetapple sisters was like listening to an entirely different song, one that beamed of pride.

"We sang on stage tonight," Aimee said, "for our country."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at YouTube/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Torch still burns bright, even after 22 years

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

Twenty-two years ago, Keith Shaw of Calgary, Alberta was one of eight Olympic Torch bearers who rode in the first van as the Torch passed into this province. To this day, the feeling has never left him.

"It was just fantastic," Shaw said. "My Dad was there, which made it really special for me to have been able to share that with him. It's still one of my fondest memories."

Shaw shook his head when asked to think about what the current Torch bearers are thinking and going through at that moment. "You get excited in the van while you're waiting your turn. Then all of a sudden you realize that it's your turn, so you get out, and you're still waiting. Then you see it coming towards you and the momentum is almost unbearable."

As he spoke, Shaw's eyes became increasingly distant, and it was clear that he wasn't in 2010 anymore. He was back in '88. 

And then when you run with it ... it's powerful. It's powerful."

Dressed in his original Torch Bearer suit from 22 years ago – which still fits perfectly, I might add, as a result of him still swimming four times a week – Shaw beamed about the power of Western Canada and it's Olympic reputation.

"We put on a pretty good show, I think. We had a fantastic crew of volunteers, there were so many people who were committed and they were trained very well."

Shaw doesn't see things playing out any differently in Vancouver. "The coaching programs, the volunteers, and the facilities are what brought the Olympics back to Western Canada. And now with the 'Own the Podium' program, I think it's really going to pay off. It should be fantastic."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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The early birds

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For Ann Drabble and Nancy Fehr, volunteering during the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta wasn't just a full-time job, it was a full-time job on top of a full-time job. Both teachers (now retired), the ladies would teach until 5 p.m. every day before heading to the old airport.

"After the athletes got off their planes at the new airport," said Fehr, "they would get transported to the old airport, where we'd help them get their pictures taken, supply them with their IDs, and everything. Basically, we were in charge of providing the athletes accreditation throughout the games."

"They couldn't go anywhere or do anything without their accreditation," Drabble said. "We had all the power," she laughed.

The pair also volunteered for the 2010 games in Vancouver and were accepted, but due to some unfortunate circumstances they will not be able to attend. They took some solace in the celebration at Canada Olympic Park today, though.

"This is a great experience," Fehr said. "We're reliving the whole (Olympic) experience again. It reminds me of when Calgary had the 20th anniversary here two years ago, and Eddie the Eagle was here, and a lot of the Olympic athletes and family were here. It's so great to catch up with people and experience everything together again."

When asked why they decided, of all the Calgary-area festivities, to come out to the COP Torch relay, they had one unified answer. "This is the one where they were giving out cowbells!"

"We want to ring them when the torch bearers come," Drabble said. "The first 500 people got them, and we got the first two. We started a waiting line, we wanted to get them so badly. We were even the first two to get the pancakes!"

Fehr, feigning annoyance, turned to me with a smirk, "She picked me up at 6:15."

Unapologetically, Drabble replied, "When something like the Olympics happens, we're right in there."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Bow Valley connected to the Olympics through lifestyle

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

On every leg of the Olympic Torch Relay through Alberta, a different choir has performed the song, There's a Light, written by the New World Choirs. In Canmore, the chosen choir was the Bow Valley Chorus, led by Music Director John Goulart.

The Bow Valley Chorus has been performing together for over 10 years, singing classical choral music with orchestral accompaniment. They typically sing the likes of Mozart and Beethoven, but Goulart knew that the opportunity to perform There's a Light at a Torch rally was too great to pass up.

"We haven't done something like this before," said Goulart, "but we've certainly performed in some major concerts over the last decade. To perform as part of the Olympic celebration is a privilege and an honour that we're all really proud of."

A native of Canmore, Goulart is certainly in tune with what makes Albertans achieve such great heights athletically.

"Just looking at the Bow Valley, specifically, you can see that there's a very strong connection to the Olympics here. You have the Banff Ski Racers, you have the Banff Ski Academy, there's Thomas Grandi who lives in Banff, and a former neighbour of mine – Jan Hudec – is on the national ski team and has done very well internationally.

"We also have two gold medalists from the last winter olympics who live in Canmore, Chandra Crawford and Sara Renner. These people are prominent in the community, they play an active role, and because of that they get a tremendous amount of support from the community."

There certainly seems to be a connection between the Bow Valley's athletic success and the way in which its residents live their lives.

"Everyone gets out and participates, gets out and runs, gets out and skis. There's a whole bunch of winter activities that basically make this place one of the the nicest places to live in Canada."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Banff went Bomba(stic)

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For the Cuban-Canadian Latin-jazz group, Bomba, being a part of the Olympic Torch Relay ceremonies in Banff is a validation of their status as Canadian citizens.

"This really means something to us Cubans," said Aldo Aguirre, one of six Bomba members. "Coming to this country and achieving success is one thing, but to be embraced and accepted like this is a big deal. We're all honoured to be here."

Having toured for over 10 years in places like Korea, Italy, Cuba, the UK, and the United States, Bomba knows what its like to leave Western Canada (they're based in Calgary) and return to find it all the more beautiful.

"Coming back after a long absence allows you to see a lot of things you take for granted," said guitarist, Rubim De Toledo. "The tradition that's rooted in Western Canada, the natural beauty, and of course, all of the fantastic winter sports here. I can tell you from experience that when people from all over the world think of winter and sports together, they think of Canada."

Listening to the guys of Bomba talk about their adopted home is to hear everything that's great about this province.

"When we're gone, we miss the calm, the quiet, the less-than-hectic lifestyle," Aguirre said. "Western Canada is ... just so empty. But in a great way. There is so much room to breath here and enjoy how gorgeous this province is. There's nothing better than the chilled-out mountain lifestyle where time just doesn't seem to go anywhere."

Sounds like a Canadian to me.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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From Hong Kong with love

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

Nothing quite compares to a proud mother.

Maria Leung is the mother of Torch bearer Shirley Leung, who ran through Banff, Alberta today. In Maria's case, "proud" might even be an understatement.

"We're so, so excited," Maria said. "We were so very happy to see her (Shirley) run with the Torch today. We truly feel a part of Canada now."

Maria and her husband, Peter, came to this country 20 years ago from Hong Kong in order to provide better opportunities for their children; although they never expected that carrying the Olympic flame would be one of them, this is definitely what they had in mind.

"We feel very lucky to have been a part of this. Something like this didn't feel possible before it happened, and now that it has ... it changes what you believe."

The entire Leung family was on hand in Banff. They even brought a homemade sign that said "Go Shirley!" in Chinese calligraphy. They were living it up at the festivities, as well.

"Oh, gosh, this is so much more than I expected!" Maria said. "This party is so much fun!" Maria was dancing around with her Canadian flags and glowing Coke bottles all evening, and her energy never wavered. All this after flying straight from Hong Kong the night before.

She can always sleep. She can't always see her daughter carry the Olympic Torch.

"We never thought she (Shirley) would have a chance to do this. I won't sleep for days," Maria laughed.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Canadian heritage on display in Banff


By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

As the Olympic flame made its way through the last few legs of its tour through Alberta today, it stopped at Banff's Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the birthplace of the National Parks system in Canada. One hundred and twenty-five years ago, in 1885, Banff became this country's first National Park, and it was right here in this spot.

In 1885, the Hot Spring Reserve was created, and since then it has slowly grown into the large park that is located there today. There are now 42 National Parks across the country, and there are well over 900 National Historic Sites.

"For us, this is where it all started, and for that reason it's a really important place for us," said Amar Athwal, interpretation supervisor for the Cave and Basin.

The Parks Canada crew were really excited to have the Torch pass through their beloved site. Their energy was palpable. "It's amazing for us. Just like the Olympics for Vancouver, this event will live in our history as one of our great events. To have it come to the birthplace of the National Parks system, it's unique for us and very important for us as well.

This park is a part of Canadian heritage. It's been with us for 125 years, and let's hope that its going to be with us for the next 125 years. For that flame to come out here, it shows how important this place is, not only to those people who work here, but to all Canadians."

Truly a proud Canadian, Athwal doesn't like to refer to these Olympic Games as taking place in Western Canada; these are Canada's games, meant for all Canadians.

"I think as Canadians we'd be completely behind the Olympics whether they were in Eastern Canada or Western Canada because this is truly an amazing country no matter where you go.

We're hoping a lot of people come out here from Eastern Canada and watch and cheer on the athletes as we, together, try to break our medal record."

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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A skinny Olympic legacy

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

The Olympics bring a wealth of benefits to any host country and its communities. We’ve seen this in action as we’ve travelled with the torch; it binds a community, ignites spirit, creates memories and leaves tremendous opportunities. 

In Alberta we’ve seen some stellar benefits for our athletes. In addition to some stellar training facilities at places like Canada Olympic Park and Nakiska Ski Resort, the torch made a stop to the Canmore Nordic Centre yesterday – where it was carried in the finest of forms. The Canmore centre, also a legacy of the ’88 Olympics, is a training grounds for many of the 20 athletes where the torch made its way around the centre for a spin on skinny skis.

It was a pretty cool site when the torchbearers made their way around one of Canada’s premier Nordic training facilities ski by ski. It was a train of 20 skiers, including George Martin, who was a course marshal for the ’88 Olympics here in Canmore. I caught up with him just moments before the flame was back in his eyes. “It will be an exciting feeling to have that torch in my hand; I am very thrilled to see it again.”

The group of 20 skiers included Kurtis Wenzel, who is the youth World champion of the sprint biathlon. “The traditional biathlon no longer exists, it’s now broken up in to three or four differing events and Kurtis has mastered one – the sprint,” said his mom, Trish. 

Did you know that half of the Olympians who will be representing Canada in these games are based or are from this province? One would think it might have a little to do with the wonderful training facilities

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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The Torch hits the slopes


By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

Over the past two days, the Olympic Torch has been carried to some pretty stellar places and now, it’s been carried through the Canadian Rockies and into some pretty spectacular spaces.  Twenty-two years ago the Government of Alberta helped to open up Nakiska as part of the 1988 Olympics, an outstanding ski resort tucked away in Kananaskis country – it was the site yesterday of Olympic history, which incorporated a collection of up-an-upcoming athletes. The folks from Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, the owners of Nakiska, put on a great celebration

The return of the Olympic Flame to Nakiska was a triumphant one that included skiers from the Nakiska Ski Team. It was pretty cool to see them rip the slopes as they made their way down towards the Flame.  Over at Sunshine, the celebrations continued with the addition of a lasting 2010 legacy here in Banff.  Whistler Blackcomb has installed a temporary chair that will take people from the base of Creekside up to the finish line for the downhill events.  Afterwards, it will have a permanent home at Sunshine Village. 

“Sunshine has played host too many Olympic athletes who have trained here. With the installation of this chair, we help to continue that legacy,” said Sunshine’s president, Ralph Scurfield. “It was a partnership with Whistler Blackcomb that said, ‘OK, we will get the chair if you guys buy it once we are finished with it,’” said Scurfield, in a special celebration that welcomed the Olympic Flame to the slopes of Sunshine this morning. 

Sunshine has been known to be an environmentally friendly ski destination, having received multiple awards for its environmental efforts. The resort welcomes the new chair in May where it will replace the Strawberry chair, helping to enhance the visitor’s experience. For more on the new installation and for all the exciting details on Sunshine please click here.

Just up the road, a big party was happening on the slopes Lake Louise Ski Area – owner Charlie Locke dawned his chariot (a snow cat with a pretty impressive set up on the back so he could stand and wave at the crowds) to take the flame up the slopes of Louise. The folks at Louise had constructed a pretty stellar ski jump outfitted with the Olympic rings to welcome the Torch in style. Ski jumpers, a solid ski run with a collection of ski instructors and a crowd of admirers were all a part of the action. 

There were more than a few spectacular ice sculptures too, all in celebration for the Ice Magic events that are taking place this weekend at Lake Louise Village.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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A bittersweet farewell


By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

It was a bittersweet afternoon at the Alberta/British Columbia border as the Olympic flame left Alberta for its final push towards Vancouver and next month's Winter Olympics.

Among those on hand was Premier Gordon Campbell of British Columbia, as well as former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed, who was the last Alberta torchbearer. Lougheed was met at the border by B.C. Lions head coach and general manager, Wally Buono.

After 12 wonderfully hectic days of following the flame through this province, I was sad to see it go. But the team and I have nothing but fond memories of our time with the Relay, and have come away with a renewed respect for not only the province of Alberta as a whole, for hosting such amazing events, but each and every Albertan who came out and supported the Torch along the way.

"The people of Alberta have been very strong supporters and great partners of ours as we work so hard to make these Canada's games," said Campbell. "The border is really a great place to symbolize the unity of not just British Columbia and Alberta, but Canada as well."

Jim Richards, the director of the Torch Relay, has been present at each and every stop throughout Alberta. This native Calgarian is still taken aback at the passion and spirit of his home province and how much they're behind these Olympic games.

"It's been remarkable seeing the enthusiasm, the support, the passion that Albertans have for the Olympic games. it's only been a generation since they hosted the games in Calgary. Albertans understand the importance of that, the legacy and what that means to the communities."

"It inspires everybody," Campbell said of the Torch. "I think it inspires young people particularly, which is what's so great about it."

The young were out in full force throughout this entire Relay, a fact not lost on Richards, who wanted to thank them all from the bottom of his heart.

"I'd like to thank the Albertans for every moment of every day. When they took their kids out of school, when they came to join us at celebrations, they participated fully. It's been remarkable. Hopefully it's been as good for them as it was for us."

It was, Jim. It absolutely was.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Lake Louise's spins a little frozen magic

The SnowSeekers team is spread far and wide this weekend. The film crew is in Revelstoke shredding and paragliding - hope they keep their pants clean. And some of us are here in Lake Louise for the Ice Magic festival and a few runs at Lake Louise resort.
After an enjoying an excellent dinner show at the resort (the Torchlight Dinner), I took a stroll around the staging area here at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, where the carvers are set up; carvers from around the world I might add - from New Zealand to Russia.
It was the first evening of competition and the blocks of ice are just that - for the most part, beyond carving out some rudimentary designs, it still looked like mammoth blocks of ice. But some of the carvers were kind enough to show their end designs on little signs - pretty impressive. Can't wait to see what happens today.
While I'm spending the day with the carvers and doing a little snowshoeing, others are at the ski hill. Friends of SnowSeekers, Howard and Shauna said yesterday at the hill was brilliant and there's a hint of snow in the air today, so SnowSeeker scribe, Will Colford should be laughing down every run.
Hope your weekends are equally fun - and loaded with some outdoor adventure.
Cheers, Barb
PS: If you haven't checked out the Alberta portion of the Olympic Torch relay, do so at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Maximize your winter vacation with SnowSeekers Go-Guides

On January 14th, SnowSeekers officially launched 12 Go-Guides for the iPhone. These digital tour guides--downloadable as iPhone applications--give you all the latest and greatest information about 12 of Western Canada's greatest resorts, right on your phone.

Each app includes:

Everyone wants to leave a resort knowing that they had the best time possible. Knowing what activities and amenities are available goes a long way to maximizing your winter vacation.

For prices, a list of titles, and other info, visit www.snowseekers.ca/iphone.


 

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Lessons learned

By Mark Sereda, SnowSeekers Inc.

Since joining the SnowSeekers team in early January of this year, I …‘the newbie’…’the rookie’…and/or even ‘the intern,' have learned some important lessons that I feel read the best in blog-format: short, informative, and (most importantly) useful. Not only am I learning how to professionally operate a camera and advancing my editing knowledge/skills, but I’ve also picked up some interesting life/athletic lessons along the way.

As a treat for those of you who drop by the website/blog, I offer my advice through recent personal experiences. Enjoy.


Nordic Skiing.
Kimberley, British Columbia offers up great viewpoints during some adventurous trails, perfect for Nordic skiing. After being relieved of camera-duties, Doc Pow took me down a few challenging paths, which he said took him back to the good old days. It had been a decade since I had last fitted my feet into Nordic skis, and knew some learning was at hand, or I suppose foot.

Turns out the entire body plays a big role in smooth movement on these skinny sliders. It began to slowly come back and soon enough I was coming up with entertaining descriptions of the movement-style required. The best was my idea to think of it as doing a “backwards-moonwalk” because your toes stay to the ski and you're propelling yourself forward. Think about it!
Extras:
- I keep my knees parallel to the set tracks to maintain balance.
- I noticed that pushing my ankles out, inside the tracks, during downhill slides helped me stay in the tracks.
- Always stretch before taking part in Nordic skiing and prepare yourself for some serious exercise, especially if you’re trying to keep up with Doc Pow.

But Nordic skiing with Doc Pow was relaxing compared to our recent tour with the Olympic Torch through Alberta. If I learned anything on that tour, I learned how to shoot on the fly – fast. The learning curve here at SnowSeekers is steep to say the least. If you haven't seen any of the footage, feel free to drop by www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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Sunny On The Slopes TEASER

As we mentioned before, Sunny On The Slopes is currently being cut. We are very excited to release the final cut here at SnowSeekers, but we have something for you to check out in the mean time!

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On the hunt for bison and the aurora borealis

Wow - talk about a feast. Just finished an amazing all-you-can-eat Alaskan King Crab dinner at the Sawridge Inn here in Fort McMurray. An excellent start to our Alberta Ice Road adventure.
True, it's a little different from SnowSeekers' usual slope-side outings, but we're all about the snow and enjoying winter to its fullest – and travelling the ice road definitely falls into that catagory – especially when you throw dog sledding, ice fishing and keeping an eye on the night sky for the famed aurora borealis - the Northern Lights.
Bill Rockwell, a local tour guide with Altacan Tours and expert on shooting the dancing lights, gave us a tutorial on the best way to capture the memory no matter what type of camera you have, and to a person, we are all stoked to see if we can match the images he's taken. Fort McMurray and points north are  suppose to be a hot bed for the lights - let's hope it clears by tomorrow night.
Bright and early tomorrow morning, we hit the road - next stop Fort Chipewan and on to Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories on Sunday. It's my first time being this far north and I am definitely excited. This entire area is part of the Wood Buffalo National Park which takes up a big chunk of Northern Alberta, sides into NWT and is Canada's largest national park. It's also home to the last free roaming herd of wild wood bison.
Can't wait to see these big bruisers, plus once we hit Fort Smith, we will be hanging out with Sonny MacDonald, a renowned carver who has carved pieces for the Pope and of for the Queen. I'm sure he has one or two stories to share.
Alas, internet is sketchy in these parts, so you will have to stayed tuned to SnowSeekers.ca to see how this journey ends and whether or not I survived Alberta's Ice Road. Top speed is 45k.
Hope you are finding some truly out-of-the-way snow adventures this weekend,
Barb

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Fourteen years goes by in a blink

By DOC POW

In 1996 I was living in Vancouver, British Columbia working with the now concluded PGA Tour – The Air Canada Championship. Our golf tournament office shared space with this tiny office of three, who at the time were working on Vancouver’s bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics.  Working on my tourism management diploma, I was in their office every day poking my nose around to learn just how a city bid for the world’s largest sporting event. 
That summer, Vancouver went up against Toronto who received the Canadian nod to go up against Beijing, and we all know who won that bid process. That left Vancouver in the winter spot for 2010 (which as a snow addict I couldn’t have been happier about).
Fast forward 14 years to today and now I am sitting in Whistler with 24 hours to go before the world’s biggest winter festival and sporting experience kicks off. We drove from Edmonton to Whistler – a 14-hour cruise that took us to Vancouver to scoop up our broadcast and accommodations trailer for the three weeks. Who could afford the $2,000 a night for rooms? As a start up media company, not us – so we got smart and last August rented ourselves a 31-foot deluxe trailer – our new home away from home.

Our company, SnowSeekers Inc., one of Canada’s leading snow-minded new media companies, is here to bring you a look at the culture of the Olympics, all the concerts, the parties and stories to answer the question of why Whistler is now welcoming the world.  Our team of journalists will do this through You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and Flickr to bring this exciting look at the games. We are pleased to hook up with audiences in the UK, Australia, the US, Canada and over 154 countries from around the world who will be following us through our partnerships with www.basecampgroup.comsaltmotion.com,www.freshpeaks.com and more.
Every day you can expect from us a daily video blog, editorial, photos and updates from the epic centre of the Olympics. For the full experience, please follow along atwww.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews
Stay tuned – there is LOTS to come!!!

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First impressions

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

After skiing and snowboarding for 19 years, getting my first turns at Whistler today left serious impressions. 
Not to brag, but I’ve ridden nearly every resort in Western Canada. I rode the day “epic” became cannon. I’ve had turns so deep, my board ran into bioluminescent sea creatures.  In short, the last two decades have been good … really good. 
However, my life as a rider will forever be divided into two categories: before and after Whistler. Coming into town it’s very clear Whistler is not a typical ski town; it’s a mecca. There’s a reason Whistler is consistently ranked amongst North America’s best ski destinations, and it begins in the village.
The cobblestone streets are lined with the best restaurants, shops, pubs and clubs. Each one potentially contains your idea of a perfect party. Each menu contains your idea of the perfect meal. Each shop has that perfect item you can’t find anywhere else. Sure the chains are present, but they’re buried within the most eclectic collection. 
Of course the good attracts the bad. Prices go up. Pretensions rise. Exclusivity becomes the norm. The only element devoid of this phenomenon, however, is the riding. It’s all good. To get an idea of what Whistler Blackcomb is like, picture your top five favourite mountains.
Then think of what makes them your top five: terrain, specific areas, hiking, glades, groomers. Then take those five elements and put them into one hill. Heading up the 7th Heaven chair, I saw the Sunshine Garbage chutes, Revelstoke’s North Bowl, Lake Louise’s glades, Terminator from Kicking Horse, and Red Mountain groomers. Then I realized, I was on one chairlift, of one section, of just one hill. 
I’m not going to get into specifics yet; suffice it to say I’m looking forward to the next two weeks of exploring just what made Whistler a host mountain for the 2010 Olympics, and the best winter destination in North America.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Fine tuning in Whistler

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

“There’s way more to it than people realize,” says Stefan Jones. Standing in the Whistler tuning station I was about to learn just how true Jones’ statement is. 
Typically, getting your skis or board tuned involves a quick drop off. You hand your equipment over to the someone dressed in wax-stained attire; they look back at you with a mixed air of superiority and apathy; you try your hardest to sound like you know better. 

Usually phrases like ‘core shot’ and ‘base grind’ are about as far as you go before submitting, giving up and saying, “What ever you think is best.” 
In this sense, getting a tune is a bit like taking your car into the mechanics: you’re not sure exactly what’s wrong with it, you just know how to describe it in vague, generalized terms. It’s also the right thing to do, because a good tech does know more than you and shouldn’t care what your opinions are. 
“I know exactly what the equipment needs just by looking at it, and that’s a skill that only comes with years of experience, riding particular snow conditions, and working with all kinds of equipment problems.” 
Almost like an artist seeing the stroke pattern in a painting, or a musician hearing sheet music, Jones sees the structure and functionality of a ski or board. 
“Different skis and boards have different structures depending on their use.  After all, you’re not riding on snow, you’re riding on a thin layer of water cushioned by a thinner layer of trapped air,” explains Jones, like I understand any of it. 
Apparently skis and boards melt snow underfoot as they ride around.  Different skis will trap and use air pockets differently, depending on if they are slaloming, racing, or free riding. In this way, techs imprint a pattern, or “structure” in the wax on the base of the ski or board to maximize its functionality. After getting a tune, take a look at your equipment and notice the pattern imprinted. 
In order to imprint this pattern, Jones uses a high-dend tuning machine, complete with ceramic diamond grinding stones, and diamond imprinted steel tuners. 
“The machine has over 300 signatures I can put onto the equipment, and it’s all in German so that took some time to learn.” 
There are so few of these machines in Western Canada, one person composes the entire maintenance department. Again, Jones knows what kind of riding you’re doing, and what conditions you’re doing it in. 
After the machine grinds and imprints a signature, then the equipment gets waxed. Again, depending on temperature, conditions, rider type, equipment type, and a host of things the average skier or border never thinks about, wax plays a vital role. 
“This chunk here costs about a $150. That’s not even the high-end stuff either. A vile of the powder runs about $275, and it only lasts for one or two runs.” 
The Whistler tuning station has one last phenomenon worth mentioning.  Unlike the rest of the village, the tuning shop is staffed almost entirely by Canadians. Given all the knowledge, experience, and time it takes a tuner to get as dialed in as Jones, it’s no wonder the locals are the only ones accepted. 
Without riding the mountain every day, in every type of condition, for many years, you can’t understand how best to tune the equipment and read the customer’s needs. 
“It’s not just their skis or boards the customer is trusting us with, it’s their lives.” 
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Aussie makes the cut

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

“That third gate is seriously wicked,” said Max Isaac as he looks over the men’s downhill course. Today is training day for the skiers, and according to Isaac they’ll need to pull out all the stops to top the podium on a course that isn’t “a token Olympic downhill.”
Isaac is a ski school instructor from Australia. He’s been working in Whistler for five seasons and flies home ever summer to work the winter season in Australia. That way, he skis all year round. The man knows what he’s talking about. 
As a downhill racer gets a little sideways through a gate and over a steep, Isaac winces. He’s cheering for a hometown friend. 
“I grew up in the same town as Jono,” he says with pride. He’s referring to Australian skier Jono Brauer, one of two Australians to be selected for the competition. 
According to Isaac, Brauer was recognized as a natural talent at a young age. He’s been training with the Canadian team for a long time and is the first Australian to qualify for all the Alpine events. 
Unfortunately, Brauer has had several major injuries and corresponding surgeries. 
“He has trouble even walking,” notes Isaac. “He has had to avoid training, instead just rocking up, doing one ski before the event, then just going for it.” 
The Alpine ski events are notorious for season and career ending injuries. 

Just this year during the Lake Louise world cup event, American favourite, T J Lanning suffered shredded knee ligaments, a neck fracture, and shattered Olympic dreams all in the same horrifying moment.
But, that’s what makes Brauer so astonishing. Even after all the injuries and all the surgery, and all the abuse his body ahs taken, he’s here in Whistler competing one more time for Olympic Gold.
Isaac, will assuredly be right along the fence cheering Brauer on.   

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Waiting for it

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Nearing the top of the hill, on the second last lift before the top is bittersweet. The sun crests the clouds and two things become immediately apart. The conditions are ideal, but the chair to access them isn’t open.

Bombs are going off and every so often a patroller skis a line and gets back on the lift, only heightening the tension and angst. Every time the chair begins to turn, you think it’s time. Then you see a rope drop and you can’t put your board on fast enough, only to find out it’s still not time. 
“Sorry folks, it’ll be half an hour at least,” says the liftie. Even still, the line is beginning to build. 
After a few more runs, the line is full and there’s no more risking it. It’s time to line up and wait. The mood is almost somber. It has gravity. It’s maybe like watching a meteorite about to land on earth and change your way of life forever, but nobody knows where or when or how, all they can do is wait. 
The ski patrollers again ski down and skip to the front of the line. Everyone hears the ding ding of the chair lift start cycle.
“Is it just for the patrol?” someone asks. The patrollers don’t make eye contact with anyone in line, and just push strait to the chair. The machine lurches forward about to pick them up. Everyone is waiting for some kind of update before the patrol leaves. The line is silent. The patrol turns back and says, “Strap up everyone, it’s time.” 
The meteor lands and everyone screams and rushes and panics, then it gets truly crazy.  By the time I make my way to the front, the first chairs have unloaded at the top and people are imprinting tracks in the untouched bowls and chutes. A skier pokes out at the top of air Jordan – a triple drop section that combines for about 120 feet. Everyone in line goes nuts. Poles are banged together, boards a slapped on the graound, cheers, yells, and “DO IT!” fill the air. 
He points his pole and lets go. He lands the first drop and takes off the second. Landing in the larger patch a slab breaks off, hurtling towards a 60 footer. He pops out with just enough time to set himself, then lets go again off the 60 foot face. 
Sticks the landing and everyone’s world has been changed forever. My chair scoops me up and I turn my gaze to scan for the perfect line. They’re all perfect. Soon it will be mine turn. I can’t wait.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

 

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Whistler Whereabouts: Franz, Old Man, and some killer glades

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Welcome to Whistler Whereabouts. Because Whistler Blackcomb is so massive with so many places to ski and ride, I’ve decided to ride a new section every day and tell the tale of my experiences. 
My first day, however, may very well be my best. I began the day at 6 a.m., heading to the village with a “first tracks breakfast” ticket in tow. This program allows anyone with a lift ticket to head up early and get breakfast on top of Whistler at the roundhouse lodge. It was a great spread, with a fine selection of bacon – essential for early morning fuel. 
At some point, someone clangs a giant bell, and everyone stuffs down their stray pancakes, and gulps the rest of their juice and coffee, then scrambles outside for first tracks. Since you can access several areas from the lodge, people are breaking off in every direction, making it impossible not to second guess your decision.
Thoughts like, “Those people look like they know where they’re going.” creep in.  But then you strap in and commit. 
The area I committed to included the Old Man area, followed by Franz and the glades skier’s left of Franz. These funneled down to the highway 86 cat track, eventually leading to the Big Red Express chair, and back up to the Roundhouse lodge. (head to Whistler’s interactive trail map at media.intrawest.com/whistler/trailmap/index.html?int=banner-nonflash_mapbtn_101807 to follow along). 
Getting first tracks through this area was varied and quick. The wide open meadows of Old Man nicely gave way to the chutes of Franz and the spacey glades left of Franz. The trees themselves looked like Old Growth cedar, making a steep face very technical and picturesque. In two hours, we lapped these lines no less than seven times. Each time fresh tracks were had. 
Though it contains a few traverses, and a bit of planning, the area itself is steep and technical. If the snow wasn’t there, I would have had a difficult time on a board. But on skis, it would make for some seriously technical riding. Stay tuned for part two of my day, and the highlight of my life: Whistler Bowl and the Peak Chair. 

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Truly Canadain

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Canada House opened today as any good Canadian venue should: with breakfast. The pancakes, music, and maple syrup were all in plentiful supply this morning as Canada House opened its doors on the first day of Olympic competition. 
The mood was all "Please" and "Thank yous," "After you" and "I insist." Even though it was packed, everyone was eager to make space for one more hungry Canadian. Families with kids, and glass-eyed spectators alike ate with verve and cheer. 
We as Canadians, after all, have a lot to cheer about at these Olympics as our nation gets to host the world and demonstrate our hospitality. 
Even though the games represent the panicle of international competition, the mood within the village is anything but competitive. The conversation this morning buzzed with last night’s ceremony event. 
In true Olympic opening ceremony fashion, something had to go slightly wrong.
Off the top of my mind, I remember a foible in Sydney with the hydraulics, and a big scandal in Beijing involving the replacement of one little girl who could sing for a more aesthetically pleasing one who couldn't. 
However, unlike those ceremonies, ours was received by Canadians with whit and comedy. We are able to laugh at ourselves and let others in on the joke. By comparison to other opening mishaps, cutting to Steve Nash awkwardly looking around, signaling the hydraulic malfunction was more hilarious than embarrassing. Moreover, the rest of the ceremony was downright spectacular. The lighting effects with the whales, the fiddling and dancing routine, and KD Lang’s beautiful rendition of Halleluiah were just a few highlights. 
So what if the delegates were a bit late and Wayne had to fend off some ‘jovial’ yahoos when travelling to the outside torch site. As Canadians, we expect these lesser important quirks.
Remember when Chrétien got ‘attacked’ with a pie to the face? Or when our flag was hung upside down during a medal ceremony? Or who could forget Rebagliati’s ‘performance enhancement’? 
While other nations would be embarrassed, we take it in stride, and let out a collective chuckle over some pancakes.       

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Whistler Whereabouts: Whistler Bowl

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Welcome back to Whistler Whereabouts, my daily report on specific ski and snowboard areas of Whistler Blackcomb. 
Today’s area included some of the best runs I’ve ever, or possibly will ever have: Whistler Bowl and the Peak chair. (Please read my blog, Waiting for it to better understand the atmosphere in the lift line, waiting for patrol to open the area. Moreover, check out the trail map to follow along the areas I’m speaking to:
www.ski.com/resorts/trailmaps/tmn_whistler.jpg)
My first taste of the Peak chair admittedly came yesterday during a white out wind storm. The light was dangerously flat and the only discernable features were the many cliff banks that define the area. In fact, the poor visibility made the chair ride a bit horrifying as massive slabs of rock would materialize out of the mist and snow, then drop away into nothing.  It made me wonder just how high up I really was. 
Going down was like reverse blindness, just piercing white in every direction. Feeling my way down a combination of deep pow and the crests of mammoth moguls was disorientating. However, through the maelstrom it was easy to know how good this area could be.
Today, I realized that potential. Rising above the clouds, the Peak chair area was draped in sun and snow alike. After waiting in line for the area to open, it was finally time to experience what I previewed a day earlier.
The Peak chair accesses four glory bowls. Each one is jammed with steeps, chutes, cirques, couloirs, glades, cliffs, and all manner of intermediate and extreme terrain. From left to right there’s Glacier Bowl, Whistler Bowl, and West Bowl. 
It’s a hard decision when you reach the top and throngs of people are scattering in every direction trying to get the freshest tracks on the best lines. But you have to make a quick choice since more people are following close behind, ready to grab your perfect line before you can. 

I decided to go with what I vaguely knew, Whistler Bowl. Straight up, the bowl is a typical alpine fare, meaning it’s wide open and loaded with snow all the way down to the tree line. You can follow the bowl into gladded areas called Doom & Gloom and Frog’s Hollow.  But that means taking two chairs back to the top, burning a full fresh run. 
Not knowing, I began to follow a sharp traverse leading skier’s right, heading under the lift line, high up in the bowl. What I didn’t know is that the traverse led to a tight couloir known as the Coffin. You can’t turn, you have to air over a few drops, and it’s straight down. 
I opted out, angry for wasting time. Somehow I found myself on the ridge separating Whistler Bowl and Glacier Bowl. Looking at the steep never-ending line I had to double check if the area was actually open. It was.
In 19 years of skiing and snowboarding, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve experienced a run like this, and one of those times was cat skiing.  It just kept dropping away as my edge sunk deeper into the fluff. A skier came on my left and crossed my line with a slash. I blew through his sluff like a fireman running out of a burning building. I was painted with snow and took a hard breath in. It felt like breathing for the first time. 
The run began to mellow as I came into the Saddle. My adrenaline level began to drop as my euphoria level began to rise. I looked back at my line in admiration for only a second because more skiers and riders began pouring over the crest. It reminded of the scene in the Lion Kingwith the stampeding water buffalo. 
Back in the lift line, everyone was silent with glee. I am told on a normal day you only get one run before it’s all tracked. I managed to get three, all fresh. The Peak chair takes skiers and snowboarders to the top of Whistler mountain, but today it might as well have been the top of the world. 
Stay tuned for more runs like these.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Whistler is live!

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

Are you ready for a bash? The folks in Whistler are. Thirty-eight shows over six stages that run from 9 a.m. through 11 p.m. each day. They have brought in some hired guns including some of the Whistler’s finest to produce this experience that includes Shawn Pozer of Boombox, a Vancouver-based production company, who just got back after working with the Super Bowl. 
Kristine Robinson is with Whistler Live!, managing the six stage sites that are sprinkled around the village. “This is a fusion of sport and entertainment,” explains Robinson.
And she’s right. Over the course of the games, the folks from the community are working to bring these stages to life.
“Damien Marley, Swollen Members, Bedouin Soundclash and several cultural events are just some of the performers who will be a part of the celebrations,” she explained. 
Going off their experience and success of such event as Whistler’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April and events in the summer such as Crankworx, the team is working to bring the best of Whistler to the roughly 40,000 to 50,000 people who are expected in Whistler each day.

Having been to both events, I know what it feels like to be immersed in a crowd of soon to be 10,000 of your closest friends with an awesome band on stage. The vibe is like something you’ll ever experience anywhere else – this is Whistler at this best.
They’ve been waiting for the moment for over 50 years – they’ve bid for the game five times, first starting in 1964!   In this case, it’s ‘sixth time is the charm.’ 
For a full look at what is happening in and around Whistler through the games, you can check out www.whistler2010.com/whistlerlive

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

 

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A meeting with gold

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

One of the best things about travel is you never know what or who is around the corner. That sentiment couldn’t ring stronger than here in Whistler at the Olympics. At a media reception tonight at the Whistler Media Centre – one of the epicenters for the world’s media in Whistler Village – I was in mid-sentence when I turned around and said, “Hey that is Ross Rebagliati.”
It took seconds for me to make my move to get in a chat.
For those of you who need a refresher, back in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics Rebagliati won an Olympic first – gold in snowboarding, only to have it stripped after a drug test, which tested positive for marijuana.
Rebagliati was taken into an interrogation room where IOC representatives from around the world grilled him – an 18 year resident of Whistler – about the lifestyle that he was a part of.
At the time, snowboarding was a demonstration event at Nagano and there were a lot of misconceptions about the sport and the people.
Anyway, the decision was quickly overturned and the IOC reversed its decision, re-awarding Rebagliati his medal.
Within days, he was back in the village here in Whistler.
Being in the crowd that February in 1998, I can tell you the atmosphere was almost exactly like last night’s as Canadian athletes took to the stage during the opening ceremony festivities. 
It was pretty sweet – 65 athletes who couldn’t make it down to Vancouver for last night’s opening ceremonies paraded through Whistler before a crowd of about 25,000 strong. Mike Janyk, Canadian Men’s Slalom athlete and Whistler resident, took the mic for a bit to speak about the support he receives from the community. Something Rebagliati talks about as well.
“This community is fantastic. They’ve even named a park and a run after me. Whistler is this incredible place that never disappoints its own.”
Stay tuned for more unexpected experiences – word is we may even be out snowboarding with Rebagliati later in the week.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Collector or addict?

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

It began as a formality. “Here, have a pin,” said Nancy Greene during the Slovenia House opening last night. I didn’t even look at it. Just stuck it to my lanyard and smiled. But something changed as I pinched the backing, pierced the canvass, and pressed the trinket into place. 
“Vancouver 2010, Canada,” read the pin. White and silver with appropriate national and Vanoc colours. Had I known what I was about to get into, I never would have said, “Thank you.” 
Pins are the currency of the Olympic games. Pin collectors, buyers, and traders populate the village like undercover police; they could be anyone. As the addiction worsens, people disappear, their faces go, their names go, all I see anymore walking around the most electric place on the planet are the pins.
Volunteer 2010, Munich applicant 2018, Swiss house in both English and Swuisse, Intrawest corporate pin, and the Quatchie Zambonie Visa collection, this is all I can think about. 
It’s gotten so bad I tried to trade my team Ireland for a line cook’s nametag. What’s worse is that I got it. I feel like I really hit rock bottom when I saw what looked like a rare white rectangular Canadian pin on the ground, only to realize – as I picked it up – it was, in fact, someone’s unchewed gum. And yet, I can’t stop.
The pin collecting is a great way for even the most out-of-shape spectator to get into the spirit of the games. The transaction of trading usually begins with meeting someone from another country. Then you connect to that person, not through language, but through your shared sport of pin collecting.
There’s a round of competition in which both collectors try to “win” the transaction by getting the better pin. Finally there’s a ceremony in which both ‘athletes’ congratulate each other and say, “Have a great Olympics.”

Everyone has their own tactic for trading up and acquiring rare and sought after pins. My tactic is quite amateur: I lie. 
By telling people the pin is harder to get than it actually is, I have been able to get some pretty great items. However, this backfired when I realized that I am not the only one to have thought of the tactic. I began to wonder if I had, in fact, been trading crappy pins for other crappier pins. 
I met a gentleman who could only be described as eclectic. He waved a double-sided flag, Canada on one side and America on the other. He said, “It’s not about competition, it’s about coming together.”  I believed him. 
After giving up three solid pieces, I received what I thought would be my crown jewel. A circular gold, flag encrusted, double pinner that reads “Whistler Blackcomb Pin Collector.”
On the back it says the pin is limited to only 2010 pieces. 
After showing it off today I was gloating to one gentlemen who replied simply, “Oh ya, you can buy those at Seven Eleven for a buck.” 
I suppose just like the games themselves, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but it’s always a treat just to be playing the game.    

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Forget the games, try the food

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

“I have a Canadian for Will,” shouted the chef, holding a beautiful disaster. The tin corrugated dish – normally reserved for Chinese take out – bowed under the sheer weight of the meal it contained.
Thick cut potatoes, topped with cheese curds, a river of gravy, and a full sausage awaited. My arteries shuddered as the plastic fork stabbed the monstrosity. I stuffed my mouth and began shaving years off my life with each glorious bite. 
It’s the Olympics, and the best food from around the world is at my finger-tips. 
My first experience with international flavour came at Bavaria House with a giant salty pretzel. The outside was dense and crisp; the inside was a doughy cloud, perfectly salted. One quickly turned into seven, as empty beer glasses – taller than my forearm – piled up beside the plates. 
Next was a wild mushroom and pepper soup from Slovenia. If this dish is ‘common,’ the Slovenian quality of life is anything but. It was a rare treat in that I have never tasted anything like it. When you taste something completely new, your brain and taste buds have a sit down and try and work out all the flavour intricacies. 
Because of this I can only describe what it wasn’t. It was not watery, greasy, salty, thick, processed, or bland. It was the perfect soup. 
Sadly, I will not be able to taste everything the world has to offer at the games; but damn it, like the athletes themselves, I’ll give it my best.     

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Together we stand

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

The cowbells clanged as the crowd began to chant, “Robbie, Robbie, Robbie.”  Posted up just below the fifth gate for the Men’s Downhill, everyone was going peanuts as one of the Canadian medal hopefuls pushed out of the gates.
All nations are represented in the crowd. Thankfully someone has a bull horn and is shouting out the times and leader positions as they come in on his iPhone. When they announced that Swiss favorite Didier Defago had taken the lead, a large Swiss contingent is unsurprisingly overwhelmed. 
They chant and wave and everyone in the crowd smiles for them. Though we all want our own nation’s athletes to win, you can’t help feel residual joy for the people celebrating beside you. 
Like a wave of sound, the cheer follows Robbie down the run. Than at the notorious gate three, Robbie connected and the bells fall silent. It looks like he’s just about to go down as the gate shatters off his helmet, but being the professional he is, he sticks it out, tucks in, and keeps going. 
The crowd snaps out of it, and explodes as Robbie blows by. 
This is one of the biggest events in the Olympics, only made better by sharing the moments, bad and good, with everyone from around the world, just here to cheer.     

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Swiss bliss

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

Nadia Durig, from Kelowna, British Columbia, jumped at the chance to represent her family’s heritage by getting in on the action happening around the games. And she did it the best way she knew how, by producing a tasty treat to show off to the world. 
“With my Swiss roots I have chocolate running through my veins,” said this Red Seal chef whose uncle calls Switzerland home.

 The village here in Whistler is packed full of nations who are showing off their culture via houses. The House of Switzerland is everything from the land of the Alps; it's a house that showcases the best of the country – which last night, included this competition that was caked in chocolate.
“Our history is in chocolate, we are very famous for this,” said the director of the Swiss House, David Grolimund. “For us it’s about quality, creativity and utilizing some of the country’s finest ingredients.”
The Swiss take one of their biggest exports seriously but certainly leave some for themselves.
The 7.7 million Swiss consume over 11.6kgs of chocolate per year – each. And in the spirit of that consumption, the Swiss government called on three chefs to come up with their best chocolate dessert and in honour of Valentine’s Day. Olympic visitors got to vote on their favorite.
Durig heard the call months ago by the Swiss Government to be a part of history and bring her passion to the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb. And it proved to be the right decision.
Her Swiss Bliss, a layered mousse of three types of chocolate took gold last night (Feb. 14) which, for all of us in the audience, was just the ticket to a sweet success.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

 

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Whistler Whereabouts: A walk in the park

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Welcome back to Whistler Whereabouts where I ride specific sections of the mountain each day and tell you about them. 
You cannot come to Whistler without checking out one of the two Nintendo Terrain parks. Having one on each mountain, Whistler Blackcomb has every level of rider covered when it comes to all things park.
If you’re just starting out, hit the Whistler park; the jumps are mellow to medium and the rails and boxes will let you progress without taking a trip to the hospital.
Once you have your intermediate skills down and you want to begin infusing some creativity and challenge into your tricks, then pop over to Blackcomb and head up the solar coaster chair. There is a dedicated lift specifically built for park laps. 
Unlike any other mountain I can think of – save maybe the T bar at Red Mountain – the Cat Skinner chair is only as long as the park itself, so there’s no mucking about getting to the hits. 
The Blackcomb park is spit into two sections, an intermediate park with good jump, rail, and jib lines. Then there’s the pro park. 
You need a special pass for this park which you can get from the guest relations desk in the village. These are the Hollywood big guns. Often the cheese wedges are taller than a grown man, and the tables start at 12 metres (40 feet) and go up from there. You can see these monsters from the intermediate line which helps motivate riders on difficult tricks.

After all, if you’re trying to progress your board slide from a straight rail to a 270 on, and you look over to see someone hurtle themselves 15 m (50 ft.) through the air, spinning like a falling cosmonaut, suddenly your trick doesn’t seem so impossible. 
Even if you don’t ride park, it’s worth it to take a ride up the chair to see something you’ll hardly ever get to see on any other mountain: pros going big. 
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.
• Photos courtesy TOURISM WHISTLER 

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Whistler Whereabouts: Powder harmony

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Welcome to the fourth installment of Whistler Whereabouts.
I awoke to the sound of bombs. Muffled and distant, their heavy growls signal another day of deep turns. Groggily, I sighed heavily and got up; the bombs continued. 
Sound is an important connector for skiers and borders. Since I was being taken into both Harmony and Symphony bowl on Whistler Mountain today, I decided to keep my ears open. One of the first sounds I heard this morning was an Australian accent from my tour guide, Matt Mohr. 
“How ya goin?” he asked, with a strong shake of my hand. 
After some initial discussion about snowfall and just how good it was up top, we decided it’d be best to try for Harmony bowl. A short hike from the Whistler gondola and we were standing on top of the run, Rabbit Tracks. 
The stiff wind bristled the pines, like some kind of organic wind chime. The bowl was devoid of people and sound after our boots rested, and the team took a moment to pick a line. 
All four of us blew off a wind lip then jet streamed a fresh pow-line to the bottom. Going that fast through fresh sounds like a predatory hiss. As if a snake is giving you fair warning, though you’re not sure where it is. It’s all around. 
Immediately after stopping, another familiar sound: laughter – inundating, enthralling, laughter. It’s the only noise that has any chance of describing how we felt. As we make our way down to the Harmony chair, others join our laughter. Everyone in line – all eight of us – were either laughing, or religiously silent. 
“Unlike the Coke bottle effect of Whistler Bowl, you get to the top of Harmony and pretty much pick 1,000 different ways to go down,” said Mohr. “There’s all these little sections with six to eight turns in each. The best is linking all the sections together in one continues run. Then when that gets tracked out you can access about 1000 different areas from Harmony.”   
Our run took us right underneath the lift line and linked together Little Whistler, the Camel Humps, and the trees to skier’s left of lower Harmony Piste. During this run, a new sound emerged. It’s a sucking breath as waves of snow break head high, every single turn. 
Blowing through a solid cloud, everything goes white and you emerge like a rabid snowman, frothing at the mouth and hungry for more. 
Like colliding sofas, Mohr hits my glove in a fierce high-five. “How’s that for ya?”
All I can do is exhale and beam.     

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Inside the velvet rope

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

As we approached the entrance to the Pan Pacific hotel, a rhythmic thumping could be heard. Salomon was having a party, and just like its free ski sessions, it was about to go off. 
Past the velvet rope, the SnowSeekers’ team entered a full frontal fun assault. To our right was the Free Ski TV projecting across the dance floor in mind bending HD (check the video out atwww.salomonfreeski.com/caus/freeski-tv.aspx).
In front of us was the swag table, complete with the RGB colour spectrum of hats and shirts. Behind that was the full ski line, manned by a model and four tubs of beer. 
Finally to our left, Kelly and Amanda-Jane were just getting the finishing touches on their new clothes … made of paint … only paint.
Slightly distracted by the ‘new clothing line,’ Ryan – sales and marketing for Salomon Canada – took me through the line up. This year’s line has crazy going on, including the rocker, making the skis spring from edge to edge and float better through the deep stuff. 
The line even toys with materials; using innovative cores like bamboo, the materials create unexplored flex patterns, stability, and strength. 
As the party got into full swing, people were pouring into the Pan Pacific to see what all the fuss was about. Standing around with team riders, a few people from Powder Magazine and some others from Tourism Whistler, we realized our everyday conversations about things like Facebook and poutine are way cooler being three feet inside of the rope. 
If their skis are even half as good as the party, skiers who rock the Salomons are going to tear the mountain down.   
P.S. our video director, Brandon Boucher had a great time. Check out the Flickr pics.
Stay tuned towww.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Hurry hard at Alberta House

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Across the street, the Check Republic is battling it out against Slovakia. At Cypress, Shaun White is winning gold for the Unites States, again. But, as far away as the events of the games can transport someone, it’s always familiar times at the Alberta House, especially on Alberta day. 
Many of Canada’s athletes hail from Alberta, including silver medalist, Jennifer Heil and silver medalist, Mike Robertson. As such, there’s a great chance you’ll end up sharing a beverage with one of the athletes.
Tonight, the line up was long. People waited about an hour to get into the open-air patio.  However, once in, they were rewarded with a number of great Alberta-based muscians belting out classic tunes, an Alberta centric menu, some home-grown Big Rock selections, and a chance to share a brew with Kevin Martin. 
One enthusiastic Albertan recognized the curling guru and shouted, “Hey Kevin, let me get a picture for my Grandmother.”
The crowd laughed and Martin responded, “Well you’re gonna at least get in the photo aren’t cha?” 
What can I say – even the pro athletes are small-town Albertans. Even though the entire men’s curling team had a game against Sweden the next morning, they couldn’t pass up such a great time. 
At one point, a Calgarian – appropriately named Mike – asked if it was okay to set his empty glass down on our table. Since our table had been turned from a dining platform to a booze station, the question caught us off guard. 
Because the question caught us off guard, Mike retracted his glass in polite embarrassment. Once everyone realized what just happened, everyone all had a good laugh at our over-the-top manners, shook hands, and stuck together for the rest of the night.
Alberta House is a fantastical embassy for a province contributing so much to the 2010 games. Even if you’re not from Alberta, come down, make some friends, and get your yee-haw on.   
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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BS, bull riding and snowboards

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

The afternoon was winding down and I was enjoying some beers in the lounge car of the Vancouver to Whistler Alberta Train with Alberta country music star, Aaron Lines, chuck wagon driver, Kurt Bensmiller and bull riding champ, Ty Elliot. 
In case you don’t know, chuck wagon racing is the biggest event at the Calgary stampede. You could say the venue is the Olympics of Chuck Wagon, with a million dollar purse up for grabs. This ain’t Canadian Tire money. Within the sport are a few family dynasties. The Bensmillers are one such family. 
“My mom cooks for all four camps. My dad, myself, and two brothers. We’re all married now too, so everyday we all congregate as a family and have meals together.”
The Bensmillers definitely have a competitive spirit, and are taking the Alberta Train to the games for three days. 
“It’s funny,” says Bensmiller, “people come up to me and Ty and say how crazy our sport is, but we were at the luge today and we think they’re insane. Than there’s the skeleton which is even worse.” 
Like being at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Elliot notes how the games have, “a similar atmosphere you can’t get on television. The best part is the people and being in the crowd watching, even though you can’t see the whole event.” 
They both agree the Alberta Train is, “the only way to travel as everything’s at your fingertips. You can move around and meet people in a familiar Alberta setting.” 
As crazy as their sport is, if they could pick any sport to do outside of hockey, they’d be in the snowboard halfpipe. 
Elliot, Bensmiller, and Lines are great of examples of what makes Alberta, the train, and the games great: the people. 
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Head first on the Alberta Train

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Growing up in Alberta makes you a little crazy, and extremely outgoing. After all, how many places is sliding head first down a river-valley ice-bank, in –30C, considered recreational … and social? 
It came as no surprise, then, when I met the perfect example of an “Albertan” on the Alberta train from Whistler to Vancouver. Hadley Lamotte is a skeleton athlete, and just like the province, she’s easy to talk to and a little bit crazy. Though she’s not competing in the games this year, it’s likely Canada will be cheering her on in the future.
As the train chugs through Squamish, Lamotte answers the question everyone asks when watching skeleton: why? 
“It’s a total rush,” she says with a contained exuberance. “The sledding community is really tight knit. We all come for a love of adrenaline. We love to train and we live to slide.” 
Even at this early hour, Hadley is jittering with energy. You can tell she’d prefer a coaster track to the relaxing plod of the train. 
As mentioned in our video blog, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nOtSVifJ9A&feature=channel, sledders can pull up to eight Gs on some tracks; fighter pilots do seven to 10, but they have special suites. 
“It’s not so bad,” retorts Lamotte. “We’re laying down flat so the extra weight of the gravity forces through the banks are manageable. Our centre of gravity is so low, we’re actually considered the safest. It’s when you begin oscillating and your head and feet are dragging on the ice, that gets a little hairy.”
She says this all through a kind of deranged laugh, as though she likes flirting with losing control.
As crazy as her sport is perceived, Lamotte finds one Alberta past-time even worse.
“I went GT snow racing with my nephew the other week. I felt bad because I push it down the track, but I got on that thing with him and screamed all the way down. Those things are nuts.”
Even though she’d rather be going head first down a sheet of ice, Lamotte agrees that if you have to be travelling, the train is the way to do it. 
“It’s relaxing and you get to meet everyone on your own time and pace.”
It was time to move on – after all this is what train travel is all about, so I bid Lamotte a good day and headed down the aisle eager to find out whom I might meet next.             
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Travel in style on the Alberta Train

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

So many ski trips begin early in the morning.  Forcing yourself to get up, load up, and head out can be tough. Normally – at least for myself – I’m either stuck in a car smelling like double-doubles and McGriddles, or a bus packed with uninterested strangers. 
But today is Alberta Day, and today things were different. SnowSeekers had the pleasure of riding the Alberta Train from North Van to Creekside, Whistler in style. 
Boarding the train in the morning dark meant the rainbow-coloured cars were only hinted at. This reminded me of the Alberta people themselves. Their brilliance can always be noticed, but you need to introduce yourself for their true colors to illuminate.
A few stars clung to the early sky and could still be seen through the bright lights of Vancouver. We boarded the train and headed up the spiral stair to our seats. As I walked down the aisle in search of an empty chair, I was greeted with inviting looks the whole way, as if to say, “Have seat, I’d be glad to meet’cha.” 
After deciding to sit with the Calgary Stampede princesses, the train lurched down the tracks. As I met my new seatmates, Vancouver’s night skyline came into view. The open space in-between the dining car and the lounge car was refreshing. The wind swirled around and the clicking tracks kept time. 
Further out of town, the sun snuck over the peaks, and I met some new folks. 
“How’s the train ride?” asked Sandy Best – public relations for Lake Louise.
 Everyone seemed to agree, the train is the way to travel, especially for Albertans. Everyone relaxingly skipped from seat to seat, meeting and greeting as they went, just like home. 
With such an eclectic crowd and elegant setting, it felt like a Wess Anderson film, or a Jack Karowack novel. The destination truly was in the journey.
Once everyone had their coffees, Bruce Okabe, chief executive officer of Travel Alberta, personally thanked everyone for coming by handing out iPods. We then all headed down to the lounge car and enjoyed country music star, Aaron Lines strumming away to the growing morning glow.
The soft blue light slowly changed to a dense gold as our mobile home-away-from-home plodded along. When we arrived into Creekside, strangers had become friends, and everyone was a little reluctant to leave.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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On the trail of a snow leopard

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

There’s a well-known joke amongst snowboarders: What’s the difference between a beginner skier and a professional? About a week. 
For Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, know as the Snow Leopard, however, it took six years of unrivaled dedication, and perseverance to be able to bare his nation’s flag in the Olympics. For the average medal-contending Olympian, skiing is a life long, expensive pursuit. An average Olympian spends 250,000 euros ($355,000C) per season on staff, travel, equipment, and training.
Not to mention the incalculable amount of money, opportunity, and support these athletes receive growing up.
Kwame, on the other hand, had to begin in a nation without snow, start a program without any funding, and achieve some kind of result at the Olympic games.
Beginning at the bottom, Kwame’s first mission was to secure funding. This is a success story in itself as he alone had to make sponsor contacts, and work tirelessly just to acquire necessities like skis. The most impressive funding tactic was the Sponsor a Spot program. 
Anyone can go online and purchase a leopard spot on Kwame’s racing jersey, for five dollars (3.5 euros).
Moreover, one dollar from each spot goes to support one of Kwame’s three charities: a snow leopard conservation program, and two programs helping underprivileged children from both Britain and Ghana learn to ski. 
That appears to be Kwame’s main goal. He’s very clear, however, that he is a sportsman and a competitor. He takes these games and his sport very seriously. After all, Kwame notes that in the beginning, “I was my own coach, my own physio, my own baggage carrier. It was a difficult experience. One I don’t care to repeat.” 
But after the Olympics are over, Kwame, who is now sponsored England’s Base Camp Group, will utilize the media attention he’s received, not for his own benefit, but to foster and build a strong ski program in Ghana. That way young athletes will have the chance to compete at the highest level without having to go through everything Kwame has.       
What’s the difference between a beginner skier and a pro? A lot.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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God's glacier

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Welcome back to Whistler Whereabouts. Since I’ve been riding a lot of Whistler alpine, I decided to check out what Blackcomb had to offer. I’m not going to say I’ve been missing out, just that I wished I could have been in two places at once. 
As good as the fresh tracks on Peak, Franz, Harmony, and Symphony were, they don’t have the immensity of Blackcomb Glacier.   
After taking the Glacier express above the Horstman glacier, it’s time to get on the Showcase T bar and head up to the top. The T-bar leaves the tree line well behind and transports you along a sun-soaked bowl, lined with rocky spires, and untouched lines. 
Once at the top, it’s just a short stroll to access the Blackcomb glacier. It’s not a fresh powder morning, but as far as blue birds go, this is bluer than a smirf milkshake. 
It’s bluer than the blood of a lumberjack. It’s galactic blue. It makes me wonder how the colour blue ever got associated with depression, because this blue is what I live for.     
It’s an impressive site from the top of the glacier as you look down into a bowl cut by the same natural forces that helped carve the Rockies. I can’t helped but think of Revelstoke’s North Bowl. Though this would surely be its great grandfather. 
Just getting to the other side of the accumulation zone is longer than some runs on major resorts. Just as you get into the broad bowl, you can ride the Blow Hole – a wind-loaded crevasse that runs in between the sidewall of the ice and a rocky spire. 
Being on a glacier, the snow is different than the rest of the hill. Some turns are yielding and soft, while others are crusty and quick. At one point it felt like I was riding on the accumulated fuzzy ice found in old freezers. While that may not sound ideal, it was a big thrill for me since I’ve never experienced that type of snow before. 
The impressive scale of the glacier is only matched by its surroundings. I am reminded of driving on the Banff-Jasper parkway, except twisting down from the mountain tops are the unique signatures left by avid skiers and snowboarders. 
My guide Hayley Ingman is pointing out little hikes and chutes that are, “good on powder days because you can always find snow there.”
Unlike my previous entries, which left me speechless mostly due to the conditions and circumstances around poaching them, Blackcomb Glacier has stupefied me with just how much terrain can be accessed from it’s entrance. I have a knot in my neck from craning it upward, scoping all the lines. “I just can’t get over this,” I say to Ingman. 
“You should see it on a powder day,” she says with a look of someone who has seen God. 
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Olympic spirit hits the rails

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

As I type this, the world is a very comfortable, relaxing place. I am sitting aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train travelling from Whistler to Vancouver in style with country music star, Aaron Lines strumming a pretty stellar instrumental. He is here to help the province celebrate Alberta Day and they are doing it in style with the transfer from one Olympic site to the next – linking Vancouver to Whistler. 
The train’s been rebranded for the month by the Alberta Government and is travelling as the Alberta Train – and we were here for the party. 
The provincial government’s mission was simple: to provide an opportunity for travellers from all over the world to experience a little piece of Alberta while they are here for the Olympics.  hey did it through a few means, including utilizing the latest in technology supplying iPod touches for guests loaded with content on what keeps the province one of the world’s top spots. 
Of course Calgary, Alberta was home to its own Olympics back in 1988, the last time Canada held these games. To celebrate that moment, Travel Alberta welcomed two-time gold medalist, Katarina Witt on the train with us.
“The hospitality and the friendliness of the people is what I remember best,” said Witt during our interview. Witt has been in Vancouver and Whistler as a journalist for ARG German TV – a broadcast rights holder – Germany’s NBC. 
Chief executive officer for Travel Alberta, Bruce Okabe asked Witt what her impressions were of the Alberta Train.
“It’s a very great thing to be able to sit back and relax while on a train like this,” she said.
The perfect ride to the perfect place; I couldn't imagine riding into Whistler any other way. It’s not just during these Olympics that you can do this, the Rocky Mountaineer offers up the experience any time at www.rockymountaineer.com/olympicnews
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Metal count

WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.

Though my pin collecting became somewhat of an obsession, I am quite proud of what I’ve managed to acquire during the games. I am leaving the best place on earth tomorrow and it’s time to weigh in on exactly what I got and where I got it. 
These are my top four favourite pins, each are rare and sought after; but more importantly, each one has its own story and memory of the Olympics. 
Number 4: “I Feel Slovenia.” On our second night, we were invited to a media party at Slovinia house. You can see the whole thing on our video blog: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8AF6xtwEq0&feature=channel
The house was jammed. There was a wild mushroom and pepper soup like I’ve never tasted; Nancy Green gave the welcoming speech; everyone was excited for the Olympics to really get going. 
One of the Slovenian volunteers approached me and we began speaking in a friendly manner. I felt bad because our entire team wore our Jamacian team shirts we got the night before. I asked to get a Slovenian shirt to better promote their team in the village.  The volunteer peered around, squinted at me, and whispered in a thick accent, “come this way.” 
She loaded me up with Slovenian swag and spirit, not even asking for a thank you in return. Like the pin says, I felt sLOVEnia. 

Number 3: “The Volunteer Team pin.” The mascot pin was acquired on the Alberta Train. Though it doesn’t sound very good, this pin depicts a trail of lies. Early on in pin trading, I began to lie about the rarity of each pin in order to get better ones. 
This tactic, however, backfired when I was in fact lied to and got swindled out of two truly rare gems. In fact, since that day I’ve been trying to track down replacements to no avail. The pin I got back turned out be something I could buy from 7-11 for a $1.25.  Harsh.
 Getting back to the Train, when I was supposed to be interviewing Katerina Witt – two time Olympic German Gold medalist for figure skating – I couldn’t help begin trading with a mother-daughter duo who both had the most supreme collection I’ve seen yet. They might as well have had diamonds draped around their necks.  I instantly began salivating.
She opened the negotiating by going after the impressive looking, but truthfully dull, 7-11 hunk-o-junk. I talked it up just as it had been talked up to me and was able to snag two extremely rare beauties: team France and the mascot pin. It is, in fact, the volunteer pin and only those who volunteer at the Olympics receive it. 
You can’t buy it, and no one gives it away. It was insidious, borderline villainous and against the spirit of the games, but I had to have it. 
Number 2: “Clear green leaf with skier.” I saw this pin on a list of five most sought after Olympic pieces. After partying with some members of the USA Olympic team in Long Horns, I was ready for my bed. However, as soon as I stepped on the bus home, I knew it wouldn’t come soon. 
Six Norwegian girls were celebrating their country’s success by belting out their national anthem. This sparked up the Canadians and an anthem war ensued. Moments like these are what makes the Olympics so great to be at. Eventually everyone fell into laughter, but I fell in love … with a pin. 
It was perched on her touque like the idol in the first Indiana Jones movie. I delicately rubbed my fingers, and approached her. By this point I had many great pins, and had let go of my obsessive lying and swindling; I offered a very good trade. 
She ended up with a U.S. Department of Special Security. Don’t know where it came from or really what it was, all I know is I haven’t seen another one. 
During the trade, I noticed my stop about to pass; however, I was committed and decided I’d just do the whole loop if it meant getting this pin. The deal went down and we began chatting a bit more, as I now had lots of time. The girls, somehow, also missed their stop and asked the driver how best to get back. 
This driver, most likely a volunteer, turned the bus around to make sure the girls got home okay.  As it turns out, we missed the same stop. The driver’s kindness and willingness to go so far out of his way to help these internationals, just here to cheer on their country, will continually inspire me. 
For this reason, I’ll continue to where this particular pin at home. 
Number 1: “Ghana Ski Team.” Please read my full blog on the snow leopard:http://snowseekersblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/on-trail-of-snow-leopard
Writing these blogs in the media house one day, I was about to pack up, and head out to find some stories. Then I noticed a press conference with Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong and decided to stay. After hearing Kwame’s story of struggle and perseverance, they opened the floor to limited questions.
Already touched by his story, I asked him to speak more about the physical dedication it took to become a competitive Olympic skier in just six years. 
He seemed like he’d avoid the question, then simply said, “I had to be my own coach, my own baggage carrier, my own physio therapist. If I got hurt I had to fix myself. It was such a difficult experience. I never want to repeat it.” 
I’m not sure if a tear came to my eye or his, but the quiver and sincerity in his voice held back real pain. Kwame truly embodies what the Olympics wishes it could be. He is the enduring human spirit that reveals humanity’s true potential. Feel free to read his story and support his several causes by sponsoring a spot on his race jersey: 
www.ghanaskiteam.com/newsite/kwames-army-paddy-power/sponsor-a-spot 
I know they’re technically just pins, but in some degree each one connotes a memory so much better than photos, or videos ever could. These pins are treasures; I am a rich man.     

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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What a difference a day makes

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.        

What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four hours ago, I was camped out on my living room couch in pajamas, sporting only one sock and a three-day puberty beard, watching the Olympics on CBC and TSN like everybody else.
Today, I rubbed elbows with Jeff Blair (one of this country's most prolific sports journalists), had breakfast with Otto Tschudi (a two-time Olympian and the youngest World Cup skier in Norway's history), and interviewed Melissa Hollingsworth just days after one of the most emotional moments in Canadian Olympic history.
Seeing the events and the venues on television was one thing – experiencing them live was something else entirely. There is a vitality to Vancouver and Whistler that simply can't be felt through a television screen. Every person, whether Canadian, American, Austrian, Chinese, or what have you, has embraced the Olympic community in a profoundly beautiful way. There is an ever-present sense of hope here.
Having never been to the West Coast before, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of Vancouver. I've heard it said before that Vancouver is one of the world's undiscovered treasures. After flying in last night and spending a few hours travelling around the city, I wholeheartedly agree.
It's certainly the most beautiful city I've ever been to, and I've lived in nearly every region of this country.
Now that I'm in Whistler, where I'll spend the rest of my time at the Games, I can't wait to experience everything that my colleagues have annoyingly bragged about for the last week. If the next seven days are like the last eight hours, this is shaping up to be an experience of a lifetime.
I've realized that's what the Olympics are all about: creating memories that will last the rest of a lifetime, no matter if that person is an athlete or a spectator. These are moments that most of us will never forget.
The significance of each and every event is overwhelming, which is why I'm so amazed by the poise and willpower of these athletes amidst such tremendous pressure.
To paraphrase Melissa Hollingsworth, many of them have been thinking and training for 15 years (or more) for a single moment of greatness.
One shot. One opportunity. The remainder of their lives will be drastically effected by a single movement, one that leads to a monumental achievement or a tragic failure.
My chest tightens up just thinking about it. I can't even imagine what it feels like to actually do it, and succeed.
These are extraordinary human beings. I feel incredibly fortunate to be here and see it for myself. I only hope that through what you're seeing on television, and what you're reading from SnowSeekers, brings you closer to realizing it yourself.


Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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A true champion

RICK MACDONNELL

When Melissa Hollingsworth went into turn six during her fourth and final run on Friday, she hoped it would catapult her into first place and a gold medal. But the smallest of small mistakes led to a rough exit, and eventually a fifth place finish.
What was supposed to be her crowning achievement became, in a hundredth of a second, the worst moment of her professional career. In one of the most heartbreaking moments in Canadian Olympic history, Hollingsworth claimed that she had "let the entire country down."
Thirty-six hours later, Hollingsworth met with the media to discuss her final race and demonstrated as much class, perseverance, and inspiration as any gold medal winner could have.

"After it happened it was hard to even get out of bed in the morning," Hollingsworth said. "But [my family and I] made the decision to go to the medal ceremony. I thought it would be part of the healing process."
After breaking into tears, Hollingsworth continued. "That was really difficult. But we definitely supported each other, and ... and shed our tears together. But then we got to watch Jonny jump on the podium like a passionate Canadian, and I wouldn't have missed that for the world."
"Jonny" would be Jon Montgomery, who won the gold in men's skeleton just hours after Hollingsworth's loss. Without a hint of jealousy, she relished in Montgomery's victory as much as she would have her own.
"We won the goal medal. Jonny did it. And I was the first one screaming when I saw his run. I was very proud of him."
After Hollingsworth's loss, the story of her Olympic journey immediately shifted to one of tragic failure, and wrongly so. What has been lost during these past 36 hours is the focus on the journey itself, what each and every one of these athletes goes through.
Hollingsworth is widely recognized as being the best female skeleton racer in the world, having won seven World Cup Medals in 8 races this season. She is a two-time World Cup champion ('05-'06, and '09-'10).
The fact that a fifth place finish has caused such emotional upheaval throughout the entire skeleton community demonstrates the prestigious position Hollingsworth is in.
When asked what she's learned from this experience, her response was instant. "I know that some athletes, if this happened to them in their home countries they'd be [criticized]. I haven't experienced that from anybody. The citizens, the media, everyone's been so supportive and I really, really appreciate that. The messages that I'm getting ... it just shows who we are and what we're capable of as Canadians.
"I'm really hoping that [my story] inspires the next generation of Canadians to dream bigger. It doesn't even have to be the Olympics, but just to be a better person and to believe in yourself and to believe in big dreams."
When asked what she'd like to say to Canadians all across the country, she said, "I want to tell the Canadians ... 'Thank you.' Thank you for your support, for your understanding, for your compassion. Thank you for dreaming your dreams, too."
A gold medal ambassador if there ever was one, Hollingsworth had one more thing to say. "When the race was over, 2014 flashed in my mind.
"I'll be back."

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Heidi's limited edition

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Made by skiers, for skiers, heidiskis were inspired by the longest days and most spectacular conditions. Today, at the Switzerland House in Whistler's Marketplace, Heidiski founder, Heidi Blum spoke of the company's goal to change the expectations for how skis should perform.

In what was my first visit to one of the many "Houses" scattered throughout Whistler Village, Switzerland brought the goods, literally. The light Swiss breakfast – an assortment of muffins, croissants, breads, and fruit – was the perfect pick-me-up after a tragically short sleep the night before (stay tuned for my story on Merlin's' "Silent Disco" night).
Swiss House is a classy joint, but even classier still was Blum's presentation on her beloved heidiskis. The 20 or so of us who attended the breakfast/presentation walked away thoroughly impressed.
Handmade in Switzerland, heidiskis are created tip-to-tail with 100% Swiss white ash for the perfect combination of longevity, strength, and flexibility. Most skis that "claim" to have wood from tip-to-tail actually use it in about 90-95% of the ski, with the tip being made of carbon fibre and plastic.
Meticulous personal attention has been paid to each and every ski; it takes one person two whole days to craft just one heidiski. For advanced to expert skiers, these skis allow for smooth, relaxed, high-performance skiing in all forms of terrain in every possible mountain condition.
Heidiskis include P-TEX 5000 bases for speed and durability, Rockwell 48HRC extra wide steel edges, beveled ABS sidewalls, and carbon reinforced mounts.
"For 2010, we've taken another step in the continuing heidiskis evolution." Heidiskis now integrate a titanale layer, which increases torsional resistance and maneuverability.
Originally from California, Blum moved to Montreux, Switzerland in 1989 to attend the prestigious Art Center College of Design in La Tour de Peliz. Living and studying in Switzerland, she found her perfect world: amazing skiing on her doorstep, creative projects on her desk.
"Heidiski was founded out of my love for skiing, adventure, the great outdoors, and a passion for design," Blum said.
The 2010 version of the heidiski features an amazing "wood dragon" graphic, inspired by Himalayan art. The graphic is meant to express the natural wood aspects of the skis, as well as the company's commitment to provide 10% of its profits to the American Himalayan Foundation.
"The team is proud to give back to the mountains that have inspired them."
Those interested should act fast. Heidiskis only produce about 500 pairs a year, ensuring that the company remains a passion product more-so than a money-making venture.
For more information on heidiskis, visit www.heidiskis.com/olympicnews
*Photos courtesy heidiskis
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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A dance, dance revolution

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Let's make a few things abundantly clear: I don't like dance music, I don't like dancing, and I especially don't like it when dance music is combined with dancing.

I'm already plotting ways in which I can skip out on my own wedding reception. But at Merlin's' Silent Disco Night, something strange happened: I listened to dance music, I danced along to the dance music, and I enjoyed every single minute of it.
I'm as shocked as my future wife no doubt is. I usually avoid these evenings like the plague, but if I heard that Merlin's was putting on another Silent Disco Night –featuring the talents of DJs Mike the Alien, Jimi Ray, and Canosis/Metal – I'd be there before you could say, "Is that guy wearing a donkey mask?"
The theme of the Silent Disco is this: each person is given wireless headphones upon entrance and each set of headphones has three channels. Each channel is dedicated to one of the three DJs playing on the dance floor. Everyone can switch between channels at will, listening at the volume they desire, but the bar itself is SILENT (aside from the occasional "I love this song!" or "No! No way! This is our jaaaaam!").
I've had few moments in my life more hilarious than when I took off my headphones for the first time and heard the throngs of people singing like they thought no one was listening. But people were listening, and they were laughing.
Laughing with them, mind you. Ya, right.
Not to exclude the efforts of the other two DJs, but I'd be remiss if I didn't talk at length about Mat the Alien. Decked out in a full-on donkey mask (the point of which still escapes me), Mat rocked the crowd all night with the likes of Metallica (Enter Sandman), AC/DC (Thunderstruck), and Queen (Another One Bites the Dust), but mixed in with more typical club fare, such as MIA (Paper Planes) and Run DMC (Tricky).
His ability to not only combine these disparate genres – seamlessly – made for the sickest DJ performance I've ever heard. Absolutely incredible.
Merlin's is certainly worthy of its reputation as one of the best bars in Whistler. The three levels allow for plenty of dance space, while still leaving room for the resigned boyfriends to chill out minus all the random bumping and grinding. Merlin's strikes that perfect balance between bar and dance bar.
If you have one more night left in Whistler before you leave for the mundane existence that is life without the Olympics, you won't be disappointed if you spend it at Merlin's. And if you somehow, some way hear about a bar that's having a Silent Disco Night, do it.
Seriously, though. what is up with that donkey mask?!
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Cleaner, greener transit

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Throughout the past 10 days, Whistler has showcased record-breaking performances from some of the most incredible athletes in the world. But it's also showcasing a record-breaker of a different kind: the world's largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses, the only byproduct of which is water.

The 20 emission-free buses make up over 60% of the Whistler bus system. The project will serve as the most northern example of the "hydrogen highway" initiative that's spreading through North America's west coast.
The Province of British Columbia's investment in the world's first hydrogen bus fleet and fueling stations is also underway in Victoria.
"The transit initiative in Whistler is a big step towards sustainability. These new buses allow for reliable, accessible service that reduces maintenance costs at the same time," said Joanna Morton, media relations spokesperson for B.C. Transit.
"The hydrogen buses are actually constructed of less moving parts than a regular bus, which leads to quicker, most cost-effective maintenance measures."
The new hydrogen fuel cell buses – each with 37 seats, a 60-person standing capacity, and a top speed of 90 km per hour – are approximately twice as efficient as internal combustion engines and emit no smog whatsoever.
The buses are also built with wider doors, extendible ramps, and hydraulics that allow the bus to be lowered nine inches, which means more accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers.
"This initiative isn't just about sustainability, it's about creating the most efficient buses possible. Accessibility is a large part of that."
Although the buses look almost identical to the rest of the Whistler fleet, they're very different. By combining hydrogen and oxygen (air), the fuel cell motor converts chemical energy directly into electricity to power the bus. The only byproducts of the reaction are heat and water.
The cell itself requires no recharging as long as hydrogen and oxygen are present. According to the BC Ministry of Transport, the buses will have a range of 310 miles, a top speed of 56 mph, and an estimated life of 20 years. They also make less noise than traditional buses.
The fleet was made possible by a $45 million grant from the B.C. government, with help from the Government of Canada. The buses were built by a consortium that includes Burnaby-based Ballard Power Systems, Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries, California-based ISE Corp. and Calgary-based Dynateck.
"The plan is to have the buses remain in Whistler for the next five years, and then we'll make a decision on where to go from there. But when you can build cleaner and greener, there's no question that these buses are a glimpse into our transit future."

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Hey Rosetta! Yes, you!

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Kids, punctuality pays off. Forget all this "fashionably late" garbage; good things happen when you're on time. And if you're lucky – like I was today – you might experience something you might not have otherwise.
The plan was to hit up the Hey Rosetta! show at the Whistler Live! stage in the village this afternoon. They're an amazing Atlantic Canadian act, and I was in need of some serious east coast flavour.
Excited as I was, I headed over to the Village Square about 45 minutes early, because you never know when a band is going to invent the "reverse encore." A man-boy can dream.

When I got there, the place was already full to the brim. Knowing that there was no way that several hundred people would show up in hopes of a reverse encore, I figured that something was up. Lo and behold, Wassabi Collective was on stage playing to their latest crowd of converts.
Never before has a bongo solo caused me to have an emotional reaction. Never before have I screamed "Whaaaaat!" without first having misheard someone. This thing was sick.
Unable to contain my excitement any longer, I busted out into what must have looked like my impression of a wacky, waving, inflatable arm-flailing tube man. I call it dancing.
Wassabi Collective is a seven- or eight-piece band masquerading as a five-piece. Singer Melissa Meretsky sings, raps, and plays the aforementioned bongos. Fellow frontman Brent Hongisto sings, raps, and plays guitar.
The group is rounded out by Jimmy Lewis (vocals & drums), Rahj Levinson (keyboards), and Andrew McCormick (bass). Their genre-busting fusion of pop, rock, hip-hop, reggae, jazz and funk was the perfect expression of what the Olympics are all about.
"We take a lot of different elements that don't usually belong together, and we make it work," Meretsky said. "It's one of the themes of the Olympics, really."
Hailing from Nelson, British Colmbia, the group had an idea about what to expect from its Olympic experience, but "It's been so much more than what we thought it would be. The crowds have been amazing, and we've had just the best time. There's really nothing to compare it to, for us."
Best of all, the band actually handed out free copies of a limited edition CD during their performance. When I say handed out, I mean completely free.
Needless to say, I was on a high when Hey Rosetta! finally took the stage. As sad as this is to admit (I'm from the east coast), I've never seen them live. There's always a bit of uneasiness for me when I see a band live that I've listened to for years, but Tim Baker (vocals/piano/guitar) and the boys did not at all disappoint.
There's little I can say here without losing all sense of journalistic integrity. Originally, this piece proceeded for three paragraphs during which I made verbal love to the band. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, so I'll synthesize that same sentiment into something more digestible.
Hey Rosetta! are truly one of this country's unheralded treasures. They've won a host of national awards, and still, that's less than they deserve.
I only hope their presence at the Olympics presents them with the international acclaim they've earned.
Not bad for a bunch o' newfies.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Down the rabbit hole

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Whistler Village was ever-so-slightly brighter today, blissfully alive with dancing faeries and pretty pixies. Adorned in ruffling tutus, hats shaped like flowers, and flowers shaped like hats, the revelers displayed a sense of wild, unadulterated glee unlike anything I've seen.
Their goal has always been to make that glee tangible. Thus, Kelsey's Creations was born. 
A Whistler original, Kelsey Faery has been crafting outrageous outfits for as long as she can remember. When she realized that the world just didn't have enough hot pink polka dots – especially hot pink polka dotted clothing – Kelsey set out to create a company dedicated to bringing "tangible glee" to the masses.
"It's all about expressing what's inside of you," said Matt Burt, a close friend of Kelsey's and one of her models for the day. "It's what a lot of people are feeling, but don't let out."
Kelsey, along with four other merrymakers, made Whistler Village their canvas. Dressed head to toe in Kelsey's own creations, they looked like a living, breathing extension of Alice's Wonderland.
Their "ruffled, sparkly confections of glee and mirth" spread through the crowd at Whistler Live!, brightening everyone's face. It's near impossible to feel apathetic in the face of such unrepentant gaiety.
"It's fun, dressing up and letting loose," Burt said.
"If more people were like Kelsey, this world would be a much happier place."
If only everyone was willing to open themselves up to such a zany, madcap world. I, for one, was envious of their bravado, their ability to ignore social norms and just ... be.
It was one of the strangest sights I've seen in a while, and certainly the strangest I've seen in Whistler, but there's a part of me that wishes I had what they had.
It was just another example in an already long list of culture clashes in Whistler Village. But, like the others, it's been embraced and celebrated wholeheartedly.
It's unfortunate that the sense of community created by the Olympics doesn't always exist out in the real world. It shows that such community is possible, though, if people would just shrug off their own prejudices and intolerance.
"You should try it out sometime," Burt said. "You'll be surprised at how free you feel."
Baby steps, Matt. Baby steps. I am tempted to try out that hat, though.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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You! Tube!

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

There are certain activities that, when doing them, one can't help but feel like a kid again: Go-Karting, watching Looney Tunes, pouring milk in a bowl before cereal ("it tastes better...").

After my afternoon excursion, I feel the need to add tubing to that list.
Tubing is something that has no business being as fun as it is. I've done it a few times now, and I still get permagrin each time down the hill. A grown man shouldn't be this delighted to spin down a hill in a tube. It makes me laugh so hard – every run – that it's downright embarrassing.
After two hours, the park operators were starting to give me strange looks.
"I'll never tire of seeing the stupid faces you make, though," hollered one.
"You look like you're being tickled," said another.
That was an acute observation, I thought. It's a very similar feeling. The uncontrollable, childish laughter is much the same in both cases.
Although, tubing has yet to make me wet my pants.
Tubing is truly an activity for the entire family. There are very few activities that both five- and thirty-five year-olds can enjoy together, to pretty much the same degree.
Professional wrestling is one, Duck Hunt is two, and tubing is three.
It's very cool to see people from every age group enjoy something together. There were five year olds, 10 year olds, 20 year olds, and 40 year olds all tubing together, all having a great time.
Activities like this can't be emphasized enough. As marketing gets more and more targeted in pretty much every activity these days (thanks for that, Internet), it's nice to be able to find some harmless family fun.
Or not even family ... seriously, go by yourself and you'll be too excited to miss them.
If your children are less than 10 years old, I beg you to take them tubing. I can guarantee that they've rarely felt so empowered in their entire lives. The independence of zooming down a hill – alone – while parents watch from the sidelines, is a difficult feeling for a kid to achieve in a safe environment.
Tubing is as safe as they come. Take advantage of it – especially if you are at the Olympics and the kids are starting to get antsy. What a great way to burn off some energy ... and get a tonne of smiles and laugher.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Canada vs. Germany (Pre-Game)

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

It's a slippery slope that Team Canada was on. The loss to the Americans on Sunday was a shock to the system, for sure, despite the fact that the Canadians carried the play for the majority of the game, and were the victim of some shaky goaltending in their own end and some stellar goaltending in the other.

The Canadian men are the most stacked team in the entire tournament (sorry, Russia, but you have nothing on Canada, depth-wise), and were expected by many to roll into the gold medal game.
A narrow victory over the Swiss and a loss to Team U.S.A. has shaken the team's confidence. One might think that their anxiety would transfer over to their fan base, but based upon the reactions from the crowd at Whistler's Brew House, the Canadian fans are already looking forward to a Wednesday match-up against Russia in the quarterfinals.
"I'm expecting nothing less than a 6-2 victory," said Mike O'Donnell, a native of New Brunswick who's lived in Boston for the past 20 years, where he attended Northeastern University and played varsity hockey and baseball.
"There's not a single player on the German team that would make me think twice about a Canadian victory."
Most of the onlookers were seeing the game as a tune-up for Russia, their only worry being that Canada might not beat Germany by enough. That, and the performance of goaltender Roberto Luongo, who wouldl replace Martin Brodeur, who's uncharacteristically poor performance has effectively moved him to the bench for the remainder of the Games.
Bobby Lou, as the Vancouver fans lovingly refer to Luongo, will likely ride the Olympics out as Canada's starting goaltender, a position that many fans thought he deserved from the beginning.
"Brodeur was handed the starting job because of his reputation, not because of his talent," said Chris Munro, who, along with Dave Munro, comprise Spy vs. Spy. The band played to the Brew House crowd prior to the game.
"Luongo is the better goaltender, he's younger, and he's playing to his home crowd (Vancouver)," Munro continued. "Now that he's been handed the reins, so to speak, I feel much more confident."
Regardless of the goaltending situation, most fans were in agreement that what Canada needs more than anything is a good thrashing.
"What they really need is to go out there and hand the Germans an 8-0 loss, or something like that," O'Donnell said. "They need to get the offense going, get their confidence back, and feel like they have a goalie back there that'll stop pucks when they need him to."
Heading into a quarterfinal against the Russians, the Canadians would definitely need their edge back. It seems like they've lost that swagger, that belief that they're the best team on the planet.
They'll need that back if they hope to challenge the Russians in the potential game tomorrow.
"If the Crosby line gets going, we'll be all right," Munro said.
The question is: what if it doesn't?

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Canada vs. Germany (post-game)

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

It pretty much went according to plan. Team Canada walked over Germany 8-2 in its qualification game tonight, setting up a thrilling quarterfinal game against the highly powered Russians tomorrow.
Most comforting was the play of the line of Sydney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, and Eric Staal, who were united as a trio for the first time in the tournament. The trio combined for three goals, six points, and dominated the Germans on almost every shift.

Coach Mike Babcock had been playing Crosby alongside all-star winger Rick Nash for the previous three games, but the two were split up after combining for a minus-6 in their last game against the Americans.
Nash, paired with Anaheim Duck teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, finally got on the score sheet as well, scoring the team's eighth goal with a blazing wrister from his off wing in the dying minutes of the third.
"6-2, 8-2, what's the difference?" said Mike O'Donnell, a passionate Canadian fan who predicted a 6-2 Canadian victory earlier in the day. "Under promise and over perform, am I right? It couldn't have gone much better."
Even the two German goals – which might have been cause for concern given that the Germans have far from a potent attack – couldn't be blamed on goaltender Roberto Luongo, who started in place of the struggling Martin Brodeur.
By all reports, he looked much sharper than Brodeur did against the Americans.
The question now becomes whether this game was a case of Canadian skill and talent, or a just "a win over Germany."
According to O'Donnell, the Canadians deserve all the credit for the victory.
"The important thing to focus on is the fact that they were better than the Germans in every facet of the game, and by a large margin.
"The Crosby line looked fantastic, all four lines scored at least a goal, and Luongo did what he had to do. With Luongo, he wasn't going to have the opportunity to come out and look incredible, because the Germans simply don't have the talent to match Canada."
O'Donnell, a former hockey player himself at Northeastern University in Boston, is a former New Brunswick native who's wife is American. They attended the Canada/U.S.A. game on Sunday in Vancouver, and the duo are eagerly looking forward to a rematch.
"The atmosphere for that game was absolutely incredible," said Jenn O'Donnell. "I was one of the only people in the entire crowd with an American jersey on, so naturally I was getting it from the crowd. It was all in fun, though. We were hugging after the game. It was great."
The Olympic Games are so very different than other international hockey tournaments like the World Championships or the World Juniors. In those tournaments, opposing nations are considered enemies. Fans hate them and revel in that hatred.
With the Olympics, though, it's interesting to see the sportsmanship amongst the fans. Everyone still wants to see their teams win, obviously, but they're just as happy to celebrate other's victories as well.
"It's like one big happy family here," Jenn said. "We fight, we compete, we cheer and boo, but at the end of the day, we're all playing for the same team."
Let's see how sportsmanlike the Canadian fans will be on Wednesday after the game against the Russians.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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A true Olympic fan

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

For Patrick O'Meara of Connecticut, the Olympic Games have become a bi-annual event. After attending the Sydney Olympics in the summer of 2000, O'Meara has experienced every Olympics since, both winter and summer.
One might think that these vacations would start to become old hat after 10 years, but according to O'Meara, each one is as overwhelming as the last.
"I've now been to Sydney, Salt Lake, Athens, Turin, Beijing, and Vancouver," O'Meara said, "and each experience has been totally different to the ones previous.
"Each Games brings with it a different city, a different country – a different culture – so you're guaranteed a different feel each time. They've haven't gotten old yet."

O'Meara isn't even sure how the adventure started. He decided to take his vacation in Sydney some 10 years ago, to coincide with the Summer Games, and he had such a good time that he just felt no choice but to relive the experience every other year.
"It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the Games. I can't imagine someone getting to see the Olympics up close and personal and not wanting to feel that again. If you're not affected by the atmosphere then there's something wrong there."
Decked out in a Team Finland hockey jersey – at a Team Canada game, no less – O'Meara proudly displayed his favourite aspect of the Games: the camaraderie, the community, the sense of togetherness and support that the different countries participate in.
He acquired his Finland jersey four years ago in Turin, Italy, during a hockey game between Finland and his beloved Americans.
After sitting alongside a group of Fins and laughing and joking and getting to know one another, O'Meara traded away his Team U.S.A. jersey for a Team Finland one.
So much for trading pins.
"As much fun as the events are, the village experience, the different music and stuff that you can see, the real fun is between people. It's sitting down at a bar with complete strangers and leaving with what feels like new friends."
When asked how his Vancouver/Whistler experience stacks up with the five previous, O'Meara had difficulty answering.
"It's hard, you know, comparing each one. Like I said, they're all so unique that I can't really compare them in a quality sense. What I can tell you is that the Canadians have been great, and that this place is as beautiful as anywhere in the world. I couldn't be more impressed."
As much as the different cities contribute to the experience of the Olympic Games, O'Meara's experience has been forever changed with the introduction of his children into the proceedings.
Aged five and seven, his two kids are already on their third Olympic Games. On this day, though, they were nowhere to be found.
"My wife took the kids to see one of the art galleries in the village. Pottery, sculptures, that sort of thing." O'Meara, instead, headed to the Brew House for a little hockey. "'Pick me up when you're done,' I said."
Grasping his beer and lovingly patting his jersey, O'Meara and I raised a toast to the Games, to hockey, and to ... new friends.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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An hour of reflection amidst the chaos

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

It's called the Norwegian Church Abroad (or Sjomannskirken), and it has served as the hub of Norwegian activity during the 2010 Games. Norwegians, and honoured guests, have been treated to waffles, coffee, Norwegian newspapers, and wonderful hospitality in what's become a home-away-from-home.
While Norway House (as it's referred to around the Village) has provided a quiet place for respectful reflection, the Norwegians organized an ecumenical service at the Whistler Public Library this afternoon. They were gracious enough to allow me to attend.
Knowing the service would be delivered in Norwegian, I wasn't sure how much of the service I would understand. I grew up in a very strong Catholic household, so I thought that, at the very least, I would recognize some similarities in the services and be able to participate without looking like, well, a Canadian among Norwegians.
By some stroke of luck I took a seat next to Torv and Valeri Hugdahl of North Vancouver. Torv was born in Norway and emigrated to Canada in 1956, where he met Valeri.
Through what some would call an act of God, but I was set up with a Norwegian-to-English translator for the whole service. Someone was looking out for me, it would seem.
Despite the much needed help I wasn't completely in the dark. Following along with the program, I recognized words like "Kristus" (Christ), "Pontius Pilatus" (Pontius Pilate), "Frans av Assisi" (Francis of Assisi), and obviously, "Amen" (Amen).
Bravo, I know. I was in desperate need of help, so I was extremely appreciative of the Hugdahls, my guardian angels for the hour.
In what was a nice touch, there were several moments during the service when a translator would provide some help for the Norwegian-challenged among us. The first reading was particularly poignant, given present circumstances.
James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who endures trials.
As we've seen on the face of many Olympic athletes this week, athletes like Joannie Rochette, Irene Wust and Petra Madjic, there's no victory more precious than one that could easily have been a personal defeat.
Much like these Olympic Games, today's service played tribute to perseverance, dedication, and a dogged pursuit of a goal.
Unfortunately for you all, there was a lockdown on photography during the service due to the attendance of the Norwegian Royal Family. They weren't the only celebrities on hand.
We were all treated to the vocal stylings of Christine Guldbrandsen, a pop star in her native Norway, who sang the hymns – absolutely beautifully – as well as an English rendition of You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban). 
As a long-time parishioner, and an admirer of words, I couldn't help but recognize the cadences of the sermon, the ebb and flow of the scripture. In a strange way I could almost fill in the gaps for myself, even though I didn't have a clue as to what was being said.
It allowed me to connect the dots between our cultures, our languages and feel the peace that such services bring.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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The naked truth

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

With just one walk through Whistler Village, a person can marvel at and take photos of a dozen sculptures and statues.
There are the obvious favourites, like the massive Olympic rings just outside of Medals Plaza and the Inukshuk in the heart of the Village, but there are also ice sculptures, wood carvings, and granite statues to be found in nearly every nook and cranny.
In spite of this wealth of artistic creativity, one piece in particular has stood (its very muscular) head and shoulders above all others in terms of attention and significance: Slapshotolus, a sculpture by Edmonton artist Edmund Haakonson.
 Located at the Pride House in the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, the sculpture has garnered nearly universal acclaim for its unification of both life and sport, gay and straight, serious and humourous.
The piece shows how these disparate elements can all existent in not just a single work, but a single being, and typifies authentic human experience.
"Slapshotolus is a physical representation of the philosophical ideal of living one’s life with truth and honesty to one's self," Haakonson said.
"The sculpture is a visual symbol of living without armor, the idea that one who lives a noble life does not require more protection, does not need to seek cover because there is nothing to hide from or be ashamed of."
Works of art, be it paintings, sculptures, novels, etc., are often created with this same intention towards eloquence and expressiveness, but it takes rare talent – genius, really – to achieve the desired effect. With Slapshotolus, Haakonson has done that and then some.
The power, grace, courage, and purity of Olympic sport is on full display here. It's not just a stunning example of homosexual expression, it's more so an Olympic expression.

"The sculpture is classical Greek imagery with a modern makeover. The individualized body (as opposed to the stylized conventions of ancient Greek art) recognizes our culture's focus on individual achievement, whereas in the ancient world the emphasis was on the collective.
"I've kept the body nude to acknowledge that connection with ancient Greek art. The nude form symbolizes purity, innocence, and truth. I chose the hockey player because, well, it's Canada. Come on."
Haakonson has felt overwhelmed with the positive feedback he's received for his sculpture, which took roughly seven months and an estimated 500 man hours to create. Given the statue's possibly controversial ... bravado .... Haakonson could not be happier with its reception.
"There's something absurd about a hockey player wearing only skates, gloves, and a helmet. Even though ancient nude art makes sense to us, and playing hockey makes sense, the combination of the two is funny.
"But I've been so happy to see that people haven't fixated on that, that they are able to marry the serious and the humourous to appreciate the work as a whole."
Before arriving in Whistler, I imagined that my most profound and enduring memories would be much the same as everyone else's. Instead, it's been some of the more unusual, unexpected experiences that have come to define my time at the 2010 Winter Games.
Meeting Haakonson and receiving a personal viewing of Slapshotolus is another in a long line of unique snapshots that have formed into an amazing, life-changing collage. It's not a four-foot statue made of bronze, but it's just as beautiful.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Brits love their pints - and so do Canucks

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

"Whistler's leaning more towards the British scene, I think. More and more of us are coming over. It's much more friendly here, I think, than in England. Just talking with other Brits on the chairlifts and stuff, there's definitely a new wave coming across the sea now. With any luck we'll outnumber the Aussies soon."

So says Kent native, Billy Clarke, an Englishman who now calls Whistler home. He's been here for three months, and if you can believe it, the Olympics were an afterthought for him.
"I was just coming for the snow, mate. The Olympics were a bonus, to be honest." After a laugh, he continued. "The hill is amazing, you know, and the fact that the Olympics are here is just awesome."
After chatting for a few minutes about some British beers, I couldn't take it any longer and decided to try some out for myself. And in Whistler, there's one place the Brits go: Elephant and Castle.
"We've been open for almost three months, and since then we've developed kind of a cult following with the Brits," said General Manager Mark Forest.
Over a pint of Fuller London Pride, Forest caught me up to speed on the disparities between Canadian beers, and those of our British forefathers.
"Well, for starters, British pints are imperial pints, so they're 20 ounces. We don't do pitchers of beer, but we do have the 20 ounce pints. We serve various styles of British beers, lagers and pilsners. We rotate our beers around, but we always make sure that we have the favourite British beers on tap.
"We have Boddingtons, Fuller's London Pride, Strongbow, and then we rotate around with some of the smaller brews. And of course the IPA, India Pale Ale."
The story of India Pale Ale is well known. When British soldiers were in India in the 1800s, they simply had to have their beer. But it was so hot during the summer season that the beer was going bad. So the soldiers added more hops, which acted as a preservative.

"Thus, you get a hoppier beer, India Pale Ale. It's become a British Staple. It's a lighter beer, but it's good."
There is such deep British heritage in Canada that, naturally, British pubs and beers still hold some influence. You'd be hard pressed to find a city in the whole country without at least one classy British establishment.
"It does surprise me that we're the only British-style pub in Whistler. There's a part of British culture, and there's a part of Canadian culture, and that's beer," said Forest.
Although he's a big proponent of the British varieties, Forest is also a fan the Western Canadian microbreweries.
"There's one in Victoria, B.C. called Phillips Brewery, and it's amazing. They won one gold and one silver award at the GABF, which is the Great American Beer Festival.
"You've got breweries from Halifax to B.C. to California, to Mississippi in this thing. There's 4,000 breweries that enter. For an up and coming brewery in British Columbia to take gold, that's amazing. We're talking a seven year old brewery."
In the words of Billy Clarke, speaking of Whistler, "It's awesome. Absolutely awesome."

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

 

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Just imagine an Elmo made of mittens!



RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

As of this morning, there have been no reported deaths by way of "mitten mauling" in Whistler Village. From what I saw today while waiting to get into The Olympic Store, I suspect that those numbers have been smudged a little.
The mittens in question are, of course, the red Canada Olympic mittens that you can see on the hands on about 70% of the planet right now. I'm sure the only places that aren't crazy over these things are where mittens are an unnecessary nuisance (call centres, computer stores, anywhere pencils are being used) or where people don't even know mittens exist.
People are crazy for these things! I actually saw two grown women – one of whom I'm sure had grandchildren watching – have a tug-o'-war over a pair even though there were dozens of others sitting right next to them.
Flashes of Tickle-Me Elmo came to mind, and I was just waiting for a full on throw-down between two desperate dads determined to wipe their child's tears away with some mitts.
"This is the weirdest thing I've ever seen," said my fellow linemate, Tom McIntosh. "I've seen lineups before, but this is absolutely out-of-this-world crazy."
What he was referring to was the line of 50+ people waiting for the doors to open at 7:15 in the morning. The doors don't open until 9:00 and there are already dozens of people waiting!
I rode the shuttle with a couple a few days ago, who went to the Olympic Store at 8:15 a.m. and didn't get inside until almost 10 a.m.
In the words of my new good friend, Marge Thorgrimson, "They're just mittens, people!"
Thorgrimson (amazing name, by the way) is a native of Seattle, Washington who's as gung ho for the Games as the next person, but she, too, was overwhelmed with the lines and, especially, the intensity.
"It's all about the mittens for some of these people," she said through a laugh. "But they're a collector's item, probably the number one souvenir from the 2010 Games. So it makes some sense, I suppose."
We each looked up and down the lineup again, before turning back to one another. "Or maybe not," she said.
Sane or not, people are right to take home a pair before the Games conclude. They're certainly the hottest commodity when it comes to 2010 memorabilia. But people ... please ... settle down. You're all a bunch of raving loonies. But then again, given your Canadian heritage, that might actually be somewhat appropriate.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Listen up bosses, the spirits speak

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

I'm not what you'd call a paranormal fan. I don't buy into ghosts, or spirits, or the netherworld. I regard clairvoyants in much the same way I do Criss Angel or David Copperfield: they're charlatans who trick the willfully ignorant into handing over hard earned money.
Given this preface, I did something strange today. I went to a psychic.
Although I put absolutely no faith in their wisdom or mystic understanding, psychics have always intrigued me. Maybe I've watched too many episodes of Carnivale, or maybe I'm just desperate for some sign that there is something out there that's greater than my understanding. I don't know.

All I know is that I've always wanted to experience a reading personally, and in light of the potentially life-changing adventure I'm on right now in Whistler, I thought that there was no better time than the present.
And so, at The Oracle at Whistler, I met with Brett MacDonald, who'd I'd normally call a "self-proclaimed" medium, but considering the amount of diplomas hanging on his wall declaring his qualifications, apparently there's some kind of governing body that oversees this sort of thing.
I have my doubts that it's Hogwarts, but it appears that such places do exist.
Brett (first name only please) took me through your pretty standard tarot reading, where I first selected 10 cards from a stack of 78. After I chose my 10, Brett jumped right into things and hit me with a right hook to the jaw: "He is little known in his field."
Gee, thanks Brett. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you could have eased me into this thing.
I then discovered that my future will be defined by my past, that I will often look back with nostalgia on current events. I make my living through creativity, he said, and that at that very moment my mother was worried if I was doing okay.
Take my word for it, all three of those are true. Especially the last one, I'm sure.
I then asked Brett, specifically, how this whole Olympic experience will shape both me and my future. I chose 11 cards from the pack. After pulling out a card, Brett said, "They're not paying you enough."
Ahem ... are you reading this, Doc Pow, Barb? Brett says I'm awesome and you two should pay me more. Given that he's all in touch with higher powers and whatnot, I'd listen to him if I were you. You might wake up tomorrow as a turtle or ... a snowblader, rather than a snowboarded or a skier.
Hey, it wasn't me that said these things. It's the spirits, man. The spirits!
At this point I noticed something strange. In a 78-card deck (no two are identical), I managed to choose the same six or seven cards over again with only 10 chances to do so. Things were getting weird.
After reiterating my creativity and how my passions will shape my future, I was told that my strength is internal. Maybe Brett foresaw this, or maybe he just looked at my less-than-imposing physique, but regardless, apparently my strengths are character, courage, and conviction.
The reading ended with my "positive" card. I chose the Burden, which is an odd "positive" card to choose. This indicated overload, Brett said. The burden of success.
He says that my company is sometimes overwhelmed with responsibilities, but at the same time they show our worth, that we're proving something to people.
You still reading this, you two? Brett says we kick ass. And that you need to give me money.
At the end of the day, do I believe in psychics more than I did before? Not really. But if the experience taught me anything, it's that if there really are spirits out there, then they're on my side.
Maybe it's all thanks to Doc Pow's meditation, but it sounded like, for myself and SnowSeekers, the Olympics are only the beginning.
Now give me my money!

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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The need for speed

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Try as it might, the pouring rain couldn't dampen spirits at the Whistler Sliding Centre today, nor could the bracing cold, or the agonizingly long lines that, I swear, must have stretched from Whistler all the way to Penticton.
All was forgiven and forgotten as the Men's 4-Man Bobsled competition got underway.
Much like yourself, I've seen bobsleds on television. I was aware that they approach 150 kilometres an hour. But to have actually been there within 10 feet as they whizzed by in a blur, ice and snow from the track literally hitting me in the face, was incredible.
These sleds take off faster than a Tiger Woods sex scandal.
"You can try these out all you want, but you're filling out your will first," said Claudia Henderson to her husband Todd, after the Russian-2 sled flipped over and skidded upside down across the finish line.
Todd had mentioned that the sliding centre will be opened to the public some time after the Games are over.
It was difficult not to side with Claudia on this one. There were probably a dozen crashes during the two-heat event. The fact that not a single rider was seriously hurt amazes me.
I'm not sure who manufactures the helmets, but these Games have certainly been a commercial for them.
If there's a silver lining to be found here, though, it's that a piece of the Russian-2 sled broke off and landed right at my feet. That, my friends, is called a souvenir.
The atmosphere was so much greater than I anticipated. I had assumed that bobsledding would attract a much more subdued crowd than the one I was a part of today. This place was raucous as raucous can be. There were dudes without shirts (for three hours) in the cold rain and snow. I'm sorry, but no amount of beer can compensate for that lack of body heat.
There were Brits and Aussies and Japanese and Dutch people all over the place, vehemently supporting their respective sledders. And right underneath the fans was slimy, filthy muck.
"With a little more rain we could have had a mud wrestling match!" said Anthony Charnley of Soutpark, England. He, along with a few friends, had brought along a marker and a board on which they would write whatever they had to say to the rest of the crowd.
"Curling was better" said one. They were obviously nonplussed about Great Britain's 21st place finish today.
This being my first Olympic event, my expectations were met and then some. The day was capped off with a marvelous run by Canada-1, led by pilot, Lyndon Rush. Honestly, could a sledder have a better name?
In the second-last run of the afternoon, Rush and company powered past the Germans to take sole position of first place, before the Americans came right behind and blew past Canada for first place.
It was an electric finish to what was an absolutely stellar day at the Sliding Centre.
"We went to see a hockey game a few days ago, and this was just as fun," Claudia said. "Hockey gets a lot of the attention here in Canada, but these other events are every bit as entertaining. Hockey players don't fly by you at 140 kilometres, I'll tell you that much!"
It was a unique experience, to be sure. Being that it's (probably) the only event that I'm going to witness here at the Games, it was an awesome one to see. I'll definitely be tuning in tomorrow to see how the event turns out.
And to Anthony: If curling was better than this, you were watching a different game than me.
Stay tuned towww.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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For the love of pancakes

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

No disrespect to Doc Pow and the bountiful breakfasts that have been cooked up in the SnowSeekers RV all week, but today's pancake breakfast at Canada House was the best meal I've had before noon all Olympics long.
I stuffed myself on pancakes and sausage, and treated myself to my first juice box since I was probably 15. It was in keeping with the atmosphere, though, as dozens of kids were on hand to make crafts, listen to some tunes, play the Nintendo Wii, and get their pictures taken with Quatchi and Miga.
It was hilarious to see how the kids largely ignored the athletes, including Canadian Olympian, Jason Myslicki (nordic combined). They were way more interested in the mascots, mounties, and, predictably, the games.
Luckily for the Olympicans, there were a fair number of adults who wanted nothing more than to shake his hand and congratulate him on a job well done (myself included).
Kids are kids, though, and no amount of Olympic glory can trump Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.
Mayor Ken Melamed was also on hand to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who got involved with the Games, participated in their own way, and made these past two weeks something that Whistler can be proud of.
Given the considerable negativity in British Columbia in the months approaching the Olympics, I have to say that both Vancouver and Whistler have come through and then some.
"I haven't spoken to a single person that hasn't said that this has been the best time of their lives, here in Whistler," Melamed said to the gathered crowd at Canada House. "I'm getting a lot of request to do it every year. I'm not sure we can pull that off, but let's celebrate and enjoy this time together. Thank you, again, everyone in Whistler for being here and helping to welcome the world."
As I heard the mayor speak I suddenly realized that in about 30 hours this would all be over. This Olympic journey has been a long time coming for so many people (talk to Doc Pow and he'll regale you with a delightful tale of his 14 year wait), so it's kind of surreal to think that by tomorrow night we'll all be heading back to our regular lives.
While we're here, though, I can't think of anything better than to chow down on some syrup-drenched sausage. If you'll excuse me, I'd like to get back to my juice box, please.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Wow, so this is Whistler

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

It's embarrassing, but today I finally got in a ski on Whistler Mountain. In my defense, the frickin' Olympics are kind of going on right now, so don't start building my cross or anything. Realistically, I can ski any time I want and I may never experience the Olympics first-hand ever again. Not much of a toss-up, in my opinion.
That's what I thought.
Oh my God! This place is incredible! I am such an idiot for waiting until the second to last day to hit the slopes here. On my second trip up the chair I literally sulked.
Like a child who's played with his own toys for a week before realizing his friend's toys kick so much more ass, I pouted my way down the mountain for the rest of the day. I hate to even think of what I must have looked like riding the chair lift.
"Dude, he is okay?"
"I think his girlfriend just broke up with him."
"Ahhh."
The original plan was to ride with Doc Pow and colleague, Brandon Boucheur for the afternoon, but on our first ride of the day  – our first ride – I lost the boys amidst the fog of Whistler Bowl and that was that.
It kind of worked out, though, as it allowed me to explore a bit of this behemoth on my own.
It hit me at one point that, just six months ago, I was a little boy from Nova Scotia with next to no skiing experience. Now, I'm busting down Boomer Bowl on Whistler. I still shake my head at it.

I'm shaking it right now as I type this. It's straight-up stupid that I do this every day, that I get paid for this stuff.
What really surprised me about the hill was how empty it was. It's not that there aren't a lot of skiers and boarders out there, it's that the mountains are so HUGE, dude.
No matter where you go, it's almost like you've rented the hill for the day. It's incredible, considering that it was a Saturday afternoon during Whistler's busiest month ever.
Thankfully, we'll be hitting up first tracks tomorrow before heading to Merlin's for "the game." One afternoon wasn't nearly enough. Hell, a week isn't enough.
Something tells me I'll be back though.
And by "something," I mean Doc Pow.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Hockey game the perfect ending

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Without a doubt, one of the top three moments of my life.
I can't recall a time where I've felt such euphoria, such uninhibited  joy. I hugged more strangers in the last hour than I have in my entire life. My hands are red from the high fives I've given. My throat is run raw from the screaming I've done.
GO CANADA GO!

I've never been so glad to be 25, else I would have taken a heart attack. Those first few moments of overtime were taxing, to say the least.
The entire SnowSeekers crew was holed up in Merlin's since 10 a.m. this morning. The doors didn't open 'til 11a.m. By the time we were allowed inside, the lineup was at least 200 strong (it stretched back to Monk's Grill).
Luckily, we had the foresight to get there early enough to reserve some prime real estate
"I'd hate to be one of the poor souls who thought they'd get in here at Noon," said Jon Vaughn of Margaree, Nova Scotia. " It's the men's hockey gold medal game, for Christ's sake. If you're not prepared to wait five hours to see this, then you don't deserve to."
For weeks, the pundits have said that if the men's hockey team didn't win gold, the Games would be a failure. As if that pressure wasn't enough, Canada went into their game against the United States one gold shy of the Olympic record for most gold medals in one Olympic Games.
In one fell swoop Team Canada satisfied the hopes and dreams of an entire nation, and set an Olympic record in the process.
I can't even imagine what it was like to be inside B.C. Place as the crowd of 18,000 strong belted out GO CANADA GO. When Cole Harbour's own Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal, the crowd at Merlin's went off.
Cheers and chest-bumps went on for the next 10 minutes, all throughout the medal presentation ceremony.
It couldn't have been a more fitting end to an amazing Olympic Games. Canada's golden boy, Sidney Crosby scored to win it in overtime against the best goalie in the world – Ryan Miller.
 It's hard to imagine that a little more than two weeks ago, the public was crying for the first gold medal on Canadian soil. Now, we've set the record for not only the most golds on home soil (eclipsing the U.S.A.'s record of 10), but we've set the record for most golds ever at the winter Olympic games (14).
Whistler, along with Vancouver, has played host to one of the greatest Games in Olympic history (winter or summer). Without a doubt, we've raised the bar for future Games.
Sochi's got some work to do.

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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Celebrating together

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Even though they were a few hours away from the Closing Ceremonies in Vancouver, the people of Whistler were as awash in the glow of victory as any of their provincial neighbours last night.
Every screen in the Village – both big and small – was tuned in to see Canada's best deliver a send-off to the world. Whistler's Village Square was jam packed with hundreds of excited onlookers as they watched the Closing Ceremonies on the big screen behind the Whistler Live! stage.
"We're not there (Vancouver), but we are at the same time," said Mark Roberts of Oshawa, Ontario. "With the crowd here, the big screen, it's almost better in some ways because you get the feeling of the crowd, but the intimacy of watching the performers on this massive screen. It's quite the party."
A party is the best I could describe it.
Along with the crowd standing in Village Square, every patio around was armed to the teeth with revelers. The Amersterdam, Citta's, and La Bocca all provided a great place to catch the action while enjoying some dinner and drinks.
There was a considerable amount of nostalgia on display last night. People were already looking back on the Games as if they happened two years ago, and a couple of hours.

"It was an amazing, amazing experience," said Patrice Henry of Gatineua, Quebec. "My life is now divided into two parts, before and after the 2010 Olympics. I'm not sure if I'll ever see anything like this for the rest of my life."
And while most were already longing to have the last two weeks back, there were some who were only looking toward the future. Slava Mischenko of Kiev, Ukraine, decked out in a 2014 Sochi jacket, has already started counting down the days until the next Winter Olympics.
"I'm not from Sochi, but I'm excited for them," Mischenko said. "I can't wait to be there in 2014 when Russia does what Canada did in these games."
After stopping to ponder for a few seconds, he continued. "Well, maybe not exactly what Canada did, but hopefully close. Fourteen medals is a lot!"
The crowd was full of Canadians from coast to coast, along with visitors from dozens of countries around the world.
For two weeks we laughed together and cheered together, sang and even cried together. For two weeks this was Whistler, one big happy international family.
Driving away from Whistler this morning, we were all sad to see it go. But, when you think about it, 2014's only four years away.
Think Sochi!

Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.

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The Olympic experience

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

This Olympic journey has been three weeks in the making for the SnowSeekers crew, but in a sense it's also been six months (since the season started), 2.5 years (since the company started), and a decade and a half (since the bids for Vancouver began).
For some, these past few weeks have been the culmination of five year's work, others, their entire lives. But when that calendar page flipped over to March 1, the journey was all over.
This morning came with a weird mixture of accomplishment and melancholy.
On the one hand, we did it. We came into Whistler as the little company that could, and stood shoulder to shoulder with the big boys.
The content that's been produced in the last three weeks has made us all proud. It's validated all the work we've done and showed us where we're capable of going.
On the other hand, we did it, and now it's over. This entire season has been one big prelude to the Games, and now that they're over, that build-up is gone.
It's time to find a new goal, whatever that might be.
Sochi, 2014?

Who knows. Four years is still a ways away, and there's no telling where SnowSeekers Inc. will be then. All I know is that this Olympic experience will only serve as a launching pad to bigger and better things for all of us.
A psychic even told me so.
I've seen some amazing things in my time in Whistler. Unlikely triumphs, tragic defeats, career-defining performances, and life-changing events. But I've also experienced kinship with complete strangers, people who literally live continents away and can barely speak my language.
It's taught me a lot about compassion and community, how similar we all are when borders aren't involved.
But I've also seen human faeries frolicking through the Village and killer rock shows almost every day. A giant sasquatch punched my friend in the face. Needless to say, I've laughed a lot since I've been in Whistler.
As Whistler's psychic told me just a few days ago, my future will be defined by my present. My experience at the Olympic Games will affect me in ways that I can't even imagine.
All that I can do is wait for it to happen, and blog about it along the way.

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TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival 2010

You Could Be Here




How would you like to be at one of the hottest spring parties in Western Canada? The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a kick-ass event running Apr. 16 to 25, and it has it all: big air events with competitors from around the world, A-list entertainment that covers all music genres, parties that go all night and a large cultural side that includes competitions between some of the best photographers and filmmakers around, plus much more.


You could win a 5-day trip for 2 to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia by going to www.snowseekers.ca/wssfcontest and entering today. Tell your friends.

 

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Improved Snow Conditions on SnowSeekers.ca and SnowSeekers iPhone Go-Guides

 

DAN MOORE, SnowSeekers Inc.

Recently, I updated our snow conditions pageto include not just links to the snow conditions pages of the various resorts around Alberta and BC, but also to include graphs of the snowfall this season. Hopefully this will give our users an easier time deciding where to spend their weekend with less page navigation.

For now the aesthetics of the graphs are pretty basic, and we will probably look to improve them long term, so be sure to check back.
Yesterday I also updated most of our SnowSeekers go-guides (iPhone apps) to include past snowfall information. So, when available, our apps will now also provide users with snowfall in the past 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days, as well as snowfall to date and base packed snow on the mountain. This has been one of most requested features for our apps so I was very glad to finally drop it in. Go-guides that have this functionality currently include all apps except for Comox - Mount Washington, and the Vancouver mountains (Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour).
In the future I am also looking to add additional stats to our apps and snow conditions page including lifts in operation and open runs. So if you love getting information on the conditions at your preferred hill and getting updates to your favorite apps, keep checking back!
Subscribe to www.snowseekers.ca e-newsletter and be automatically entered for a chance to WIN a 5-day trip to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Make sure to share with friends.

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His name is Rusty, but his skills aren't

RICK MACDONNELL, Snowseekers Inc.

A little more than a week ago, the SnowSeekers "road dogs" were in Fairmont, British Columbia, where we visited the Fairmont Hot Springs, as well as the Family Ski Hill that's just minutes from the resort. You can read all about the trip  here.

As you more than likely know, for every destination we visit, we profile not just the on-hill and off-hill activities, but resort destinations and dining opportunities. On this particular trip we were fortunate enough to be taken care of by Rusty Cox, the Farimont's Chef de Cuisine. We soon found out that in addition to being an incredibly cool guy and an absolutely dynamite chef, he is also a world-renowned ice sculptor.

Rusty sent me this photos a few days ago, and I just couldn't keep them to myself. They absolutely blew me away. There's a reason why he travels the world doing this stuff.

Enjoy.




Probably my favourite. Amazing stuff.
I should email this one to Peter Jackson.
Yes, the entire bar (and the walls surrounding it) is ice.
Subscribe to www.snowseekers.ca e-newsletter and be automatically entered for a chance to WIN a 5-day trip to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Make sure to share with friends.

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We weren't sure we could believe it

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

You'll note a blog below by Dan, our digital guru here at SnowSeekers, announcing our new snow reports on SnowSeekers.ca.

He came to me the other day to tell me that he wasn't sure that he could trust what was coming out of Mount Washington's website, reporting of a 600 cm base - almost twice that of Whistler Blackcomb's.  "They must be inflating that number, I can't trust it," he said.  Well the numbers don't lie; they are true.  Mount Washington, just outside of Comox, BC, is experiencing one of their snowiest seasons in history – actually their second on record – only next to the infamous season of 1998-99.

"We’re extending the season by two weekends after April 11th and we’re delivering an extensive and entertaining event calendar to everybody next month,” explains Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations.

One of the really interesting things about Mount Washington, next to these epic conditions, is its location: an island. Vancouver Island, to be precise.  So, in April you can head out for an adventure like few people on the planet can ever get in on.  A surf and snow safari, get in a few days on the skis or snowboard and then head off to Ucluelet for some surfing (between the two is only a two and a half hour wicked drive).

Enter into to win our trip for two to Whistler and you may just have the best April ever.....

Subscribe to the snowseekers.ca e-newsletter and be automatically entered for a chance to WIN a 5-day trip to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Make sure to share with friends.

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Go rest high on Pilot Mountain

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

 
SnowSeekers visited Banff's famed Johnston Canyon  two weeks ago , and the had the pleasure of being guided through the Canyon by Anick Cadieux, a guide with Discover Banff Tours. If you plan on taking a trip to Johnston Canyon in the future, I'd suggest you book a guide. This was my second visit to the Canyon--my first with a guide--and my experience was markedly better with Anick by my side.

There's a remarkable amount of history surrounding the Canyon, and during the three-hour trek we learned a lot of it. One remark, in particular, caught my ear.

In 1927, the log teahouse at the base of the Canyon was purchased by Walter and Marguerite Camp. This began a rich history of Rocky Mountain lodging in Banff. Since then, Johnston Canyon has become one of the top hikes in Canada (literally, at 4710 feet above sea level).

Walter Camp is something of a legend in Banff, a town treasure and a man who treasured his town. Before he passed away, he asked that his ashes be spread on top of Pilot Mountain--the one mountain that can be seen from both Banff and Lake Louise. Even after his death Walter wanted to watch over his beloved town, which he did. Marguerite had his ashes placed on the mountain via helicopter. And when Marguerite passed on, her ashes were laid there as well. 



This was just one of a dozen or more anecdotes. I had expected to be impressed by the beauty of the Canyon, but I had no idea its history was so rich and interesting. Do yourself a favour and take a tour. You'll learn a little something, and come away with one hell of a photo album.


Subscribe to the snowseekers.ca e-newsletter and be automatically entered for a chance to WIN a 5-day trip to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Make sure to share with friends.

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Brandon's Photo Of The Day

BRANDON BOUCHER, SnowSeekers Inc.

So today in the SnowSeekers office we had a discussion about the photos appearing on our website. We found that there were SO many great photos that we had taken, that never see the light of day! So not only are we soon going to be proud owners of a brand new photo gallery on the website, but I am going to dedicate a blog every week for my "photo of the day" but I guess it would be called "photo of the week." Regardless, today, it begins!

I stumbled across a LOT of good photos today.

These "photos of the day" are only based on my personal thoughts toward the photos, keeping composition, lighting etc in mind.

I hope you like it!
































Photo taken by : Doc Pow

Subscribe to the snowseekers.ca e-newsletter and be automatically entered for a chance to WIN a 5-day trip to the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Make sure to share with friends.

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Bobselds: the sasquatches of the Olympic Games

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc. 

Sadly, I was only able to attend a single Olympic event during my nine days in Whistler. Fortunately, though, that event was the 4-man Bobsled. These things are fast on TV, but they'rereally fast when they're ten feet from your face. Faster than a Tiger Woods sex scandal. So fast that it is nearly impossible to get a good photo. 
Sorry, let me rephrase that. They're so fast that it is nearly impossible to get a good photo when you're using something that has the shutterspeed of a box camera. I half expect my camera to let out a huge puff of smoke every time I take a shot.
Needless to say, my photographs left a little to be desired. The following is a montage of how my afternoon went.

"How hard could it be?" I thought. They're not moving that fast.
I was sure that I had the dexterity and peripheral vision to
capture a vehicle moving at 140 kilometres per hour.
I still don't know if I took the photo too early or too late.

I swear that this is a different photo. My problem was clearly
that I was trying to get in too tight on the track. But I wanted
that money shot.
Wanting to at least capture something in a photo, I
stood behind some people. Unfortunately, those people
became the entire focus after yet another miss.
When in doubt, shoot the Olympic Rings.

I'd like to tell you that this was meant to be just another
shot of the Rings, but a bobsled is just off camera. I think.
Things were getting quite ridiculous at this point. I feel
the need to point out to you that there's about a 3-4 minute
wait time between bobsleds. So I would wait 4 minutes
every time just to get a shot of some dude in a tuque.
This is as dynamic as it was going to get for me on this day.
A shot of a guy filling in divots with snow. Wow.
It was at this point that I started to worry that I wouldn't
be bringing any decent photos back for my piece. Hence,
the Canada hat. People eat this stuff up. Theoretically.
Realizing that my tight shots weren't cutting it, I moved
back. To similar results.

*Sigh*
A couple of Brits who found a silver lining to Great
Britain's disappointing Olympics. The sign reads
"CURLING WAS BETTER".
This was my breaking point. I had been standing in freezing
rain for nearly two hours trying to get anything that could be
used. After this shot, I got fed up. "Screw it!" I said. "I'm going
back to the rails, and I'm not coming out until I get my shot."
Persistence, as they say, pays off.

Almost there ...
ALMOST THERE ...
SUCCESS!

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"Sunny on the Slopes" Premiere

SnowSeekers is pleased to invite you to the release of its documentary, "Sunny on the Slopes."

Earlier this winter, SnowSeekers – in partnership with NAIT's Digital Media Design program and its students – filmed 10-year-old Sunny Gantumur as she took to the slopes for the first time. The film, produced for the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, will be seen around the country to encourage people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the snow through skiing.

The documentary chronicles Sunny's trials and tribulations in learning how to tackle the snow, lead by her Snow Valley instructor, Christina Schmidtke, and follows them from day one right through 'til when Sunny was ready to take on the Canadian Rockies at Castle Mountain Resort.

No one involved could have imagined what happened over the course of Sunny's adventure.

Join us Thursday, April 8th, at 7 p.m. in the multi-million dollar NEXEN Theatre at NAIT to find out how it unfolded. The NEXEN is located on the second floor of the Spartan Centre for instrumentation Technology in Room Y240, located on 117 Ave & 102 St., east of the NAIT HP Centre.

Seating is limited. Showing is from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

If you plan to attend, please contact jim@snowseekers.ca and he can set you up with a parking pass for the night. 

 

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80s day at Sun Peaks this Saturday

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc. 

Things are about to get radical at Sun Peaks Resort this Saturday, April 10th. Dust off your neon clothing and too-big-for-your-face shades, because the 80s are back and they don't want to see any of your two-piece snow suits or fashionably modest colors.
All staff and guests are encouraged to deck themselves out in their most bodacious outfits before they hit the slopes for some double-daffies and back-scratchers.
For any of you who may not remember the 80s (for reasons illicit or otherwise...), I thought I'd offer you a few helpful tips to get you started. When dressing for the 80s, it's important to keep three things in mind:
1. Headband – always, alwaysalways wear a headband. Under your helmet, over your helmet, it doesn't matter. Headbands are like legwarmers, but for your face. In other words, a must-have. No self-respecting Duran Duran fan would be caught dead without one.
2. Shades – the larger the better, and you damn well better make sure that people can see through them. If people aren't able to see your eyes, they're clearly too reflective. In fact, your shades should almost be completely useless.
3. The Neon Onesie – Pastels were sooooooo early 80s. By the time the 80s got into gear, neon was all the rage. Those arrogant early 90s try their best to claim neon, but the 80s hair-bands had a firm grip on the scene way before the Fresh Prince came along. And don't let me see you in a two-piece snow suit! Have some respect for yourself, for god's sake.
Stick to these three rules, and you should be well on your way to looking as ridiculous as you possibly can this Saturday, or, as 80s as you possibly can.
If any of you guys take some stellar Polaroids this weekend, send them to rick@snowseekers.ca and I'll put 'em in a blog next week.

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World Ski and Snowboard Festival Contest Winner

The entire SnowSeekers crew would like to congratulate Pamela Basaraba, of Edmonton, AB, for winning our World Ski and Snowboard Festival contest for March. Along with a friend, Pamela will be spending five days skiing/riding at Whistler/Blackcomb while staying at the Delta Whistler Village Suites. She's also received tickets to a number of specialty events, including the Chairlift Revue and The End, an all-hours afterburner party. 
Congrats again, Pamela. You're going to have a blast!

SnowSeekers thanks The Delta Whistler Village Suites,WhistlerBlackcomb and The Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival for their support of this contest.

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SnowSeekers' first documentary premieres to rave reviews

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Last night was an important milestone for not only Brandon Boucher, our director of photography, but our entire company as a whole, in that we premiered our first ever documentary, Sunny on the Slopes. The film was shown at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), in its beautiful, new NEXEN Theatre to a capacity crowd. There wasn't a seat to be had, which was a rewarding sight for everyone involved on the project.

The film was inspired by the need to encourage all ethnicities to get out and experience the snow, and as was the case with Sunny on the Slopes, skiing. The documentary profiles a young Mongolian girl, named Sunny, on her journey through the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance (CSIA) Skier Progression Program. Her adventure began at Edmonton's Snow Valley and ended with her skiing in the Canadian Rockies at Castle Mountain.

The film was produced in conjunction with the CSIA, and will be used as a learning tool in 200 ski schools across the country. It will also be broadcasted nationally in the fall, so stay tuned to the blog, as well as www.snowseekers.ca, for further details.

SnowSeekers would like to thank NAIT for their support, especially NAIT's Digital Media students, many of whom worked on the project. We'd also like to thank the CSIA for their involvement and unwavering enthusiasm throughout the entire process. And finally, the biggest thanks of all goes to Sunny and her family, who inspired us all, and whose passion and excitement rubbed off on everyone. We couldn't have done this without you.

            

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Marmot Basin's Spring Scene is Stellar

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

Marmot Basin, a ski resort found minutes from Jasper Alberta, has had one of its top season's in many many years.  There were a ton of times where a good friend of mine, Megan Gibson, a Jasper local, called and said "it doesn't get any better then this, another 20cms last night- and a full bowl of pow was waiting for this morning's breakfast!"


It's a classic destination that if you haven't had the chance to visit yet you need to....
For the full report visit our Marmot page.   You'll find some stories here from last weekend's visit. 

You could still squeeze them in over the next 10 days, they are wide open through April 25th.

Here is a shot taken on April 12 of what it looks like.....

If you are a family - perfect, Marmot's got the terrain.  If you are an intermediate group of friends, perfect cause Marmot's got the terrain.  If you are a couple of cats looking to get in some outstanding hikes into some steeps and deeps you'll find this here too.  Just don't forget to take the camera- Marmot, in the heart of the Rockies, never disappoints when it comes to the views.

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Find your snowboard stance with StanceFind™

RICK MACDONNELL, SnowSeekers Inc.

Nine days ago, the SnowSeekers crew was at Marmot Basin shooting video and writing editorials, which you can find here. While we were there we ran into a fantastic fellow by the name of Sean MacCarron, who not only pioneered the non-profit Free Mountain program at Marmot Basin, but has also invented the world's first dynamic snowboarder's stance calibration device.
Dubbed StanceFind™, the device allows a boarder to determine – scientifically – his/her optimal stance given his/her skeletal structure. And it takes less than 15 minutes.

StanceFind™ has been endorsed by BASI and installed by TSA, Europe's largest independent snowboard retailer, in its stores across the UK. More recently, StanceFind™ has been adopted by two resorts a little closer to home: Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia, and Marmot Basinin Alberta.

If you'd like to find out more about the StanceFind™, as well as cre8iv-uk, the team responsible for it, headover to www.cre8iv-uk.com

Until then, though, check out these demo videos to get a better idea of what StanceFind™ is all about.





 

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90 Degrees takes to the Stage

DOC POW, SnowSeekers Inc.

It doesn't happen very often but sometimes, just sometimes, even the best of 'em get caught with their pants down.

You'll find her ripping up the slopes of Marmot Basin in Jasper Alberta- deep in the Canadian Rockies.  It was last Saturday when the girl, only known as mountain megs, earned herself a new nickname.

This is the photo blog on just how she was crowned '90 Degrees"...can you unlock the mystery of how?






Just getting off the chairlift she is looking confused....





                                                   really confused...

                                                              hey did someone say oi?




 the aerodynamics with those reno'ed poles was brilliant





 she is just showing off the science before she shreds some gnar









And it didn't take her long to ditch the reno'ed ski poles for a pink one that was 
registering at 90 degrees....

 

 

First person to email me the correct response for what happened to 90 Degrees' poles wins a set of Marmot Lift tickets valid right through the 2010/11 season – docpow@snowseekers.ca

 

For more on Marmot, cause you know you have to go there, get over to here and start planning your escape for next winter.  Who knows ... it might just throw you 90 Degrees.

 

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SnowSeekers' Blog's New Home

Welcome to the new home of the official SnowSeekers blog. From within the SnowSeekers site we'll be able to provide a better blog to our followers. Be sure to watch for exciting new features including a teaser for the most recent blog on the homepage.

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New chairlift at Whitewater will nearly double skiable terrain

Whitewater Ski Resort, Nelson, BC

Whitewater Ski Resort is stepping its game up – big time – by bringing some of their ski and snowboard terrain on the backside in-bounds. This will boost the area's vertical drop from 1,309 to 2,042 feet: a terrain increase of 64%.

Located near the B.C. interior town of Nelson, Whitewater is all set to capitalize on the influx of visitors generated by the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler.

The clearing of the backside will be spread over the next two years, and once completed, the new Glory Ridge Chairlift will service a total of 749 acres (303 hectares). This will consist of 18 gladed, treed, and groomed runs of primarily intermediate and advanced/expert terrain.

“The mountain crew, in cooperation with mother nature, hope to have the lift ready to load as conditions permit this coming season” says Whitewater General Manager Brian Cusack.

What will be the Glory Ridge Chairlift has actually been known under another name for several years now. Originally the Dopplemayr Triple Chair, the lift will come all the way from Vail Mountain Resort in Colorado. It's currently en route to Nelson, where it will be recommissioned as Whitewater's third chairlift. 

The lift will service the primarily west-facing backside area. This was previously out of bounds territory could only be accessed from the Summit Lift with tracks leading back to the ski area's access road. Whitewater's goal for the summer is to have a good amount of skiable terrain in this backside area developed so that they can create eight selectively logged and gladed runs, which will offer fall line skiing.

“This summer we will focus mechanical harvesting on the area to the skier's left of the chair with further gladed advanced/expert tree skiing developed to the skier’s right of the lift line. We plan to start on the lift line first to allow the lift installation crew access, and then proceed with the remainder over the summer.”

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New avalanche danger scale for 2010/11

In the past, skiers and boarders have had concerns about the ambiguity of the avalanche danger scale for Canada and the United States. Hopefully those concerns will be put to rest this coming season, as backcountry avalanche centers across North America will be using a new scale for 2010/11. The new scale provides more definitive travel advice for backcountry enthusiasts, incorporates risk by referring to typical avalanche sizes expected, and uses icons that have recently been adapted by European countries.

“It was especially encouraging to work closely with our Canadian colleagues to come up with a unified scale," said Grant Statham, project leader and Avalanche Risk Specialist for Parks Canada. "This will only help in our efforts to promote avalanche forecasting consistency and to improve safety for the many people who recreate in the backcountry in both countries.”

This danger scale is the first time that the two countries have used the same scale, and is the result of a multi-year effort by the Canadian Avalanche Centre, Parks Canada, the USDA Forest Service, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. 

Click on the image below to view a larger version.

2010/11 North American Avalanche Danger Scale
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Bearing the heat

Two weeks ago, Seekers Media did its first ever summer shoot: a series of online commercials for Decor Hotels. Wanting to go all out, Brandon, our director of photography, added a crane to his repertoire and, man, did he enjoy it. So much so that we now have a monster on our hands. The next shoot where we can't logistically use a crane, it won't be me who tells him. I like my life. 

The shoot itself involved Doc Pow stepping into a bear costume during 30+ degree heat for three days straight. If you ever need a good weight loss program, try this one. We were lucky that there was anything left of him by week's end. Luckily, the Doc's a long-time proponent of Bikram yoga AND he's been a mascot more times than a normal adult should be. Needless to say, he was more prepared than most would have been.

Meaning, he survived.

Below is some behind-the-scenes shots from a shoot at the beautiful Maligne Lake, just outside of Jasper, Alberta. Trust me, if you're ever planning a trip to Jasper in the spring/summer, do yourself a favour and visit this place. It's incredible.

And if you're up for a truly unique adventure, do some research into Maligne Lake's Hall of the Gods. It'll blow your mind.

Click on an image to see a larger version.


Brandon and Doc Pow take it all in. Not one of us had visited Maligne Lake before, so we were all pretty blown away at the scenery.

 


This is Brandon trying to look "professional" in front of a group of on-lookers. Seriously, I've never seen him do this in the entire time I've known him. Ever since, he's been saying "envisioning" like it's going out of style.

 


His camera's a little bigger than mine. I said his CAMERA.

 


Our first crane shoot and we're basically shooting with this thing right out of the water. The cost of doin' business, my friends. Sidenote: check out Doc Pow with his collar popped. Pfft!

 


There was some serious kayaking going on. By serious, I mean "a lot of", and not "intense" or "solemn".

 


Doc Pow's looking like he really needed the weight loss I spoke of earlier, eh? The man's gotta get back on his board. Winter can't come soon enough for Doc Pow's gut

 


Timber!

 


Brandon. Doin' his thang.

 


Contrary to popular belief, that's a bear suit, and not a beaver. I repeat, not a beaver. Notice Doc Pow's bare feet. On a day like this one, any respite from the sun, no matter how small, is a welcome one.

 


The money shot.

 

Keep checking back here for news on the Decor commercials. Whenever they go live online, you'll hear it here first.

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Vancouver Accommodations

BED & BREAKFAST

 

Granville House B & B Vancouver

5050 Granville St.

Granville House B & B is a recently-built Tudor revival home located in central Vancouver. This bed and breakfast features guest rooms with king-sized beds, secure key-less entry, mini fridges, in-floor heating, spa robes, private baths and high-speed Internet access. Guests are also offered off-street parking, a continental breakfast and flexible check-in hours. Granville House B & B is conveniently located near trendy restaurants and shops.

604 307 2300

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Vancouver Dining

CYRPESS ON MOUNTAIN DINING

 

Crazy Raven Bar & Grill

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Vancouver Pubs/Apres/Nightlife

PUBS/APRES

 

Jaguar Pub & Steakhouse

3483 Kingsway

Located in the Ramada Hotel Suites Metrotown Vancouver, the Jaguar Pub & Steakhouse is open for lunch and dinner daily. The sports bar show live televised sporting events on its many televisions. During the summer, outdoor patio seating is available.

604 434-5240

 

Seawall Bar & Grill Vancouver

1601 Bayshore Dr.

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Vancouver Transportation

 

Taxis

 

Sunshine Cabs Ltd.

1 604 988-8888

 

Black Top & Checker Cabs

604 731-1111

 

Vancouver Taxi 

1 604 255-5111

 

Yellow Cab

1 604 681-1111

 

MacLure's Cabs

1 604 731-9211

 

Airports

 

Air Canada

3211 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond

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First snow in the Sun Peaks Village

Sun Peaks first snowfall 2010

The Sun Peaks Village is covered in white this morning with the first snowfall of the season at the resort.

Sun Peaks’ locals are buzzing with excitement after 12 centimetres of fresh snow fell at mid-mountain over the last 12 hours. With cooler temperatures in the forecast, mountain operations crews hope to begin making snow over the next couple of days in preparation for the arrival of the Austrian Women’s Ski Team in mid-November.

Opening day for the public at Sun Peaks Resort is scheduled for Saturday, November 20.

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2010-2011 Grade 4 & 5 SnowPasses – Sign Up Now

Get Kids Winter Active with FREE Skiing & Snowboarding

One of Canada's easiest ways to get kids healthy and active this winter is now available. The Canadian Ski Council's SnowPass is available online. It's an unbeatable offer: free skiing and snowboarding for Canadian kids in Grade 4 and Grade 5.


Photo courtesy of Canadian Ski Council

SnowPass Advantage: "Introducing children to skiing and snowboarding at an early age gives them lifetime access to these healthy winter sports," says Colin Chedore, President of the Canadian Ski Council. "It keeps them fit, less prone to obesity, and outside and active during the winter months. Better yet, skiing and snowboarding are sports kids can do with the whole family for a lifetime."

How It Works: The Canadian Ski Council's SnowPass gives kids in grades 4 and 5 (born in 2000 or 2001) up to three free lift ticket coupons at each participating ski area for the entire winter; providing them with an opportunity to ski or snowboard hundreds of times over the winter season.

Applying is Easy: To sign up, visit www.snowpass.ca, and you have a choice of either uploading your child's picture, enter your payment and their proof of age, or our printed option that allows you to fill out the information, print the application to mail in to the Canadian Ski Council with a photo, proof of age and payment ... all for a one-time administration fee of $20 plus taxes.  Signing up online is the quickest and easiest way to apply for your child's Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass card.  SnowPass cards will be sent straight to you beginning mid November before the December 1st SnowPass season start date! SnowPass applications are also available through elementary schools, and inside Sport Chek, Sport Mart, Sports Experts and Intersport stores across Canada.


Photo courtesy of Canadian Ski Council

Where it Works: Depending on where you live in Canada, each applicant will receive either an Eastern or Western SnowPass card. The Western SnowPass card is valid for children residing in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and at 58 ski areas. The Eastern SnowPass card is valid for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada at 92 ski areas.  With ski areas participating across Canada, families will not have to travel far to put this SnowPass to use. Kids can easily track how many lift passes they have left by visiting www.snowpass.ca.

Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass information and applications are available online at www.snowpass.ca or www.passeportdesneiges.ca.

Who is The Canadian Ski Council?

The Canadian Ski Council is a national, not-for-profit ski and snowboard organization whose mandate is to increase participation in recreational skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing in Canada. The Canadian Ski Council was founded in 1977.

For more information 

For more information on the Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass program, contact the Canadian Ski Council, tel: 705-445-9140, e-mail: info@skicanada.org, web: www.skicanada.org

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Create a New Event

roles))) || (in_array('Editor', array_values($user->roles))) || (in_array('Calendar Editor', array_values($user->roles)))) { $userid = $user->uid; $event_name = $_REQUEST["event_name"]; $event_location = $_REQUEST["event_location"]; $event_address = $_REQUEST["event_address"]; $organizer_name = $_REQUEST["organizer_name"]; $organizer_email = $_REQUEST["organizer_email"]; $date_year = $_REQUEST["date_year"]; $date_month = $_REQUEST["date_month"]; $date_day = $_REQUEST["date_day"]; $event_time_hour = $_REQUEST["event_time_hour"]; $event_time_minute = $_REQUEST["event_time_minute"]; $event_ticket_details = $_REQUEST["event_ticket_details"]; $event_details = $_REQUEST["event_details"]; $picture_name = $_FILES["picture"]["name"]; if ($_REQUEST["event_name"]) { // Create a meeting id. $event_id = 10000000; $id_exists = TRUE; while ($id_exists) { $id_exists = FALSE; if ($handle = opendir('sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin')) { while (false !== ($file = readdir($handle))) { if (strstr($file,"event" . $event_id . ".xml")) { $id_exists = TRUE; } } closedir($handle); if ($id_exists) { $event_id++; } } } // Store meeting information on the server. $fileName = "sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin/event" . $event_id . ".xml"; $file=fopen($fileName,"w"); fwrite($file, ''); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ''); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_id . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $userid . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_location . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, "

" . $event_address . "

"); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $organizer_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $organizer_email . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_year . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_month . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_day . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_time_hour . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_time_minute . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_ticket_details . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_details . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $picture_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ""); fclose($file); // Save the images into the directory $target_path = "sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/images/"; $target_path = $target_path . basename( $_FILES['picture']['name']); if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES['picture']['tmp_name'], $target_path)) { //echo "The file ". basename( $_FILES['picture']['name']) . " has been uploaded"; } else { //echo "There was an error uploading the file, please try again!"; } // Send an email to the organizer. $URL1 = "http://www.snowseekers.ca/events/view-events"; $URL2 = "http://consort.cs.ualberta.ca:17163/CMPUT410Ass5/entryForm.php?meeting_id=" . $event_id; $to = $organizer_email; $subject1 = $event_title . " summary"; $subject2 = $event_title . " invitation"; $body1 = "Congratulations. You have created the event " . $event_title . ". View it here: " . $URL1; $body2 = "Your presence is requested at the following meeting organized by $organizer_name. \n " . $event_title . "\n\n" . $URL2 . "\n\n" . $event_description; if (mail($to, $subject1, $body1)) { } else { // echo("

 

Message delivery failed...

"); } /* if (mail($to, $subject2, $body2)) { } else { // echo("

Message delivery failed...

"); } */ } echo '

(Fields marked with * must be entered.)























'; } else { echo "

You do not have permission to create events.

Login to an account with permission to create events.

"; } ?>

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Edit Events

roles))) || (in_array('Editor', array_values($user->roles))) || (in_array('Calendar Editor', array_values($user->roles)))) { if (($_REQUEST["id"]) && ($_REQUEST["event_name"])) { echo "EDITING EVENT"; // Recreate the event XML $event_id = $_REQUEST["id"]; $event_userid = $_REQUEST["userid"]; $event_name = $_REQUEST["event_name"]; $event_location = $_REQUEST["event_location"]; $event_address = $_REQUEST["event_address"]; $organizer_name = $_REQUEST["organizer_name"]; $organizer_email = $_REQUEST["organizer_email"]; $date_year = $_REQUEST["date_year"]; $date_month = $_REQUEST["date_month"]; $date_day = $_REQUEST["date_day"]; $event_time_hour = $_REQUEST["event_time_hour"]; $event_time_minute = $_REQUEST["event_time_minute"]; $event_ticket_details = $_REQUEST["event_ticket_details"]; $event_details = $_REQUEST["event_details"]; $picture_name = $_FILES["picture"]["name"]; $old_picture_name = $_REQUEST["old_picture_name"]; if ($picture_name == "") $picture_name = $old_picture_name; $fileName = "sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin/event" . $_REQUEST["id"] . ".xml"; $file=fopen($fileName,"w"); fwrite($file, ''); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ''); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_id . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_userid . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_location . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, "

" . $event_address . "

"); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $organizer_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $organizer_email . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_year . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_month . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $date_day . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " "); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_time_hour . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_time_minute . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_ticket_details . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $event_details . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, " " . $picture_name . ""); fwrite($file, "\n"); fwrite($file, ""); fclose($file); // Save the images into the directory $target_path = "sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/images/"; $target_path = $target_path . basename( $_FILES['picture']['name']); if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES['picture']['tmp_name'], $target_path)) { //echo "The file ". basename( $_FILES['picture']['name']) . " has been uploaded"; } else { //echo "There was an error uploading the file, please try again!"; } echo "

 

Event updated.

Return to event edit page.

"; } else if ($_REQUEST["id"]) { echo "EDITING EVENT: " . $_REQUEST["id"] . "
"; $GLOBALS["events"] = array(); if ($handle = opendir('sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin')) { while (false !== ($file = readdir($handle))) { if ((strstr($file,"event")) && (!strstr($file,"participant"))) { $GLOBALS["event_id"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_userid"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_location"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_address"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_email"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_year"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_month"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_day"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["picture_name"] = ""; $xml_parser= xml_parser_create(); xml_set_element_handler($xml_parser, "EventStartElement", "EventEndElement"); xml_set_character_data_handler($xml_parser, "EventCharacterData"); if (!($fp= fopen("sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin/" . $file, "r"))) { die("couldnot open XML input");} while ($data = fread($fp, 4096)) { if (!xml_parse($xml_parser, $data, feof($fp))) { echo $data; echo "
"; die(sprintf("XMLerror: %s at line %d", xml_error_string(xml_get_error_code($xml_parser)), xml_get_current_line_number($xml_parser))); } } fclose($fp); xml_parser_free($xml_parser); $event = array("id"=>$GLOBALS["event_id"],"userid"=>$GLOBALS["event_userid"],"title"=>$GLOBALS["event_name"],"location"=>$GLOBALS["event_location"],"address"=>$GLOBALS["event_address"],"name"=>$GLOBALS["organizer_name"], "email"=>$GLOBALS["organizer_email"], "year"=>$GLOBALS["date_year"], "month"=>$GLOBALS["date_month"], "day"=>$GLOBALS["date_day"], "event_time_hour"=>$GLOBALS["event_time_hour"], "event_time_minute"=>$GLOBALS["event_time_minute"], "event_details"=>$GLOBALS["event_details"], "event_ticket_details"=>$GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"], "picture_name"=>$GLOBALS["picture_name"]); array_push($GLOBALS["events"],$event); } } closedir($handle); } for ($i = 0; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ if ($_REQUEST["id"] == $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["id"]) { $GLOBALS["event_id"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["id"]; $GLOBALS["event_userid"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["userid"]; $GLOBALS["event_name"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["title"]; $GLOBALS["event_location"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["location"]; $GLOBALS["event_address"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["address"]; $GLOBALS["organizer_name"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["name"]; $GLOBALS["organizer_email"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["email"]; $GLOBALS["date_year"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["year"]; $GLOBALS["date_month"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["month"]; $GLOBALS["date_day"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["day"]; $GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_time_hour"]; $GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_time_minute"]; $GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_ticket_details"]; $GLOBALS["event_details"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_details"]; $GLOBALS["picture_name"] = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["picture_name"]; } } echo '























  Cancel

'; } else { echo "Sort by:


"; $GLOBALS["event_id"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_userid"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_location"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_address"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_email"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_year"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_month"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_day"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["picture_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["vartoset"] = ""; $GLOBALS["parsingDate"] = "F"; $GLOBALS["events"] = array(); if ($handle = opendir('sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin')) { while (false !== ($file = readdir($handle))) { if ((strstr($file,"event")) && (!strstr($file,"participant"))) { $GLOBALS["event_id"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_userid"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_location"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_address"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_name"] = ""; $GLOBALS["organizer_email"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_year"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_month"] = ""; $GLOBALS["date_day"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["event_details"] = ""; $GLOBALS["picture_name"] = ""; $xml_parser= xml_parser_create(); xml_set_element_handler($xml_parser, "EventStartElement", "EventEndElement"); xml_set_character_data_handler($xml_parser, "EventCharacterData"); if (!($fp= fopen("sites/snowseekers.ca/files/events/xml-bin/" . $file, "r"))) { die("couldnot open XML input");} while ($data = fread($fp, 4096)) { if (!xml_parse($xml_parser, $data, feof($fp))) { echo $data; echo "
"; die(sprintf("XMLerror: %s at line %d", xml_error_string(xml_get_error_code($xml_parser)), xml_get_current_line_number($xml_parser))); } } fclose($fp); xml_parser_free($xml_parser); $event = array("id"=>$GLOBALS["event_id"],"userid"=>$GLOBALS["event_userid"],"title"=>$GLOBALS["event_name"],"location"=>$GLOBALS["event_location"],"address"=>$GLOBALS["event_address"],"name"=>$GLOBALS["organizer_name"], "email"=>$GLOBALS["organizer_email"], "year"=>$GLOBALS["date_year"], "month"=>$GLOBALS["date_month"], "day"=>$GLOBALS["date_day"], "event_time_hour"=>$GLOBALS["event_time_hour"], "event_time_minute"=>$GLOBALS["event_time_minute"], "event_details"=>$GLOBALS["event_details"], "event_ticket_details"=>$GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"], "picture_name"=>$GLOBALS["picture_name"]); array_push($GLOBALS["events"],$event); } } closedir($handle); sort_events(); print_events(); } } } else { echo "

You do not have permission to create events.

Login to an account with permission to edit events.

"; } function EventStartElement($parser, $name, $attrs){ $GLOBALS["vartoset"] = $name; if ($name == "DATE") {$GLOBALS["parsingDate"] = "T";} } function EventEndElement($parser, $name){ if ($name == "DATE") {$GLOBALS["parsingDate"] = "F";} } function EventCharacterData($parser, $data) { $vartoset = $GLOBALS["vartoset"]; if ($vartoset == "ID") {$GLOBALS["event_id"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "USERID") {$GLOBALS["event_userid"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "TITLE") {$GLOBALS["event_name"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "LOCATION") {$GLOBALS["event_location"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "ADDRESS") {$GLOBALS["event_address"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "NAME") {$GLOBALS["organizer_name"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "EMAIL") {$GLOBALS["organizer_email"] .= $data;} if (($vartoset == "YEAR") && ($GLOBALS["parsingDate"] == "T")) {$GLOBALS["date_year"] .= $data;} if (($vartoset == "MONTH") && ($GLOBALS["parsingDate"] == "T")) {$GLOBALS["date_month"] .= $data;} if (($vartoset == "DAY") && ($GLOBALS["parsingDate"] == "T")) {$GLOBALS["date_day"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "HOUR") {$GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "MINUTE") {$GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "TICKETDETAILS") {$GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "EVENTDETAILS") {$GLOBALS["event_details"] .= $data;} if ($vartoset == "PICTURE") {$GLOBALS["picture_name"] .= $data;} $GLOBALS["event_id"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_id"]); $GLOBALS["event_userid"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_userid"]); $GLOBALS["event_name"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_name"]); $GLOBALS["event_location"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_location"]); $GLOBALS["event_address"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_address"]); $GLOBALS["organizer_name"] = trim($GLOBALS["organizer_name"]); $GLOBALS["organizer_email"] = trim($GLOBALS["organizer_email"]); $GLOBALS["date_year"] = trim($GLOBALS["date_year"]); $GLOBALS["date_month"] = trim($GLOBALS["date_month"]); $GLOBALS["date_day"] = trim($GLOBALS["date_day"]); $GLOBALS["event_time_hour"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_time_hour"]); $GLOBALS["event_time_minute"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_time_minute"]); $GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_ticket_details"]); $GLOBALS["event_details"] = trim($GLOBALS["event_details"]); $GLOBALS["picture_name"] = trim($GLOBALS["picture_name"]); } function print_events(){ global $user; echo "

"; for ($i = 0; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ if ((in_array('administrator', array_values($user->roles))) || (in_array('Editor', array_values($user->roles))) || ((in_array('Calendar Editor', array_values($user->roles))) && (strcmp($GLOBALS["events"][$i]["userid"], $user->uid) == 0) ) ) { echo " "; } } echo "
Event Date(s) Event Event Details Ticket Details
Date: " . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["month"] . "/" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["day"] . "/" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["year"] . "
Time: " . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_time_hour"] . ":" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_time_minute"] . "

" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["title"] . "


" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["location"] . "
" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["address"] . "
" . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_details"] . " " . $GLOBALS["events"][$i]["event_ticket_details"] . "

"; } function sort_events(){ $sortby = $_REQUEST["sortby"]; if ($sortby == "event_name") sortByEventName(); else if ($sortby == "location") sortByLocation(); else if ($sortby == "date") sortByDate(); else sortByDate(); } function sortByEventName(){ // A simple insertion sort. for ($i=1; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ $placeholder = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]; $j = $i; while (($j >= 0 ) && (strcasecmp($GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]["title"],$placeholder["title"]) > 0)){ $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]; $j--; } $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $placeholder; } } function sortByLocation(){ // A simple insertion sort. for ($i=1; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ $placeholder = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]; $j = $i; while (($j >= 0 ) && (strcasecmp($GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]["location"],$placeholder["location"]) > 0)){ $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]; $j--; } $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $placeholder; } } function sortByDate() { // Sorting first on days, then on months, then on years will produce a correct list // Sort by days. for ($i=1; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ $placeholder = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]; $j = $i; while (($j >= 0 ) && (intval($GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]["day"]) > intval($placeholder["day"]))){ $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]; $j--; } $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $placeholder; } // Sort by months. for ($i=1; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ $placeholder = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]; $j = $i; while (($j >= 0 ) && (intval($GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]["month"]) > intval($placeholder["month"]))){ $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]; $j--; } $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $placeholder; } // Sort by years. for ($i=1; $i < count($GLOBALS["events"]); $i++){ $placeholder = $GLOBALS["events"][$i]; $j = $i; while (($j >= 0 ) && (intval($GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]["year"]) > intval($placeholder["year"]))){ $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $GLOBALS["events"][$j-1]; $j--; } $GLOBALS["events"][$j] = $placeholder; } } ?>

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Events

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Map

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Give the gift of skiing/snowboarding this holiday season


 

Get a SnowPass for your 4th or 5th grader and give them the gift of skiing/snowboarding this winter

Christmas is just around the corner and soon everyone will be scrambling to pick up the perfect gifts for their kids. This year, why not give your 4th or 5th grader the opportunity to learn a new and exciting winter sport?

For the past fourteen years the Canadian Ski Council (CSC), in partnership with Forzani has given nearly half a million children an easy and affordable way to learn skiing and snowboarding, The CSC's Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass program allows kids (or those born in 2000 or 2001) all across Canada the opportunity to give winter sports a chance with up to three free ski passes for each and every participating ski area in the province and region where they live, providing them with an opportunity to ski or snowboard hundreds of times over the winter season. And this year with the introduction of the new affinity card, the SnowPass just got better. 

"Skiing and snowboarding are an excellent way to keep our kids happy, healthy and active through the long winter months," says Colin Chedore, President of the CSC. "An average child can burn up to 600 calories an hour, not to mention the sheer joy and exhilaration they'll feel picking up a new sport."

So how do you get your child a SnowPass? It's easy! Visit us online at www.snowpass.ca where you have two different choices for enrollment. You can upload your child's picture, enter your payment and their proof of age, or our printed option that allows you to fill out the information, print the application to mail in to the Canadian Ski Council with a photo, proof of age and payment ... all for a one-time administration fee of $20 plus taxes.  

Signing up online is the quickest and easiest way to apply for your child's Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass card.  SnowPass cards will be mailed straight to you just days after your application has been processed! SnowPass applications are also available through elementary schools and inside Sport Chek, Sport Mart, Sports Experts and Intersport stores across Canada.

Depending on where you live in Canada, each applicant will receive either an Eastern or Western SnowPass card. The Western SnowPass card is valid at 59 ski areas and is for children residing in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon Territories. The Eastern SnowPass card is valid for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada at 93 ski areas. With ski areas participating across Canada, families will not have to travel far to put this SnowPass to use.

Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass information and applications are available online at www.snowpass.ca or www.passeportdesneiges.ca.

For more information on the Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass program, contact the Canadian Ski Council, tel: 705-445-9140, e-mail: info@skicanada.org, web: www.snowpass.ca.

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Totem Ski Shop

 

Throughout Totem's history its staff has sought to provide a level of customer service that sets the store apart from Jasper's other terrific establishments. Above all, the goal of Totem Ski Shop is to make your time in the mountains memorable for life.

 

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SnowSeekers ' British Columbia Collage

 

Are you planning a trip to an amazing BC destination this season? Which snow-bound town is your favourite? What resort do you think is the most underrated? What's the best place to shred, sled, or snowshoe? Tell us about it in the comments box below.

 

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Lift Ticket Tuesday - January 4, 2011

Happy new year, snow seekers!

And with a new year comes a new Lift Ticket Tuesday contest! And to kick things off this year, we thought we'd start you off with a bit of a tough one (we think).

The contest this week is this: the screenshot below occurs somewhere in a SnowSeekers video. The first person to name the video and write down the proper time wins a pair of lift tickets to a Ski Big 3 resort – Lake Louise, Norquay, or Sunshine. 

Write down your answer in the comment box below. Your comment won't show up immediately, so don't panic if you don't see it right away. Once our moderators approve your comment, it will show up. Make sure to include your name in your comment, so we know how to find you. 

Happy hunting!

NOTE: You can find our videos on our SnowSeekers TV page, as well as our YouTube account.

Lift Ticket Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011
Do you recognize this location? Tell us the SnowSeekers video it appears in to win a pair of lift tickets!
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Loads of New Year snow at Fernie, Kimberley, and Nakiska

 

FERNIE ALPINE RESORT

 

SNOW UPDATE

Over 12ft of snowfall since the season start, close to 10cm in the past 48hrs , and a heavy system promising to hang around all week and dump fresh powder on the 5 bowls at Fernie Alpine Resort!   Warmer temps right now and great snow conditions with a 100% of ski runs open (113 runs).

WHAT’S NEW?

New kids’ fun ski features in the Minute Maid Wilderness Adventure Centre debuted over the holidays and has significantly enhanced the animation of the entire area featuring cut out trees,  CPR tunnel, and a Teck Coal Miner tires for kids to ski around.

Check Fernie's current snow conditions on our snow conditions page.

Fernie Alpine Resort

Photo courtesy of Resort of the Canadian Rockies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEKEND EVENTS

Saturday, January 08, 2011: Kinky Rail Jam 

Skiers and snowboarders will slide in style at Fernie Alpine Resort's Kinky Rail Jam. Open to both skiers and snowboarders, the annual rail competition will be set in a jam format so that each rider has a number of feature options. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each category. Overall talent and skill will help the judges choose their champions.  The entry fee is $25 + HST and online registration is now OPEN! Online registration is available at www.skircr.com/compete.

Burton Snowboard Demo 

Come check out the latest and greatest in Burton snowboard gear. Camber vs Rocker?  Flying V and Frostbite Edge technology? The Burton Demo Team will be on-site from 9am-4pm to explain all the tech and let you try it out! Please note that the demo is FREE but a credit card is required to test out equipment.

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 15- 16: Avalanche Awareness Days

January 22: Raging Elk Cardboard Derby 

January 29: Kokanee Snow Dreams – 7th Annual

February 4-6: Rossignol Junior Freeski Comp presented by FRESH

 

KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT

 

SNOW UPDATE

3cm of snow overnight and lots of snow in the forecast for the duration of the week with good skiing temperatures at Kimberley Alpine Resort. 68 runs open and all lifts operating (total: 5)

WHAT’S NEW?

Night skiing is on at Kimberley Alpine Resort featuring Canada’s longest lit ski run!  New this year, children 12 and under ski at night for FREE! Night ski operations run every Thursday through to Saturday (inclusive) from 5:30-8:30pm until March 12, 2011, with a bonus Sunday night on February 20th in spirit of Family Day weekend.

Check Fernie's current snow conditions on our snow conditions page.

Fernie Alpine Resort

Photo courtesy of Resort of the Canadian Rockies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEKEND EVENTS

Saturday

3:00pm – Après Ski and Live Music in the Stemwinder Bar & Grill

5:00pm - 8:00pm - Skating (weather permitting)

(skate rentals available at rental shop, open until 8:30 during night skiing)

6:00pm - 8:00pm - Kids Rule Games Night for kids 4-12

(register at guest services) cost is $5.00 per child

for an extra $10 per child a kids meal from Kelsey’s can be included

5:00pm – 8:30pm - Night Skiing

6:30pm - 8:30pm - Kootenay Fondue Snowshoe Tour (register at ski school)

4:00pm - 6:00pm - Snowshoe mountain descent (register at ski school)

Sunday

3:00pm - Après Ski and Live Music in the Stemwinder Bar & Grill

5:00pm - 8:00pm -Skating (weather permitting)

(skate rentals available at rental shop, open only until 5pm)

4:00pm - 6:00pm - Snowshoe mountain descent (register at ski school)

UPCOMING EVENTS 

January 29-30: SHREDFEST - Rossignol Junior Freeski Comp

February 12: Slopes For Hope Challenge – NEW Canadian Cancer Society Fundraiser!

 

NAKISKA RESORT

 

SNOW UPDATE

Great skiing temperatures with a predicted big snow storm to hit for the duration of the week.  Fantastic grooming and 55 ski runs open featuring the NEW NaJIBska rail park fully open with all features accessible on Elbow.

WHAT’S NEW?

NaJIBska Rail Park is now open with a large variety of brand new features ready for jibbing and located on Elbow (accessed from the Silver Chair Express)

Check Fernie's current snow conditions on our snow conditions page.

Fernie Alpine Resort

Photo courtesy of Resort of the Canadian Rockies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW Snack Shack at the base of the Minute Maid Learning Centre opened over the holidays. Serving hot drinks and handy snacks, ideal for families using these facilities and parents watching their young ones learn the sport!

IMAGE

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 15:  Avalanche Awareness Day

January 20: Ladies' Day Ski Trip - lift pass, lunch, guest speaker, and 1.5 hours of group instruction tailored to women. Skiers and Snowboarders welcome - $119 + GST

January 21-23: K1 Super Combi Camp Hosted by Alberta Alpine

January 26-28: Junior Speed Camp Hosted by Alberta Alpine

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Our Jasper/Banff contest winner is revealed!

"Like" SnowSeekers on Facebook to win the ultimate winter getaway in the Canadian Rockies

Win 8 lift tickets, accommodations, food, activity tours, and an art experience with the click of a button

 

January marks SnowSeekers' second birthday and we want to celebrate by offering you a powder-filled weekend in Banff & Jasper. All you need to do to win this prize package – worth around $2,000 – is "Like" us on Facebook.

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Silver Star Rules & Regs

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Test Gallery

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Test Gallery 2

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Congrats to Blake Jorgenson + a stellar deal at Whistler/Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb deal

SnowSeekers would like to offer our congrats to our buddy Blake Jorgenson, who was named 'King of Storms' at the Deep Winter Photo Challenge this week (Robin O’Neill took 2nd, Andrew Strain 3rd, and Ilja Herb won Best in Show).

The six photographers involved in the competition had three days to shoot in-bounds at Whistler Blackcomb with their athlete teams. 

Blake took home the $3,000 grand prize and will have his name added to the King of Storms trophy. All previous Deep Winter winners will be added to the trophy to commemorate their achievements.

Nice work, Blake!

And while we're on the topic of Whistler, I thought I'd pass on a pretty great deal that Whistler/Blackcomb has going right now. Head to www.whistlerblackcomb.com/escape to check out the offer for a 3 night/2 day trip (including lift tickets) to Whistler for only $126 per night. 

Edmonton and Calgary are offering airfare deals to Whistler right now for only $109 + taxes. 

Cash in now while you can.

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Sweating it out in Revy

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World Skiing Invitational hosts AFP World Tour, and new event Intersection pulls out the big guns

Jan Hudec, Lake Louise, 2007 Canada
Photo courtesy of Whistler/Blackcomb

The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 15-24 2011, is the last stop on the Association of Freeskiing Professional World Tour. The WSI is one of only two world-wide events, out of 21 that host the AFP, to offer all three components of the AFP’s mission “to improve and progress competitive slopestyle, halfpipe and big air skiing.” The revival of the Big Air competition, along with the Slopestyle being integrated back into the WSI line-up, has meant that the WSI is now at the forefront of the commitment to support and evolve the aforementioned three major elements of freestyle skiing.

Slopestyle and Big Air are both invitational events, with Superpipe lending its qualities to open entry. The invited athletes will be announced as the AFP World Tour progresses, and the rankings are released. Chief Marketing Officer for the AFP, Chris Jerard emphasizes that “the WSI at Whistler really is the culmination of the entire season for these athletes. We’re very excited about it all coming down to ground zero at Whistler and we couldn’t imagine a more appropriate place to be crowning the World Champion in all three disciplines. The WSI this year really is an incredibly motivating and important final stop on the AFP World Tour.”

This move towards quality events and progressing with the sport, and the times, has flowed over into other aspects of the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival. The most highly anticipated new event for 2011’s Festival is the incredible amalgamation of some of TWSSF’s most popular elements, skiing, snowboarding and filmmaking.

With the 72 hr Filmmaker Showdown now dominating in the entertainment world, there was a niche in the Festival that had arisen. Those action sports filmmakers, hardcore skiers and boarders who want to tell their story. Enter, Intersection. Teams are required to have a filmer, a skier and a snowboarder, and are given 7 days to produce a 5-7 minute short. Challenges include; an obligatory 30 seconds of Whistler Blackcomb in-bound footage, 30 seconds in the terrain park, the film must be shot within 100km of Whistler, the entirety of the film must be shot within that 7 day period, and 75% of the film must be on snow footage.

Judged for the ‘action-sports’ component, along with filming techniques and further criteria, Intersection lends itself to established filmmaking companies, and to dedicated action sports industry professionals. Entrants are by invitation only, of which expressions of interest are being accepted currently. The top contenders will all receive a $1000 entry prize, and the Grand Prize Winner, earning the Best in Show title, will walk away with the biggest cheque TWSSF has given out, a generous and highly-motivating $15,000. Visit www.wssf.com for more details.

About TWSSF

The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler‐based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. Having grown over 16 years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snowsports, music, arts and mountain life.

Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada, cultural events that match up art‐lovers and the art‐makers, career‐making fashion, photography and film showcases, the best spring snow conditions in the world, and burn‐the candle nightlife, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival lives up to its promise: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

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Red, White & You

Win a 5 day ski/snowboard trip to Red Mountain and Whitewater

Revelstoke Rail Jam: Sat Mar 13, 2010

'; } else if ((!$_REQUEST["name"]) || (!$_REQUEST["email"]) || (!$_REQUEST["city"]) || (!$_REQUEST["country"]) || (!$_REQUEST["phone"]) || (!check_email_address($email))){ echo '

***You must fill in fields marked with a star (*).***

'; if (!check_email_address($email)) { echo '

***Your email address must be in the form emailname@somehost.com. For example, dano@snowseekers.ca***

'; } echo '

'; if ($_REQUEST["name"]) { echo ''; } else { echo ''; } if (($_REQUEST["email"]) && (check_email_address($email))) { echo ''; } else { echo ''; } if ($_REQUEST["city"]) { echo ''; } else { echo ''; } if ($_REQUEST["country"]) { echo ''; } else { echo ''; } echo ''; if ($_REQUEST["phone"]) { echo ''; } else { echo ''; } echo '

'; } else { echo "Thank you for entering!"; $file=fopen('sites/snowseekers.ca/files/contests/revycontest.csv',"a"); fwrite($file, "$ip, $name, $email, $city, $country, $age, $phone"); fwrite($file, "\n"); fclose($file); } // This function generously provided by linuxjournal.com // http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9585 function check_email_address($email) { // First, we check that there's one @ symbol, // and that the lengths are right. if (!ereg("^[^@]{1,64}@[^@]{1,255}$", $email)) { // Email invalid because wrong number of characters // in one section or wrong number of @ symbols. return false; } // Split it into sections to make life easier $email_array = explode("@", $email); $local_array = explode(".", $email_array[0]); for ($i = 0; $i < sizeof($local_array); $i++) { if (!ereg("^(([A-Za-z0-9!#$%&'*+/=?^_`{|}~-][A-Za-z0-9!#$%& ‚Ü™'*+/=?^_`{|}~\.-]{0,63})|(\"[^(\\|\")]{0,62}\"))$", $local_array[$i])) { return false; } } // Check if domain is IP. If not, // it should be valid domain name if (!ereg("^\[?[0-9\.]+\]?$", $email_array[1])) { $domain_array = explode(".", $email_array[1]); if (sizeof($domain_array) < 2) { return false; // Not enough parts to domain } for ($i = 0; $i < sizeof($domain_array); $i++) { if (!ereg("^(([A-Za-z0-9][A-Za-z0-9-]{0,61}[A-Za-z0-9])| ‚Ü™([A-Za-z0-9]+))$", $domain_array[$i])) { return false; } } } return true; } ?>

Contest Regulations:

**Prizes must be accepted as awarded. Must be 19 years of age to enter. Arrangements for prize picked up/mail out MUST be made within 10 days. By entering this contest, you acknowledge that you may receive from time to time, by e-mail, information about the respective sponsors listed on this page. You may unsubscribe at any time upon receiving an e-newsletter.

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Meet our Baby-Faced Assassin

In January, SnowSeekers hired a fresh new face to help us out with filming on tour. Zac Peetsma, just two years removed from high school, has quickly blended in with the crew and shown skills well beyond his years. Throughout the season Zac will be making a series of on-the-road vlogs that will hopefully give you guys a taste of what it's like to tour with SnowSeekers. 

For now, here's an intro to Zac and what his first month with SnowSeekers has been like. Stay tuned to the Blog throughout the season for more snow-filled hijinks, courtesy of our Baby-Faced Assassin.

 

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Crosby's Golden Goal – 1 Year Ago Today

It was exactly one year ago today that Sid the Kid scored what would become one of the biggest goals in Canadian hockey history. SnowSeekers was in Whistler for the glorious moment, and managed to capture it on camera. Take a look at the reactions from the Canadian faithful at Merlins.

 

 

What was your favourite moment from last year's Olympics? Where were you when "The Goal" was scored?

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A Day in the life of an Adventure Tourism student, part 2

GOLDEN, BC – Despite the somewhat haunting and foreboding nature of the scene I feel a certain connection, a special sense of belonging to this most unlikely of places. In this place of avalanches and hidden crevasses and inclement weather, I feel a sense of belonging. I feel a sacred connectedness. 

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A Day in the Life, part 3

GOLDEN, BC – The ice traverse seems to last an eternity but in time we reach the other side. There is a short period of happiness and then a realization by Lisey of the vertical climb that lies ahead. Climbers on the rope ahead are calling back to her and encouragement comes from all around. The holds are a bit shaky and near-vertical ascents are not Lisey’s favorite pastime. 
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The experience is real, part 2

The combination of all the different elements of the course, from theoretical class components and practical field experience, to presentations by local tourism operators, has given me a lot of insight into an industry I previously knew little about. I now see the outdoor tourism industry with more clarity and where I would like to see myself within it.

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VIDEO: Fernie Brewing Company

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Ice walk/ice climbing guide for Alberta

Jasper, Alberta
Johnston Canyon's breathtaking winter beauty
Ice climbing with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures
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Alberta and British Columbia Mountaineering guide

 

Banff, Alberta

Summiting Banff’s Mount Rundle

Banff: the perfect base

 

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Avalanche safety/backcountry guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

Avalance safety

 

Avoiding and surviving avalanches 101

 

Backcountry safety

Knowing your boundaries

 

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Snowshoe guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

 

Canmore, Alberta

Snowshoeing in the woods

 

Sunshine Village, Banff, Alberta

VIDEO: Sunshine Village on the SnowSeekers Snow Show

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Nordic and cross-country ski guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

 

Canmore Nordic Centre, Canmore, Alberta

Canmore’s nordic gold

 

Castle Mountain, Alberta

Castle Mountain cross-country guide

 

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Heli-ski and cat-ski guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

 

Canmore, Alberta

Heli-tour, an eye-opening experience

 

Castle Mountain, Alberta

Cat skiing in Alberta: only at Castle Mountain

 

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Alberta and British Columbia dog sledding guide

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Alberta and British Columbia snowmobile guide

 

 

Whitecourt, Alberta

Snowmobiling in Whitecourt

Blazing a well groomed trail

 

Fernie, British Columbia

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Horse-drawn sleigh guide for Alberta and British Columbia

 

 

Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia

Discovering Big White's gentle side

It’s all about horsepower at Big White

 

Fernie, British Columbia

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Looking for unique gifts this year for the snow-lovers on your list? Look no further, we at SnowSeekers have complied a list of great gift ideas to please just about everyone in the family.

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Photo of the Day: Jan 26, 2012

Our friends at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort received a whopping 175 cm in just a five-day span. Click here to read all about it.

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8 tips for getting a grip on winter driving

You're Canadian. You have rear-wheel drive or all-season tires and you know how to handle a vehicle on snow and ice, thank you very much. These are just some of the common reasons drivers don't put winter tires on their vehicles.

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Canadian Rockies Snow Battle Experience

The contest is now closed. Thank you for your interest!

Stay tuned to the SnowSeekers website for many more exciting contest opportunities throughout the winter.

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Integra Air, Edmonton to Kimberley, Contest

Enter to win a airfare, accommodations, and lift tickets for two

Ski vacation contest, Edmonton to Kimberley flight with Integra Air

Enter below to win:

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Win a trip to Radium Hot Springs for 4, rules and regulations

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Jasper Trip Planner Rules & Regs

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Lesser Slave Rules & Regs

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Gear on the Go

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".$this_link->link_title."

".$teaser."Read More

"; } ?>

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CASA Tours' Andes Explorer

The ladies on the first Andes Explorer Tour at Nevados.
Photo: CASA Tours

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From snow to dryland

Richard Long describes from his perspective as an event veterinarian about sled dog races and dryland races across the world and the elite canine athletes and their respectful mushers he meets. 

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SnowSeekers Picks

SnowSeekers lives to make sure you get the best ski and snowboard trip every time you head out to a mountain. To make things even easier, we're putting the best of the west into lists, so that if you're looking for the best for family ski resorts or the best extreme terrain resorts, just have a look here and we'll get you sorted out. More top ski resort picks come weekly so check back often!

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New to skiing? No problem!

Have you ever thought about trying skiing for the first time? Fear not, there are several Canadians this year who will be in the same boat.

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New to skiing? No problem!

Have you ever thought about getting on skis and hitting the slopes for the first time? Fear not, there are plenty of people to helpy you get started. Check out our series of videos and stories. 

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Winter Storm Watch

Severe weather is on it's way.
Photo by CTV Edmonton

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Kinosoo Ridge Rules and Regs

 

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Golden Official Rules and Regulations

 

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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SnowSeekers week in review

Another wnter week has come and gone and it was jam-packed with skiing, snowboarding and everything winter all of us SnowSeekers. Take a moment and walk down memory lane with us, having a look at the cool things that happened in our collective winter wonderlands. Here are some of our favourite photos.


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Miss 604 takes over SnowSeekers Instagram!

This week was a wild one for SnowSeekers. This past Monday, Miss 604, took over our Instagram to show us her recent trip to ski resorts such as Sun Peaks, Silverstar, and Big White. Here is a recap of her amazing posts for us!

 

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Heli-skiing: The ultimate sky-high powder thrill

Half a century after helicopters first transported daredevil recreational skiers high into the mountains of British Columbia, heli-skiing is still the ultimate alpine rush for many.

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A weather change is coming for March!

“We have seen at least 2 months of mostly dry conditions, and it has been quite a disappointment." 

Chris Manly

Next Sunday through Tuesday (1st - 3rd March) we expect another storm to move through western Canada, favoring locales like Whistler with moderate to heavy snow, then the heavier snow shifts to places like Banff Monday and Tuesday.

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Spectacular scenery & long runs await you at Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC

We checked out Mont Saint Anne. One of Quebec's very best ski resorts.

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Mont-Tremblant — Jewel of the Laurentians

FRANCIS ARGOUIN

 

A welcome mat of superb dining, shopping and amazing nightlife is rolled out in Tremblant. The European-inspired pedestrian village is alive with people and delicious smells emanating from all the eateries.  
Photo credit, Mont-Tremblant

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Winter 2.0 has hit

DOC POW

Photos and Images provided by Dylan Siggers (Fernie), Dan Wilberg (Kicking Horse), Josh Foster (Big White) and Scott Morgan (Panorama)

What? You thought winter was over? You weren’t of those who stashed their skis for the winter, thinking it was a done deal, were you?

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2016 - Closing Dates


Snow keeps piling up at Fernie Alpine Resort.

SNOWSEEKERS

We can all feel it as the mornings and nights become chillier, and the mountaintops become dusted with white — winter is coming. Summer was great, but winter, we missed you.

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Mountain lovers: Let’s reach out to help Nepal

On April 25th, trekkers and mountain lovers around the globe were shocked when news broke about Nepal’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Then on May 12, in an unthinkable follow up, the ground shook again (7.3M). More than 9,000 people have died.

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Snowbomb.com blazes new trails in the California ski industry

With a name like his, you’d think Jim McAlpine was born on skis.  

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The Compassion Project: Update

Grand opening of the Compassion Health Centre

By Jane Marshall, Team Member

Contact info:
compassionfortsum.ca
facebook.com/thecompassionprojecttsum

To learn more about Tsum, read Jane Marshall’s book:

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Meet the Author: Doc Pow


Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

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SnowSeekers TV

For over six years now our team here at SnowSeekers have been doing all we can to bring you the best in snow minded content from across Western Canada’s winter destinations.  

This season will be no exception having received support from TELUS Optik local, click in for a new TV series showcasing the locals who make these places unique.  

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Meet the Author: Leigh McAdam

 

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Meet the Author: Rebecca Bollwitt

 

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Meet the Author: Paula Worthington

 

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Meet the Author: Powder Matt

 

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Meet the Author: Mark Sissons

 

Meet Doc Pow

Mark Sissons (Vancouver) – National Geographic Traveler, The Huffington Post, the Vancouver Sun and many other media outlets rely on Mark’s first person content to help drive audience interest to destinations around the world.

 

 

 

 

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Meet the Author: Jeff Bartlett

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Meet the Author: Jody Robbins

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Meet the Author: Lisa Monforton

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Meet the Author: Joanne Elves

 

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#WinterIsComing

test words

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Getting ready for winter

Show your stoke for winter by sharing this page with your friends!

 
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Meet the Author: Sterling Keys

 

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Apex Mountain Resort

Apex Mountain Resort is of the hidden gems of Western Canada. Located a short 30 minute drive from Penticton, BC, Apex has great snow, perfect weather, incredible terrain, and friendly people.

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Troll Resort

Troll Resort has an impressive vertical at 527m (1729ft) hosting a variety of terrain from perfect beginner slopes and long fall-line groomers to steep gladed tree runs and a large progressive terrain park with a recent terrain expansion. It’s also home to an excellent beginner teaching area with its own separate lift.

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Murray Ridge Ski Area

Murray Ridge focuses on providing a safe, fun, family oriented experience catered to all skill levels of snowboarders and skiers alike. Ride the Ridge!

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Meet the Author: Sage McBride

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Hidden Valley Ski Resort

Hidden Valley is located in the Cypress Hills Provincial Park near Elkwater, Alberta Canada. Winter Time Fun is what Hidden Valley is all about!  They aim to promote physical activity while enjoying the fresh outdoors!

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Ski Pass Deadlines Alert

SNOWSEEKERS

Ah yes, it's that time of the year again. We can all feel it in the colder nights, darker mornings. Mountains have begun getting their first taste of snowfall. This past week, the Canadian Rockies were heavily hit with the white stuff receiving more than 30cm of powder. 

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Then and now: Mount Timothy

Thirty minutes east up a quiet road through dense forests and reclaimed clear cuts from the village of Lac La Hache, you’ll find Mount Timothy Ski Area.

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Big White Contest, rules and regulations

 

Contest Rules

ALL FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Second Mappy Hour a Huge Success!

On Monday, November 16, Calgary’s Village Brewery played host to the city’s second-ever Mappy Hour, this time featuring Tom Babin, author of “Frost Bike” and avid cyclist.

Tom’s message was simple: Winter biking is possible, can even be enjoyable and we should all give it a shot.

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Then and now: Nitehawk

When the very first lift on a ski hill was a tow rope driven by a vehicle engine you know there’s some history. It puts a resort in a certain vintage, like well-aged Scotch.

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Christmas gift ideas for your favourite mountain junkie

SNOWSEEKERS

Looking for some great gifts this season that will please the adventurer on your shopping list? Well, we have compiled a list, including some of our favorite items, that we know any skiier or snowboarder would greatly appreciate.  

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Wells

Wells is the perfect place to begin your Cariboo adventure.  At 1200 meters, you'll find our clean, crisp mountain air invigorating.  
 
Walk along our nature and meadow trails or hike further up the mountain into the alpine.  Alternatively, if you like to ride, there are some fun x-country and alpine trails to discover.  Part of the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, Wells is keen to show you some of the great rides of the Cariboo.  In the winter the trails become skiing and snowmobiling trails.  Or snowshoeing and dog-sledding trails.

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It’s time to get mom back on the snow

Blame the kids. Before they came along you were a fantastic skier. You had great equipment, and could handle bumps, glades, steeps and looked pretty damn good après ski.

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Taking flight on skis

Before coming to Canada from India, Chaitanya and Tejas Gautam had never seen snow, much less played in it.

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The importance of Mappy Hour

Mappy Hour is an incredible event where winter enthusiasts meet and discuss adventures and become inspired by their surroundings. But why does this matter? Well, one Mappy Hour attendee told us exactly that. "I often struggle with the duality of my life. I am a living embodiment of "street to peak", spending my weekdays working in a corporate hub, trying to steal nature moments in urban natural spaces and who tries to spend every moment of my weekends playing in the mountains, I sometimes ask myself if it is worth it.

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History of Alberta Ski Resorts

Sometimes all you need to create a ski resort is a rope, a truck engine, a river valley and a dream. It won’t be long before other dreamers come along to help you build a community ski resort impressive enough to someday host provincial, national and even international winter games. Places in Alberta like Cold Lake, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Nakiska are proof that “If you built it, they will come.” But in the case of Lake Louise Ski Resort - the first tourists skied right by! Discover the history of the ski resorts of Alberta here.

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History of British Columbia Ski Resorts

High speed chairlifts and gondolas hurry us to ridges and mountain tops so we can leisurely push off to explore powder-filled chutes or groomed runs. We take for granted the snowmaking, the lifts and the easy access to so much terrain that was inaccessible 50 years ago.

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Spring into adventures during spring break

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Spring skiing – where fashion meets function

Just say “Spring skiing” and all the snow hounds around you giggle with delight. The thoughts of longer days, sunnier skies and wild après ski festivities come to mind.

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Comfort, fit and warmth: Tips and tricks for getting the right ski boot fit

This year, my pre-spring break shopping did not include buying a new bikini for a beach holiday, but rather a much-needed new pair of ski boots for a few days on the slopes.

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Meet the Author: Jeremy Derksen

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Grizzlies roam the slopes

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2016 Opening Dates in Western Canada

We can all feel it as the mornings and nights become chillier, and the mountaintops become dusted with white - winter is coming. The summer was great, but winter - we missed you.

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The Fourth Phase Gives You Wings

DOC POW 

Connection is important to those of us who love to shred the gnar.

Red Bull and legendary snowboarder Travis Rice’s new film project The Fourth Phase, made its Canadian premiere this past Saturday and we were there to bring you this review.

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Mount Washington’s outback

COMOX-COURTENAY, BC — Mount Washington Alpine Resort has a vibe all its own. There is only one place in Canada if not the world, where, with the right binoculars, you could do some whale watching while hanging on the snowboard or the sticks.....

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Increasing your vertical at Kicking Horse Resort

GOLDEN, BC — In addition to a ski hill bursting at the seams with adventure, anyone visiting Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, will find a wealth of off slope activities to enjoy.

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Brits love their pints – and so do Canucks

- Feb. 26/10

"Whistler's leaning more towards the British scene, I think. More and more of us are coming over. It's much more friendly here, I think, than in England. Just talking with other Brits on the chairlifts and stuff, there's definitely a new wave coming across the sea now. With any luck we'll outnumber the Aussies soon."

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Whistler’s problem is a good one

WHISTLER, BC —  With endless amounts of epic skiable terrain, a flurry of options in top-notch nightly entertainment, fantastic shopping, and tons of hiking and biking options. Whistler – Canada's premier mountain village and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics – has a problem: where to head next?!

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February events at Nakiska

Check out what's happening in February at Nakiska.

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Whistler Bowl: a unique experience

WHISTLER, BC – Today's Whistler, BC ski tour included some of the best runs I’ve ever, or possibly will ever, have: Whistler Bowl and the Peak Chair.

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Revelstoke resort has a family side

REVELSTOKE, BC — Revelstoke Mountain Resort has quickly established itself as one of the premiere adventure-seeker ski hills in Western Canada. With its massive vertical drop (5,620 ft – the highest in North America), stellar backcountry, and amazing terrain, Revelstoke becomes an instant favourite with every powderhound that spends time here.

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First impressions of Whistler Blackcomb

WHISTLER, BC – From now on, my life as a rider will forever be divided into two categories: before and after Whistler, British Columbia. There’s a reason Whistler is consistently ranked amongst North America’s best ski destinations, and it begins in the village.

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Louise continues as a world-class lady

When Charlie Locke, the owner of the famed Lake Louise Ski Area resort first took to its slopes back in 1954, I doubt he had any intentions of not only buying it, but also continuing to put it on the world stage.

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Revelstoke is a snow mecca

REVELSTOKE, BC — I have been to many mountains, from Fernie to Jackson Hole to Alta, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort just blew me away.

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Getting reacquainted with Powder King

Powder King truly is a powder seeker’s paradise with fresh powder accessible virtually everywhere on the hill. During my two days of getting reacquainted with the mountain, it felt as though I was boarding backcountry even though I was right there on the main mountain, just off of groomed runs. 

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Double your pleasure

TERRACE, BC – The Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum folks had it right: double your pleasure, double your fun. Terrace, British Columbia’s Northern Escape Heli-Skiing (NEH) has taken this motto to heart. Rather than just running a heli-ski operation, NEH has doubled our pleasure by offering cat skiing adventures as well.

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Everyone comes back to Lake Louise

Make sure to watch the SnowSeekers video at the bottom of this story to see for yourself why the ski experience at Lake Louise is unlike any you will find in the North American ski industry.

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God's Glacier

WHISTLER, BC – Since I’ve been riding a lot of Whistler lately, I decided to check out the other half of Canada's crown jewel, Blackcomb. I’m not going to say I’ve been missing out, I just wish I could be in two places at once.

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Louise gives up her secrets

Continually ranked at the top of the charts as one of the most spacious ski resorts, Lake Louise Ski Area can take a week to tackle.

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Breaking new ground at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

REVELSTOKE, BC — Any area called the Snorkel Glades has got to be good.  Found within Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s impressive tenure, this place offers up some stellar opportunities to get into the pow.

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Shames: the powder capital of the planet?

TERRACE, BC — Shames, located just outside of Terrace, British Columbia, is the type of place where you can easily get in powder tracks with little to no effort, because they are everywhere.

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World’s fastest skiers back at Sun Peaks

SUN PEAKS, BC — There won’t be any speeding tickets handed out as 40 of the fastest skiers on the planet reach speeds in excess of 175 km/h at the 2011 Subaru Velocity Challenge. North America’s only speed skiing event will rocket ahead Mar. 3-6 at Sun Peaks Resort.

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Franz, Old Man, and some killer glades

WHISTLER, BC – Because Whistler Blackcomb is so massive and has so many places to ride, I’ve decided to hit a new section every day and tell the tale of my experiences.

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Whistler Creekside accommodations to bask in the Olympic afterglow

WHISTLER, BC – The afterglow of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has settled, and skiers and riders looking to experience their own glory in the 2010/11 winter season should do so while staying slopeside at one of Lodging Ovations' resort hotels in Whistler Creekside

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Lake Louise Village is the perfect home away from home

Lake Louise Village has accommodations and amenities for all kinds of travellers, whether one wishes to stay at the decadent Chateau Lake Louise or the more affordable Lake Louise Inn or taste the best pizza in the area at the Timberwolf Lodge.

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Take a tour at Kicking Horse

GOLDEN, BC — If you’re looking to tweak a backcountry adventure this year, a day of helicopter-assisted ski touring adds a whole new dimension to enjoying winter, especially when combined with the magic of flight.

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Revelstoke gives Doc Pow smiles and bad nerves

REVELSTOKE, BC — You know the tune, by the Steve Miller Band and if you want to live the dream, jump in the car right now and head to Revelstoke for some serious skiing and riding – and living.

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The Griz’s gift to Fernie

FERNIE, BC — Fernie is consistently ranked in the top 10 of various ski magazines for the quality and quantity of its powder, but I don’t need a magazine to tell me that.

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Onion Lake offers an unspoiled sanctuary

TERRACE, BC – In Terrace, British Columbia, being a pioneer isn’t just something special, it’s the norm.

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The best of both worlds

SILVER STAR, BC — Silver Star Resort, just outside of Vernon, British Columbia, has integration down to a science. There’s not many snow destinations around where both nordic and alpine fans can enjoy some incredible runs and still be able to have lunch together at the top of the mountain.

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Heli-tour an eye-opening experience

CANMORE, AB — Anytime you can add a helicopter tour to the bill, it sets a whole new benchmark for a holiday, even better if that chopper is going to provide a bird’s eye view to one of the world’s most impressive mountain ranges.

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Celebrate northern talents: Arctic Winter Games 2010

GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB — The Arctic Winter Games is a biennial international sport and cultural event where young athletes and performers from circumpolar regions gather to participate in a variety of sports and showcase their talents.

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RESORT RECOMMENDER

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