The extremely cold weather has been on a roll lately… our area became the coldest place on Earth in early February. I’m hopeful that the cold snap will end soon… as my series of winter activities posts is coming to an end (for now). 😉 After talking about my amusing experience with snowboarding, skating, winter hiking, and downhill skiing, let’s move on to cross-country skiing.
Growing up in a country that only has rainy and dry season – both of which are hot compared to the freezing weather in Canada – I have very little concept of winter activities, especially cross-country skiing. For all I know, it’s skiing all over the country… literally! 😐 😬
One weekend, Jellybean and I drove to Lost Creek Resort at Prince Albert National Park for me to have a first hand experience on cross-country skiing on groomed trails. To put it simply, imagine a train going along a set of railway tracks… it’s similar to that idea. Cross-country skiing on groomed trails is like skiing on a “railway” track.
I found it restricting at first because it’s not free-flowing like downhill skiing is, you have to stay within the constraints of the track to ski smoothly. It’s important to have enough momentum to make it up the hill and not slide back down. Otherwise, you have to walk funny going up the slope… either walking sideways or “skating” with the skis in a V-shape (similar to reversed pizza move in downhill skiing). It’s just tiny a hill though so there’s no need for a conveyor that would take you up the hill like in downhill skiing.
We’ve had a lot of bitter cold weather recently (-43 degrees Celsius! 😲) and it’s been getting me down… it’s too cold to go for a walk outside and just thinking of winter activities makes me want to hibernate. 😖 The only winter “activity” I’ll be doing for now is sipping a hot cup of milk tea and watching the snowflakes lazily fall outside. ❄️
Hmmm… Reminiscing the winter activities that I’ve experienced is also another option. So far, I’ve experienced snowboarding, skating, and winter hiking. As I was going through old files, I happened to come across my downhill and cross-country skiing photos.
I had the opportunity to try downhill skiing on a company trip to Table Mountain several years ago. I decided to skip the skiing lesson this time since my snowboarding lesson on a previous trip didn’t go that well; I’m a visual learner, their instructions don’t really help me.
I struggled a bit (Jellybean was no help from his snowboard 😝) and Allan — one of the company executives — noticed and gave me a very helpful tip… that is to remember the “pizza” and “fries” moves. The “pizza” move is used to slow down or stop like an amber or red traffic light. It’s mostly called pizza because the ski position looks like a slice of pizza. While the “fries” move represents green light… green means go… go…go! 🤣 The ski are parallel to each other and looks like fries. 😝
On the bunny hill where the beginners flock together, there’s a conveyor that takes you to the top; on the big hill, they use a chairlift to reach the top. Since I’m a complete newbie, I stayed on the bunny hill.
Going down the bunny hill was a bit nerve wracking at first but the thrill kept me going. My confidence slowly built up as I climbed up and glided down the hill a number of times. Though, still not confident enough to try the big hill as I was still mostly using the ever trusty “pizza” move. 😳
To my surprise, I enjoyed skiing more than snowboarding. I find snowboarding stressful while skiing is more relaxing. It’s probably because I was skiing on a little hill with a “safe” slope. The next step is to join the big kids on the big hill and then aim to sail down the scary slopes of Sunshine Village someday… Fat chance! 🤣
Stay tuned for the next post on cross-country skiing… ✌
Growing up in a tropical country makes me extra curious about winter activities. My first-hand experience in snowboarding and skating got me pumped up to try winter hiking in Johnston Canyon (Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada).
Powered up with a hearty breakfast, we set out on our hike. We hadn’t made it ten feet out of the parking lot when we realized how slippery the trail was. Jellybean, my husband, had to help me navigate the path and kept me from slipping.
I was still on high spirits as we walk passed the sign, but my excitement was quickly overshadowed by my clumsiness and fear of heights. 😱 There were icy patches all over the trail and the treacherous cliff made my knees weak.
To avoid the scary path, I decided to walk in the deep snow which was “conveniently” located up the “hill” from the trail… Lucky me, I made things worse because I had trouble going back to the trail when I reached a dead end. Jellybean had to rescue me and get me back on track. 😅
With all the struggles that I went through on our way up, Jellybean, Mike and Shara encouraged and supported me even though I felt like I was being a nuisance.. 🙁 While I was looking like an idiot, Shara was gingerly walking on the slippery path like it was a fashion runway. 😲
should I go back?
Surprisingly, my fear disappeared on our way back and I managed to enjoy the walk… errr… slide. Learning how to traverse the icy path made a world of difference.
Watcha up to Mike?
The amazing view, the breathtaking winter water falls and the awesome company made the winter hiking a memorable experience.