Fun Facts

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, February 25, 2012

Howdy folks,

I thought that I would share some fun facts about Banff, Canada and living in the snow and ice in general. These are things that I didn't know before I got here and I found them out myself:

- 50% of the time spent on the hill is either on the chair lift or doing up the bindings.
- 40% of all injuries are in the wrists (my left wrist is sore at the moment)
- The shape of the ski hill changes over the winter. Some sections grow and others shrink depending on where the snow falls and how it settles.
- 20cms of fresh powder will bury you up past your knees.
- Fresh powder means that falling over doesn't hurt as much and is easier to carve, but it also slows you down in the flatter sections. Falling down into powder is hillarious.
- Compacted snow is as hard as ice when falling on it.
- Whiteout conditions occur (like Friday) when there is heavy snow and low cloud cover. At this time it can be impossible to tell how fast you are travelling, the layout of the terrain (going up, flat or down) and general perspective. When the hill is white, the background white and the sky is cloudy its not much fun. Visibility is like driving at night.
- Landing jumps is harder than it looks
- Snowboard boots are as big as moon boots, except with very long laces. People walking in ski boots look funny.

Snow and Ice
- Fresh snow must be shovelled from the sidewalk (footpath) within 24 hours under local bylaws or else there is a $100 fine.
- Melted snow pools in the lowest part of an area and re-freezes to form slippery ice. This just happens to be my back steps.
- Snow chains are not required if a road is sanded and graded.
- Road Salt is illegal in Banff National Park due to environmental concerns.
- A frozen river is quite safe to walk on if the ice is 6 inches thick. It usually isn't slippery if covered in snow or frozen in ripples, but if it is smooth as glass then it is very dangerous.
- If the ice is clear enough you can see the riverbed or suspended bubbles
- Canadian children love to break off pieces of frozen river ice and throw them into the water.

- When the temperature is -30 degrees, the hairs in your nostils freeze. These are called nostricles. Frostbite can occur at this temperature in less than 5 minutes will windchill.
- A beanie is called a toque (tooke)
- During the shortest months, nobody living in the Rockies gets enough Vitamin D from the sun.
- It is impossible to save any money in Banff despite the fact there are no bills. Somehow all the money is spent on food and alcohol.
- You can spot a Canadian walking down the street because his jacket is open. You can spot an Australian walking down the street because he is wearing two jackets.
- There are no prostitutes or strip clubs allowed in Banff National Park. However, alcohol and bars are certainly in abundance.

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