It's snow time!!!

Trip Start Apr 23, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Friday, October 14, 2005

It's been a long time between posts. Sorry about that - moving to a new country has been a bit hectic and spare time rare.

After a brief 2 weeks back in the UK to make sure my sister got married and catch up with friends and family, I jumped on the plane to Vancouver where I hooked up with Ro, Cristian and Ange for a 2 week road trip to find a job in a ski resort and a place to live. I landed in Vancouver and headed straight to the 5 star Grand Westin where Ange had got a friends deal for $40 a night. I haven't slept in a bed that comfortable for months!

Early the next morning we picked up our big ass GMC Truck (that's the way things are done over here) and headed out on the open road for our first stop Kalowna in British Columbia. This is the closest town to the Big White resort which was our first job-fair. We stayed the night, polished our resume's and headed up to the resort only to find that the job-fair was in town. I had my heart set on Fernie and the others weren't fussed so we skipped it completely and headed south to the US border and Red Mountain. These guys had done most of their hiring, so we didn't stay long there, but we did take the time to appreciate how unbelivably steep the mountain was. This must be an awesome resort when the snow is good. We stayed the night and then headed up to Fernie to check out the town. Fernie is an old logging town situated in a beautiful mountain valley. The resort itself is made up of 5 bowls with extensive back country and a reputation for the best powder in Canada. It's also at a fairly low elevation so it also has a reputation for rain events which can completely destroy the best powder in Canada. We checked out the town and resort and Ro, Christian and Ange arranged an apartment for the winter.

Next we crossed the border into Alberta and took a visit to the Banff national park, home of Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies. This place is awe inspiring! Massive mountains that look like they have only just been pushed up from the ground surrounded us from every side. We ventured up to the beautiful Lake Louise, climbed up to get a better view and then drove up the Icefields highway to see the amazing glaciers and lakes that spill down from the Columbia Icefields. Check out the photos.

We headed back to Banff for the night and went to the Sunshine village job-fair as a trial run for Fernie.

I came to Canada hoping to get an outdoors job that would have me on the mountain and involved in the fun. Something like a liftie sounded about right. I had never heard of trail crew, but when I had my initial interview, I was told a bit about it and thought 'Why not?'. I interviewed for Liftie, Gondola and Trail crew, but the trail crew interview was spot on and I was told unofficially that I could expect a job offer. The trail crew job involves mainly snow farming using plastic fences tied to steel posts and trail maintenance as well as Ski Patrol assistance in things like morning trail checks, end of day sweeps and also if the need arrives, lift evacuations and avalanche rescues and I get to be on my ski's all day every day. Well that gave me something to think about!!!

We headed back to Fernie for their job fair, but it turns out they don't have a paid trail crew. I interviewed for liftie which went pretty well. Next day Ange and I drove back to Vancouver to drop the SUV off and spend a couple of days site seeing. Shortly after arriving in Vancouver I got 2 phone calls and 2 job offers. Now I really had to think! Do I go with Fernie which was always the plan and have my friends around, but take a job which has me bumping chairs for 8 hours a day, or do I go to Sunshine where I know only one person, but have a job where I ski all day? After a lot of thought I realised I was in Canada for one reason - skiing. So I said my fairwells and jumped on a flight to Calgary and then onto Banff. Good decision!!!
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