What happened to the winter???

Trip Start Feb 22, 2005
Trip End Feb 11, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Monday, December 12, 2005

Well here I am in stop number two for canada enjoying the warmest winter days on record in Edmonton. Everyone knows Canada is supposed to be damn cold in winter and Edmonton is generally one of the colder places but not at the moment. A week ago it was -20 here, but then when I arrived it did a complete U-turn and on Saturday the maximum was 12 degrees, that's warm even for Canberra in winter!!! Anyway, I've been in Canada for a week now which has involved a few pretty lazy days in Montreal although I did finally manage to get into the city to have a bit of a look around. While there, I checked out the St. Joseph oratory which is a big church on Mont Royal that is pretty well known. It wasn't a bad place although still yet another church but there were some pretty good views out over the city if you could brave the cold. On that particular day I think the maximum was about -5 but with the wind felt way way colder and I soon realized that I didn't have quite enough clothes on. After that I went into the old town which was quite nice, I saw yet another church this time the Notre Dame cathedral which I must say was actually really nice espescially without the crowds that you have to fight with in Europe. It was really beautifully decorated and very peaceful inside and most importantly is apparently where Celine Dion got married. After I decided that I'd had enough of the cold for one day though I headed home to get ready for my westward flight the next morning to catch up with family branch number 2 here in Edmonton where I was met by 3rd cousin David and soon got to meet my 4th cousin 3 year old Aspyn who is a lively little red head who'll go from loving you to not liking you in the blink of an eye and isn't afraid to tell you what you can and can't do. I think you'd like her Siran.
It was up at 4 a.m. the next day for the drive to Banff with David to get a couple of days skiing in. For most of the way the drive was pretty dull with flat fields as far as the eye can see until all of a sudden you driving through the rocky mountains with massive steep rock faces rising up all around you. We eventually got to Lake Louise for the first day's skiing which was pretty good, unfortunately being early in the season, a lot of the runs weren't open yet but there was still some good snow around and we found a few good steep runs to challenge ourselves with. I did manage also to fit in a pretty impressive tumble, I was trying to edge down a fairly steep but very icy slope when my skis slid out from under me and I proceeded to accelerate down the slope head first on my stomach until I fortunately managed to slide of into some soft snow on the side and just dug my fists in to slow down and got a pretty swift cooling down.
Day number two was off to Sunshine Village resort where the day was occupied mostly by searching for air time. The knees and back and arms and, well, pretty much everything got a solid workout. David and I found ourselves a couple of good fun runs where we spent most of our day going off rocks and jumps and attempting a couple of little tricks. I attempted a 360 for the first time ever and managed to get half way round which I thought was alright for a first effort, luckily it was in a patch of particularly soft snow so you couldn't really hurt yourself if you stuffed up the landing. I again managed to have a pretty spectular stack, this time going of a rock which was perhaps a little higher than I thought and I wasn't quite prepared for the hard landing which resulted in a solid faceful of snow and a slightly bruised ego.
Long story short though it was a great couple of days on the slopes and I'm still feeling the effects 2 days later. Next on the agenda, I'll be leaving here in about an hour and a half to head to the airport to fly to my next stop in Saskatoon where I'll be catching up with Joleen and Sam who I met at a toga party in Venice about 7 months ago for some end of uni fun and apparently, by the end of the week a return to some hardcore winter temps.
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