Archive for March, 2009

Grouse goes off as spring comes in like a “Lion”

March 10, 2009

“Wacky weather” doesn’t begin to define what happened in North Vancouver on Sunday. Around 4:30, I drove downtown for coffee with Vancouver Sun reporter Doug Ward. It was cloudy with some sunny breaks, but there were snowflakes swirling around; quite lovely, really. We chatted for awhile at Delaney’s, and as I left it started to snow fairly hard right in town. Driving back across the Lion’s Gate Bridge, I saw cars coming from the North Shore with a good fifteen centimetres of snow on ’em. Climbing north on Cap Road, the North Shore was an incredible winter wonderland. In the space of less than an hour, almost ten centimetres of ‘blower pow’ had fallen! Guys skiing at Grouse Mountain on Sunday night claimed epic conditions, and of course Super Dave Norona posted video on youtube as well.

BCNordic.com hosts great new photo contest

March 10, 2009
Hey, Nordic skiers! Get the picture, then post on-line at www.bcnordic.com and win fantastic prizes!

BC Nordic launches photo contest with fantastic holiday prizes to Whistler and Kimberley, Nordic racing camp at Silver Star, and spa/ski retreat at The Hills Health Ranch.

“Don’t forget your camera!” next time you go backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, dogsledding or snowshoeing this winter! You could win one of many fabulous prizes in the “Go Nordic in BC” photo contest, running from now until March 22, 2009! All photos taken from the 2008/2009 at BC Nordic members are eligibile.

Grand Prize – courtesy Tourism Whistler, is two nights lodging in world famous Whistler Resort, trail passes to Lost Lake, Whistler Olympic Park and the adjoining Callaghan Country trails, and a “night to remember” at the Callaghan Country Lodge located deep in the Coast Range Wilderness! All contestants will be entered to win this prize, valued at $1200!

There are three photo categories, and each one offers a great prize.

Family fun: Nordic skiing and snowshoeing literally define winter family fun. Capture kids in action on the trail and win a memorable weekend getaway for two at the InnWest Kirkwood Inn in the Bavarian town of Kimberley, BC. You’ll be skiing literally from the back door, and enjoy an added special treat, dinner in Spirit Lodge’s hand crafted igloo! (Value: $650)

Landscape scenic/Nordic trails: Indulge your artistic side! Celebrate the beauty and grace of Nordic skiing by taking trailside scenic shots at one of BC Nordic’s member facilities. The winner will enjoy a weekend for two at The Hills Health Ranch in the heart of BC’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. (Value: $680)

Competition: With the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games almost a year away, we want to see your very best action photos from local loppets and other competitions around the province. The prize here is a beauty, too — 5 days of top notch Nordic instruction from xccamps.ca, held at Silver Star Mountain Resort each November and December (accommodation is extra). Includes 2.5 hours of instruction daily, video analysis, trail passes, fitness center pass (gym, sauna, showers, change rooms) one yoga session, one stretching session and two massage treatments! (Value: $690)

So slap on the skis, stop for lots of pictures, and get uploading! Check the website frequently for the chance to win weekly prices from Icebreaker, Mount Washington, Halti, Deep Cove Outdoors and SkiTrax magazine.

Photos must be taken during the current 2008/2009 season at one of the participating Nordic trail networks or resorts participating in www.bcnordic.com, where you can also find complete contest details.

Tamarack Resort Shocker

March 4, 2009

You have to go way back to 1974, according to a story in the Associated Press, to find a time when a ski resort close to the size of Tamarack in central Idaho suspended operation during a ski season. Depending upon how long the economic freeze in resort property lasts, Tamarack may become one of the first dinosaurs to go extinct, a victim of the collapsed second home real estate market as well as – to some degree – a bit of hubris. Similar to Deer Valley near Park City and Beaver Creek at Vail, Tamarack was always going to be a playground for the well-to-do, complete with Robert Trent Jones Jr golf course and a luxurious marina on Lake Cascade. Indeed, even the resort’s website has gone dark which is actually kind of chilling to see. Tamarack could only ever succeed in true boom times with unlimited growth in the skier market; that fantasy, and of course the fantasy of endlessly upward real estate values for prime recreational property, has cratered to earth now that no one is buying into the Tamarack dream. It would be interesting to hear what the locals think. Nearby McCall, ID, is a bucolic college town already had a decent ski resort in Brundage Mountain. Friends of mine say that local residents were always skeptical of Tamarack’s chances, unfortunately there are likely millions owed to local tradesmen and contractors who worked on the resort’s relatively significant infrastructure and properties. There are some hopes that Tamarack will rise, but it would take one huge economic reversal to make that happen. Alas, I’m not so sure we’ve heard the end of these stories; maybe even in Canada. Folks in Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Golden and Mount Baldy (Osoyoos/Oliver) should definitely take note.