Golden Gaper Days

Maybe it was the cube pack of Pilsner. Or maybe the one piece suit. Or it could have been the altitude?Kicking Horse Resort is pretty high up for a coastal dweller like me. But I?ll just admit it: this weekend I went snowlerblading? and it was fun.

I was in Golden, BC, for gaper days, the end of season party featuring live music, a dummy downhill, a couple strategically located sun pits (don?t fall in the holes) and plenty of neon. Unfortunately, the weather didn?t exactly cooperate, with intermittent snow flurries putting a bit of damper on the sun pits? allure, but at least the snow was decent and that made for good skiing. Or I guess I should say good snowlerblading.

I?m not sure exactly what started it. Certainly the lack of significant snowfall over the past week or two made it a little less appealing to ski bigger lines. But that wasn?t totally it, because after a few turns off the top the snow wasn?t bad. I think we were inspired by the guys playing hockey on short skis, they definitely made it look like fun. Halsey?s mustache helped. Regardless, dropping into tunnel vision, a rocky chute right off the peak, was one of the scariest things I did all year. Schmear turns take on a whole new meaning on 105?s: you can hip check through rocky zones like a miniature Scott Schmidt, snaking through the skinniest of spots with limited edge hold.

Carving out the bottom, low speeds felt fast and keeping my hands in front became a bit of a struggle. But it was a good way to celebrate the impending end of the season at Kicking Horse. One day a year might be plenty for snowlerblading but that one day is totally worth it: new things can be scary and scary can be fun. Now go grab a cube of Pilsner and throw on your flannel ?cause gaper days are here and the snow never looked better for a couple schmear turns on a pair of ski blades?no matter what your friends might say.


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