Dude, how about those Rockies mannnn…
The drive along the Trans Canada into the Rockies from Calgary is always a trip. There is something mesmerizing about driving into a rock wall topped with snowy peaks, really makes you feel small. Kayley was speechless as it was her first time experiencing that drive let alone the Rocky Mountains.
As we arrived in Banff, it’s hard not to get excited, the town looks like it came out of some fairytale, and that night we were able to witness their annual Christmas parade which Kayley had been planning since we left Ontario! After the show we grabbed a bite at the St. James Pub, a classic pub with classic pub food/beer.
The following day we decided to bum around town, I was excited to show Kayley all Banff had to offer and take in all the surrounding views. From the multitude of shops (check out ULTD Skate Shop, very rad place!) and cool cafes, you can kill time just doing that! But there was more to see! We hiked up to Bow falls, and along the Bow River, which provide a variety of view points of the mountain range and landscapes, it’s hard to go to Banff and not want to venture around. Later that night we grabbed some wifi at a cafe and called it a night, we had a big day of snowboarding the following morning.
We arose before sunrise, and made our way to Sunshine Valley (a mountain included in our Mountain Collective Pass). We had been scoping the conditions the whole way through Canada and had been told by a number of locals in Banff that the conditions were looking prime for early season so it was a must to get our legs on snow. To our favour, the locals were right! Sunshine is a good spot, the gondola ride to the resort reveals views that are absolutely insane, huge peaks at every angle, giving you a sore neck before the day even begins. The runs are versatile, everything from groomers, park jibs, heavy steep laps and mellow tree runs! For an early season session, it was easily the best first day of the year we’ve ever had.
To our benefit, Banff has a hot springs (it’s more like a public pool but still worth it), so once we arrived back in town, we headed up there and soaked the aching bones. Dinner was had at a local Mexican joint, Magpie & Stump, to celebrate Kayley’s 26th birthday. It had a great selection of Beers, Tequilas, Burritos, and Tacos. I have a high standard when it comes to Mexican food and this place is now easily in my top 3.
The next morning we arose to sore bones, and decided to head towards Revelstoke to meet up with my buddie Jay! On the way, we stopped over at Lake Louise, so Kayley could take in the beautiful winter scene on the morning of her birthday! She was stoked! And we were lucky enough to score a sweet spot for breakfast and coffee. The rest of the drive through Banff NP and Yoho NP was nuts, the amount of mountains and snowy peaks you wind between is uncountable, it’s not the safest feeling road but your mind is focused on other things. We witnessed some Big Horn Sheep (I admittedly yelled “WTF are those” when we drove by them), and Elk! It felt like the whole way through we were following the same CP Train, made me contemplate about being a train conductor in this part of the country and how it would be coolest job, I would never get tired of the views, but I mean, you have be wary of avalanches mid-winter which seems a little gnarly.
The van pulled into Revelstoke early afternoon, and made our way over to meet up with Jay! Jay has been a Revy local for some time now! We initially met in Ottawa, through our similar passion of snowboarding and drinking haha. He was nice enough to invite us in for dinner and give us a place to hang for a bit. Later that night we met up with him at the bar he tends at, Traverse, where a beer or two was had to celebrate my lady’s big day. The next day was a lazy one, Kayley feeling the effects of late night beers needed a day to relax and recoup. We bummed around town, hung out by the river, cooked some food, found wifi, took a shower at the local Rec centre and walked around town. Before Jay arrived back home from a day of sledding and shredding, we checked out an Avalanche Info Event, which gave us a bunch of great info into backcountry safety and knowledge. Once meeting up with Jay and some of his good buddies, we hit up the Big Eddy Pub for wing night, bowled at The Cabin (A bar/bowling ally/snowboard shop all in one, possibly the raddest place I’ve stepped into) and checked out The Last Drop for more beer and fun! Thanks again Jay for the hospitality!!
We moved onto Kelowna the next morning. My good buddy Mitch calls this town home for the time being and it will be rad to see him and hang! The drive here was again super sweet, all of BC so far has been unreal, no complaints. The only difference was this part of the province reminds me of Vermont or Quebec, lots of farm land and rolling hills. Currently, we’re spending the next week here, getting used to the area, visiting with a friend of Kayley’s, Ian, who took us on a great hike of Carrot Mountain. The next little bit we’ll be skating, hiking and relaxing in Kelowna! Getting ready for opening day at Revelstoke which should be insane!
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