I’ve been in Canada for nearly 2 weeks and I can safely say that this is one of the best places that I have ever boarded. All my previous snowboarding and skiing had been done in the Alps. Whilst the snow and terrain there is incredible it doesn’t come close to the powder days here and the trees. North America is all about the tree runs and they are the most fun thing you can do on snow.
The first couple of days were spent travelling. The flight was long but not as bad as I expected. We then had a couple of hours on a bus before stopping at a very cold and windy travelodge in Chilliwack. A few hours later we were back on the bus after having a traditional pancake breakfast. The journey went through multiple national parks and the mountain scenery was mind blowing. It is never ending.
We got to Big White Mountain and we were split in to our rooms. I ended up with 3 other blokes down in Happy Valley. It involves getting a gondola up to the village but it does have it’s own private hot tub and is a pretty swish looking apartment. The rest of the day was spent getting to know the area, sorting ski passes and then we were off to dinner with the rest of the group.
Week 1 of lessons began and we were basically just trying to get used to being on snow again. We focused on rider development to get us to the level required for CASI Level 1. It was relaxing and really good fun exploring the mountain. The first weekend came round and we spent Saturday as a 7 man squad exploring Gem Lake and the further reaches of the mountain. Sunday was a bit more chilled but we still spent a few hours on snow. There was no way I was missing a day.
Week 2 was a full 5 days of snowboarding. Lots of the focus was on continued rider development as well as the basics of the CASI teaching model. Some great powder days meant that we headed for the trees and bumpy sections. Not only for the fun but also to perfect our riding style in a variety of terrain.
On Thursday we were learning 180s and a few of us went out to try the night runs and have a bit of fun. I managed to land a couple of them but on one of them I landed with a straight back leg and felt something go snap or crack or crunch in my ribcage. It didn’t seem to affect my riding too much so I didn’t really think much of it.
The next day it hurt but I could still snowboard so carried on with the lessons regardless. I have just taken the weekend off to rest up as it is still hurting. I’m guessing it’s either a bruised or a cracked rib. The general advice is rest and taker pain medication. There’s not much that can be done so I guess I’ll just try not to fall on it. I don’t have time to take any days off in the week as the Level 1 exam is only a couple of weeks away. Let’s hope it clear up quickly.