I got a nice run in this morning along the Thames River and managed to stave off most of the effects of jet lag, though I did come close to crashing at around 2pm. A short nap and a little espresso and I was back working.

Now onto day one…

We woke up at 7:45am and were at the hotel cafeteria by 8am for breakfast. There is only one guy working the counter and doing the cooking so orders took awhile and despite the price, were pretty crappy. Afterwards, we stopped by the Warden Office next door, bought a two day permit and we’re skinning up the valley behind the hotel by 10am.

Gabe & Al were on Randonee skis, which are basically alpine skis with a binding system that allows you to unlock the heel, so you can walk in skis similarly to a XC setup. Applying “skins” to your skis allows you to ski uphill. (Skins are removable pieces of plush fabric whose knap runs at an oblique angle, allowing the ski to glide forward, but not back.) Brian and I were on our splitboards with skins attached as well.

Rogers Pass

Rogers Pass

The skin was relatively flat and we made good progress towards the hill we were after. After stopping for a bit of lunch, we started the steeper climb. We did this for probably an hour before we decided to stop. The weather at the ridge crest was pretty windy and the snow crusty. No point in going any further. We removed the skins and started the ride down.

Rogers Pass
Rogers Pass
Rogers Pass

It was a pretty good run, but the low grade valley after the steep section proved to be a little too flat to ride on and BJ and I converted our boards back into skis and rode out. We thought about doing another run, but abandoned this idea in our laziness. Amazingly enough, Al and Gabe did as well. The snow wasn’t that great so we saw no need to keep going.
That night we went to Golden and hung out with our soon to be tour guide, Leslie. I played the role of designated driver as Golden is about an hour from Rogers Pass. We ate decent food at Taps, stopped by for a few beers at a Heavy Metal bar, and finally stopped by The Packers to see some DJ who was actually quite good. Golden is a small little town but there’s a pretty you young crowd there. We even met a couple from Calgary who kept buying us beers while they complained about the rules regarding visiting the US (passport required). We were back in bed by 2am.

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