As mentioned in the story of our Christmas holidays, we went skiing and snowboarding a number of times over the Christmas break. With such an enjoyable time in Sunshine Village over the holidays, we had to do some more once back home.

The local mountains were looking a little scarce for snow. We had spent considerable time last year skiing at Seymour Mountain. Susan had really mastered skiing there in the 02/03 season. The reports were though that there just wasn't much snow. Having bought some ski pants in Calgary over the holidays, we took advantage of the after Christmas sales and bought Susan some skis and boots. The skis and poles were from Sport Chek. The boots were some used ones from a second hand store. Buying from Sport Chek pointed out that Whistler-Blackcomb was one possibility. Sport Chek had something called a gold card express which was good for five days of Skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb. We thought we would go for it since the local mountains were looking questionable. The week after we got the ski cards the snow arrived and gave the local mountains their best snow base in years. We were committed to Whistler though.

Our first day at Whistler was mid January. We arrived around 10:00. I know you're expecting us to say we had a great time. Honestly? We didn't have that good of a time. Susan's new boots weren't working that well so she was having a tough go. Glen was enthused to try out some skis from the demo equipment available on the mountain. Glen's had also done some research which had given him a goal. He had phoned one of the ski shops in Whistler and was looking to get a 50% off deal on a pair of Atomic (shape) skis. The ski shop was the ever common CanSki which has four outlets in Whistler. Assuming the skis worked out as demos, I was looking forward to buying them at a good discount. I was looking specifically for the Atomic Beta Carve C9 skis. The guys at the Blackcomb demo booth said they didn't have any in my size. They said I could go over to the Whistler demo booth and maybe find them. It being after 11:30, the demo booths closing at 1:00, and it taking over an hour to get from the top of Blackcomb, home of the Blackcomb demo booth, to the top of Whistler, the home of the Whistler demo booth, it didn't seem too promising. They did recommend I try out some Rossignol Bandit B2s.

The one run I took with the B2s was great!

After I handed back the B2s, the next, and subsequent, runs down the mountain seemed to be so much work. Understand that my skis were some Head Jean Claude Killy skis, the first fibreglass skis ever made (as compared to wood), many people had told me the last few years how great the new curve skis were. Now I was a believer. It did not however make the rest of my morning that enjoyable having to return to using my Head Killy skis. After lunch we decided to stop in at the CanSki shop to see about the skis. I couldn't quite remember what shop exactly I had talked to on the phone. I went into one of the shops in Whistler, they were selling the skis for full price. I got some help from one of the sales guys, who suggested the 50% might be at a different shop. He suggested getting there by going out and taking a bus. He gave quite explicit instructions as to what bus to take. We got on the bus and headed off. fifteen minutes later we were travelling through some more remote condos on the mountain, and were thinking to ourselves that we definitely should have just tried to ski to this shop. Half an hour of riding, and we finally arrived at the shop. You can't believe our irritation to see that we were only about a five minute walk away from where we had started our ride. We, in a disgruntled mood, checked out the CanSki to see if they had the skis at 50% off. Theye didn't! I did manage to salvage a little bit of the day, getting on the Whistler gondola from the Village base just at a minute to three, and so got to the top of Whistler about 20 after, which maximized my vertical since the last lift on the mountain picked up right at three. Whistler was very foggy, and I got down about 4:00. Although a little disgruntled, I did still have a drive to try to find these 50% off skis. We drove to a third CanSki, they didn't have the skis at 50% either.

On the way back to Burnaby, we stopped in at the Howe Sound Brew Pub, in Squamish, for dinner.

The following week, Glen just gave up on the Atomic skis and finally just bought the Bandit B2s at a local store.

A week later we did some research. We weren't certain if Susan's problems from the week before were because of her boots or her skis. We decided to do some research. Pauline happened to be in town so we picked her up and were off to Mount Seymour. Susan got a tow rope ticket since we weren't really there to ski but to research. She also got some rental equipment. She took the rental boots and tried it with her skis. It worked well.

We left Seymour and were off to Westside Sport & Ski. The guy there was really helpful, he fitted Susan with some good Nordica boots. Although they seemed tight, the fellow promised that after the first couple of outings they would mould to her feet. Since we wanted to go to Whistler on the Sunday, he said he could push through the binding adjustment and get them done on the quick that day.

Sunday we were off again to Whistler. Susan with her new skis and really new boots. Glen with his new skis. We took with us one of Glen' coworkers, who was going to be skiing alone in Whistler anyway. Susan's new boot/ski combination were much improved, although the boot tightness was causing her considerable pain in the toes. Susan quit skiing a little after lunch to get a reprieve from the toe pain, and Glen with Denis spent the afternoon having fun on the Blackcomb Glacier.

That evening on the way back to town, traffic was really bad. After crawling along the highway for a good hour, we pulled into the Tim Horton's/ Wendy's in Squamish. We had a Wendy's dinner while waiting for the highway traffic to subside.

A couple of weeks later we were again off to Whistler. For the first time, we really both had a good day of skiing. Susan's new boots were finally wearing in, and Glen's new skis, which he was becoming more and more accustomed to, were wonderful. We had a fun filled day with our new equipment.

After skiing we spent some time looking around in the shops in the village looking for new boots for Glen. His current pair were from the 80's. After looking through a good number of the stores in Whistler, we still couldn't find something perfect. By the time the hunt was wrapping up, it was dark. We decided we should eat in Whistler, it was Valentine's day after all! We put our name in at the Olde Spaghetti Factory. The waiting list was about an hour long. Thinking it was probably in line for the evening it was, we walked around the village a little. Glen also tried on some more ski boots at the closest CanSki, but didn't find anything fitting. The dinner certainly matched our good day! We enjoyed the food immensely. We got back to town quite late.

Once again Glen had better luck at a local store, the following day he got a new pair of ski boots at a local store.

The next time to Whistler Glen went by himself. He learned the benefits of parking at and skiing from the Creekside base. It was a pretty good day of skiing, made all the more enjoyable by the new boots.

The next time out was with Glen's parents at SunPeaks in Kamloops. We had a very good time. Even though the snow was quite soft, and was spring skiing, Susan really enjoyed the dryer snow. We could even see Copper Island at Shuswap lake as we went up the Crystal Chair. That afternoon after skiing we had a very enjoyable time in the public hottub.

One more time to Whistler a weeks later. We both thought (Susan especially), that the snow was too soft. I know that some people really enjoy spring skiing, but I think both of us think that if it's spring one should really be taking up something else. I think we're going to be winter skiers only in the future. That evening we stopped in at the Boston Pizza in Squamish and had a lovely dinner with Susan's old friend Balwant, his wife Karen, and their kids. We had a great time.

Throughout the season we certainly had our ups and downs, but I know we're glad we did so much skiing. We're looking forward to doing more skiing in the coming year.

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