We had our first bear sighting of the season today. We were just on our way up the hill from Golden and were talking about the fact we hadn't seen any bears yet. Spring is when you see a lot of bears around Vagabond Lodge. Well no sooner we talked about not seeing any bears, there was a probably a 2 year old black bear at the side of the road feeding on the green grass. The bear showed no signs of being afraid of our car. He wandered away at first and then after a couple of minutes near the edge of the trees, came back up towards us. I have seen up to 8 or 9 bears on one trip between Golden and Vagabond Lodge which is only 13 km.
It was 9 years ago May 1 2004, Vagabond Lodge opened its doors to the public. Hard to believe it has gone by so quickly. We are starting to think about a year long birthday party starting May 1 2014 for our 10th anniversary. If you have any ideas, send them along. Certainly for our loyal guests we are going to have something special lined up. Here is a photo of Vagabond Lodge taken about a month before we opened. Vagabond Lodge was the only thing up at Kicking Horse at the time.
Kicking Horse finally announced their summer schedule. They won't be opening the Gondola on a regular basis until June 28th and then closing it on September 1 which makes for a very short summer operation again. They may be open the weekend prior on June 22 weekend. And like last year they will not have the dining room open for the public for dinner as they have booked the Eagle's Eye for weddings all summer. You can still go up for lunch though.
_________________________________________________________________ But there are plenty of things to do without going up to the top of the mountain. Whitewater Rafting on the Kicking Horse River will start in a few weeks, the Golf Course is open already, mountain biking trails in the area are exceptional and one of my favourite things to do is canoeing on the Columbia River. And of course once we get rid of the snow in the upper elevations we can start hiking.
Although it will be awhile before I can start doing any hikes of any significance, I finally got around to finishing a video I did last fall. I went with a friend Bob to Takakkaw Falls which is about a 45 minute drive east of Golden. Then we did a nice hike to Yoho Lake. It was a fabulous day as you can see.
Yesterday may have been my final ski run of the season at Kicking Horse. Or not!! With some new snow reported higher up, I decided to head up about noon and check it out. And as has been my ritual I elected to go up to T2 as I felt the snow would be the best. I was basically making fresh tracks all the way to the top and it was not very pleasant with light snow, blowing wind and poor visibility. But after a few minutes at the top it cleared a bit and I was probably the first person except for the ski patrol to go to the top and I had the entire slope to myself with about 8 cms of fresh snow. I savoured the moments and had a great run.
I have been making it a daily ritual of a trek to top of T2. At this time of the year, the trip up..is better than the trip down. Yesterday a group of us got together for the hike including a couple guests, Greg and Mick. Mick is the first skier I have seen to stand on the top of T2 wearing a kilt. He had a lot of incentive not to fall down. And I made sure I was climbing ahead of him as I really didn't want to find out what they wear under a kilt.
Mick and I also did the hike to top of Terminator too. Snow on T2 at the top was still nice and cold as it is east facing but the ski down Terminator was definitely spring time conditions. The days are numbered as the resort shuts down on Sunday. A great way to finish off the season.
It has been an amazing Easter Weekend at Kicking Horse. Sunny skies, and great spring skiing. My ritual over the past week has been hiking to the top of T2 or Terminator or both for a run. I enjoy the hike more than the run. The views are absolutely stunning. Great way to finish off the year as the resort closes this coming weekend. April 7th is the final day this year. I usually go up about 1pm and T2(East facing) has still some soft cold snow at the top and Terminator which is south facing has spring skiing conditions. Two runs from top to the bottom is enough for me.
Yesterday I went up with friend Bob and we did both peaks. Then it was beer time.
Here are a couple photos of us yesterday.