I love exploring the amazing terrain we have around Vagabond Lodge. They call it "slackcountry." It means taking the gondola to the top of the mountain then heading out of bounds and then being able to come back to the resort at the bottom. You can really go in either direction. My favourite is to head south. It involves about a 30 minute hike/climb and then away you go. We only go with snow conditions are safe and never go without avalanche safety gear such as transceiver, probes, shovels. Nothing is 100% fool proof. I usually go with a former National Park Warden who knows all the terrain like the back of his hand. I feel safe going with him and we follow his instructions. The video is from a few days ago with him and a few other people. It doesn't get much better with your clothes on.
Our coldest spell of the winter is over. For the past week or so daytime temperatures were in the -20C range and even colder. I was shocked to see it as busy as it was here at Kicking Horse. But I have been surprised generally about the skiers here this winter. I did not go skiing during this cold spell. Been there, done that. I personally do not enjoy skiing when it gets that cold. Instead I did some snowshoeing out our backdoor and that was great. It was cold to start but you warm up quickly. But with the cold weather I started to think a lot about warmer days. I am truly optimistic about better days ahead concerning the pandemic and the tourism industry. I can see some glimmers of hope in the future. But with warmer days ahead, I think of what I like to do the most and that is kayaking. Our backyard is an adventure playground. One of my favourite places to kayak is on Bow Lake in Banff National Park. It is about an hour and a half drive from Vagabond. Truly amazing spot. Sometimes winds can be tricky and storms can blow up in an instant it seems which I have experienced. I love skiing and usually I don't think about summer until the ski season is over. But this year it is a season filled with good thoughts. Video is from last summer kayaking on Bowl Lake.
We usually get a cold spell each winter and we have it right now. Temperatures range from about -16C at the bottom of the resort to about -22C at the top. Sorry...too cold for skiing for me. Been there, done that. We haven't had too many guests this winter but we do have some right now and they are braving the colder weather and seem to be enjoying it. We are certainly better off than an hour east at Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. Sunshine Village outside of Banff is actually closed today due to the colder weather but they are in the -30C range and with limited indoor space because of covid they are doing the right thing and closing. I see Marmot at Jasper is also closed today. We are so lucky to have a gondola. No way I am getting on a chair lift in that kind of temperature. It is supposed to get warmer closer to the weekend so it is not a long cold spell. Our covid numbers in BC has stabilized in the past couple weeks which is great to see and in Golden we have managed to have a few isolated cases but no outbreaks unlike Whistler, Big White and Fernie in recent weeks. The BC Government is supposed to unveil some new restrictions for ski areas in the next few days. I assume this has to do with Whistler and staff housing and parties. With the big long weekend coming up for Alberta and BC there is concern and rightly so, about outbreaks as a result of holiday time. We hope everyone will take a deep breath and wait for travel and parties, when it is safe. We know how lucky we are to live where we do. Friend Patrick and I were one of the first a few days ago to climb to the top of T1 after a big snowfall to get some first tracks. It was a special day. Enjoy the video. If you are looking for a feel good story for today, click here. This story happened just down the road from Golden.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.