What did you do to bring in 2014?
Get drunk with friends, loved ones, and randoms?
Eat too much, then pass out in your own gluttonous glory?
With 15 of my closest new and old friends.
So what made this different from a ‘normal’ New Year’s Eve?
We did it in a lodge where the only access was through helicopter.
My friend Kaymin organized a New Year’s trip months ago while I was in Spain.
He informed me that I was coming.
And that was that. There was no questioning. There was no second guessing. I was going to spend New Year’s with my close friend Kaymin, his girlfriend Rachael, and 13 people I had never met before.
We all met up on the morning of December 28th to load up the helicopter to take us, all of our ski gear, enough food for a week, and four kegs of beer into the middle of nowhere. You know, the essentials.
The helicopter ride was definitely a cool way to start the week.
I had flown once before in a heli, but it had been a long time ago in a far off land (aka 13 years ago, in New Zealand.)
The cabin that Kaymin had chose for our week of skiing and debauchery was called Vista Lodge, and he booked it through Golden Alpine Holidays.
This was the first time I had embarked on a week long ski trip, and I was excited to rip for a week in Canada’s fantastic Rockies.
We were dropped off at Vista Lodge after a 15 minute heli flight, from which we proceeded to unload our gear, and organize the lodge for the coming week. After everything was in place, we set off on our first exploration up the ridge to get some turns in, and see what the snow conditions were like.
Safety in the backcountry is a big concern, and we were lucky enough to have some very experienced people with us to help keep us safe. We poked around a bit, and after deciding that the slope was safe, we ripped out our first runs.
The first day of skiing was short, since we spent a good chunk of the day loading and unloading all of us, and all of our gear.
Each night two people were chosen to prepare the fuel to replenish our weary bodies, and to tantalize our taste buds.
The first night it was my duty, along with my new friend Scott, to feed the masses.
We created a tasty spaghetti dinner, with a sauce from scratch. I’d tell you the recipe, but then I’d have to kill you (in reality it’s in my head, and there’s no way I could properly write it down.)
The rest of the week was full of flowy turns in waist deep (or deeper) powder, followed by delectable dinners.
We had nearly a metre of fresh snow during our time at Vista Lodge, which meant there weren’t that many sunny breaks. When the sun did come out, we made the most of it by skiing in the alpine.
When it was snowing (5 of the 7 days) we were down in the trees, playing around with cliffs, pillows (of snow,) and gnarly lines.
All in all it was a fantastic trip, which I would gladly go on again (happily with the same group.)
Some of the highlights were:
-A gourmet meal prepared by Kaymin and Rachel, consisting of beef tenderloin, cream of potato bacon soup, mashed potatoes, gravy, and Yorkshire puddings.
-Skiing in Canada for seven straight days in deep, soft powder (first time on skis since 2011.)
-Detaching from all electronics for a week (I didn’t even bring an e-reader.)
-Learning more about the backcountry, and how to travel safely in it.
-Making new friends, whom I hope to ride with again in the near future.
So while all of you were getting drunk, eating too much, then passing out in your own gluttonous glory, we were all doing the same.
We were just very, very far from all of you.
Happy New Year! May 2014 be as awesome as this ski trip.