Pineapple Express

Recent weather has brought us the pineapple express. As per usual, when the east gets cold and stormy, the west gets warm and wet. Carol and I went to the Radium, BC area this past weekend (Jan 24-25/15) to primarily cross-country skiing at Nipika Lodge, which we did on the Saturday.

After driving the 14km off of Highway 93 down Settler's Road in about 10 cm of new snow, we met up with Lyle, who was plowing the parking lot. We went into his warm waxing barn, and discussed waxes for the above-freezing conditions just as the groomer came in from grooming the 50 km of track skiing. At Lyle's insistence, I waxed one of my skis with SkiGo orange (-1C to +3C), and he put some of  his VR65 on the other ski - smearing it well past the typical kickwax areas. Then I tried the skis for 100m on the fresh grooming, and couldn't tell the difference. Lyle is a great help though. The fees are $12/person - a bargain.

Until halfway back, the wax worked OK - no icing, no clumping - just a bit slick. In the meantime, the trails are superb for both track and skating! Very wide - lots of rolling terrain and corners following the Kootenay River north to a natural bridge, and looping back over another bridge. There are various route selections and intersections, but very well marked on maps and signs. Apparently the South trails are flatter - we'll try them another time. Highly recommend trying this area out!

Sunday we went up to the Panarama ski area in hopes of cooler temps with the altitude, but it ended up being +3C. We skied a 20 km loop anyway ($13/person). Then the Nordic Centre people let me try a "fat tire" bike, which the one guy calls a "fun tire" bike. Went up the trail a ways, and learned it's a significant workout going up an easy grade. Fun down of course.

Jury is out on that sport for me - rather ski in the winter.