Skiing at WOP

By: Liam Patterson

Amongst the great BC pines prevails a most invigorating sensation. The clouds hung low, and draped an immense sheet of fog throughout the trees. The precipitation perspired onto my glasses and formed a thin layer of droplets on my jacket. I came to a flat section where my glide could be elongated and my speed increased. The fresh corduroy track glistened and the wrinkles crumbled under each stride echoing its crunch. The cool breeze drifted by as I made my way down the gradual hill. I found myself wondering where the mountains had disappeared to in the fog. It was like a completely new place without them as your centrepiece. Though you could not see them you felt their immense presence anyhow which added to the eeriness of this scene.

Another day of overcast and rain. Something not uncommon to the coast, and something that makes the sunny days all the more pleasurable. We had just returned from Canmore where we had been training and racing for a week, though the weather was not too much better there either. How lucky we became as the week went on and gratified us with days of sunshine strung along like words on a page. The surreality of the picturesqueness that encircled myself would be a rude awakening into the beauty of our country for many. The appreciation has sunk in well with myself now and yet each day I'm out, I could not help but soak in the serenity and the warmth it provoked. The silence sung on in a shrill hush as I made my way onwards and I found myself lost in the possible outcome of what if this wouldn't last forever?

I had many days to investigate the exorbitant amount of kilometres. I found myself looking out over to the Black Tusk, where the Top of the World languorously leads up to a magnificent lookout. Norwegian Woods and onwards to Madeley Lake quickly became a staple route, however I found myself thoroughly enjoying skiing with the dogs on the ski joring loop. One Saturday we enrolled ourselves into the local Coast Cup being hosted. It was long and hard and most of us were still quite sore from the hard days that led up. Although where I'm from, there would be something truly appalling about wearing merely a bib and tights mid January. For one of our longer training days we skied up to the top of Callaghan Country to explore the authentic Scandinavian lodge and upper trails. The sun rays blazed sensuously and I was irradiated with an intense euphoria. The lake up top was in moderate condition to crust ski, and we took full advantage as we entertained ourselves with the reality of being truly nestled in the white capped mountains. I believe I fell in love with this place and I wish that I could live up top in that lodge until I grew old.

The next week we continued on with our usual regiment and the blue skies remained. It's unfortunate that I became so accustomed to the positive degrees and clear skies as the weather in Ontario would not be of the sort. However, this is where we would be ushered to next. When the end of the week drew its last breaths, we packed up and headed off to the next event. These past weeks in Whistler were an innocuous reminder at the unfathomable quality of life we have on the Callahan Valley Training Centre.

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