Banff, Brrs and the Canadian Rockies

I wore my Athleta tightsKuhl dress and ‘broken-foot ‘ for the occasion. There’s just something fancy and girly about the Fairmont Hotels but with this particular outfit I was both girly and mountainy- even with the boot. The boot was to get me through the long-ass walk from Delta’s check-in to the international B Gates. I’m walking (and skiing) but the foot still throbs and slows me down when I’m walking on it for too long. It also doesn’t hurt getting pushed through security in a wheelchair and being first on the plane.

The dress didn’t clash with the boot, btw. I was on my way to the Banff Springs Hotel tucked up in the Canadian Rockies and I wanted to dress for the occasion. After all, I was staying in a castle. Plus, the flight was a surprisingly short 2.5 hours from Salt Lake City to Calgary. I wouldn’t need sweats to be comfortable.

Delta’s direct on a Skywest Canadian Air Jet was nothing like my trip to San Diego last week. First, I arrived two hours before takeoff as per the international directions (actually it said three hours but come on, no one needs three hours on a Thursday?) rather than the 10 minutes to door close on the SD flight. My heart didn’t stop pounding for that trip till we landed. Second, the amazingly nice gate agent upgraded me to an economy comfort seat today meaning that my knees wouldn’t have to be glued to my chest. Only one hour more and I could have been skiing in Canada rather than eating Turkey with Mom and Dad, I considered.

Of course, my bag barely made it on- 49 pounds. The weather forecast in Banff is no warmer than in Utah. Minus 6 as a high! I packed for layers upon layers. Without a man’s “fur” or a thick ring of winter fat, I am woefully unprepared for this cold. In went the climate-control Helly Hansen outfit, the wool Krimson Klover tights, the mile-high stack of hand warmers, Kamik boots that I pretty much wear only to snowmobile, thick neck gaiters, etc. I still won’t be warm enough. You would think that I would leave the frigid temps of Park City, Utah, for a warm, sunny plot of sand somewhere. But it’s finally ski season. The waves can wait.

I called the rental shop in Lake Louise last night. They’re not letting their high performance demos out until they get more snow. That’s not a good sign. I had heard they were getting more snow than us? Maybe that’s B.C. (British Columbia) and not this region. Calgary is more middle-west Canada. B.C. is the west coast where the snow can turn to rain and slush in an instant; where the mountains are rockier and the temps are warmer.

But I was able to talk them out of a pair of Salomon Q105s. Looking forward to testing those. I told them I was a ski instructor on a media fam and I would not thrash them. I’d rather not haul around my gear (other than boots) even though Delta allows a ski bag and boot bag to count as your one checked bag. The problem with depending on a ski rental shop in another resort to provide you comparable gear is depending on them to provide you with comparable gear. I’m 5’6″ but ski above an intermediate. Rarely does a shop have a beefy ski in my size (170-175) or- if they do- they have one pair that’s already been rented. Since I’m the first to take these skis out this season, I was in luck. The Dynastar’s stay home in my garage.

We’re landing. More to come.