|Hayden Zavacky (11) Alberta Snowboarders|
- credit Kim Lebrun
Exciting news for Alberta Snowboarding - Team Alberta North has just been selected to go to the Arctic Winter Games at Fairbanks, AK in March.
I've had a busy week, too - a rush assignment for the Calgary Herald news section all about the 40-50 percent increase in UK visitors to Canadian ski resorts this season - you can read the whole article here: http://www.calgaryherald.com/travel/Weather+weaker+loonie+have+Brits+flocking+Alberta+resorts/9414751/story.html
|Loveland's Ridge Cat is now open Wed-Sun|
Things are looking good in Colorado, too, where 21 resorts reported a 22 percent increase in visitation for early season compared to the slow start last year. This increase surpassed the five year average by nearly 7 percent. Early snow, continued deluges, and the economic upturn have all helped facilitate this. With the Sochi Games about to start, Olympic fever has also influenced many boarder-line skiers and riders into making bookings.
|Lake Louise Daycare and Learning Area|
And I've also been writing about Lake Louise's incredible daycare facility (for The Dallas Morning News). This is not only a lovely log cabin-style building, filled with toys, music and laughter, but also takes babies from 18 days old, enabling new mums to get back on the slopes as soon as possible. Most other daycares in Canada start at 18 months. Best of all, it's right on the slopes (with free parking) and right next to the bunny hill. I discovered that this is the only infant daycare among all the top Canadian resorts.
Things have come a long way since I had young kids and had to schlep across a freezing cold European ski town at 7:30 am to put my newborn in the infant daycare and then plod in another direction to get my 3-year-old to his separate ski/play group and finally trudge 20 minutes uphill to make my own 9:00 am ski meet. Look out for my article in: http://www.dallasnews.com - if you put my name in the search box (look for the magnifying glass symbol), all the articles I have written for them recently will show up.
|Sapphire Valley Ski Resort in North Carolina|
Meanwhile the Polar Vortex has descended on the eastern seaboard of the US, bringing snow as far south as North Carolina. Between 3.5 and 10 feet has accumulated at Sapphire Valley, for example. Nothing here in sunny SC, but it's chilly enough to bring out all the fur trimmed boots and ski jackets, inspiring me to start packing for my forthcoming Utah trip - more about that exciting adventure next week.
|Sapphire Valley, NC|
It's amazing to think that snowsports are possible way down south in North Carolina! Especially when spring can start by the end of February and it's often what Northerners would consider summer temps in late March. One thing's for sure, you need to get out there as soon as it snows to take advantage.
Great snow at Cataloochee, too, where skiers are playing on 57-78 inches all over the mountain. As well as 17 slopes, there are 12 snow-tubing lanes open. During Jan's Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, locals get to take advantage of a really affordable $29 lesson, lift and rental package available on Liftopia.com.
|Cataloochee Ski Area, NC|
|Cataloochee Ski Area, NC|