Monday, 3 April 2017

We had a great season of cross country skiing at Mount Washington

  by Keith and Heather Nicol
   It was a sad day when we cleaned out our ski locker at Raven Lodge on Sunday, April 2 to end the 2017 cross country ski season. Raven Lodge is the base of operations of cross country skiing and snow shoeing at Mount Washington near Courtenay, B.C on Vancouver Island. The year saw lots of relatively cool weather which was perfect for us since we like to classic ski and this meant we could use grip wax for much of the winter. Often temperatures at Mount Washington are around zero and this means that waxless skis work best for those people that don’t like to get into finicky waxing conditions. But waxable skis are faster and more enjoyable to ski on so this was a real bonus. 
Heather skiing with scenic Mt Albert Edward in the background
 I was involved in teaching cross country skiing a couple of times a week and this year I seemed to have more lessons especially from people from Victoria.  One memorable lesson involved 4 skiers – 2 from Victoria and 2 from Phoenix, Arizona.  The 2 couples were originally from India and I am not sure if they had ever seen snow. At first they said with alarm” Are these skis suppose to slide”? My normal lesson plan went out the window and we spent the first 30 minutes in front the lodge gingerly moving very slowly around on the flats. But by the end of the lesson they were all going up and down a small hill laughing and smiling. One was even tucking as she went downhill! What an improvement. 

Keith skating on packed powder through the meadows
    So next year if you have thought about trying cross country skiing or snowshoeing then check out Raven Lodge at Mount Washington. They have over 50 km of trail groomed for skating and classic skiing as well as many snowshoe trails. Raven Lodge has great mountain views and inside you can have a bite to eat, book rentals and lessons, buy day tickets and even have a sauna.  Lets hope next winter brings the same great skiing to Mount Washington.  For more information see:  
Raven Lodge is full service facility at Mount Washington

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