The sun was shining on Red Mountain and the guys from the NONSTOP Snow Safari, not to mention my first days snowboarding of the 2009/10 winter season. A beautiful blue bird day, excellent snow conditions and a great group of people to snowboard with, what more could you ask for?!
My arrival into Rossland Friday night with my friend Georgie was long awaited after two days of traveling from snow covered blighty. After a tour of the awesome little mountain town of Rossland, it was drinks and dinner with the Snow Safari guys who had pulled into town early that day. Japanese of all cuisines was on the menu at the excellent ‘Drift’ restaurant. While the group tucked into their raw fish I filled my stomach with a good old fashion steak and tempura vegetables which was delicious. The whole group gorged themselves with food and drink and generally had a great time. Then it was early to bed as Red Mountain the next day beckoned.
Stepping out of the apartment Saturday into the crisp morning air and seeing the blue skies above filled me with a rush of excitement. While the skiers joined Brent from Canadian ski quest for a tour and a blast around the mountain, Georgie and I joined Jean Francois (JF) and the snowboarder elite of the Snow Safari.
After a breathtaking lift ride to the top of Granite mountain it was time to strap in the back foot and find my balance once again on a snowboard. It didn’t take long and after a couple of tentative turns the urge to ‘giver’ took over and we were off!
After a burger in the sun at the paradise lodge at mid-mountain we hit the slopes hard once more. The bravery was growing amongst the group and the terrain quickly changed from cruisy blue runs to gnarly black runs through the trees and the powder. Props to the Snow Safari guys and their guide and coach JF, as they took on the challenge and tamed the beast that was the double black to end all double blacks! Just one week in to the Safari the guys were strutting their stuff and showing their improvements as JF beamed with pride and deservedly so! Well done Jean Francois!
A full and extremely satisfying days riding was capped with an après ski pitcher or two of beer and some live music at Rafters bar on the hill. Cat Boarding the next day- does life get any better than this?
By Adam Hillier