At the Gates of Wonderland

We’ve arrived in Vancouver two days ago. Vilma has contracted (Dengue?) fever somewhere along the way, which started to manifest just the day we flew in (for the immigration record: after we passed the controls), meaning that she had medium to high fever and is pretty tired all the time. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but start to get amped for the wealth of snow and mountains that is waiting all around.

I bought a car on the first full day in Van. It was so straightforward, I became the owner of a licensed and insured car only 30 hours after we’d arrived here. It’s a 2001 Ford Explorer 4×4, and it cost me no more than 2500 CAD (or 1700 EUR) with the odometer at 171.000km. The rear seats are fully collapsable, so even a tall guy like me can sleep in the car if needed. It is actually the first car ever licensed in my name. Seems I had to become 35 years old and come all the way to BC to get that accomplished!

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So I’m a ‘Ford man’ now?

Yesterday we’ve been to the MEC store, looking into skis, sleeping bags, guide books etc. We both got really excited about getting on skis. I’ve chosen to buy new skis after thoroughly checking that Craigslist wasn’t offering anything suitable enough… well, almost nothing. I let the lust for brand new gear have the best of me in the end. Stupid.

I started reading this guide book yesterday night and my anticipation went uphill immediately: 450 pages of mountains and corresponding ski trips. And that’s only the coastal range of British Columbia. Let me quote you some of my favourites:

“Snow Conditions: Deep and lots of it! … The Coast Mountains receive the heaviest snowfalls of any mountain range in Canada. The annual snowfall is typically about 10m…”

“One of the most outstanding features of the Coast Mountains ist their wilderness. Roads cross the range only four times along its entire length between Vancouver and Skagway. … Few other areas except Antarctica and the Far North can offer the same degree of pristine mountain wilderness as the Coast Mountains.”

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Source: “Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis: A Guide to Ski Mountaineering, by John Baldwin

A Swiss shop clerk living here already for 15 years advised me to start by going to the interior until mid February, then go up north, and come back to the Coast Range in March and April. Quote ‘stupid amounts of powder’ are to be found in places like Revelstoke and Whitewater right now, ‘the stuff that you come here for’.

The allure of an almost endless country of snow covered mountains and true wilderness is fueling my inner fire already fiercely. Unfortunately, it seems like I have developed a little illness too now, and and that delays any advance into the inland for the moment.

 

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