Although I had secured a job, I had about 2 weeks in the village before my start date officially began and the mountain officially opened. Since we had already gotten several dumpings of snow and I was forced to look at the frosty slopes on a daily basis, there was not way I was going to be able to sit around and NOT ski during this time.
Since none of the chair lifts were actually in operation yet, skiing was still something easier said than done. Completing a single run meant hiking all the way to the top in ski boots (which are virtually impossible to even walk along flat ground in) and freezing cold conditions.
Being both overly excited and overly stubborn, I wasn’t going to let this get in my way of hitting the slopes! Starting with a couple practice runs down the cat trails, which basically ended at my back door, I eventually made it to the point where I was able to hike up the actual slopes of Big White.
The weirdest thing about touring is the fact that getting up the mountain is significantly more difficult than getting down. When you’re wearing ski boots and lugging skis and poles up even a green run, it takes a lot out of you. I used to be impressed with myself for being able to hike up mountains in the summer in my shorts carrying a backpack with nothing in it but half a water bottle and a granola bar was impressive. After touring a couple of the slopes, I feel like I’d be able to sprint up those same mountains in the summer and have it be a piece of cake!
Although you don’t get a lot of actual skiing in on these days (it took about a good 2 hours to go halfway up and down the mountain once), the ride is so rewarding knowing you’ve fully conquered the hill, even a green run can feel invigorating!
(Not to say I didn’t spend the majority of the hikes cursing the lifts for being out of operation.)