Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Its the Big White Blog!
We’re getting the hang of this Greyhound thing now… with thanks to Lauren who gave us a lift to the station, we had a very smooth and ‘brief’ five hour trip to Kelowna; apparently the biggest and driest city in BC. It was only once we arrived that we realized we should have booked a transfer to the ski slope (60km away) three days earlier. But fate remained on our side… after a couple of phone calls, we got hold of a shuttle which had just left the airport so we had to wait a whole 15 minutes for it to turn up – result!
And so we arrived at Big White, welcomed by huge piles of snow. Big White is all self-contained with nothing close by, so in some ways a bit like a prison. But a nice prison.
The hostel was not much to write home about (ironic then that this is exactly what I’m doing). We arrived to a room of 4 others, very young with stinky socks. Then once we realized how expensive the prison shop was, it was back on the bus down to one of Kelowna’s many supermarkets. We splurged and had Chinese in the “mall” as time was getting on and we wouldn’t be back in the hostel until 10pm (bedtime!) early night for a fun day boarding.
The snow is the best we’ve seen so far, so even though the locals were complaining we thought it was great, fluffy, no ice and no rocks coming through - a result for us! The mountain itself is massive with loads of great runs which we aimed to tick off along our stay. On the Sunday I took full advantage of the free ”ski hosts” who will show you their mountain and tell you all about Big White it was great I had Janette all to myself, no one else wanted the crazy boarder! and Tim? Well, Tim had breakfast and a sit down with a
good book until I came back and got him for an afternoons boarding, showing him all I had seen which was quite frankly too much apparently and I was left to go solo the following day which was great as it was powder day ***** unfortunately I got wiped out by an out of control loon who damaged my board so I had to take a day off to get it repaired, the pretty pink board with white base now has a shatter in the paint work which looks like the cow has sneezed! and the base has a fetching “black” ptex patch, honestly don’t they have white?
So as there was no boarding to be done, we decided to go snow shoeing, it was so much fun having huge feet, we walked for miles passing the huskies who you can go out with for a sleigh ride if you have the money and the horse drawn sleigh by tom & jerry, two beautiful, huge shire horses, but as we’re on a budget we just patted them on snow-shoed on . We did allow ourselves a beer on the sunny veranda on one of the bars later on and it felt more like a holiday, definitely somewhere to go if you have money and group of pals who want to board and have fun.
To get out of the hostel - which quite frankly was dire - was really nice! We later found out that is wasn’t supposed to be open this season but the developers decided they wanted some money so they open it as is, it had that feeling about it that nobody really cared, customer service & cleanliness were not key, but as it’s the only one on the mountain and we didn’t have transport or much money we were stuck there. On the plus side, it was ‘ski-in, ski-out’… you could just walk up a small slope, put your board on and go, and then pop back for lunch, bonus! In many ways an uninspiring place but we did meet a lovely kiwi, Dannyelle (currently a londoner) who provided us with a wealth of information for South America (so thank you and hope the wrist heals quickly!).