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I managed to swing a trip to Canmore, Alberta, for Christmas with the family this year. While a full run-down of my adventures (read: a pile of skiing and not much else) is coming up shortly, for now you’re just going to have to be entertained with a few notes from the vacation.

Notes from Canmore

– Flying can either be horrible, or awesome. I was given a window seat (score!), found out it was next to a baby (not score), baby fell asleep before take-off and didn’t wake up for the entire flight (mega-score) and I watched the Bears destroy the Vikings in a one-sided extremely chilly battle (mega not-score).

– The skiing in Canmore – and particularly the Nordic Center – is awesome. While the snow coverage is still a little bit light in spots, collecting 6 hours of skiing in two beautiful sunny days at a fantastic venue was great.

– Back to back 3 hour classic skis are tough, even when you pick as nice terrain as we did.

– The Paintbox Lodge (owned by Sara Renner and her husband Thomas Grandi) is a flipping baller spot. My parents stayed there for a few days to kick off the vacation, and they really did so in style.

– Homemade pizza is way better than anything you’ll ever order, especially after a 3 hour ski.

– When your dad breaks out the kick wax in the middle of a classic ski and you chirp him about his “weight shift”, you better make sure you get grip for the rest of the ski, especially if he’s in better shape than you.

– Being a member of an active family sometimes sucks. Anytime you bring up ‘rest day’ or ‘work’ as something you have to do aside from skiing, you get laughed out of the room.

– Skate skiing is hard. About 15 minutes into one of my skate skis, my legs hurt, and I wished I had chosen to use my classic skis. Actual skating (as in on ice), on the other hand, has no uphills, and the glide is always fantastic.

– If you don’t already have one, buy a remote control helicopter.

– I’ve joined twitter, and I’m feeling self-conscious about my lack of followers. If you have it and want to know what I’ve eaten for dinner, and when I use the bathroom, look up joneskieran!

– While coaching at Ontario Cup races is a blast, there really isn’t much skiing involved. In three days I think I managed to ski for a total of an hour, most of that in the dark while testing in the morning.

– My sister is churning out the hats as her most recent arts and crafts project – it’s a bit of a cross-country skier cliché to make hats, but the wool bad boys she is making are really awesome, warm, and high quality.

– On Boxing Day, the Nordic Center is packed. The first 200 meters out of the stadium is a traffic jam, but as soon as you get further out, and find the less traveled routes (especially the ones with hairy downhills) the skiing gets less crowded.

I've skied in a lot worse conditions...

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