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7th Feb 2010 – Setting up in Vancouver, Canada

February 8, 2010

As I headed through the airport to catch my plane to Canada, it finally dawned on me that I was going away from the UK for a considerable period again. It really hadn’t sunk in until then. The appropriate action to take at this point? Buy as much English chocolate as I can with the cash I have left in my wallet as my survival stash. It wasn’t enough. Next time I’ll prioritise the chocolate stash.

Things have gone at quite a pace here in the 3 ½ weeks I’ve been away. The first weekend I skied on Whistler’s Blackcomb mountain with very little previous skiing experience. By day 6 I’d found a room to stay in with a nice Canadian girl in an apartment block not far away from my English friends in a lovely area of Vancouver called Kitsilano. It’s close to the beach, 10 minutes cycle ride from the city and has a good view of the north shore mountains. Later in the same day I got a job offer from Grouse Mountain, one of the aforementioned north shore mountains, for the Olympic period as an ice-rink attendant. I was bouncing off the walls in excitement at the thought of working on a ski mountain as I want to learn to snowboard!

Since then it’s not snowed a lot so I’ve been with friends mountain-biking in Squamish a couple of times. The lack of snow has been a hot topic in the press here because one of the north shore mountains, Cypress, is the venue for the Winter Olympic freestyle skiing and the snowboard half-pipe in less than a weeks time. It’s been unseasonably warm in Vancouver between 8 and 12 degrees C.

Lack of snow also made my job situation a little precarious as fewer staff are needed when there’s no snow. Well, there is still snow up there but not the regular downfall and so the snowbase is not big enough to run some of the attractions and keep all of the runs open. Long story short, this last week I was trained as a ski-lift attendant so that I can help out on the lift teams because Grouse Mountain is open 24/7 during the Olympic period. So I’ll be making sure that the crazy people who wish to ski in the wee small hours stay safe on their way up to the tops of the slopes!

This weekend I’ve finally let myself slow down and had a good rest – much needed as I’ve been cycling 7 miles mostly uphill to get to work at silly hours like 5.30am.

I am looking forward to soaking up some of the Olympic atmosphere which kicks off on Friday.
So, that’s a snapshot of the time so far. I intend on writing up in detail my Whistler skiing experience and a bit more about what Vancouver is like in the run up to the Olympics but I didn’t want to make this too long.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. crazybikelady permalink*
    March 30, 2010 12:59 am

    I’m from the UK but I tend to pick up the language usage of the place I’m in so I’m possibly talking in North American English now!

  2. crazybikelady permalink*
    March 30, 2010 12:59 am

    Thanks!

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