Fernie, 6th January 2008

We have travelled several thousand miles and the air temperature has plummeted by at least 40 degrees since we left Dakar on the 21st December.

After a quick Christmas at home (thanks to Mona and to Paddy & Mary for putting us up and looking after us!), we packed up our bags again and left on the morning of the 28th December. We were slightly the worse for wear – probably not the best idea to have a party the night before we left – but great to see those of you who came along! We managed to get ourselves through Chicago and Homeland Security in plenty of time for our flight to Calgary – only to miss it! Luckily there was one a couple of hours later. Chicago O’Hare airport resembled a fall-out zone full of disgruntled people whose flights were cancelled due to weather, and the intercom continually advised us that the security code was “orange”(?!)

The last leg of our journey involved a Greyhound bus from Calgary to Fernie. On arrival at 3am we discovered that Cathal’s bag of things-that-should-not-be-lost had indeed been lost (later transpired it was stolen) so all in all it was an interesting journey!

First Week in Fernie

We spent the first few days here adjusting to the arctic temperatures and finding our feet as part of the NonStop experience. And so far it really has been non-stop! We bought skis and skiboots here in Fernie – an exercise that you may regard as simple but in fact took us 2 days to complete. Last out on the hill….the only Irish people….you get the picture!

Mt Fernie Mount Fernie – behind our lodge Fernie Ski Hill The Ski Hill signs!

New matching skis for the girls! New Matching Skis for the girls!

We are staying in a newly renovated lodge, which is full of people on Non Stop Courses. Despite a few teething problems it is a lovely place to stay, and we eat our meals here during the week too. We are sharing the experience with 24 others, whom we are getting to know gradually. A New Years Eve party and a trip to an Ice Hockey game last Friday helped to warm everybody up!

We were straight into lessons (which happen four days per week) once we sorted out our gear. This was followed up by a weekend Avalanche course. The first day was a powerpoint day, but the following day we got to go and dig snow pits, bury things and people and use exciting things like tranceivers and probes. This is all in preparation for our backcountry skiing experience – bring it on!

CDB on slopes New Boots!

Jane Jane looking a little blown up

Cathal at Fernie Hill Thats a little better!

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