Mike Grace-Dacosta (L) discusses the very basics with instructor Frankie Tam (R) before strapping on the snowboard for some moving around the gentlest of slopes..

Hudson Bay Mountain wins over winter-weary reporter

This reporter learned to embrace the powder.

This might sound like heresy since I’m in ski country, but other than snow tubing and hockey I don’t like winter sports. I’m the type of person to wrap myself in three layers of blankets if it gets below -5 so the idea of willingly spending half a day up on a mountain is nonsense to me.

The one thing I’ve heard over and over again since coming to Smithers is that this town has some of the best skiing in the province and that it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

So after some prodding from my coworkers (and hearing about the hill for the 500th time) I agreed to go up Hudson Bay Mountain to see what all the hype was about.

I decided to go snowboarding because I had fun the one time I went as a kid and, honestly, it’s just cooler than skiing (please don’t kill me skiers).

After signing up for a lesson I got my gear and was ready to hit the slopes. Or at least I thought I was.

The first thing I learned is you can’t be a snowboarder if you skip leg day. At times you need to bring your board uphill by dragging and lifting it with one leg, which obviously can get quite tiresome and oddly requires some ankle strength.

This seems obvious in retrospect but balance is also key. I can’t count the amount of times I ended up flat on my back after a run simply because I lost my balance as I was coming to a stop or how many times I struggled to even get up after falling down.

My instructor Frankie Tam was extremely patient with me throughout my many mishaps. He was always there to help me back up after I fell and didn’t mind taking breaks if he saw I was struggling to climb up a hill.

His patience paid off as eventually things began to click and I started having more control of my board going down the hill. Of course, I’m no pro but at least now I won’t be falling down at the end of every run now.

Which is another thing I wasn’t totally prepared for. I didn’t know how to fall safely. I kept extending my hands out to break my fall which, as Tam told me, would only serve to break my wrists. Falling correctly also helps avoid neck strains — something I wish I knew beforehand.

When I woke up the next morning my body was a wreck. My neck, back, wrists and feet were a mess and would stay that while for the next few days but I didn’t care. I loved every minute on the hill.

The rush from going down a slope at speeds, the sense of accomplishment of finally nailing a toe edge turn, is incredible.

Spending half a day on mountain isn’t nonsense, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life and I can’t wait to go back.

mike.grace-dacosta@interior-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

Illegal fishing, snowmobiling caught in Caribou-protected areas of northern B.C.

Closures are to support the recovery of caribou herds: BC Conservation Officer Service

Most Read