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

Just Posted

Where to store Valley’s history

A proposed temporary museum space solution to protect the Bulkley Valley’s history.

Time to decide your leaders

Where to vote Saturday and voting machine explained.

Million-dollar culture centre donation

Harvey and Corry Tremblay pledge up to $1 million towards Smithers library/gallery project.

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Cod Gone Wild brings its ‘Celtic fusion’ to Glenwood Hall

Okanagan-based band celebrates release of its newest album The Islander

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Most Read