Tuesday, January 22, 2013

hiking in snow - part i

it's been a long, exhausting, and pleasurable weekend. now i could use another one to sleep this one off. i'm of half a mind to stop posting to my blog because i'm investing time in details of my life instead of in other things; but this is a habit that's really tough to break.

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friday:

friday was super-relaxed. i had a short chat with my sister, and got myself invited to a pub to watch a hockey game :)

i finally finished what i'd been working on all week: stupid mac workaround, in order to perform a build using the customized scripts i had to do everything *except* press the button marked "build". the errors qt threw at me became progressively less helpful as i worked through it, reinforcing my conviction that the global software development ecosystem is properly broken.

a positive experience almost made up for all of that: i automated something using microsoft's robocopy: what a cool tool!

having finally achieved my personal goals for the week, and having done a bit of reviewing and coaching while i was at it, i finished my day with a feeling of exhilaration: i was off for dinner and a movie to be followed by a weekend snowboarding!

the reality of being in limbo: i thought pg was getting comfortable, but while she's not unhappy she's not ready to do the things she wants to because everything reminds her of how transient this experience is. until the papers are in order there's really not much we can do about that.

aux vivres is a great place, but a little different from what we were expecting. the food was great, and not too expensive, but we ordered too much and overeating doesn't feel good.

we mistimed the movies and pg didn't really want to hang around for an hour; also, snowboarding. so we returned home and went to bed early.

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saturday:

not so early with the waking up. when the alarm went off i remembered that we'd be able to stay on the slopes until late so the early bus would entail unnecessary suffering. speaking of suffering, i woke up with a really sore back (and neck, "the usual" even if it's been ages). it griefed me all the rest of the weekend.

i used the time gained constructively by playing on the rain-slick precipice of darkness: it's just too freakin' clever by half, even if it is a linear narrative. it doesn't prevent it from being good.

the snow report for the weekend hadn't been looking so hot, and i'd made my peace with relying on snow machines. boy, was i thrilled to see a surprise 30cm!

we had very heavy bags, although not much heavier than a regular snowboarding excursion, and my back didn't like that. what my back *did* like, and the rest of me not so much, was my troop jacket. i've had that jacket for at least half my life, and while i used to wear it a lot it's spent the past few years filling closet space. it's super-heating ability is properly useful over here! only towards the end of sunday did the temperature drop enough to warrant wearing it, though, and i suffered the excess heat on our walk to the metro :(

pg with her snowboard is simply irresistible.

i had an unpleasant moment at the station when i couldn't find the confirmation number for our tickets in my inbox: in desperation i checked the trash folder and it was there.
1. thank you gmail for storing deleted items.
2. thank you gmail for deleting an item i'd marked as unread. ???

why on earth would the depanneur (kiosk) need my postal code "for statistics"? perhaps i shouldn't have given it to them.

i made a reservation for the belaying course at the climbing wall (finally!) and we boarded the bus. i flipped through a couple of french lessons from a book i received ages ago, then tried to nap for the rest of the ride.

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the long, hard, expensive way:

it's tough finding cheap places to stay near a ski spot, but there were a couple that fit the bill and seemed to be comfortably close. have i mentioned that google maps has a tendency to miss? well, shit. trudging along in the snow with heavy bags and boards trying to figure out how to cross the damned highway wasn't a lot of fun.

princess pg lets me know when she doesn't like something, and in those conditions letting me know became ceaseless commentary. not helpful.

eventually we came upon a crossroads, with a sign bearing a question mark and an arrow. that seemed to me to be somebody's idea of a joke, but we decided to walk in that direction anyway. the sign turned out to be for an information centre.

"oh, no, that's far away. and from the reports we've had you probably don't want to go there anyway. of course, there are taxis; from here to there won't cost you more than $25."
in my head i heard the sound of $65 being flushed down the toilet. but they found us a place, a much more reasonable distance and quite affordable! at twice the price. and, okay, maybe not much closer?

i don't know. we'd come to enjoy ourselves, not haggle and stress nor get lost. the women seemed helpful, and the motel they sent us to wasn't the first on their list. it was apparently the only one with rooms available, though.

fine, we said, and walked. we took a wrong turn at first because the map we were given was sideways (north is the right edge? why?!) but we corrected quickly, and whether or not it was closer the motel was certainly less complicated to get to.

it was a long, long walk though.

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at least it was a nice place, all warm and cosy and romantic. we changed into our gear so as to carry as little as possible and walked the long stretch back and then some to the mountain. pg sorted out the season passes and we were good to go.

so:
1. pg was great! she's really getting the hang of it and there were a few awesome moments.
2. one of my bindings almost came loose. the guys at the shop were cool about it and pointed me to the table and screwdrivers outside. my hands needed the hot chocolate after that more than the rest of me.
3. for the first time i understood why clearing snow off your board is important: at those temperatures it freezes properly, and ice doesn't slide. at all. it's freaky and i almost took a nasty dive coming off the lift.
4. there's nothing like big air. by accident. and crash-landing onto flat ice.

to be continued...

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