High on slush-boarding!

Who wouldn’t want to go slush-boarding in the sunshine?

Old friends from school days flew in from the UK last week, keen to have a little winter fun, and ski and ride some epic Western Canadian mountains. Well, the best laid plans…

The June weather was spectacular and –  wait a minute! June highs in late March and early April? Hmm. Clinging to glasses half full, we hit the slopes at Louise and were rewarded with some big laughs and trying conditions – as in, have you ever tried to snowboard through melting ice cream? I know many skiers and riders enjoy spring conditions, and there is often a close to perfect window where air temperatures and snow conditions combine for a magical experience. It was a particularly small window that day, and it had been closed firmly by the time we were on the hill. Never mind.

On the hill
So the downhill wasn’t great, but we did meet some interesting people. Spring skiers are different. I like to wear short pants, at the beach, amongst strangers, or when cameras aren’t working. But not so much on skis or a snowboard. Each to their own. Same applies for going topless – be my guest, but perhaps not on the slopes?

Heading up, looking back
We had a lovely conversation with a rider who shared a chairlift with us on Saturday afternoon. As always, we were happy to share the chair, but less interested in his generous offer to share what he was smoking. The elevation at Louise is pretty impressive, but I’d wager few got higher than our chairlift companion that afternoon:

Dave: I’m Dave from Edmonton. Look! Trees, hehehe. You drive up today? Want some?

Us: Hi Dave, we’re PlaidCampers, drove up from Calgary yesterday. Thanks, but no thanks.

Dave: I’m Dave. Look! The mountains, they’re big, hehehe. Like mountains. Want some? I’m in construction. How about you? You from Edmonton?

Us: No, thanks, it’s all yours. Calgary, we drove up from Calgary, yesterday.

Dave: Yeah, I like Edmonton, and working outdoors. I’m in construction. Hehehe. Look! It’s sunny today. Bright. Hehehe. Want some? 

Variations on this theme all the way up.

Us: Very kind, but we’re good. You ready to get off here? We’re lifting the safety bar (please don’t fall off…) Been great chatting, Dave, and you take care now.

Dave: That’s me! Dave! From Edmonton. Saving the rest of this for later…look at these mountains, hehehe. Have a good, um, good, um…

Us: Day?

Dave: (slide-drifting from the chair) Yeah! Day, hehehe!

I hope Dave had a friend helping him get back to Edmonton. Hehehe.

Earlier in the day, we were heading down an easy green when we realized it was too easy, too flat, and the waves of slush we were throwing up were getting smaller and smaller as our slush-boarding got slower and slower. No problem! No thinking from me either. Quick as a flash (that’s not true, more like with the last gasp of forward momentum) I turned right and tipped over the edge into a promising looking black chute, fearless in possession of all that local knowledge. Oh yes.

The chute was fine for 30 metres or so, then as the trees thinned, so did the snow. Large rocks leapt out in front of me, patches of mud and grey grass suddenly appeared, and the snow banks collapsed and twisted every which way. I was a PlaidCamper pinball, at the mercy of gravity and my own dim wits. No high score on that play, but I was grinning at the stupidity and the ride as I emerged unscathed. I had yet to meet Dave, but looking back, I think he’d have wanted some.

Another stop for coffee?
We spent a chunk of time stopping for coffee, having lunch on the deck at Temple “beach”, soaking up the warm sun, marvelling at how none of us were injured this year, and fending off a very determined Clark’s Nutcracker. Do they even like vegetable soup?

We surfed – by mid afternoon it wasn’t even ice cream, more the remnants of a slushy cup – down to the parking lot and took a pleasant spring afternoon drive back to our lodgings in Canmore.

Snow? Barely…
Dinner and drinks out in Canmore rounded off a great day. Glasses far more than half full, the arrival of spring, splendid scenery, great company, and all of us intact after a middling season on the hill. Not too bad. High on slush-boarding, hehehe…

This glass was less than half full, but for good reason…
Thanks for reading, and, as always, please feel free to comment or share a story!

(Most of the photos this week are from earlier trips to Louise – not fair to take photos of Dave, short pants skiers, or topless bods,  I didn’t bother with the slush, or the soup, and there was absolutely no chance I could hold a camera and be a human pinball…)

More of a real snow day at Louise!

Published by


I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

22 thoughts on “High on slush-boarding!”

  1. This, like most, made me smile. It sounds like Dave was having a good time, but probably should have laid off for a bit on what he was smoking. Hoping he made it back to Edmonton okay. I’m also glad to hear that you were able to walk away unscathed from your human pinball moment.

    You and Mrs. Plaidcamper have a beautiful weekend.


  2. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. You painted quite a picture with your chair lift ride with Dave, takes all sorts doesn’t it? Enjoy your weekend. 🙂


    1. Don’t mention snow in August! It has been a pretty mild winter in Calgary, and not that much snowfall out at Louise either. Whisper it, but I think winter is done…
      Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A much enjoyed snowboarding adventure here, pc. The dialog with Dave was well-written and funny (hehe) to read, but yikes, what he must have encountered in the slush. I hope he lived. Sounds like a really great time, thanks for taking us with you.


  4. Vicariously enjoyed some winter fun with you and yours, PC, and now, at this moment, it’s finally snowing down here in the lowlands of the East (at a time when we don’t necessarily want it to snow). But glad you had another high time of it all, and I’ll include cosmic construction-worker, Dave, in this, too (he he), who sounds like he really needed to get above the city limits for a while! Hopefully he came down as gently, and luckily, as you all. Thanks for the great story!


    1. Thanks, Walt! Cosmic Dave has gotten a lot of positive vibes in the comments here, so hopefully the universe has been kind to him, and all was well as he came back down…
      I hope the snow didn’t hinder your weekend too badly!


  5. Hello Plaid Camper – thank you for the post. It seems that Dave likes to share. He was certainly on a “Rocky Mountain High”!


  6. I knew from the title the story was going to be great, but I did not expect images of a human pinball machine. It brought back memories of mistakenly skiing in terror down a hill with moguls. Never made a wrong turn off the chair after that experience. Thanks for the laugh.


    1. Thanks, and you are very welcome! Unexpected moguls can be a bit of a challenge to knees, skis, and nerves – but you live and learn…
      I hope you’ve had a great weekend (and found a suitable movie or two!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s