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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:04 pm
 


Now, what do you do if you live in northern Alberta and you want to ski or snowboard? Travel the long winter highways to Jasper or Powder King? sometimes sure, but just the distance and costs don't make that all that practical, so what then? You live in one of the flattest places in Canada so mountains are an issue. If you can't find a mountain to ski down, whats the next best thing? river valleys. Around this neck of the woods, the rivers have been cutting their way down into the prairie for thousands of years making for some steep and challenging slopes. So, some folks decided to make Nitehawk recreation area.
http://gonitehawk.com/ . Now, I've skied all over BC and Nitehawk is no Blackcomb, but when faced with no mountains and you want to ski, I have to say the folks who own Nitehawk did a pretty damn fair job of making and enjoyable ski and board area. (and they're not done yet by the sounds of it)

With the Arctic Winter Games coming to Grande Prairie in March, Rosie and I have volunteered to help with the snowboarding events. Her bestest girlfriend is the coordinator for that event so stand to reason, we're volunteers... :wink:

This past weekend was a warm up and dress rehearsal event for the games. So away we went Friday night and early Saturday morning. (The event was also today, but Rosie had to work and all) Friday night was the "Rail Jam" and that was very cool to watch. 38 riders took part from the youngest being 9 to the eldest being 26. The riders were from all over the Peace region and a great time was had by all. Saturday was the half pipe and I decided that after I helped set up, the camera would get a workout. I took about 85 shots and will share a few of them with you at the end of this. (a few meaning LOTS!!!!)

The one thing I do have to comment on is, besides the fact that it was a great event and great fun, I notice a few things that I have to share. We Canadians are a wonderful group of people. We live in a cold environment and yet we show that no matter the weather, we're going to enjoy the outdoors. These kids are some fine athletes, during the rail jam, they have 20 minutes to get in as many runs as they can. They do their run and then run, not take a lift, run back up the hill and go down again..over and over and over... It's -12ish, ice on their faces, snow covered, working their asses off and enjoying every minute of it. It was inspiring just to watch them.

The second thing is the comradery of the athletes, parents, coaches and volunteers. Even though they were in a competition, they were helping one another out constantly. Like I said, 9 years old to 26 and they encouraged one another, offered tech help, coached, fixed and lent one another equipment, and cheered each other on all event! It didn't matter that you were competing against one another, everyone genuinely wanted everyone else to kick ass. People that came from outside the Grande Prairie club thanked the GP club for having them and invited them to go to their events. From an outsiders point of view, it truly warmed my heart to see the people who were involved in this event and how much class they all had. I for one can't wait for the Arctic Games now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:31 pm
 


Excellent pics Q, Looks like everyone certainly was having a great time. Organized events like this don't come to be without the long hours and hard work of the volunteers. You and Rosie are definitley to be commended. [B-o] [B-o] [B-o]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:49 pm
 


After reading the thread title, I was totally expecting to see snowboarders pulled behind snowmobiles.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:56 pm
 


Been there done that....but it was an aluminum toboggan strapped to my snow boots.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:58 pm
 


ShepherdsDog wrote:
Been there done that....but it was an aluminum toboggan strapped to my snow boots.


8O Aluminum!

Lucky bugger. You were one of the rich kids! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:09 pm
 


aluminum sled on an ice hill was great. An inner tube from a tractor was even better...especially with about 10 people piled on.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:49 pm
 


ShepherdsDog wrote:
aluminum sled on an ice hill was great. An inner tube from a tractor was even better...especially with about 10 people piled on.


Inner tubes rock, yep. The other one that was great (in it's day) was an old mattress from a waterbed. :lol: You can pile a lot of people on one of those babies. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:14 pm
 


Yogi wrote:
Excellent pics Q, Looks like everyone certainly was having a great time. Organized events like this don't come to be without the long hours and hard work of the volunteers. You and Rosie are definitley to be commended. [B-o] [B-o] [B-o]


Thanx Yogi, but all I really did was set up a few tents, carry hot chocolate and ran some snow fencing. The real ones who should be commended are those who have been building that club from day one. They have done a remarkable job and provided a healthy environment for young people to grow and teach them the values we all see slipping away in our modern society. The parents that helped form and grow the snowboard club are the ones who should be commended, they have taken the responsibility of parenting seriously and are doing a fine job from what I saw.


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