Well, it’s been a funny old season. After a wonderfully dry and warm summer, it started snowing in late September. And then it didn’t come back. We moved up the mountain in December, still hoping that winter would kick in soon. It may have been freezing, but the snow was just not there.

snow’s late arrival

The festive season was a particularly strange time, but we finally got a late Christmas gift in mid-Jan with a huge dump of snow that kept the mountain open for two weeks. I’m amazed it was that long to be honest, considering the snow was followed by an inversion causing temperatures up to 15 degrees. We definitely managed a fair amount of mountain top sunbathing in the early season!

Thinking of spring

The snow came back while I took a trip to England and then didn’t seem to stop until April. As soon as the bluebird days kicked in a few weeks ago, we were ready to leave. It was hard to get our heads into the winter season mindset in the first place after the snow came so late.

Even in January when it was so warm I was thinking of paddling, campfires and hiking and we considered moving on for a while. When the season kicked in though, we made the most of it; JR racked up over 30 days on hill while I managed about half of that (a lot for me!), with some snowshoeing and tubing on top. In addition, we fitted in trips to Big White, Silver Star and Whistler Blackcomb, our first experience at other resorts.

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living on the mountain

It may have been an unusual winter, but we still had fun. We don’t regret moving to the mountain at all; on the contrary, we both loved living there, even without any snow. It is truly a beautiful place to live, and I’m really going to miss seeing the sunrise and sunset over the mountains every day. Only having a 10 minute walk to work was amazing compared to the 5.45am starts in previous seasons; I actually don’t remember how I ever did that now! Jean Robert, unfortunately, had to keep working longer in Courtenay than originally planned, but at least it wasn’t ever a long term thing.

moving on

We may end up doing another ski season next winter since we didn’t quite have the experience we were looking for, but I think we’re ready to try somewhere new. We’ve had a fantastic run at Mount Washington, but we’ve stayed far longer already than we ever would have intended! Back in 2011, the plan was to stay just one winter and now we’re at the end of number three. It’s been an incredible experience and I’ll be sad to go. Goodbye Mount Washington!

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Above: Mount Albert Edward

Below: Views of the Strait as well as Denman and Hornby Islands

IMG_5767IMG_5717Taking our last ride up the chairlift at Mount Washington

Gemma
Author

One half of a Canadian/British couple currently living in Penticton, British Columbia. Gemma is happiest with a paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.

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