The Alpine Club of Canada - Vancouver Section
Sat, Mar 23 2013, Sun, Mar 24 2013, Mon, Mar 25 2013, Tue, Mar 26 2013, Wed, Mar 27 2013, Thu, Mar 28 2013, Fri, Mar 29 2013, Sat, Mar 30 2013 - Valhalla Ski Camp (View Original Event Details)

Event Leader(s): Gillian M. Palejko
Participants:Gillian M. Palejko, Patrick Lloyd, Linda Lloyd, Paul Geddes, Willa Geddes, Carl Douglas, Mandana Amiri, Melinda Straight, Patrick Jackman, Mike Koolen, Liz Ball

Write Up:
ACC Vancouver Valhalla Mountain Lodge Ski Camp – 2013 March 23-30 The final count for the trip was 11. This lodge will accommodate up to 12 but 10 seems to be optimum. It is a comfortable lodge with a separate sauna and a cabin for the custodian, (and guides,) who flies in with the group. We chose not to have guides because three of us had been there for the previous two years. We converged on Nakusp the day prior to the helicopter flight in and were able to enjoy the hot springs there. We all stayed at the Canyon Court Motel which is very comfortable and economical, so I can recommend it for future groups. We drove up a logging road from Burton to take the helicopter. Our boxes of food flew in first with just Mike. There were three other people flights with our respective day packs, skis, boots, and one flight for packs and some food boxes, linen and household items in a sling below the helicopter. Our gear was weighed in. The weather was great with mostly bluebird days, a mere one centimetre of snow fell in the whole week. However there had been plenty of snow the previous couple of weeks. Skiing was safe on the north and west facing slopes due to less sun exposure. The snow was good and a pleasant amount of powder but not knee deep like other years. We were able to ski a large selection of different runs and some new ones for those who had been there previously. The arrangement was to self-cater and it was organized that we took a day with a partner to cook a breakfast and dinner each, the seventh day was left overs which was very generous as usual! Our group was splendid with amazing personalities, talents and skills making for a most congenial time together. Patriarch Patrick Jackman was the natural leader and discussed the best options with Mike Koolen and Paul Geddes taking note of the avalanche and weather reports to figure out the safest route for the day. Naturally we were all included in decision making and we did not always ski together. There are three UHF radios in the lodge and a couple of others too. Linda Lloyd was the outstanding party organizer and has endless ideas of how to celebrate. She organized the trip to the ‘Lady of the Lake’ by the light of the full moon. The lady was actually an inukshuk assembled with ice slabs by the previous group. Besides that she engineered the ‘Gin Martini Full Moon Bikini a la James Bond with Pussy Galore (Gillian), Irana Shagalot (Mandana) and Lotta Vagina (Linda herself)!! It was quite the spectacle with the Viking wigs that reside in the lodge, together with martinis all around. Willa too liked to make a spread at dinner and arranged a fanciful margarita celebration. She was the encourager, graciously inspiring confidence to us on tricky runs (speaking for myself!). We had some impressive heads of hair but the winner has to be Mandana. It suits her personality and she would be right in there figuring out any mechanical or electrical conundrum. Conde Carl Douglas has a regal air about him somehow and he was one of the trail breakers par excellance. Melinda Straight and Liz Ball were the telemark contingent; Melinda gliding down with gusto making long turns to enjoy the fresh snow. In spare time inside she would be assembling jewellery or some other creative medium. Liz might be small but has plenty of gall. She is a world traveller with many a tale to tell. Patrick Lloyd is a seasoned chef besides being easy going with a winsome air. He would jump to chop wood most ably and indeed many of others did as well. He and Linda went snow shoeing one day to check out the some runs that we were unable to ski. Mike is a dependable person, and so it was that my back pack waist strap was ingeniously repaired with a heated nail to drill holes in the strategic locations and tie everything together. He also makes ice cream, with a secret recipe! Well that leaves me, the organizer for this year’s trip. My elected job was to prepare the sauna most evenings. Another attribute is to use any space available for me and my gear, but don’t worry I like to keep a tight ship and do have perfectionist tendencies too. So look out! Leo Jansma, who owns the place with his partner Brian, was our custodian this time. He gives a great orientation on arrival and prior to departure so that there is no misunderstanding of how we should recycle, clean, cook, dish wash, heat water, pack up the linen and so on. He also provides good maps with the runs marked and named which facilitates orientation and enjoyment. The Lodge is located at 2,100 metres and strategically located with wonderful views of the mountains all around. The hut is heated by a wood stove. Check out the web site at for full details and cost. Gillian Palejko

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