The thrill of the hill versus the cross-country glide. After a weekend spent at a friend’s cottage in Collingwood I’ve got the goods.
$: $84.70 (kit rental $28, lift pass $56.70)
calories burned: 1680 (4 hours)
carbon footprint: on the heavy side (chairlift, artificial snow machines, mountain maintenance and destruction of natural ecosystem, buildup of chalet/resort area)
$: 20.90 (kit rental $12, trail pass $8)
calories burned: 985 (1 hour)
carbon footprint: light (trail maintenance, tiny Parks Canada-style portable chalet, bring-your-own thermos philosophy)
I’ve been frantic with work lately (hence the non-blog action) and as far as decompressing goes, cross country beats downhill in every way. Even on a beautiful Sunday there are few people on the quiet tens of kilometres of trails running through old Pine forests. Better than jostling with busloads of skiers and boarders at Blue Mountain to get on the chairlift, while a local DJ raves about a snowboarding trick on the halfpipe, SUM 41 blasting in the background. But for a mediocre downhiller like me, the skiing is decent and challenging enough. And the first sip of beer after a half-day on the moutain tasted like heaven.
If you graduated from university two or more years ago, give the Collingwood apres-ski scene a miss. Crowds of frat boys chanting “Hip, Hip, Hip!” after the live band cranked out Wheat Kings before going into New Orleans is Sinking was disturbing… but not as much as being hit on by baby-faced dudes eagerly listing off the best universities in Canada to party at on the weekends.
Holing up at my friend’s cottage complete with friends, fire, beers and extreme ski video? That’s the plan for next time.