Powder pig jig

🕔Dec 15, 2005

Somewhere around the beginning of September, the real ski addicts start to act funny. They go down in the basement and stroke their boards. They buy Powder Magazine and pore over new gear for hours. They suddenly take up running and do squats in grocery lineups. Anyone like this living in your household?

Now that the early-bird passes have been sold and the new snow can be seen accumulating on the mountains, even regular folks are getting psyched for the upcoming season. We were interested to know what kind of pre-ski season rituals are out there, so we hit the street with our notepad and camera and asked: What do you do to get ready for the ski season?

“I condition my skin for the ski season by hitting the self tanner. Last season I over did it.”
Shane Spencer, co-owner, Azad Adventures, Terrace

“In an isolated, rural community there are only so many choices for fitness programs. Nordic walking is the flavour of this month in Dunster. Taught by a retired German physiotherapist, we are learning the subtleties of walking with poles. The movements build eager anticipation for Nordic skiing!”
Nancy Taylor, counsellor, Dunster

“I do tele lunges at least 50 per cent of the total distance that I walk from Oct. 1 until the first ski day—preferably at night. Seriously.”
Justin Calof, forestry specialist, Prince George

“I plan my winter schedule and hope the powder days are all on my days off!”
Claire Challen, alpine ski coach, Smithers

“Well, I try to gain some weight. I heard, at some point, that weight is good for skiing—you know, the gravity thing. Also, it lets one handle more liquids, if you know what I mean.”
Jake (Giacum) Frei, co-owner, Skeena Heliskiing, Smithers

“My training mostly consists of tons of daytime TV and potato chips to try to dumb down in time for the ski season.”

There’s always the pray-to-the-snow gods technique that is a much-worn tool in the winter enthusiasts’ toolbox. In fact, it’s been institutionalized in some northern communities. In Prince Rupert, for example, skiers, boarders and backcountry folks from the area get together, call in some local entertainers, and do the Powder Pig Jig. Smithers has its Ullr Fest, a night of debauchery to honour the Norse God of Snow. Bring on the powder!