Posted by: martinworster | February 8, 2004

12. SNOWBOARDING; ANDORRA, SPAIN AND CANADA

Rogers Pass was hairy…Brit boozing in Andorra, Royalty in the Pyrenees and a lil bit of heliboarding

 This winters been great on the winter sports level. Three hour drive away from BCN and you’re slap bang in the middle of the Pyrenees which are absolutely beautiful and underrated in my opinion. Mostly I’d stay in Pas De Casa in Andorra and use that as a base to explore. Lots of Brits there for the cheap booze, package deals and easy slopes.

One trip we went to Baqueira Beret which is in the Western Spanish Pyrenees. It has a Pacha nightclub, is frequented by Spanish royalty and the president and is quite glitzy. The mountains are great, a lot steeper and more challenging than Andorra and loads of varied terrain. It was also refreshing as you hear no English on the lifts, just Spanish which I liked.

I also had a ten day stint in Canada which was amazing. I’d always wanted to make it to North America for snowboarding and finally I did it. I stayed at a place called Golden, a hick town in British Columbia, where my friends from Chamonix Paul and Michaela were staying. The main mountain was a resort called Kicking Horse which has some of the steepest runs and was ‘off da hook’ as they say. I was there in Spring time so didn’t get to see any powder but still had an awesome time. Finally on the last day, we did the snowboarders holy grail of heliboarding. Whizzed up an unpisted mountain in a chopper, dropped off at the top, then guided down with fresh tracks all the way.

We also did some pretty extreme hiking at a place called Rogers Pass which is one of the highest risk avalanche areas in the world. They get loads of snow, its steep, people frequently die. We did split boarding which is like a cross between cross country ski-ing and snowboarding – you hike up on skis and snowboard down. We hiked really high and it got very cloudy and totally closed in on us. Like how do we get down, we’ve never been here before and there’s no markers! And it’s Spring which is warm and high risk for avalanches. So I guess I can say I went up Rogers Pass and it was very hairy, although please don’t take that the wrong way!

Well if you’ve got this far thanks for putting up with the boreing (to some) snowboard talk! well done.

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