Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Final Week

We leave for our Christmas trip in two days. It's been a busy couple of weeks packing and getting organized, but we've managed to get outside whenever we could to enjoy the nice weather.

We survived the Arctic outflow winds which, despite some discomfort, caused a lot of early season ice to form around Squamish. I took Elise skating outdoors, something she'd not done before. She enjoyed it so much that she wanted me to take her every day after school. In the end we managed to skate three times: twice at the ponds on our local golf course and once at One Mile Lake in Pemberton.

Inspecting the ice at the golf course...

A blurry shot, but she was moving so fast!

Elise is very excited about Christmas and there have been lots of festive school activities. The school Christmas concert was greatly anticipated, as usual, and Elise's class performed "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", which they'd practiced for weeks. Elise got to sit on Santa's lap, bid on items in a silent auction and buy treats at a bake sale after the performance. She and I both indulged.

Here she is wearing the special Christmas dress that Grandma made for her.

Pam and Elsie skied last Saturday in stormy conditions, but it cleared a bit on Sunday so we hiked the Chief, our last time this year. It was a nice outing, but the freezing level had gone up significantly, which is bad news for the local ski areas. The ski season is not starting out that well this year.

Breaking ice on the summit. Always a popular pastime.

The hike up was comfortable, but there was a wind on the summit which cooled us off fast!

Elise and I did a portion of the Chief hike this week at night using our headlamps. Surprisingly, we weren't alone as we passed a number of other groups. Here she is eating skittles at the big boulder about 2/3 of the way up the mountain, our turnaround point.

Hot chocolate break at the saddle viewpoint above the Squaw, a hike we did during the outflow conditions. It was freezing...

The packing is almost done and we head to the airport Friday afternoon. Our next report will be from Chulilla, our destination in Spain. It's a small village about 50 km inland of Valencia.

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