Last Wednesday we went skiing at Sunshine Village for the first time this season. And, for me, for the first time in three years. Almost one year ago, I got my new hip.
For a whole year before my surgery, I could hardly walk, let alone ski.
My surgeon told me it was okay to ski since I already know how. (Probably not a good idea to take up skiing after a hip replacement, but who knows?)
So, new hip. And also, COVID-19 restrictions.
You have to wear a mask in the lineups. Although, on a Wednesday in January, there aren’t a lot of people there. Still, there are times you might be within six feet of someone else. So, masks. The gondolas can carry six people, but you only ride up with your own group, which was just me and Rolf.
Sunshine Village with COVID-19 restrictions: This is what Sunshine has to say:
Face coverings or face masks are mandatory to ride, or wait for, any of the lifts. The face covering can be a non-medical mask, a face warmer or a buff, and resort staff will be monitoring visitors for compliance.
Wearing a mask was not a big hardship. I mean, consider all the other stuff we have to wear – helmets, goggles, layers and layers of clothing. Rolf only wore his mask in the lineups. I found it easier to just keep it on. And bonus, it blocked the wind from hitting my nose.
We had good temperatures, about minus 8 throughout the day. This is a “Canadian nice” for January. It was a bit windy on the lifts but that’s usual. The snow was good with good coverage.
And the sun was shining. In the morning, there was only one tiny little cloud in the sky. By late afternoon, more clouds showed up.
Rolf stayed with me on my first run to make sure I was okay. Of course, I remembered how to ski. It’s like remembering how to ride a bicycle. But it felt different on my operative side. I guess some of those muscles are still weak. I don’t notice the weakness with walking, but making turns, I do notice it. Plus, it just felt weird. A strange sensation. By the end of the day, that strangeness went away and I was just tired, as you usually are after a good day of skiing.
On the website – skibanff.com – we learned that there were designated shelters set up for skiers and boarders to warm up in and to eat lunch while remaining seated. There are hosts on duty to manage capacity and to disinfect tables.
There’s no table service anywhere on the hill, but lots of Grab and Go food and beverages that you can purchase and take into one of the shelters. The usual eateries, like Trappers and the Day Lodge, have food for sale. There is also a Tenn Roof Co. Taco Truck.
We had heard that the Chimney Corner Lounge was only open to hotel guests, and we were disappointed because we always eat there. But, turns out, the Chimney Corner was open on Wednesday—with hardly anyone in there.
The greeter is behind plexiglass. You give your name and phone number in case they need it for COVID-19 tracing. Through a slot in the plexiglass, she passes you a tall bottle of water and glasses and napkin-wrapped cutlery.
Then you pick a table. Probably two-thirds of the tables have been removed. A QR code is laminated onto the table. You use your phone to check out the menu.
Then go back to the front, order, and they give you a pager. When your food is ready, you go to a pickup window.
So, it’s all done without wait staff.
We both got the Beef Burger—Alberta Chuck, Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Smoked Cheddar, Crisp Lettuce, Tomato and Garlic Aioli. And we each got a cup of the spicy Tomato Bisque plus a big order of fries. I love ski food.
In the morning, I was on Angel and Standish. After lunch, I skied another hour and a half with more time on Standish, then another run on Angel and then I went to the easy hill—Strawberry. Meanwhile, Rolf went up the Divide and did moguls.
At this time of year, the sun falls behind the mountains early, so the light is better up high. Right now, the lifts only run until four o’clock. Later in the season, they will go till four-thirty.
I was done by three o’clock. Rolf skied almost another hour more, almost until the lifts turned off.
In the meantime, I went to the Java Lift Coffee Bar for my usual half-sweet vanilla latte – and a butter tart. Yum! Then I sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air, and the sunshine, and the peace.
I hope you are coping with the restrictions of COVID-19 and I hope you are getting lots of Outdoor Time!
QR image on phone from Depositphotos #14697937
All other images from Suzanne’s trusty phone