February 26, 2009

Skiing with the Military

From the Afghanistan Sandbox to the Canadian Ice-Box, this guy can really mess up your day.

Just got back to a cold and snowy Bow Valley after hanging with the Canadian Military for ten days. Whatever knowledge I may have imparted to the troops pales in comparison to the education I received. For instance, I learned all about the mental justification for getting shot at for a living. I learned about near misses with IED's, lobbing grenades, and what rifle works best for removing Charlie from a mile out. But of all the tid-bits I gleaned, I'd have to say that the most fascinating aspect was how the soldiers suffered unquestioningly. While myself and the other guides managed the elements with little effort, the soldiers were forced to to deal with the wet, cold and snowy conditions with gear that looked like it pre-dated World War 1. I'm confident that I would have gone AWOL within twenty-four hours had I been in their Mukluks.

The weather started out good...

But like all good things...

Boom!

Even Pat got a little soggy.

The Troops spent the first few nights in a ten person tent.

But on the last night, they had the great privilege of moving in to a snow cave.

video

Check out the 9 person snow cave these guys built!

By the time work ended, Castle Mountain had received about 40 cms of fresh. Nik R and L.O.C. were stoked!

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