We wanted to do something different this year for Christmas. We wanted a new experience. We wanted snow! So in thinking about all of our wishes, we decided that spending the holidays at a ski hill was going to be our best bet.
While Mt. Washington is Vancouver Islands ski destination of choice, it has yet to be fully developed. There is one ski shop, a small general store (that also sells liquor and rents movies), and only a few dining options. As well, the accommodations are all privately owned. So there are no chain hotels that you can count on to bring you the quality of which you are accustomed to, like you can at many other ski hills. I for one am always a little leery choosing accommodations that you really know nothing about, for you can easily be duped when it comes to internet marketing.
Thankfully the condo we rented was exactly what the literature and pictures said it was going to be. Awesome location (ski in, ski out), fully equipped kitchen (it was more equipped than most kitchens I have been in), decorated for Christmas (a very nice bonus), and spotless! My only complaint was the condition of the towels and dish cloths. Unfortunately they all had that musty smell to them (like so many of you know I hate). Let’s just say I am really thankful hubby had the sense to bring some of our own bath towels – “just in case”. But other than the owner needing a lesson in Laundry 101, we were very impressed!
Mt Washington is known for having lots of snow. In fact in the winter it receives a legendary 11 meters of annual snowfall, and is acknowledged as the home of Canada’s deepest pile. While we all wished for a snowy Christmas, we possibly got more than we bargained for that day. We woke up on Christmas morning to what I can only describe as a blizzard. Not only was it snowing (hard) the wind was also blowing like crazy, and it was extremely cold. So not only was it impossible to ski that day, it was also not at all enjoyable to be out in – even when completely bundled up. The moment the blowing icy snow hit their little faces our children decided it was not a good day to be outside. Period.
So while Christmas day was a complete bust as far as new experiences go, the day prior (Christmas Eve) and the following two days (Dec 26 & 27) were absolutely wonderful conditions for skiing. And skiing we did. In fact, on Boxing day we skied all morning, came in for lunch, skied all afternoon, went out for supper, and then went night skiing! (and still found enough energy to stay up and watch the torch-light parade and fireworks that same evening). I hate to say it, but after all that, I was a little disappointed to wake up to a gloriously sunny day the next morning – for if the weather would have been like it was on Christmas day it would have been an easy way out to do nothing (which is exactly what I wanted to do by that point) ;)
We couldn’t believe how quickly the kids were able to learn. While they both skied twice last year, it was only twice…and they didn’t leave the training hill. This time around they experienced the chair lifts for the first time, and were skiing right alongside of us down the green runs. In fact by the third day it was me being left behind (Yes, lessons are most definitely in order for me if we are going to continue skiing as a family). I didn’t mind, however, for it was such an awesome thing to see them ‘zoom’ down the hill with no trepidations or fear. I only wish I had a little of that myself.
So while Mt. Washington isn’t a mountain to go to if you want something extravagant, it was the perfect place for our little family who is still learning, and it was truly a magical way to spend Christmas!