Ski Season; A Lifetime of Anticipation
October 30, 2014 by Talia

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Every year as soon as Halloween passes, an internal switch flips in me that says “ski season, ON”. The anticipation of another season on skis is something that has consumed my imagination for as long as I can remember. For as many years as I have walked, I have skied. And though the seasons seem to fly by, that pre season excitement never seems to fade.

I remember spending summers rollerblading around the neighbourhood with my ski poles, pretending to be skiing down my favorite run. I’d spend fall afternoons in my parent’s basement walking around in my ski boots just to get used to the pressure on my shins, and I lined up all of my skis on the wall in my bedroom, on display as they patiently waited for snow. Once I even replaced the teddy bears in my bed with a new pair of skis, only to learn the hard way how sharp their edges were. No matter how much fun I was having in the summer or fall, I was always dreaming about skiing!

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Once winter came, the anticipation took on a new form. Instead of longing for the local mountain to open, I fantasized about overnight snowfalls and powder days with my pals. I recall standing at the kitchen window and looking out to the street lights in the dark to catch a glimpse of the snowflakes, and wondering how much would have fallen by morning. I loved shoveling the driveway while my dad loaded the skis into the car, and then piling in to get to the base of the mountain early enough to claim the coveted ‘first chair’. There was nothing like riding that first lift up the mountain in the morning and looking down onto the blank canvas that I was about to carve into. Whether it was deep, untracked pow, or freshly groomed corduroy – I could not wait to leave my tracks on it!

Nowadays as an adult with nearly thirty ski seasons under my belt, I still feel the childlike anticipation of the season ahead. Every ‘first snowfall’ brings out the kid in me, staring at the streetlights in the dark, waxing my skis and rifling through trunks full of toques and gloves – to be ready for that first day that I can race those young kids to the first chair.

The anticipation of winter brings out the kid in all of us, join Irie Adventure Tours this winter and See The BC We See!
What are your favorite winter memories? What gets you pumped up for ski season? Share your comments with us on our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram to see how we are gearing up for the best winter yet!

Representing the BC We See at The Toronto Snow Show!
October 16, 2014 by Talia

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This week we left our beloved British Columbia for the bright lights and big city of Toronto, Ontario! We know that Torontonians are no strangers to winter…man it gets cold in this province! But we’re here to show these Easterners a thing or two about winter adventures and Invite them to come See the BC We See with us this season!

We’re setting up shop here at the Toronto Snow Show for the next four days, the show officially kicked off a couple hours ago at the International Centre Hall, and runs until 10pm everyday until Sunday. We’re promoting our Irie Adventure Tours winter package; The RCR Trifecta – A 7 day all inclusive tour of 3 of British Columbia’s top winter resorts. Ski/Board 2 days at each; Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. With on-hill accommodation, local guides, nightlife, shopping and dining, this Irie signature tour is the best way to truly see the authenticity of British Columbia’s best resorts and ski towns!

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We’ve got some great company here at the show too; we’re right next door to our good friends from Island Lake Lodge where we do lots of our summer hiking! And all 3 resorts from our RCR Trifecta are here as well, with Tourism Fernie, Tourism Kimberley, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort!

Come by and see us this weekend at the show for more information on our winter packages, or check it all out at www.IrieAdventureTours.com.

Toronto sure knows how to put on a good show! The Toronto Snow Show is the nation’s largest Ski / Snowboard and Winter Travel trade show, and satisfies snow seekers shopping and vacation planning needs year in and year out.

Here, all under one massive roof, winter enthusiasts can rub elbows with reps from leading gear manufacturers like Oakley, Burton, Rossignol, and K2 – to name a few – and learn about the latest and greatest skis, snowboards, outerwear, goggles and gear. They can watch Pro Rail Jam contests, graffiti artist demonstrations, and fool around in an indoor skate park, all while exploring a world of winter adventure through hundreds of Resorts, Tour Operators and Vendors.

Shopaholics beware; the Toronto Snow Show is also conveniently home to Canada’s largest Ski / Snowboard / Gear Swap, brought to you by the Canadian Ski Patrol System. Here you can sell your old gear (a portion of the sale goes to funding Ski Patrol and First Aid training at resorts all over Canada) and upgrade to new or nearly new gear at a huge savings! Everything from skis, boards, boots, and bindings, to gloves, goggles, jackets and pants. There’s even a few retro one-pieces in there that I’m certain won’t last long, so hurry on down!

Back in BC earlier this week, just after polishing off the thanksgiving leftovers we saw our first signs of snow. It’s official, winter is coming! Being here in Toronto surrounded by thousands of people who are as pumped for the season as we are makes us even more excited! We can’t wait to strap on our skis and boards and feel the freedom of powder beneath our feet. More than anything though, we can’t wait to showcase British Columbia and share that feeling with new friends!

Round up your family or a group of friends and get ready to See The BC We See this winter!

Whitewater Cooks – British Columbia’s Favourite Cook Books
October 2, 2014 by Talia

Now that the weather is cooling down and the days are getting shorter, I find that I’m being drawn to the kitchen more and more. Not just for lazy snacking, but for getting creative and experimenting with the bounty of the fall harvest!

I planted a little garden this spring, and I’ve long since polished off all the greens, tomatos, beans, and kale, but I still have an abundance of hearty root vegetables like rainbow carrots, red and golden beets, as well as plenty of zucchini and squash. Now is the perfect time to use these autumn staples, they’re warming, nourishing, and literally local!

There are countless ways to prepare squash and root vegetables, my standard ‘recipe’ involves cutting them into chunks and tossing with a generous dose of olive oil, salt and pepper and some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme. Add an onion and a few cloves of garlic and roast at 400 until the veggies are soft and the onions are caramelized. Yum. I like to eat them as is, but from there it’s also pretty easy to puree into a hearty fall soup by adding a bit of vegetable stock and milk. Pair with some fresh crusty bread and you’ve got a cozy fall supper! When I feel like being a little bit more domestic though, I do like to follow a real recipe. As I’ve mentioned before I am a bit of a book collector, cookbooks especially. To be honest though, I rarely use any cookbooks other than those of the Whitewater collection.

Whitewater with friends
Whitewater is an amazing ski resort in the West-Kootenay region of BC. Its on-hill café is called Fresh Tracks, and owner Shelley Adams has been wowing skiers and visitors with amazingly fresh and creative dishes there for almost 20 years.

The food at Fresh Tracks Café is not what you will find at any other ski hill lodge. It’s so much more than burgers and fries and prepackaged snacks. They use locally sourced ingredients, seasonal fruits and vegetables and prepare fresh meals that you’ll want to make yourself; hence the cookbooks.
Fresh Tracks Café became so popular that Shelley wrote a cookbook including recipes for some of the café’s most sought after items. Fans couldn’t believe that she would give away her secret recipe for ‘Glory Bowl’ dressing, or let us in on what’s really in those ‘Marvelous Muffins’! But the book was a huge hit and since its first publishing in ’05 Shelley has gone on to write 3 sequels! The last of which was released just Yesterday. I can’t wait to complete my collection with the latest edition.

I love these cook books and preparing their recipes for my family and friends. I have given the books as gifts, and recommended them to everyone I know who shares my passion for food. After all, the best part of preparing a meal is sharing it with the people around you! So from the little café on one of my favorite BC ski resorts – to my kitchen – to yours, here are a few of my favorite Whitewater recipes:

From Whitewater Cooks – Pure, Simple, and Real : Glory Bowl
Definitely one of the recipes that Whitewater is famous for, and one that I use most often. My copy of the book opens to this page on its own because it’s been used so many times, and it’s stained red from the beets – a sure sign of a loved recipe!

From Whitewater Cooks – At Home : Rustic Tomato Tarts
This recipe is labeled as a summer dish, but I love it all year round!

From Whitewater Cooks – With Friends : Emmy’s Pear and Fresh Ginger Cake
My favorite fall dessert! If you can your own fruit this is a perfect recipe for your pears!

 I’m on my way out to snag a copy of the newest edition Whitewater Cooks – With Passion, I can’t wait to try all the recipes and share my favorites! Get your copy of all four books here. If you’re a Whitewater Cooks fan like I am, let me know what you’re favorite recipes are!

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Happy Fall Everyone! Get outside and See The BC We See, then get in the kitchen and explore the tastes of Whitewater Cooks!

 

Hello, fall
September 25, 2014 by Talia

Well it’s officially fall and we’re back from our final Irie Adventure Tours hiking trip of the summer. We had a blast at Island Lake Lodge! We could not have asked for a better way to wrap up an incredible summer. Our group spent 3 days and 3 nights hiking in gorgeous fall colours and cool mountain air, eating exquisitely prepared five-star meals, and relaxing in rustic luxury. A one of a kind experience in a truly magical setting!

Every time we visit Island Lake Lodge, we leave feeling rejuvenated and recharged. A few days in the mountains, away from noise and distractions is like a reset button to ease the transition between seasons.

It’s amazing how different the land looks as the seasons change. Our last hiking trip at ILL was in July – at the beginning of their hiking season. At that time there were remnants of winter snow, spring wildflowers, and intense summer sun. Last week everything looked different. The snow did not survive the heat of the summer, even in the high alpine, and the bright green leaves had been replaced with fiery reds and oranges. The summer heat lingered, but was accompanied by a refreshing autumn air, and the smell of fallen leaves completed the sensory delight. The beauty of autumn in the mountains truly is astounding!

Now that our summer season has come to an end, we have a couple weeks of down time before we jump right into preparing for the Winter 2014/2015. Our first stop is the Toronto Snow Show, one of the largest Ski-Snowboard-Travel trade shows in North America! We’d love to meet all our Eastern friends and followers, so stop by and say hello; we’ll be there October 16-19 at booth 217! Get all the details at www.torontosnowshow.com

If you can’t make it to the show, don’t worry; we’ll keep you up to date here on the Blog, on Facebook, and on www.IrieAdventures.com with all our exciting winter plans.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @irie_tours and share your photos of adventure in British Columbia with us by using our Irie Adventure Tours hashtag #SeeTheBCweSee

It won’t be long before the snow flies, so get out there and See The BC We See this fall!

Irie Celebrates Summer 2014 and Looks ahead to Winter!
September 11, 2014 by Talia

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It’s hard to believe that summer 2014 is coming to an end; it went by so fast! Our adventures were accompanied by incredible people and amazing weather. We could not have asked for a better season of exploring BC! In our neck of the woods the colours are changing and the temperature is cooling down, but it is still blue skies and sunshine as far as they eye can see – unlike our neighbours to the east who we’ve heard are already shovelling sidewalks and scrapingwindshields!As we slip into fall we can’t help but feel a mix of emotions. Part sadness in saying goodbye to another beautiful summer, and part excitement and anticipation for a wonderful winter on the horizon.
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Continuing to look ahead, we’ve updated our website with our Winter ski packages as well as our hiking packages for summer 2015. We like to stay ahead of the game, so we’ll be releasing our West Coast Trail dates for next summer as early as November 1st. Be sure to stay tuned here on the blog, on IrieAdventures.com and on Facebook for the most up to date info on everything that’s coming up with Irie Adventure Tours.

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To officially wrap up our Summer 2014 season we’re heading to Island Lake Lodge for our final hiking trip of the year. It will be the perfect way to cap off an exceptional summer. We love Island Lake Lodge for its incredible hiking terrain, five star dining, and rustic but luxury lodging. Read all about why we’re so lucky to work with Island Lake Lodge, here, and plan to join us there next summer!

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Irie loves to share, that’s why we keep our website up to date, write weekly blogs, and share photos of adventure on Facebook and Instagram. In the spirit of sharing and to pay homage to the summer that went by too fast, here are some shots of our favorite moments of Summer 2014.

 

Thanks for following us on this amazing adventure! Now get outside and soak in the last moments of summer!!