Pav’s Top 6 Adventures of 2011.

On January 1st I turn 26.
Yep- that’s right- I am a New Years baby.

Jan 1st is an extra awesome time to reflect on the year that’s past. And it’s been a pretty awesome year. To celebrate 26 years- here are my six favorite workouts/adventures of 2011! See if you were on one of these ones!

Ski: Fish Lake- Whitehorse, Yukon. One of the best skis of my life.

View from the climb out of Fish Lake

I did this ski a week after Nationals with a crew of Nakkertok athletes and the Yukon Ski Team. We started at Fish Lake and climbed the back fact of Mount Mac. The view was epic. When we reached the top we started descending the skidoo made moguls at equipment breaking speeds. I had to ski like Jennifer Heil to stay alive. About 3km down we hit the most fantastic, double wide groomed corduroy trails. I jumped in the track and tucked for a full 15min watching Whitehorse below me get bigger and bigger. Unreal. When we finally connected with the larger network of Whitehorse trails we skied another 2h. It was an epic ski for it’s challenge level, epic for the view, epic for the downhill, and fun because I got to show some of my favorite boys [Hudson, Kieran, Patrick, Nolan, Julien] all my favorite Whitehorse ski trails.

Kieran Tomlinson, Patrick Marshall, Hudson Lucier.

Bike: Kingdom Trails, Vermont. Really good Mountain Biking.

The Kingdom Trails in East Burke Vermont have some really, really good mountain bike trails. Super flowy and moderately technical [i.e. I can mostly get around] these trails are super fun to ride. My adopted family [Jan, Al, Hudson] and I all piled in for the May long weekend and went down to ride for three days. One day we started on the Mountain side- cranked uphill for a good 1.5h then road down Moose Alley, Whiteschool and a bunch of trails inbetween. In our defense we didn’t realize Moose Alley had been closed due to hurricane damage. We just thought they’d added a lot more technical aspects. Over 4 hours we went through scrubby spruce forests, muddy swamps, cedar groves, and pastoral fields. Good times.

Hike: Giant’s Head- Thunder Bay, Ontario. Sweaty hiking.

Our sweaty krew atop the Giants Head

On the last day of the LSSD camp in Thunder Bay the group of 60+ participants ran a half marathon in the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. I had never been to Sleeping Giant, and discovering new and exciting trails in Ontario is always a highlight. First we ran in. Then we hiked up. Then we ran over the top. Then we looked down. Then we ran back. It was exceptionally hot that day {+30} but the conversation with my new friends from Thunder Bay and Sudbury was stimulating. A fun, sweaty time.

Hike: some parking lot in Kananaskis Country to the Haig glacier- Alberta. An epic hike.

This map shows the final 1/4 of our hike.

This hike makes the list because it was both beautiful and painful. The Ontario Ski Team was in Canmore for a 14 day high altitude training camp. To get the Haig glacier [where we trained on snow for 9 days], you have to run/hike up. The trail is roughly 20km and climbs to 2400m [7, 900 feet]. It’s pretty gruelling. I hiked it with Rob, our team physiologist from CSC. I was pretty sick and Rob had  only had 3h or sleep. 10min in I got an aggressive nose bleed. We only had 1 kleenex. It was pretty messy and disgusting. That didn’t stop me from talking though. I talked Rob’s ear off for the next 6 hours, stopping only when I thought I might be blacking out on one of the harder switchback sections. I didn’t learn too much about Rob that day but he sure learned a lot about me! Good times. And scenic too.

At the end of our 5+ hours


Hike: Adirondack, Upstate New York. A pleasant hike. 

After summiting Phelps....I'm not sure where we are here

After taking a month and a half to recover from my aggressive illness on the Haig glacier I was ready for something more civilized. Hiking in the Adirondacks is always pleasant. Even when it pours rain for all 8h of your hike. I liked this hike because a- the fall colors are AMAZING, and b- I got to hike with my favorite LSD companions a bunch of midget girls [special mention Bronwyn Williams and Catelyn Stowe]. After 6h it felt like my legs were about to fall off. When this happens the best thing to do is start running. It hurts about as much as walking and you reach your destination much faster. Running for several hours through deep muddy puddles with a group of hardcore 10-13 year old girls is what skiing is all about.


Ski: Silverstar to Sovereign Lakes- Silverstar British Columbia.

Taking the chairlift. Instant win!

This ski started off with a ride to the top of the mountain on a chairlift. I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, but for once a year it was a win! From the top of this double black diamond run the OST skied down Paradise and Aberdeen to the race site at Sovereign Lakes. It was sunny, technical and totally fun.

Not bad for the 2nd ski of the 2011/2012 season!


Ski: Winter Solstice- Whitehorse, Yukon.

Climbing the Ridge

Nothing beats being on your home trails at Christmas. On Winter Solstice [Dec 21st] I went for a perfect, personal ski at 2:00pm to watch the sun set on the shortest day of the year.

So there you go, my favorite 6. Behind those were many more, fantastic, fun and inspiring adventures with a ton of awesome people. My favorite thing about my birthday/New Years? Knowing Im on the brink of another year of unexpected adventures.

Happy New Year all.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
Maya Angelou

Post Script.
Funny story: In order to avoid throwing me an actual birthday party my parents used to walk me down to the Commissioners Levy, a fancy party the Yukon Government throws every Jan 1st, and tell me it was my birthday party. Being the well-mannered 4 year old I was, I used to walk around the ball wearing a little plastic crown thanking everyone for attending my birthday party. The belief that all of Whitehorse would turn out for MY birthday party is one of the factors that contributed to what my parents call “Pavlina’s delusions of grander sickness”. My parents are jerks sometimes. lol.


2 Comments on “Pav’s Top 6 Adventures of 2011.

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