Monday, January 26, 2009

Avalanche Awareness Day

When the temperatures drop, our apartment above Totem Press is freezing. It's an old building with lots of cracks and holes where the bitter cold mysteriously finds its way into our living space. You can hear the wind howl taking shingles from our roof as gifts to the Gods. The only cover is beneath the warmth of our down duvet. Mornings are particularly torturous, letting go of the cozy covers and making the way across the cold linoleum to get ready for the day. Yesterday morning with teeth chattering away, Mark and I got ourselves together, packed the Outback with ski gear and headed to the hill for Avalanche Awareness Day. With the heat cranked and the seat warmers nestling our fannies our spirits immediately lifted. It was a totally clear day with mountain vistas towering above the Skeena River in all directions ... a feast for the eyes and an injection of inspiration for the soul.

The itinerary started with our buddy Hatha from Northern Escapes Heli-Skiing and Skeena Valley Expeditions giving an informative presentation on the importance of snow conditions, reading terrain, evaluating hazards, risks and lots more nail-biting nuggets of the reality of avalanches. A good resource for those venturing into the backcountry with region-specific bulletins is the Canadian Avalanche site.

Later that afternoon we watched a field demonstration of new testing techniques that involve building rouge blocks and examining the layers of the snow pack. There was a lot of talk about propensity and propogation which I must admit flew right over my head. What I did gather though were that these tests are not fool-proof. Backcountry skiing is serious business and one must have the knowledge and experience to safely navigate their way to the start zone and get down without encountering or causing a slide ... both an art and a science.
The backcountry is a big reason why many of the locals live in Terrace ... powder days and fresh lines is where its at! I am just starting to comprehend that feeling of flying within such a vast expanse. Last season I took the Avalanche Skills Training level one workshop. Here's an example of the curriculum overview. I realize now that I need a serious refresher course before I head out comfortably into the unknown. I also realize how lucky I am to be here experiencing bluebird days, the mountain culture and fun with so many amazing friends. Go figure the day ended with the 'Shred the Gnar' Women's Snowboard Team selling baked goods at the base of the hill. They are fundraising for their upcoming tour of northwestern BC ski hills. Those sweets sure tasted good after soaking up the sun and snow on a bunch of groomer runs.

Special Bulletin: I am happy to report that on our way home from the hill we stopped at Canadian Tire and bought four more power heaters. They are now installed and we are all snug as a bug in a rug. Oh, how I appreciate the luxury of heat. Thank you for this soothing pleasure.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Years News

The Loft:

Happy new year everyone. It's been a tremendous ride thus far ... the elves have been hard at work renovating the loft space above Totem Press. Now it's almost time to unveil our re-vamped 1700 sqaure foot multi-purpose studio. Art workshops, music, special events, the Om Gym and yoga classes galore. Check out the new class schedule for 2009. And here's a sneak peak of the space.

Ms.Fitz Arrives in Terrace:

“On the Mat & On the Move”

A micro collection of limited edition designs inspired by the eastern philosophy of Kaivalya, a state of inner freedom.

Available Exclusively at Ella.

#4 4736 Lakelse Ave
Terrace BC V8G 1R6
T: 250-615-3211
F: 250-615-3121

About Ms.Fitz

Naomi Gourlay, Designer and Certified Yoga Instructor is realizing her dream of creating a health and wellness centre, Treehouse Studios in the natural environment of north-western BC. Her inspiration stems from a variety of sources including travel and culture, a passion for nature and the environment, and most of all her friends and family.

Model: Mrs. Karolina Klein

Visit to check out other designs