Category Archives: Outdoors

Columbia Sportswear – Great Customer Service

BallisticFinally, a company with some outstanding customer service!

Without going into too much detail, we’ve been having a terrible time with customer service lately. The streak seems to have come to an end with Columbia Sportswear. 2 weeks ago, I was getting ready to wash my old ski jacket, but after removing the zip-out liner, I noticed that the waterproof lining of the shell was disintegrating and looked like it was completely falling apart. The jacket is a few years old, but I knew that Columbia has a great warranty. So, after calling Customer Service, they gave me a return authorization and I sent it back for them to have a look.

Yesterday, when I got home, there was a brand new jacket waiting for me at the door. The turn around was only 2 weeks and I now have new ski gear! Can I really expect anymore?!

Thanks Columbia! It’s always nice to get such exceptional service! I’ll be testing out the new jacket tomorrow on the slopes!

Happy Belated New Year!

I was going to write about my New Year’s Resolutions, but considering one of them would be to update this site more often, and seeing as it’s been nearly a month since my last post, it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

Instead, I’ll just give a quick update on what’s been happening here in Calgary over the past couple weeks – in reality, not much! I’ve been busy with school and getting ready for another exam. We went skiing once more since we’ve been back – we hope to get out this weekend and the mountains have been getting a ton of snow. I will do everything I can to remember to bring my camera this time.

We also got a new TV (a 20″ Philips – steal of a deal from Costco) and
DVD Player. Unfortunately, we haven’t had that much time to actually test them out yet, but what we’ve seen so far is great. I know most people have a TV and DVD player, but I was using an old 13″ TV that I’ve had since grade 4 and did not have a DVD player. If you are in the market for a DVD Player and have lots of Divx or Xvid movies (if you don’t know what these are, then you probably don’t have any), then this is the player for you – it plays them all and they look pretty good!

Apple released a bunch of new products last week. I ordered the new iLife ’06 which could have some great new tools and features to help with the recording of The Skinny on Sports. I’ll try and keep everyone posted on what I like and don’t like about it when it arrives and I start playing around with it.

I’ve discovered a new website that is quickly becoming something that I can’t live without. It’s called Pandora and it’s a streaming music recommendation service. Simply put, you go to their site, enter a song or artist that you like, and it plays you other songs that it thinks you will like based on 400 different criteria for each song. They rate each song in person and individually so it’s pretty accurate to your tastes. It gets even better at knowing what you like since you can tell it whether you like or don’t like each song – so it learns from you! You can set up multiple channels with different types of songs depending on your mood. After using it for a couple of weeks and rating some songs that it recommends, it has a pretty good idea of what I want to hear now. I just leave it on while working around the house or studying and I’m discovering a bunch of great new music. Everyone should definitely give it a try!

Alright… back to the books! I’ll try for the New Years Resolution I mentioned at the top – but no promises!

Sunshine is Open!

From the Sunshine Website:

“Sunshine Village is officially open!! With 8 cms of new snow and a snow base already at 75 cms this is the best opening we have had in 16 years! 8 lifts are running and there are over 40 runs to ski and ride on.”

The picture to the left is from the website and was taken on October 31st. I usually don’t even think about going skiing on opening day since it’s usually pretty rocky. While I don’t expect the conditions to be perfect, the snow report and the picture are making me start to get the skiing itch! We have season’s passes again this year. I think we’ll have to try and get out in a couple of weeks following my next exam at school. Hopefully the snow keeps falling out in Banff and we get good conditions all year.

Mount Yamnuska

Amanda and I, along with some friends from med school, headed out to the mountains today for a rock scramble. We went to the summit of Mount Yamnuska. We had a great day as far as weather was concerned and the scenery and company was outstanding.

You can catch all the pictures here.

Birthday at Silvertip – Pictures Posted

Amanda was more than generous for my birthday this year and got me a round of golf at Silvertip golf course in Canmore. They weren’t even that busy that day so I was the only one in my group and Amanda was able to ride along in the cart and take lots of pictures. The scenery was beautiful, it was a great day, and the course was amazing. They even have GPS in the carts so that you know exactly how far you are from the green and even the group in front of you. With all of these awesome “features” of the course, it was sometimes hard to remember that I was actually out there playing golf!

If you want to see the pictures, check them out here!

UPDATE: Due to the requests in the comments, I will reveal my score. Although I had no feel around the super fast greens, I squeaked out an 89 down the stretch. I would have liked to have scored better since I hit the ball really well, but it’s not bad for not playing much this year and all of the “distractions” of the mountains!

We’re Back!

Hi everyone,

We’re back from New Zealand after our wonderful honeymoon. We didn’t want our time there to end as it went by so quickly. We took about 600 pictures (sorry if that’s too many for all of you) and you can find them in the Photos section – there is a new album there with many sub-albums of the honeymoon pictures.

We picked up the photos and negatives from the wedding photographer today – we’ll hopefully have some of those scanned soon and put up on the website as well. My uncle also captured some great photos of the wedding so we’ll also try to integrate some of those as well as photos taken with our camera (thanks Scott).

I start medical school tomorrow – I’ll try and get back to doing regular updates, but things might be a bit busy for the next little while.

Lab Ski Day 2005

On Tuesday, some people from my lab headed out to the mountains for Lab Ski Day 2005. The weather was outstanding as you can see from the pictures – by mid-afternoon it was easily above 10 degrees! Plus, with it being a Tuesday, it felt like we had the mountains to ourselves and were able to get a good number of runs in. Spring skiing in Alberta is one of the best times to be out there – the snow gets nice and soft in the afternoon and you never have to worry about getting cold. The scenery is magnificent and you just enjoy the day!

You can see the pictures here.

Heart Creek and Ribbon Lake Photos

More photos are now posted. I’ve just updated The Great Outdoors section of the photo album with pictures from our hike along Heart Creek Trail a couple weeks ago as well as pictures from this past weekend’s backcountry camping trip to Ribbon Lake. The Ribbon Lake photos are in reverse order in a way since we didn’t take any pictures on our hike to the lake, but instead waited for the trip back down. That should help make a bit more sense of them. The pictures where we are holding the chains are not just for show – we actually climbed up and down those steep rock faces with our full packs on our backs. It was a lot of hard work but worth it when we finally got up to Ribbon lake and our campsite as it was simply beautiful!

Brazil Photos!

The long-awaited photos from our trip to Brazil are finally posted. It took me a while to organize all the photos from three different sources but they are finally ready for viewing. They are arranged by location and I hope to eventually have descriptions for each, but for now, it’s just the pictures. You can see them here.

Hopefully I’ll have the pictures from our camping trip and hike from a few weeks ago posted later this week. Enjoy!

Back from our camping weekend

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we made it back in one piece from our camping weekend. We are exhausted though after the 3.5 hour hike with full packs on to get to the campsite at Ribbon Lake yesterday and then the return trip today. We are sore everywhere! I’ll try and get the pictures up soon, but I’ve made a deal with myself that no new pictures get posted until the Brazil ones are up – so until I sort all those out, just stay tuned!

New Wheels!

After riding to work on a cheap bike for a few years now, it was time to upgrade to something at least half-decent. I didn’t want a bike that I was going to have to worry about locking up outside everyday, but still wanted to be able to do a bit of trail riding. After some research and taking a couple for a spin, I decided on the Kona Fire Mountain. I picked it up last night and took it for a little ride. Today will be the first day it makes the trek to work. I can’t wait!

UPDATE: The bike made it to work and back. I had to make a pitstop back at Bow Cycle to get the gears readjusted since I was having a bit of trouble. A few minutes in the shop and it was good to go! I never knew riding could be so much fun. I even managed to get up Home Road Hill on my way home! I’ll have to get it out on the trails soon…