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Just got back from an unbelievable trip, which for mostly an unplanned trip, could not have been better planned. We flew out of Santa Barbara on Thursday the 10th headed to Edmonton, Alberta. We then drove a very long 4 hours from Edmonton to Jasper. We stopped at a little bar at a truck stop on the way, just a little advice if anyone travels that direction....if your with 2 attractive women, do not stop at a little bar at a truck stop in the middle of the winter in an area primarily populated with men who work on oil riggs. To say it got a weird would be putting it mildly. At one point, I felt like we were in a scene from the movie Deliverance. Fortunatley we made it back on the road & into Jasper without incident. We woke up to a beautiful (warm) day at the Jasper Inn. After grabbing some caffine @ the Bear Claw we headed up hill. The ski area itself is relatively small, but enough to keep you interrested for a couple of days. Apparently we experienced what the locals called the best conditions in 25 years, snow coverage and mild temperatures. We ski'd Friday & Saturday on decent groomed stuff & a little powder in the upper bowls & trees (if your looking for a couple of rocks just barely covered by snow, they're in Charlie's Bowl, I found them). We took Sunday to do some tourist type stuff, so we went hunting right off highway 16 just outside the town, it's amazing how the elk will just stand there for you (settle down I'm just kidding). We went on a guided ice walk thru the Maligne Canyon (pronounced muhline). Basically you wear crampons & walk on a frozen river & view frozen water falls, very cool. Jasper as a town, out of everywhere I have ski'd, is probably the only place I'd consider going back to during the summer, due to all of the activities. We left Monday morning to catch a flight back home to SB, as we left the park area we got some great photos of big horn sheep and some "very big horn" elk, both equally as awesome. We got home Monday night to news that a storm was rolling thru to Mammoth. As hard as I tried to focus at my office on Tuesday, it was not meant to be. So, I kissed my wife, grabbed my gear (which was still in my Tahoe), & headed toward 395 to Mammoth. On 395 between Bishop & Mammoth Lake, it was snowing so hard at times I could not sense that I was even moving, due to lack of visual referance. After only a couple of hours of sleep, I awoke to what we all dream about, 12-16" of fresh POW, & still snowing, on an already hefty base. Although visibility was poor at times (non-existent at the top), fresh tracks and thigh deep powder could be found around every turn. Just like Jasper, temperatures in the low 30's made it seem like spring. For 3 days my buddies & I lived like kings among the riches of the mountain, then the wives started calling & reality set in! This was probably the best week of snow riding I have experienced in 2 places so remotely different. All it took was a little (very little) planning and lots of luck. To all who share the same passion, I hope you will soon get to experience what I recently have, if not I'll do it for you again next weekend at Mammoth.....then NL Tahoe .

enjoy, Bill