A few years ago, when she was quite small, Miss G. cried inconsolably when we put away the Christmas decorations before she had seen actual snow. It seems that snow, in particular, is emotionally tied to our winter celebrations. There are pictures of snow on Christmas cards, sparkly snow in globes, and snow filled landscapes in almost every holiday film we watched. Here in Vancouver, though, no snow. This year, to avoid the blues that can follow a green Christmas we promised to whiten up with a trip to the mountains in search of some real snow…
We were spellbound on the switchbacks up the mountain by the blanketed city lit up below us…
… then outfitted with snowshoes, poles, snacks and many (many!) layers of woolens we found ourselves a little winter wonderland along the Cypress Snowshoe Trail on Hollyburn Mountain.
I have wanted to do this for so long, and am so glad we finally got around… Beautiful, bright and so much fun for all of us (even dragging G. Jr. up the tiny inclines by pole…)
It all starts
with the quality,
the density, the size
of the snow bank.
True now, true forty years ago;
it is the critical ingredient.
We piled it high, over successive storms,
waiting not so patiently
for the right time. The right mix
of wet and cold
Digging, with shovels, with hands
creating a dome, an inner sanctum
interconnected tunnels, in and out
meeting in the middle
all within the pile of snow.
(Raymond A. Foss)