Wow, what a day on the slopes … no line ups, sunny, just above zero. What more could you ask for? I had thought about bringing the camera, but decided to just enjoy the day. So you’ll have to close  your eyes and imagine.It doesn’t compare to Austria, but Calabogie Peaks does have its positive aspects. It has one of the longest runs in the east, all runs lead to the two main chairlifts, and the lodge has been upgraded over the years.

We still had two pre-paid lift tickets to use, and I was a bit apprehensive about going on the first Saturday of Ontario’s spring break. But there was no need to worry. Apart from races being run on Whistling Paddy, we had the hill virtually to ourselves. We mixed it up this time, skiing the hill from skier’s right to left, starting with Black Donald. It’s a great run when it’s open because you have a view of the lake. Just before the last pitch, we even encountered some winter hikers. Well, they weren’t really hikers, more like strollers from the new houses built into the side of the hill.

Going up the lakeside chairlift, I was looking down at the racers, when all of a sudden I thought I saw a squirrel. Nope, it was too small to be a squirrel. It was a chipmunk. It was darting around below us on a closed run going back and forth between a bush and a tree.

Our  next run was Shantyman. When it’s not full of beginner skiers, it’s an excellent run to rip down, which is what I was doing because it was so quiet. As I was carving it up near the snowboard park, trying to avoid the pinecones embedded in the snow, I thought I saw a leaf blowing in the wind. In fact, it was a chipmunk bobbing along the snow. Directly in my path. I thought I was going to run it over, and it brought back memories of the squirrel that was decapitated running through my bicycle tire on my way to work a few years back. I know Timbit would be proud of my kill, but I really didn’t want to think about scraping chipmunk guts off the bottom of my skis.

I narrowly avoided it and called out to Rob, “Did you see that?” He almost got the chipper too. That’s a first for me skiing, especially when it’s still technically winter.

Although the snow is still hugging the hills, it’s quickly disappearing in the city. If that was my last day of skiing this winter, it was a good one, finished off with a pint on the deck watching the brave souls go through the mogul field, and the out-of-control kids bombing down with their arms out at their sides, leaning back so far that their skis become fast-moving projectiles waiting to kiss a tree.