Anyone who knows me know that I love adrenaline. It’s become an addiction, once you feel the exhilaration of going higher or faster than you have been before it’s hard not to want to push the limits a little bit more.
Now, it may be out of season (unless you live in the antipodean countries) but when I think of one of my most memorable, adrenaline fuelled experiences I think back to a time when I was in the Canadian Rockies. If you’ve ever visited the Rockies, you will know how truly awe-inspiring the place is. It is somewhere that will leave you breathless by the magnitude of its beauty. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to have visited many locations with my snowboard in tow. Although I may not have returned to some locations as much as I would have wanted to, the Rockies have always pulled me back there.
On my last visit I was looking for a new challenge, I had heard about a resort called Kicking Horse which had peaked my interest. Kicking Horse has a reputation for some serious runs; jagged edges, rock faces, steep slopes – this I had to try. So after sorting out transport, tickets and the other fiddly bit, my boarding partner and I headed off. The journey took a couple of hours from where we were based and all the way there was a mix of excitement and apprehension.
The journey was a typical Canadian drive full of spectacular scenery and a beautiful ruggedness, then before we knew it we were there. That morning we had some runs testing out the bowls and then went for the 10K run. After that it was time for lunch, which I’m not ashamed to say we were ready for. Instead of eating, lunch mainly consisted of pouring over the piste map. Kicking Horse is well known for its double-black diamond runs, some of which we had already done that morning. However, there was one double-black diamond run which, from what we had heard, was the big one. It’s name, CPR ridge.
Eventually we had eaten as much as we could and had found the route to CPR ridge. Having gone up the gondola there was then a short hike which we traversed. When we reached the edge I took a peak over the lip and then my stomach turned. The ground fell away at an incline that was greater than either of us had ever attempted. At this my fellow boarder took a peak and his face confirmed what I was thinking. ‘What are we doing?’ A short while went by as we sat considering whether to go for it or not, then we came to the theory of just getting it done before we talked ourselves out of it.
I took a deep breath and went over the ledge. I quickly accelerated and recall thinking ‘why am I doing this? I could get seriously hurt’. I knew I had to stay upright and control my board. I became in a zone of total concentration, almost zen like. It sounds like a cliche, but I seemed to become one with my snowboard controlling my speed and direction, avoiding jagged rocks and drops that I was not experienced enough (or crazy enough, depending how you look at it) to try. Behind me I could hear shouts from my friend, suggesting he was feeling the same elation and relief I was feeling. Eventually the slope became a degree of incline more in my comfort zone and it was then my emotions changed. A sense of euphoria poured over me followed by relief. The two of us stopped a little way down and looked up at what we had just descended. A sense utter euphoria came over me, my body was full of adrenaline. We sat looking for a little while at what we had just done, letting our emotions calm and the adrenaline simmer down. I was overwhelmed at what I had accomplished. Having caught our breath and shared our experiences, what did we do next? Well that was simple, we did it again!
It is never easy to push yourself outside your comfort zone, but I hope this story illustrates that unless you try you will never achieve greater heights and truly find out what your capable of. Take a look at our range of products here or our Amazon store. we hope to inspire you to get outdoors.