The first night we drove eight hours to Golden, B.C. to ski Kicking Horse. I’m told they have the 2nd or 3rd highest vertical feet in North America. And they needed it. They never get much snow and apparently they have even less this year. Before skiing Kicking Horse, I’d never before ridden a chair down the mountain. With more rocks than snow on the lower third of the mountain everyone was doing it. The upper third of the mountain had fairly good coverage and Kicking Horse in general had some of the best in-bounds territory we’d ever seen.
After Kicking Horse we drove to Fernie. This Canadian Rocky Mountain resort (Kicking Horse was in the Selkirks) had the benefit of more snow–though it was wetter owing to the lower elevation and latitude, and higher temperature.
Tomorrow we will ski Red Mountain. I’ve skied Canada before, but coming back has reminded me of several things. The metric system is a pain when driving and deceptive when it comes to snow depths. Fernie’s 165cm base doesn’t even approach Alta’s 115 inch base–Alta has nearly twice as much snow. Talking to some Canadian college kids in the tub at the end of the day we realized that they knew everything about the States and football but we couldn’t care less that there were more Canadians on some NHL team in Florida. Apparently they cancelled the season (maybe it was last year?)? Anyway, we didn’t know or care. Poor Canadians, they were proud of the fact that the exchange rate was the best it has been in years–and the Canadian dollar is still only worth roughly $0.85 U.S. Also, good luck buying Diet Cherry Coke–they don’t sell it up here. I will give them one thing; every place we have stayed has had wireless internet.
Thanks to that wireless internet I’ve been able to keep up on at least some of my reading. The recent firing of Sonics Head Coach Bob Weiss reminded me of a topic I’ve thought a lot about: hiring and firing of coaches at every level in every sport. I think, I hope, that when a coach is hired, those doing the hiring base it on clearly (and easily) identifiable principles. Winning seems to be the derivative of so many different factors–things like various statistical categories, player-coach relationships, personal conduct, etc., and at BYU they had policing, enforcement, and education of the Honor Code. When they make a decision to fire a coach, I think they need to evaluate their original position and ask themselves what has changed, fundamentally, to give justifiable cause for the firing. “Black Monday” in the NFL and other high profile, forced exits just seem to be made on a whim with very little underlying cause. I agree that the won/loss column is the ultimate arbiter at the pro, college and increasingly (and unfortunately) even the high school level. But I have to think that winning and success are based on some underlying foundation or principle. Thoughts?
USC 41 Texas 24 – I think UT will hang with USC for the first half. In the 2nd half SC will kick it up a notch the way they have all season and show the pretenders and the nation what it means to be the best. Here’s to 3 National Championships in a row. Go SC!