2013 Lopp-It Good @ Snowflea 2014 Date announcement!

Chickadee by D. KasunicHi folks!

I hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful year!
Looks like the globally weirded but welcome month of Aug-tober is drawing to a close, and my favourite time of year is finally here.
I love the outside scene when the vermillion leaves of the maples are down, making way for the rusty-brown oaks, yellow tamarack and deep green of the spruce and pine; allowing those far-off dreamy hill views, anchored between golden fields and azure skies. The ilex berries and moose-maple are all ablaze along the waterways.
…however I will admit that blue not the colour of the sky today – it is actually hailing outside, and I heard the buntings and juncos tweeting about snow!  We still have a lot of outside work to attend to around here, so I have hopes that this sleeting will be fleeting – just a quick visit from the weather gods, practicing for the Lopp-It weekend.
Which reminds me to get to the point ……as well as finally remembering my blog password, and dropping by to say hello, I wanted to invite any who can join us on the weekend of November 9th and 10th for the annual Bellevue Valley Lodge “Lopp-It-Good”!  We get out in the woods on our ski runs to shift what the winds have brought down, scout new death-defying drops and clear off the brushy ankle-grabbers.
We tromp around with power tools and loppers to test our mettle, and sometimes the elements test our resolve too!
Besides, there’s nothing like a bit of pain to make you think you are having a good time!
If you would like to join in on the weekend of November 9th, we happily house and feed you in exchange for this workout for your brawny bodies….please call or email for more details.
Also, the 18th Annual Snowflea Telefest is set for February 21st – 23rd, 2014…. so mark your calendars! (18 years … can you believe it?)
Thanks for reading ~ take care, hopefully we’ll cross tips and tracks sometime soon!
Best wishes,
Robin
(and Enn, who is busy building a new garage to host ski-waxing parties)

That time of year again!!

…….announcing The 17th Annual Snowflea Telefest!

FEBRUARY 23RD & 24TH, 2013

….sorry, been too busy skiing and enjoying a REAL winter to even think about writing to all you folks. Besides, most of you have been so eager to get out on the slopes I have talked to all of you personally over the past 6 weeks – yes, it is winter in Northern Ontario once again!

Since Christmas, several heavy and prolonged snowfalls have given us a great base, and even with our two days of warm weather and rain this past week we are still enjoying great conditions in the back-country! It is snowing right now, and the forecast is calling for over 20 cm of freshies by tomorrow morning – and the long-range shows significant snowfall for the next five days – well into next week!

So all systems go for Snowflea Telefest 2013!

This past fall the “Lopp -It – Good” crew plotted and cleaned up two MAJOR extensions to the bottoms of Northwest Passage and  Undertaker runs – giving us some longer ski-able terrain closer to the lodge. A new line was cut returning skiers from The North Face – and was christened “The Lone Pine” – it circles the mountain and gives us a new choice for a sweet downhill line on the tour home. A lovely loop and very relaxed!

……so hey, if you are planning on coming for Snowflea and have not called to confirm – please do so. We are already full here at the main lodge but Bert has offered a few rooms for overnighters –  and if you are local and thinking of coming along for Saturday, you know you are very welcome, I would just like you to confirm so I can plan meals – THANKS!

Yours snowingly,
robin

Announcing SNOWFLEA TELEFEST Feb 24 – 26th

Dear Free-Heelers,

Better late than never, right?

Yup – it’s that time of year again!
Although winter took a while to commit, we are now full snow-shovels ahead for the 16th Annual Snowflea Telefest!
February 24th, 25th, and 26th – zoomin’ up on us with its’ rapper coat a’ flapping!

Please check out the web site for details – we hate to break with tradition (it works so well!)
This is a weekend of free-heel frolic, food and frivolous fun upon and in the snowy landscape here at Bellevue Valley Lodge, Goulais River Ontario.

If you are a snowshoer or beginning tele-skier you might be pleased to know we have terrain and tours available close to the main lodge. Prices for the weekend still the same – ! …..NO INFLATION in 16 years! Where will you EVER see that….

AND ~ We are extremely pleased to announce the talented musicians we have appearing for your entertainment on Saturday night – www.pattemple.com/music.cfm

(….dear local friends, please note that if you wish to come only for a part of a day, or the concert and evening’s festivities on Saturday you are very welcome – price for dinner and concert is listed separately on our website.)

PAT TEMPLE has thirty years of performing experience under his belt. A mainstay in the Canadian music and art scene, Pat has performed in venues such as: Massey Hall, The National Art Gallery and Ontario Place Forum He has appeared on MuchMusic, and CBC’s “Swingin’ on a Star”.Graced with a BIGGG theatrical voice, each of Pat’s songstories are the kind that you want to stay up late with – and contain a short novel’s worth of ideas and the musical styles that are truly diverse. They are not to be listened to – they are to be experienced!
Accompanying Pat is Spencer Evans, on keyboards, accordion, clarinet and comic relief. Spencer also sings, and has been known to Prance Around. You will never win a round of “stump the piano – player” with this talented man. A professional musician for 20 of his 33 years, Spence has played Bermuda to Bosnia, New Orleans to the North Pole, and has recorded and toured with The Cowboy Junkies, Sarah Harmer and Pat Temple, and performed with Jeff Healey, Dan Aykroyd, Willie P. Bennett, Jack Mahieu, Alex Pangman, Maria Muldaur, and Toronto’s Swing Gang, among countless others.

Hope to have some of you join us on this auspicious weekend – we’ve been holding it together now for 16 years, who knows how much longer?!
…remember ” Levity Gets You Up – Gravity Gets You Down!!”

Post-Snowflea 2011

 

In the face of World and Weather Adversity – we pulled it off!

15th Annual Telefest has been and gone!

Thanks to all (32) of you who made it through the Wicked Winds of the West, the swaying Bridges of Michigan County, and the disheartening possibility of bulletproof Crème Brulé Crust on all your favourite backwoods mounds of whipped topping. And to those of you who braved it through the trauma of car packing, work ducking, and bribing the dog, kid, and house sitters, only to be met with total white-outs, road closures and extremely unco-operative border guards – I say to you;

You were missed, and toasted, and your personal sacrifice was duly noted and will be laid out before the feet of the Heikki, Loki and all the other Trickster-spirits to ensure fair play for the next time you venture out into the Elements!

Friday’s storm deposited enough soft skiffs into the forest crevices to allow most of the snow hoppers to enjoy the day. The snowshoe crowd was proudly self-sufficient, and made tracks to all of the lookouts and ridges long before the sunset chased them back to enjoy the sauna. Although most of the south-facing slopes were downright skitter – scary, after lunch we took the lovely flat-land tour to the bottom of the North Face Runs, where the fresh snow had collected in a most gratifying way on most of the tele-slopes.

Teija was our amazing chef of the weekend, and created incredible edibles with a minimum of fuss and bother. Right from the delectable harvest soup – to barbequed turkey wraps, 4 huge trays of pasta shells, and a multitude of free range and local berry pies and scrumptious muffins to complement egg strata on Sunday morning, we fed Iike bears getting ready to hibernate. It’s amazing we could even bend over to do up our bindings.  And to help us digest our Saturday night eating marathon, The Boothill Crooners royally entertained us with many surprisingly familiar yet musically twisted songs.

I believe a good time was had by all – if I’ve missed anything please pipe right up! (This is a blog that allows other comments, by the way ….. 😉

Snowflea Telefest is privileged to have great sponsors who provide generous swag for our participants (serious stuff – such as gear bags and packs, apparel, equipment, waxes, packs, and head lamps). Thanks to Dave Robinson at Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto. Thank you to our local independent store owners here in Sault Ste. Marie who go far beyond retail in their mandate to provide support for people who love to be active in the great outdoors. Chris Theriault at The Duke of Windsor Sport Shop, Brad Phaneuf at Algoma Bicycle Company, Jan Roubal and the staff of Velorution, and Brenda at The Country Way Health Food Store all kindly support our telemark ski festival. Please visit these folks if you are in town – they are a wealth of information and enthusiasm.

Thanks to Gabrielle Bourbonnais who volunteered her help, and her fellow students and teachers Steve Foster and Conor Mihel of the Outdoor Recreation and Parks Program at Sault College for their interest and help in making our slopes safe and free of ankle-biting snags and pitfalls!

And last but definitely first, thanks to all of you, who against all the odds (and even with some odds) make it out for Snowflea. You rock(et)!

I didn’t get any photos this year – too busy having fun – so would appreciate any contributions, corrections or complaints. Heck, we’ll even be glad to receive kudos – what do you think?

robin

 

Retro Night at Searchmont

The sad part about my retro – costume … it’s all items of apparel or sport that I still use! Mostly. The goggles are historic, I have to admit – but they are  mine. I used to wear them ski-racing back in “67.The sight of them still engages a lot of the memories and dreams of my 8 yr. old self … so I’ve never been able to throw them out.

Enn still wears these double leather boots – they are the best!

However, to the downhill crowd – it’s all Retro, Baby!

OK – enuf about snow ….

(…what can I say -sometimes I’m not the most imaginative writer – especially when it comes to writing a personal note!!)

So – enough about snow – I’ve told you that we are OK in that department – maybe there’s not as much as my as my relatives have in Moncton New Brunswick – but I don’t hear a lot about ski hills in that province either so maybe all that white stuff is just a waste for them !

We’re getting excited about this years’ Snowflea Telefest – it’s the 15th Annual! Please check out the great poster we have this year – we’ve borrowed the artwork from our friend artist Andy Rockwood. It’s a painting of him and Laura  – combining two of their best loved activities … skiing and making music!

If you haven’t called to register – but are expecting the winds will bring you to us – please let us know ASAP – we still have room for day registrants, and there’s some rooms available close by!

Please check it out!

January 11th, 2011 …come on, SNOW!

Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know it’s a bit late to keep saying that but I haven’t had a chance to talk to you bloggies yet this year. I suppose that’s good news – being busy, I mean …as this is the season for it! Winter around here means lots of ski and snowshoe guests, and many everyday chore activities  – fires going in three buildings, shoveling and plowing, beds and laundry, filling the birdfeeders, answering emails and phone queries, and most of all, making sure there’s time to spend part of every day out on skiis! Track, tele, backcountry, downhill  – as long as they slide, we’re on them!

Unfortunately we have been suffering from the lack of snow – the back country is not deep enough for our usual tele free-fall approach to altitude … but the trails systems at Stokely and Kinsman are in good shape, and we’ve been touring a good flat-lander route to the river that amuses the dogs. Hopefully one of these days SOON we will be on the receiving end of the usual lake effect snow – one good 2 foot dump would do it for the rest of the winter.  All of our snow-dancers have assured us they have been sweating it out and stomping the boards ….. perhaps it’s a matter of switching over to sacrificial offerings!

However there are no limits to enjoying the season – on one single day last week,  we were able to skate across Harmony Bay to Batchewana Island,  go ice-boating, track skiing and also “ski-jouring” with Heikki the Youngpup and Jack-Rabbit Mihell ….and the sun was shining too – what more could you ask for?

When conditions out back are dicey, Enn and I ski a lot at the local resort Searchmont  – the lodge is fun and friendly and all the snow-guns are going.

I bought a pair of Atomic “Femme-Fatale” tele-skiis last year to add to my quiver. They are short and snappy – and the name makes me feel invincible on the slopes … is that bad?  Also I find my skiing technique has changed a lot because of the speed I can attain! I’ve been doing a lot of high -speed tele-darting…it’s easier on the ol’ quad muscles.I took part in some training last week for instructing – and found it very difficult! We had to slow down the turns and dissect the whole “weight/release” thing. It was really hard to slow the process down – you can cheat a lot on your turns when you have speed and gravity on your side!

Oh – I forgot to tell you that Snowflea Telefest 2011 is filling up fast! The lodge beds are full – but we do have some “satelite support” with some wonderful local accomodations, so if you plan on being here – drop us a line and we’ll fit you in. I’m sure we will have some deep drifts by then – if not, it’s gonna be time to sell up and move on! ;-(

…’later folks – and of course we do hope all of you that drop in here from time to time have a happy and healthy 2011!

robin