Countdown to Snowflea Telefest 2015! February 20-22

Our Winter of Contentment = A Snow Day, Everyday! ūüôā

Hello Lodge-Blog!

It’s been SO long since I’ve stopped by to have a cup of tea with you, I was very happy to see you still sitting here, patiently waiting for a¬†Bellevue¬†update. What a loyal little blog you are!

It’s been a¬†beautiful¬†winter for back-country skiing – cold bluebird days, with powder conditions on top of a huge base, and every few days a few freshies to clean the slopes. Global warming seems to mean “colding” in this region¬†– or perhaps it’s just that La Ni√Īa has switched places with her little brother for a seasonal¬†holiday.¬†Such a throwback to¬†the “old” winters¬†I keep being surprised by the fact that my knees have not reset themselves¬†to a more bucolic time! However I am extremely lucky that once the adrenalin pumps through those cranky¬†joints¬†I forget I even have knees until much later in the day, when the skis are off, and more mundane tasks remind me how annoying walking can be.

So in this way, December and January just flew by, and now it’s Telefest month!

SnowFlea Poster 2015

 

 

This year will be our 19th Annual Snowflea Telefest, and like this past                  month, nineteen years have streamed by in a blurr. Back in  1996 we planned one little weekend of fun to share an activity we love, and empower people to travel winter landscapes under their own bipedal power    and gain confidence in backwoods adventure on their own.

Hurtling ourselves through the spaces between trees, experiencing pure gravity¬†on skis, riding¬†pillowed slopes of snow, aware of being many feet above the actual ¬† ¬†ground¬†was just a side benefit, but one that became the raison¬†d’√©tre rather immediately! ….well, who could resist, considering adrenalin and laughter go hand in hand!

So many great times with¬†friends over these years, and opportunities to share joyful times. I don’t think anyone in the¬†tele-tribe¬†will stop until we have to. Perhaps while we still have questing natures, we can work on building a senior ski binding that does the uphill step to climb automatically!

It is so much easier to learn the sport and techniques of tele-skiing now, what with the awesome equipment out there, changing with the times and responsive to different conditions. Heck, we started with wood cross-country skis! That was hard. Then cambered metal edges, super long; Oh boy, what a flail-fest! Thankfully Chris Stoppel took pity on us and brought us some old Hexel downhills. ¬†Remember, this was before the days of short fat powder skis, even at resorts. What took us three or more years to learn, an athletic person with good gear can now conquer in a day. It has been amazing to see so many younger folks¬†keen to strap on a new binding, even snowboards …. and EARN THEIR TURNS!

So here it comes, our annual weekend that marks the¬†full circle of our passion for so many things that go hand in hand to make us happy. Music is a big part of that too – like skiing, another language to enjoy life with! This year we welcome Dana Whittle as our featured performer. Dana is a whirlwind of song and musicianship –¬†we are very¬†excited to welcome her energy and enthusiasm to Snowflea! Please drop by her band site to read about her many accolades and musicalwork – http://www.dentdelion.net/dentdelion-english/dana-english/

…and if you are planning on joining us ~ drop us a knee – oops I mean a line !! See you on a snow-day!
bellevuevalleylodge@gmail.com

Annual Fall “Lopp-It-Good” – happening November 8th 2014

Hi folks,

A lovely little nip is in the air today – you can smell snowflakes in the stratosphere. Yes, you can! ūüėČ

All the maple and poplar leaves have been set free, swirling in huge drifts over the yard. Raking has been a chore with these huge northeasterly blows happening all week. Only the rubrous oak and citrine tamarack are stubbornly holding on to perk up the hillside views.

Enn is walking the mountain this weekend, making note of large windfalls and areas that need some saw work to keep the turns safe this winter.

mike marie conner loppet

We’ve planned¬†the big trail clearing on¬†November 8th and 9th ‚Ķ if you can join us, we would love to have you!

And ……..Snowflea Telefest is planned for February 20th Р22nd 2015.

This will be our 19th Annual!¬†I hate to admit how many more years we have been tromping these woods, clearing deadfall and limbs to make this incredible¬†trail network¬†for backwoods skiing one of a kind. ¬†Lopp it Good weekend asks for your participation in exchange for room and board ‚Ķ it’s a great way to get a deer’s eye view of our ski area, and become a part of the tribe, whether you love to make Telemark¬†turns or prefer to snowshoe! Give us a call or send us an email for more information, or to reserve a bed – hope to see you soon.

Afterglow among the drifts and dregs‚Ķ.. Telefest 2014 retrospective~

Monday 12 pm.
Hard to deal with the empty space once the last car has been pushed out of the driveway.

All that remains is the warm glow in our hearts and the large drift of detritus; all that is left of this past weekend’s large bubble of friendship, fun and adrenalin!
Although that was quite the joke Mother Nature played Рafter this long winter of super snow and cold, (giving us not only a mild case of early cabin fever but luckily also the best snow conditions  in years), two days before Telefest we had above freezing temperatures, a bit of rain mist, and then the barometer plummeted to a whirlwind of a winter storm, with wind and snow, keeping several people from arriving here once both the Michigan Mackinaw Bridge and the highway south to Sudbury were closed. Yet not deterred, just delayed, all persevered and held fast to their plans.

Troopers! … all those who braved those odd elements and kept on the path that leads to our door!

Quite a large contingent from Canada this year, perhaps pumped on the good showing of medals and two awesome gold medals in hockey, we numbered over 50 participants by late Saturday evening. (Dear Americans, sorry for all the teasing. We do love Hockeyville here in Canada!)

Hugely missed were members of the clan Stoppel .. our thoughts were with all of you and especially your patriarch Roger as he battles his way through his own perfect storm.

Part of Saturday’s crew in the outback was happily captured on film by Marcus Quintillano – you can see many olympic-worthy aerial snow ballet maneuvers here –
https://vimeo.com/m/87455819
Many thanks, Marcus!

Safely returned from the film-shoot, more energy was expended on saunas, eating a huge home-made lasagna dinner and enjoying a musical interlude with guest performers Roger Marin and Rochelle Risling. Local musicians Rick Charbonneau, Britta Wolfert, Jeff Hinich and friends continued to entertain until the evening’s end‚Ķ.

Woods conditions improved mightily on Sunday, as the storm resolved into a snow-event, laying down almost two feet of fresh fluff for Sunday’s skiers. Enn said it was his best ski this year – and out of 48 epic days, that is high praise indeed!

More marathon eating took place after Sunday’s ski, as we went through the drift of leftovers and made short work of Mike’s amazing apple tart, a BBQ turkey breast, tenderloin slivers, Marie’s incredible assortment of cheeses of the world, Goulais Garden goulash et al – to power up and send folks back out into the storm to their homes in Owen Sound, Collingwood, Sudbury, Toronto, Ann Arbor, Petoskey, Traverse City, Grayling, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Detroit, Moncton NB and further afield.

My personal thanks go out to everyone above who pitched in to help, my friend Sheila Aho who gave up her Sunday last week to help me prep food, cousin Terry who schlepped gear all week, the wonderful Ms. Emily Gardiner who eschewed a dreamboat day of skiing to help me in the hospitality department – Em, you rock AND roll, Saturday would not have happened without your energy and investment of time – I sure DO owe you ONE! (but just one ūüôā )

Thanks also to our local sponsors, who provided over $800 dollars worth of great swag – everyone who participates for the day on Saturday gets to take a gift home with them due to the generosity of our local supporters and merchants ~
Velorution
Your one stop shop for everything Bike and XC Ski in Sault Ste Marie ON.
The Duke of Windsor Sport Shop
Dedicated to the sales and service of all skis, ski gear, and bicycles.
Algoma Bicycle Company
Not just bikes but skis and snowshoes, along with clothing and accessories
Searchmont Resort, Searchmont ON
All season resort with 700′ vertical, four chair lifts and condos for on mountain accoms.
and the Timberland General Store, Goulais River

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the 18th Annual Snowflea Telefest a fabulous weekend !

Tele- stalkers, please feel free to post and comment here!

FREE HEELS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! …and we will see you on the next run!

…yers in powder,

Robinski

Mike Tefest 2014:photo by Marcus Quintillano …..this is a picture of Mike Everts tree-skiing on Saturday. Photo by Marcus Quintilliano.

LO(d)G(e) update ~ Star date 12/08/2011

Finally a REAL snow fall out there today to kick-start the winter. It’s about time! Although some canoe friends are muttering about paddling the Goulais this weekend – I think they are just hanging on to old habits. There has to be a better way to enjoy a snowstorm!

As soon as the snow started last week the phone calls and emails inquiring about our lodge accommodations increased – always takes a bit of the inevitable to get people thinking about their ski holidays! I’ve noticed a lot more snowshoe fans there too – and it’s not just indicative of an aging population. Lots of people are discovering the joys of the lowly snowshoe!

We have always had snowshoes here to kit people out with – but last year we could have used a few more pairs. I’m still a big fan of our favourites – Northern Lites, they are really light and easy to wear and virtually indestructible. They inspired my “Trekkie” title to this post because they are made out of a specific type of aluminum frame and Hyplar fabric certain space satellites are composed from….. feel like feathers on your feet, very unobtrusive. Great for warmer days too because snow won’t stick to the bottoms, or ride on top of the platform.

Snowshoes enable us to walk in deep snow – therefore no “trail” should be needed! I find it strange that many resorts map out, sign and encourage their guests to march along hard-packed trails that other snowshoers have made – it is so much more comfortable to make your own trail through deep snow, less percussive and after a while because of the lack of resistance it feels as if you are floating.  Yes, it’s always helpful to have a small group of friends along, to take turns being the leader, as it can be a tiring exercise in deep snow to make a fresh track .. but here’s another upside to the exercise of making your own path – you will never get lost! Just turn around and follow yourself home.