It only took five years before we spotted some blue sky and enjoyed a few moments of sunshine during the annual “Ski for Heart” fundraising event for Alberta Heart and Stroke! We took full advantage of the light after we arrived at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise early Friday afternoon, heading outside to practice our photography skills along the frozen shores of Lake Louise.
Friday evening, we took to the ice for about an hour of skating and shinny. But Saturday was our big activity day! Our heart smart exercise began with a 5 km snowshoe to the end of the lake and back. After a short lunch break, we were back outside for some more skating. Next up, some sledding on the nearby hill. Unfortunately, the sledding experience didn’t measure up to past years – the snowflakes didn’t stick together, so every time you’d make a run, you’d end up with a face full of snow flying up to stick to your cheeks and chin. We tried our best to construct a jump, but eventually conceded that we weren’t going to be able to duplicate last year’s outstanding sledding experience and headed back inside. Our next stop was the pool, which was very busy. We spent a short while in the regular pool before heading to the steam room and then a quick soak in the hot tub. Finally, it was time to get ready to attend the wrap-up banquet.
The banquet was a new addition to the weekend’s program. We took turns sitting for the caricature artist, perused the silent auction items and then sat down for dinner. The hotel kitchen did a wonderful job with the roast beef, mashed potatoes and roast vegetables served to the grown-ups. Unfortunately, the kids’ chicken strips and fries sat under a heat lamp for way to long, so the boys were extremely pleased when dessert turned out to be a large serving of vanilla ice cream!!
The live auction was a first for some of the members of our family. The boys weren’t quite sure what to make of the auctioneer’s patter and I think they were glad when he announced “sold” for the last time! They far preferred the variety show that followed, especially when Mr. GeoK was drafted to go up on stage to help with one of the activities!
The best news of the evening was when the MC, Darrel Janz (CTV Calgary news anchor) announced that the funds raised for Heart and Stroke totalled more than $136,000 this year, the highest total yet for the Lake Louise Ski for Heart event! We’re looking forward to the opportunity to tour some of the Calgary cardiac research labs later this year, to see those funds at work!
We wrapped things up today with about and hour and a half skate / shinny, then loaded up the vehicle and headed back to Calgary. The temperature climbed almost 20 degrees Celcius between Lake Louise and Calgary and we enjoyed full sunshine and blue skies as we arrived back home.
Beautiful accommodations, excellent service, lots of outdoor activities in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and all of it shared with friends. All-in-all it was an excellent weekend and we’re already looking forward to Ski for Heart 2011.