A few Sundays ago I awoke to the most incredible morning. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and through the night we received a beautiful dumping of snow. There was absolutely no wind that day, the temperature was perfect and everything looked so majestic. My friend Marg sent me a message asking if I wanted to go snowshoeing, and I was all over it. We grabbed Shauna and off we went to The Keppoch for a beautiful afternoon of snowshoeing up Summit Loop. The Keppoch is finding some new life with the work of many very dedicated and hardworking people. Their group is called Positive Action for Keppoch Society, which was started in 2010 with the goal of it becoming a recreational gem for the surrounding area. The day we were there Dr. John Chiasson and his wife Barb took us into the lodge for a little tour. Greg Stewart came along shortly after his snowshoe. After speaking with them for just a few minutes you could tell just how proud they are of what the mountain is becoming. The Keppoch isn't a fully operational ski hill anymore, but there's nothing stopping you from taking your boards or skis with you. You can hike the mountain and ride down! I know of a couple of people who have done so, and say riding through the fresh pow is incredible! Apparently, in the works for this year when the snow has melted The Keppoch members have plans to clear some of the ski trails so people can do just that on a regular basis.
Recently I had a conversation with Jason Mason, and we got to talking about our days at Keppoch, and all of the memories we have of the times we spent on that mountain. Jason said it best in a message he sent to me "I miss the Keppoch ski culture. It always matters to me. The time I spent on the hill. It matters. It mattered then. It always feels like an accomplishment when I walk away from a day of riding." Jason said it perfectly. That's exactly how I feel after our family has finished a day on the slopes. Our ski hill is now Ski Wentworth, which is about an hour and a half from our door, but the drive is totally worth it. We spend time together as a family, and there isn't a day I ski at Wentworth that I don't remember my days at Keppoch. It was a large part of my youth, and an experience I am happy to share with my children. I am sure many of you Keppoch people remember Jason, and read about him most recently in The Casket's article From the Keppoch to Whistler about his company Mason Industries. Jason's company is making water repellent, breathable stretch denim to wear while hitting the slopes or any other winter activity. His dream came about from his many years spent riding in jeans. How cool is that? I remember Jason wearing jeans at The Keppoch, that's exactly how I picture him when I think back to those days.
We had a beautiful day on the mountain that Sunday, I honestly didn't want to leave. This summer I hope to get my kids out there to do some mountain biking, I hear lots of good stories from several of our friends who take their children there. Even though The Keppoch is not what I remember it as a kid, it's going to be a mountain that still creates those special memories for the kids of today and their families.
You can connect with The Keppoch Facebook Page and Mason Industries Facebook Page by liking them to stay up to date on what their next plans are. Feel free to share your past or current memories of The Keppoch in the comments below! I'd love to hear them. Somewhere out there I believe Dave Turner has a copy of a photo taken of myself and the "Junior Ski Patrol." I have no idea how old I was, but I remember standing at the top of Lullabye with a group of us for the photo. Dave made me head of the Junior's that year, man did I feel important. I had to take the ski patrol course, and I even got to wear the fanny pack, oh and the best was getting to cut that long crazy line for the t-bar on a busy saturday!