This past weekend was the annual computer science department ski trip. Every year, a large portion of the computer science department goes to jasper for a weekend of skiing, hiking, and games. It was a pretty fun trip, but we had quite a "fun" time coming back in near blizzard conditions. Diane and I took the day off and had a relaxing Friday morning. We then got in the car and headed on out to Jasper in the early afternoon. We arrived just in time to relax some more before joining some of our friends who had headed out quite a bit earlier for dinner. The place they picked out was a little Italian restaurant on the upper floor of one of the buildings in Jasper so we wandered down there and ate a pretty decent meal. Four of us split an "Italian Feast" which was two different styles of pasta with some meatballs and sausage. It was pretty tasty and quite filling.

After dinner we returned to the hotel where we played some rock band (Curtis had brought his 360 from Edmonton to play), and then we wandered down to the basement of the hotel where quite a few people were playing games. Deciding to abandon rock band for the night, we sat down with a game called Barbarossa (although we played a variant that Michael Bowling created called Play-Doh's cave (RulesScoresheet). That was pretty fun. I found that I was pretty good at coming up with decently difficult riddles, but not very good at guessing other people's riddles.

After games we retired to bed because we were going to get an early start to go skiing the next day. The ski hill was quite good actually, but the weather wasn't ideal. Fog started to settle in pretty early and then it began to snow more and more heavily as the day progressed. Still, it wasn't too cold to keep us off the slopes so we spent much of the day skiing with Michael B, Nathan, and Joel.

Upon returning to the hotel we found that Curtis, Simone, Mike and Jess who hadn't gone skiing had made us a reservation for dinner at the hotel buffet. That was quite an enjoyable dinner actually -- there was a lot of good food there including some maple cedar planked salmon that was absolutely amazing as well as some roast beef that was incredibly tender. Mmm - tasty food.

After dinner we were ready to play some games. Curtis setup rock band in one of the two games rooms and that was quite a hit. Diane and I would stop in there a couple times during the night to play a bit, but for the most part we let people play who hadn't had a chance to play it yet. I played a game of Zooloreto which is a pretty fun game, and then later on a game of Alhambra. I won both games, although I feel I got pretty lucky in Alhambra.

The games were over so we got back to our hotel room kind of uncertain about what to do the next day. Traditionally, many members of the department go to do the Maligne Canyon hike, but we were worried about the weather reports of cold blizzard conditions. We did, in the end, decide to join the hikers. It was a pretty good choice, I think. We got to go quite a bit further into the canyon than I got to previously, so that was worth it.

It was nearly 1:00 when we finished the hike and climbed into our cars to head home. On the way, a group of us stopped at a pretty nice little food place called L&W in Hinton for lunch. The roads were clear and nice for the early going, and we even saw the sun for some time. Then fog started to descend and the trip got a tad more frightening.

Fortunately, we made our careful way back home safely to put a cap on a pretty good trip to Jasper!