Methow Valley Sport Trails Association's 120 miles of manicured snow pathways unfurl through a scenic landscape of valleys, forests, and mountains. Adventurers spend three consecutive days carving swathes through the powdered paths, with gently rolling areas for beginners, lengthy climbs for veterans, and loop-the-loops for skiers with rockets strapped to their backs. Coast through the 30-kilometer Methow Community Trail, which traverses the Foster-Twalks Suspension Bridge and bows low to the Methow River. On the machine-groomed tracks of the Mazama Trails, newcomers glide through flat farmlands, and the Sun Mountain Trails have an even mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult runs that all end at the doorstep of a warm hut.
The Junior A Penticton Vees skate into the British Columbia Hockey League’s 50th anniversary season with its blades and instincts sharpened, poised to capitalize on a quick start that has the team in reach of first place in the Interior Conference standings. In his fifth year with the team, head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson makes sure his players keep their sticks low and their self-confidence high as they navigate the icy roads of their regular-season schedule. Forward and 2011 NHL draft pick Mario Lucia leads the way for the Vees, splitting defenses with Zamboni-polished slickness and subjecting opponents to more body checks than an anxious physician. Mario and fellow NHL draftees Steven Fogarty and Mike Reilly are not the first Vees to earn interest from the big league, as NHL All-Stars Brett Hull and Duncan Keith both donned the club’s dashing V-neck sweaters in their early days.
From a tee box raised 75 feet above the fairway, the Okanagan Valley spreads out before golfers as they tee up their first shot at the Summerland Golf and Country Club. This sort of panoramic vista is commonplace on the 18-hole course?named the best course in the South Okanagen by Penticton Western in 2013?from the opening drive to postround drinks on the clubhouse?s 1,500-square-foot balcony overlooking the course below. Before toasting good fortune, players must first navigate through the groves of tall Ponderosa pines, calibrate for wild swings in elevation, and best the mighty par 5 18th hole. Measuring 522 yards from the back tees, this final hole borders the edge of the Trout Creek Canyon, one of five holes on the course to do so without falling in.
Course at a Glance:
Working alongside 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, Wayne Hachey brings a bunker full of experience to his post as Desert Golf Academy's head instructor. As a player, Wayne has excelled on both sides of the Atlantic, Earth's saltiest water hazard. He once carded a 29 on 9 holes at British Columbia's Osoyoos Golf Club and shot a low-round of 64 at Scotland's famous Lundin Links. As a coach, Wayne is acquainted with all modern teaching approaches, from the single-plane swing to the technical insights of noted golf instructor Hank Haney, and has used these approaches to develop many of todays top European Tour players. Wayne's staff of pros—including Central Alberta standout Drew Bolokoski—have all learned from his knowledge of the swing, and augment their lessons with FlightScope swing analysis.
Lakeside Fitness traces its lineage back to 1988, when it first opened its doors at the Penticton Lakeside resort, extending its operations through the years with new equipment acquisitions and expanding its repertoire of fitness programs. Though the facility keeps bodies in proper, well-muscled form with a fleet of modern stability equipment, rowers, and cross trainers, the staff still sticks to Lakeside's fundamental philosophy of caring for each member by providing one-on-one training and dispelling urban legends about the small number of muscles it takes to smile. Dedicated trainers push aspiring athletes to toward personal goals with rehab training and Synergy conditioning, or shave off golf scores with a detailed analysis and targeted training of golf swings.
When players peer down the first fairway at Pine Hills Golf Club, they may feel a bit like a placekicker in football, aligning themselves for a shot between uprights formed by tall Ponderosa pine trees. And though successful strokes may not result in fans rushing the course to lift golfers up onto their shoulders, the difficulty involved can give players a deep sense of accomplishment. Challenges such as this one, which arise from a confluence of elevation and natural surroundings, are frequent on the nine-hole par 3 course, draped as it is over the hillsides along Okanagan Lake?s southern rim. As golfers look up from their tight lies, they can feast their eyes on the expanse of Okanagan Lake to the east and the town of Penticton, due south.