Secret Castle

Easter was this past weekend (shoot… it took me too long to post this and now that sentence is inaccurate). I wasn’t technically supposed to have any kids, but my older two’s dad was out of town working, so I made plans to hang with them. I like to have all my kids for the holidays, so I’ve coordinated with both my exes to ensure that is how it works and that all of our schedules line up accordingly. This year was a little different, and even though I expected to have no one for Easter, I ended up hanging with all four of my kids! I decided to take the teens out to Castle Mountain, where the littles would be, and we spent the day on the hill.

Ashton and Aisha’s grandparents were pivotal in the development of Castle mountain/Westcastle, and they have been locals ever since I don’t even know when. The littles are there all the time and it’s essentially their second home. 

This trip was not met without resistance. Faith made sure I knew the grave injustice that was being forced upon her, as to spend 24 hours without her friends (even if it is Easter) is just too much. Snowboarding is awful, family sucks, and is there wifi? Dakota also wanted to bring a friend, but eventually understood where I was coming from in my request for it to just be the family.

We drove out on Saturday afternoon and spent the night at the hotel on the hill. We went to the T-Bar (the pub on the hill) and I reminisced with the teens about what it was like when I worked there 20 years ago while we inhaled our nachos and wings. It’s a unique pub, littered with memorabilia from the past several decades, filled with old and young all laughing, and home to the roots of table traverse. I could sit in there for hours just people watching. I love sharing that with my teens, and Dakota has already expressed an interest to work there next year.

I let my kids lead the way when we were riding on Sunday, which is always a little risky. Ashton likes to show Dakota how good he is, so generally picks some of the harder runs. My favourite run at Castle is commonly known as “The Dump,” although they formally changed the name to “Dusk” about 20 years ago. We still call it The Dump, just like we still call Castle, “Westcastle.” Ashton also took us to one of his favourite chutes, “Shotgun.” In all honestly, I had avoided the chutes forever because they’re always black diamond and a little steep for my liking, but I LOVED it. They’re essentially like a natural half pipe (also like The Dump), and that is definitely my jam. So I was pleasantly surprised and happy that Ashton took us there. Also, a little disappointed in myself that I had avoided them for so long. Damn.

Castle is known as The Secret Castle in a mini doc made in 2006. The mini doc was screened all across the globe as a precursor to Warren Miller’s “Off the Grid.” You should watch it, then you can see the origins of table traverse (I brought this game to the derby community) and get a small feel of what it’s like there. They say that if you can ski castle, you can ski anywhere, and I have to agree.


I am thankful for weekends like this, where we can all hang out and experience some joy/adventure. It’s not often, because the teens don’t generally wanna hang with me, so when it happens I basically celebrate.

** at night we like to do Biore nose strips and face masks, it’s become a tradition.

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