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This past weekend, I and some friends played 9 hockey games over 36 hours on Greg Egan‘s backyard rink. It’s an incredible rink with a gorgeous view of the Monashee mountains, and when you go there to play you stay at his comfy Bed & Breakfast where the beds are comfortable and the hot tub’s always warm. It’s truly a unique experience and an amazing getaway from Vancouver where you and your team can enjoy some shinny (3 on 3, it’s not a huge rink) while working up their conditioning and relaxing in the cabins.


(more photos by ian & doc on flickr)

Greg does an amazing job maintaining this rink, especially considering that it’s all elbow-grease, and not a Zamboni, that maintains the ice. When we were there he had a solid 3″ sheet of ice that was very hard and stood up to our hard turns, grinds, cuts, etc. for hours with only a few shovels (wielded by the losers of each game) needed to sweep up the snow and an occasional spill from the hot tub to replenish the smooth surface. Frankly I’m amazed he’s able to get such solid, consistent ice without machines or refrigeration.

As you can tell from listening to the sound on this video the weather helps (on Friday night it was about -25 celsius) keep the ice cold and hard. Suffering, frequently having your hair freeze, and mild frostbite on your cheeks aside, playing outdoors is a unique experience for Western Canadian kids who’ve grown up on manufactured ice and in municipal rinks. Just marching out into the backyard for a long game of shinny is a prescription for those of us who, as we get older, are still looking for newer and more interesting experiences to rejuvenate our love of the sport.Anyway, definitely give Greg and his wife a call if you’re looking to experience this first-hand.

And if you need a goalie, I could be persuaded. I need some time to rest, though … I’m exhausted.

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