Snowdrift

Lisa McGonigle - Bio and Media
pb / 2011-01 / Non-Fiction /
978-088982-271-9 / 204pp / $18.95

Newly graduated from university in Ireland, Lisa McGonigle came to the Kootenay region of British Columbia to spend a winter snowboarding. She wrote emails to her friends back home describing a remote mountain-town called Fernie, a series of smashes in the terrain park, unrivalled powder turns, working for minimum-wage and duct-taping over the holes in her outerwear. She left to take up a PhD scholarship to Oxford but the lure of the snow was too much. Several months later she abandoned her laptop, clothes and bike in Oxford and ran away back to BC. She went on to spend another three winters in the Kootenays, trading Fernie for an even smaller, more remote town called Rossland and learning to ski for good measure as well.

Composed of the emails written as events unfolded, and infused with an Irish take on Canadiana, Snowdrift documents the joyous, impoverished and injury-ridden life of a ski-bum who’ll do almost anything for fresh lines and explores just what happens when you leave it all behind to follow the snow.

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An Uninterview with Lisa Mcgonigle

By Teri Vlassopoulos

A few weeks ago a copy of Lisa McGonigle’s Snowdrift came in the mail. It’s her memoir of trading a full scholarship to Oxford for the ski bum life in the Kootenays in British Columbia. While I was reading her descriptions of skiing and snowboarding, I got it. Even her descriptions of the injuries sustained on the hill sound purposeful or at least hilarious.