January took us across the northern boarder and into a land smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. In cars cramped with ski gear, smelly bums, and as much American booze as possible, we followed the eighteen wheelers charging through the white out storm up Rodgers Pass and filtered into Revelstoke, BC. We came to compete in the FWT Canadian Freeskiing Championships and to escape the terrible conditions that plagued our home mountains.
Well, frankly we didn’t have the best showing at the competition. On the plus side of no one making through the qualifying day, we were free to shred, and shred we did. The only bad thing about British Columbia is that its not part of the US. With every visit, we ask the cardinal question, “How do I become a Canuck?” With a slightly heavier snow pack than what were used to back in Montana, big fluffy pillows of pow tend to stick more consistently to rocky outcrops. For us, it was the first time we had seen hittable cliffs since last season.
The panoramic views of the Monashee Mountains are a stunning canvas of sharp white peaks, fat rivers, and inversion clouds stopped up in valleys like glacier lakes. Aside from the 1,713 metres (5,620 ft in ‘Merican) of lift accessed vertical at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, we explored the surrounding backcountry access, including the legendary Rodgers Pass. After overstaying our welcome in Revelstoke, we dipped back into the States to restock our beer supply and pick up photographer, Craig Moore. We then headed to Fernie for what was being broadcasted as The Storm of the Century!!!
Of course, there seems to be a Storm of the Century!!! every season, but what we found in Fernie blew away our former beliefs of what constitutes deep pow. With below zero temperatures, skiing the fifty inches that fell in that storm felt more like passing through cumulous clouds than sliding on top of solid particles. It was too good to stop for a break, even though every single person in our group had frost bite spreading across their cheeks. It was da deep on deep, ski it till ya sleep.
KT’s birthday fell on our last night in town, and what pursued was a blur of nearly escaping bar tabs, cannibalistic wrestling, chomping into beer cans, and a torn meniscus. We returned to ‘Merica a little worse from wear, skied Big Mountain for a couple days, and went to the premier of Aaron Robinson’s Manifest, before driving back to Bozeman.