Monthly Archives: March 2008

Steep in Nelson

After an incredible last couple of days of skiing 40cm of light new snow at Red, I’m packing away my hill skis and resting up for the Purcell traverse. We leave on Thursday. I just found out that the movie Steep is playing this Wednesday night (April 2nd) at the Capitol Theater in Nelson. It’s a documentary about the history of steep skiing, with interviews and footage of all the major players from Bill Briggs and the French pioneers to Doug Coombs and Seth Morrison, and I’m stoked that I’ll get a chance to see it on the big screen.

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Endless Winter

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My yard – March 28th.

It’s nearly the end of March, there’s still over a meter of snow in my yard, and we’re still skiing cold, dry powder on the ski hill. It seems we’re not going to be getting any Spring skiing on the hill this year, and it might be a late start to the biking season. It snowed heavily all through the day yesterday, and I rode the Red Chair until it closed at 5.00pm (thanks to management for the positive change) , each run better than the last. After closing, I had my appetite sated at the reincarnation of the annual Turkey Roast. It was great to see a whole bunch of old and new faces participating in a real community celebration. Today was more powder skiing in the sunshine. Unfortunately I lost and never recovered a ski while skiing the Waterfall about half-way through the day. I went back on my touring skis and poked around, but it seems I’ll have to retrieve it sometime this summer. I’m not too concerned, as the skis were de-laminating and the the bindings kept pre-releasing. I’ve other skis I can use for the last few days, and I’m already considering what new set-up I’m going to purchase for next year (Scott Pures or another pair of Coombas). I did a lap on Mt Roberts in the afternoon, but found the Knife-edge into Center Chute surprisingly wind-effected. Skiing was much better on the hill. There’s more snow in the forecast, but I’m hoping it lets up soon, so that conditions can settle for our up-coming ski traverse, otherwise we’re going to be in for some energetic trail breaking.

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Dave – Second Slide (Red Mountain in the background).

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Inspiration.

Thoreau wasn’t a skier, but I think he would have empathized with those of us who devote our lives to this indulgent whimsical passion.

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements. When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shop-keepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago….” – Henry David Thoreau (1851)

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Easter Skiing

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Jill – catching some air at the end of the day at Wildhorse.

Late season powder skiing continues in the Kootenays.  After a couple of great days  skiing at Red, showing guests from Salt lake City and Whistler a few of our secrets, I was back up at Wildhorse with a group of Red Mountain lifties. I don’t know who was loading chairs at Red on Sunday, but we were having a great time in the untracked mid winter conditions.

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Rugged Conditions on Unnecessary Ridge. 

Today I wandered around our local mountains with Cam and Andrew. We toured up Kirkup from the highway, and skied the North glades. I guess I’m getting a little spoiled from all the untracked snow I’ve become accustomed to, and found it a bit tracked for my liking. So we traveresed over to the Old Glory trail and on up to Unnecessary Ridge, where we were blasted with horizontal snow in the howling wind.  We dropped off the Ridge on a slope I’ve never skied before (same aspect but south of the Hanna Peak chutes) for a great steep powder run and a long rolling descent down a gully into the South fork of Hanna Creek and on down the highway. It snowed most of the afternoon and into the early evening – so it’s going to be a powder day at Red tomorrow.

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Broken Dynafit Insert Post

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I thought it was just the attachment screw working itself loose, but the issue with Dynafit heel insert in my Garmont Mega-rides is actually a broken locater post. I’ll call Garmont tomorrow and try to sort something out in time (15 days and counting) for my ski traverse.

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Record Mountain – North Face.

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Stewart – Dropping the cornice.

After 3 hectic days of charging fresh lines on the hill, it was actually a relief to wake up to no new snow. Looking to stretch the legs and enjoy some smooth turns, Jeff, Denis, and I made quick time out to Record, and dropped into the North side for a couple perfect powder runs in the sunshine.

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Jeff – Finding the goods.

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…and charging. 

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Red Mountain – March Powder

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Cam – Orchards Cliffs.

With 43cm of new snow in the past 72 hours, and coming up to our third powder day in a row, it’s good times at Red Mountain.

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