I’ve just finished my last shift at Wildhorse cat-skiing for the winter. Adjusting to the demands of semi-regular work rather than free-skiing all the time has sometimes been a challenge, but the daily powder skiing really has been a joy.
It snows in Ymir.
Since it passed the top of the 3 meter measuring stick we’re just guessing on the snow-pack depth, but it’s been a snowy season as per usual, and the terrain keeps even the most demanding skiers satisfied.
Wildhorse is a bit of an anomaly in the powder skiing industry. We’re not trying to provide a “luxury” product for the elite, and it’s not about status, it’s simply about delivering great powder skiing. For me, and for our regular clientel, that’s all we need.
Motherlode on a Saturday.
After much anxiety among the faithless, the snow has finally arrived at Red. There have been a few great days these past couple of weeks, including the past two Saturdays, making for happy weekend skiers and long lines. With the base now hovering around 2 meters, and covering the rocks and assorted schnarb, the amount of ski-able terrain is finally getting close to what we know and love.
There’s no shortage of challenging terrain at Red. Although the whole cliff zone from Sara’s through the Coolers is still looking pretty boney, there are always plenty of tracks in wild places.
An Island in the Kootenay Sea.
Our ski patrol seem to be having trouble finding the appropriate level of avy control this season, whether forcing late lift starts as though surprised that it actually snowed (too many times to count), or carpet bombing when it’s ankle deep (yesterday). Let’s hope they get it together eventually.
I love the way deep powder snow can make adults play like children.
Just another powder skiing snap shot from Wildhorse.
I’ll be ski-guiding solidly for the next couple of weeks, including a Fairy Meadows trip. Hoping for a some stability and sun.
It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had any significant snowfalls, so to keep delivering quality powder skiing at Wildhorse we’ve been punching roads, and setting boot-packs and traverses into areas we don’t usually venture. It makes my days much more interesting, and the steep powder skiing in the sunshine has made for some of the best turns of the year.
To the top of Wildhorse Peak.
So, where are we going ski?
Snow quality isn’t suffering.
Even the traverses are fun.
Ymir Yurts have a couple of rustic ski touring yurts, located in the Nelson Range between Wildhorse Catskiing and Whitewater ski resort. I just spent a week guiding a group of Swedish skiers and boarders out of the Yurtopia Yurt.
It was snowing and blowing almost the whole time, with nearly 50cm of new snow over the course of the week, making for constant trail breaking, and the perfect powder skiing experience the group had traveled a long way for.
A rare break in the clouds.
Not everyone that comes to Wildhorse is focused entirely on getting in lots of vertical. As ski-tourers know, putting in some extra time and effort can provide big rewards.
On the Summit.
I recently got to show around a couple of our regulars, who wanted to make the most of a rest day on their annual cat-skiing trip. We snowmobiled to the top of our road network, climbed to the summit of Wildhorse Peak, and skied the long, open, and otherwise inaccessible South face in perfect conditions.
The South Face
With plenty of boot-packing, traversing, and side-stepping required to link it all together, the whole experience was a major work-out for guys that don’t regularly do this sort of thing, but they toughed it out and had a great time.
My winter at Wildhorse cat-skiing has begun. With the owner/lead guide Trevor recovering from a broken leg sustained in the Fall, I’m taking on all guiding duties for a little bit. The snow-pack is thinner than usual, and we haven’t had much new snow of late, but with perfect boot-deep powder skiing on all aspects, our clients are invariably stoked at the end of the day. I have mixed feelings about guiding. Of course I course I love skiing fresh powder, but the experience can’t compare to the freedom, challenge, and camaraderie of adventuring with close friends. What does make it worthwhile is the the satisfaction of providing people with what is often a peak life experience. It’s uplifting to be associated with such joy.
That’s me, out in front at Wildhorse – Photo by Trevor.
I’m just back from four days at Wildhorse cat-skiing, and hanging out in the funky little town of Ymir. Effortless powder skiing as per usual, with even a crisp sunlit day between the endless snows. After a bit of a dry spell, we had 12cm of new snow this morning at Red, and while it took me a run to re-adjust to feeling the base underneath, I soon found my groove.