Bullet proof Revy to bottomless Backsides
With an extended break, and lower fuel costs, I spent the holidays driving back and forth across the province. The first stop was Revelstoke, where I remembered epic laps of the North Bowl from last season containing hits of every size and shape. This year, with the sun shining and sky blue, I was discouraged to find the early season snow that had fallen on Mt. Mackenzie had been frozen and blown into wind swept hardpack. The temperature hovered around a balmy minus 30, and toes froze and shattered against my concrete boot shells, prompting Rambo like self inflicted surgery for several days following to relieve the unrelenting pressure and puss. A pleasing image to be sure, and not the way to start a ski holiday. The clear skies did allow for future dreams of future lines, and I'm still of the mind that Revelstoke is a fantastic mountain with more than enough terrain to scare the toes off of anyone.
Next stop, Big White, where I grew up skiing and enjoying an old school cabin my family has had for many years. The snow came with me, and I anticipated better luck on familiar terrain. I was wrong. Despite 20 cms of the Okanagan's lightest powder, I was still disappointed to be hammering through rock and bush with my oldest rock skis. The snow was simply too light to have any effect, and half way through the first morning, I clipped a 6 inch leg breaker just below the knee and shuddered in lonely pain in the trees deciding whether it was serious or not. Thankfully, it was simply a kick in the shins, and something I could deal with. But this did not inspire confidence. The light snow continued, and the crowds were small, but the base was barely enough to hide the fallen logs and rocks that penetrated the surface like tombstone reminders not to push it too hard. A couple of quick runs after ducking the rope on The Cliff lead to a few face shot smiles, but nothing to howl at. Still, it wasn't work.
With family time complete, and Christmas gifts exchanged, I headed to Nelson with my girlfriend and others for New Years. The snow continued to follow me, which lead to severe white knuckle driving and optimism of better days. Whitewater is quite possibly the best little resort in the world, and had never failed me before. This trip was no different. There was evidence of leg breakers everywhere, and the alders were more prevalent than you'd like at lower elevations, but lap after lap of the backsides gave way to giddy giggles and thigh deep freshies. One definitely had to keep the skis underneath you to prevent one ski going under a log, and one going over, but there were face shots and hoots throughout the trees, and welcoming locals to drive you back to the the resort at the bottom. It kept snowing at night, and there wasn't anyone at the hill to use it all up, so we all got our first and fair share of quality skiing for the season. The upper ridges and summit of Ymir peak beckoned us, but the recent avalanche deaths throughout the province kept us in the trees. And that's all we needed.
There's no pictures to prove it, but let that be the proof that it was too good to convince anyone to stop and take pictures. The momentum has started, and the quads are coming around. I can't wait for this snow pack to relax and let us really get out there and play.