FWT Golden Through the Lens
With a few words and a week’s worth of photos, Brian Coles immerses you in the Golden stop of the Freeride World Tour.
The soft spoken freeride mecca of Golden, BC, usually (un)known for hanging out in the shadows and enjoying its massive terrain to itself finally invited the world in for a party. Organizers of the Freeride World Tour, media circus and all, touched down in Golden last week to orchestrate the legendary big mountain ski competition. After record breaking January snowfall and comfortable temperatures, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort was primed for explosive skiing and snowboarding. Nerves were high after a snowed out Japan stop and half a week of heavy snow in Golden.
While the world waited for the event to happen, everyone at Kicking Horse made the most of the snow. Many a local skied by shaking their heads as multiple photographers strained awkward yoga positions behind trees just to frame a shot. Not your typical sight at Kicking Horse. Pow was slayed, shots were got, new friends were made and parties were had. Classic waiting game, no one complained.
Then, the weather cleared.
The curtain was pulled and Kicking Horse was left for all to see, big lines, bigger back country and sun rises that will surely be gracing every magazine cover soon.
Ozone, a permanently closed south-facing peak and many a local’s day dream, was the venue. Shorter than a usual venue but packed with technical airs that left many athletes wishing for a rebate run, Ozone shocked and awed the crowds watching from the opposing Redemption Ridge. A new precedent was set for this small town in the big mountains. You could tell things weren’t going to be the same from here on out.
Then the decision came to run the Hakuba stop the next day on the venerable Wrangle The Chute 4* venue, Truth and Dare. Volunteers and staff worked until the middle of the night to switch venues. A beautiful pink sunrise lit up the jagged peaks of the Dogtooth Range and reminded us all that it was going to be an awe-inspiring day.
After a week of high intensity skiing, digging, avalanche control, organizing and editing, the circus is done and dusted. Golden is back to being a beautiful, tranquil town in the mountains. Banners were taken down, bags were packed, the road was hit. In the shadows there are just a few clever souls remaining who know the locals are on to something here.