Winter is upon us. Vancouver may be warm and wet, and may even have the odd sunny day, but a quick drive north or east of the city will put you into some snowy mountains. This kind of weather immediately puts me in the mood skiing, and my first opportunity to slide on snow was opening day on Blackcomb. The only problem was that after breaking both of my ski boots in Kashmir last winter, I didn’t have a boot that would work in my touring bindings.
Fortunately, I had some kick-ass 20+ yr old Raichle Flexon Comps stashed away for just this eventuality and the kindly folks at G3 offered me some big-ass skis that happened to match my radtastic 90’s one-piece powsuit. Throw in a Dakine toque from the ‘nauts and some denim midlayer (I forgot long underwear) and I represented four decades of technological innovation pursuing one specific goal – the shredding of pow.
Fast forward a week and I’m mountain-bound again, this time with Adam and Ian, and all three of us have new gear to try out. Adam’s in new boots and skis from G3, I finally got some new boots, and Ian is spending his first day on a splitboard. Our plan was to stay close(ish) to Vancouver and I’ve wanted to explore Brohm Ridge for a while. Volvic, Adam’s sexy blue Volvo 740, could only get us up so far up the road before it was boots on and hiking. An hour or so brought us to snow and in another 30 mins we were skins on and slowly skiing uphill. This eventually brought us to the first backcountry line of the year, a 100m slope of deep, heavy, and dense coastal snot that was as much work to ski down as the trek up. Still, skiing is awesome and the effort is always worth it.
Sunday rolls around and Adam and I are still game to ski. Waking up in Pemberton takes a lot of the edge off, and we attacked Rohr shoulder with a vengeance. Within 15 minutes of leaving Volvic the sky lightened and the sun burst through, giving us our word of the day – Glohorious. Coverage was good all the way to the road, and rays of sun guided us up onto the ridge. We geared up and shredded pow back down into the valley at record speed, waiting for the ski-tip catching alder/willow branch that never appeared. If the skiing so far and building snowpack is any indication of what’s to come, this winter is going to be awesome.