I’m so happy to be putting my backpack on again after a few months at home in the UK.
My Northface ‘Base Camp’ kit bag, after successfully making it to the real Everest Base Camp, is now loaded up with cold weather alpine gear in preparation for two weeks in the rocky mountains of British Columbia.
The journey I have embarked on is a nine hour flight to Vancouver followed by a seven hour drive to Revelstoke. A small mountain town at the base of Mount McKenzie on the edge of Revelstoke National Park.
I’m delighted to be flying out with my friend of nearly two decades Peter, who over the years I have referred to as ‘Pistol Pete’ ‘the machine’ and ‘Pedro’ all for different but equally colourful reasons.
After a failed attempt to get ourselves upgraded to business class, we hunkered down on our Air Canada flight over the Atlantic.
We arrived into Vancouver airport and were met by Pete’s friend Chris, whose hospitality has been incredibly generous.
Chris is originally from Worcestershire in the U.K. but now lives in Vancouver. He has also spent two ski seasons in Revelstoke, the ski town in the Canadian rocky’s, where we will spend the next two weeks.
After an overnight stop on the floor of Chris’ shared house on the North shore of Vancouver we hit the road into the mountains to Revelstoke.
Revelstoke has the most vertical ski and snowboard runs in Northern America and the most consistent powder.
Tucked away between Vancouver and Calgary, it would be easy to miss this small Canadian ski town in favour of the larger reputations of Whistler and Banff but for those dedicated to their snowsports this is a lesser travelled Mecca.
Since arriving we have had around 10cm of fresh snow each night, this was complimented by a 30cm dump on our fourth day.
On day one, we took the ski lifts as high as they go, then hiked the sub-peak which took us into the back country of the north bowl. An incredible experience that took us to fresh waist deep snow.
On day four we signed up for ‘first tracks’ which meant we were given access to the mountain from 7:30am before the lifts officially opened to the public.
Snowboarding through knee deep untouched snow, on the actual pistes was another first ever experience for me. Big powder turns resulted in waves of snow going over my head through each turn.
There are plenty of ‘glades’ where the distance between the trees is controlled to allow for the best tree runs in the off-piste. This has really helped me get my snowboarding back up to scratch!
Riding with Chris, the locals and the resort instructors is an absolute blast but also reminds me that I now only get to test my skills, endurance and appetite for adrenaline once or twice a year.
Next week we are booked in to go heli-skiing with Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Ski Company. I’ll let you know in a future post how we get on!