I’m not sure what I did to deserve it. But like Tom Petty sings, even the losers get lucky sometimes. Ski days like this are reserved for the writers, shooters and stars. Not sales guys and truck drivers.
The last-minute media invite to sample a day and two nights at Canadian Mountain Holiday’s Revelstoke operation was unexpected. But hell ya, I’d accepted. Motoring the dirty KMC-mobile into the downtown heart of arguably the world’s new reigning mountain town, I’d arrived at the legendary heli-ski provisioner’s unassuming lodge, The Regent, just in time for a terrific four-course dinner and a solo simmer in the hot tub before collapsing into a blissfully deep sleep (deep enough to sleep through a wake up call and a cell phone alarm in fact.)
After a round of roadside heli-and-avi prep, replete with Interior BC’s morning rush hour of scant logging truck and snowmobiler traffic, nine of us including regular KMC/CMC photo contributor Ryan Creary jumped in the B212 and headed for the heavens. (Check Creary’s Facebook for photos a lot better than these…)
Seven minutes later, we stepped out into a scenario I’ll never forget. Our guide’s first stride out of the bird buried his leg thigh-deep in snow perfectly protected by an adjacent seven-story cliff face and windless, cloudless temps of -19C.
Our group of skiers and ‘boarders dropped an ideally angulated slope of the coldest, lightest snow I’ve likely every seen, let alone skied.
The turns were high speed and sublime. The face shots burned. Silhouetted in a sky-high curtain of frozen glitter and sunshine, each of us towed plumes of cold smoky vapour half a city block long. Sick stuff for sure.
Four hours later, on our day’s final descent, we dropped a run that might well end up a best-of-the-season, even with three quarters of a winter left. High Roller is vintage CMH, notes our lead guide, Steve Chambers, a classic he says. The zone is straight out of your favourite Vimeo selfie-pow clip. Bus-wide bowling lanes lined by old growth, pillow after pillow, and straight aways plugged with pristine blower.
“It’s pretty much a typical start to the season,” says Chambers, even with a slow, tepid beginning to the winter.
On a clear day you can see Kelowna’s Big White, Vernon’s Silver Star and Sun Peaks, near Kamloops, from atop the Revelstoke tenure — one of 11 operations in the CMH cosmos. Calgary is a three-hour drive east. Here, overlooking the Monahsees and Selkirks, you’re smack dab in the middle of BC’s Powder Highway. So load up the truck, turn up the tunes and head for the CMH hills. You deserve it, no? – Darren Davidson