On the Road - A Gliding Reflection
Road Tripping Part 1 - On the Coast
The coast has a very special place in my heart as I spent multiple years in the Sea to Sky corridor exploring the Coastal Range on skis and mountain bike. It’s also where I started ski touring. While planning the holidays, which involved visiting family just outside of Vancouver, it seemed appropriate to plan for some day trips in the Duffey Lake Road area. The Coast is like going back to the roots for me and this time around, also made me realize a few things about skiing. While ski touring in amazing Coastal fresh snow up Mount Rohr a few days after the Christmas, we got the prime example of how skiing brings different type of people together. As we were approaching tree line, we bumped into a group of 5 Germans who rented an RV to chase the Canadian powder. A few minutes later a couple more people added themselves to the line-up who were just out for the day being quite new to ski touring. An instant later, we bumped into pro skiers Ian McIntosh, Callum Petit & Auston Ross. As we reach the top of Mt Rohr, we exchanged our descent plans just to be safe and ensure everyone would have a good time without being scared of overhead hazard. The snow down our avalanche path was nothing but amazing.
Skiing with the Infidel down the Coastal deep powder was nothing but magical. At the bottom, we decided of course to lap back up for another full ski run. Halfway into the ascent, we bumped into Mark Abma (Pro skier) and Kritsi Richard (Olympian Freestyle Skier). Then at the top again, the McIntosh, Petit & Ross trio met us for a quick chat. Our conversation was about how stoked they were to see us ski mountaineer racers up there and we also talked about the Freeskiing Championships coming up in Revelstoke and of course the deep powder skiing at Rogers Pass. Back at the road after a fabulous descent, everyone had great smiles on their face walking on highway 99 sharing more skiing plans and ideas. Before hitting the road back to town, it was high fives all around. It was only a few hours later while sitting in a pub in Whistler watching the World Cup Slalom that I suddenly realized how much more than just gliding is involved in skiing. Whether you are a pro skier, a downhill racer, a ski mountaineer racer or a weekend warrior, we are all after the same thrill and the same feeling. Because we do the same sport, there is an unspoken level of friendship once you come across another group of skiers, especially in the backcountry. It may be because we got stung by the same bug that we are instantly pleased to share an experience with strangers, family, friends, friends of friends… The Coastal trip was the beginning of 6 weeks of road tripping for me to ski and race in Canada, The United States and Europe. With this gliding reflection in mind, I look forward to meeting people from all over the place who are as passionate about skiing, ski racing and mountaineering as I am…who also like to explore the mountains on their boards and share their stories, experience and knowledge!I want to dedicate this story to my friend Duncan MacKenzie who passed away in a backcountry accident the day we left the coast. Duncan was a really passionate skier and mountain biker who inspired a lot of people.