After spending over two weeks in Jackson, I had to book it up to BC for a trip some friends and I planned back in September when I was still fully employed. We tossed a variety of ideas around, including hut trips, but all of the huts are booked out years in advance so we opted to book a custom trip with Arctos Guides. Arctos Guides is owned by Conor Hurley. My friends Isaac and Steve have skied with Conor for several years in a row, and I skied with him last year so we were super aligned with him. He knew exactly what we were looking for and our abilities and so we rented a cabin in a small town near a National Park that we always wanted to ski and did day trips out of the cabin.
Candidly, I was a bit nervous leaving Jackson which was getting dumped on each night and head to BC because this year, BC (unlike most years), was the driest place in all the West. In addition, there was a persistent weak layer in the snowpack that was being blamed for an above average number of deaths. Between the low amounts of snow, and the perceived instability in the snowpack, I had very low expectations for our week or so of guided skiing. However, like surf reports, take it all with a grain of salt. Despite fairly shitty reports, we were able to find really good snow each and every day. Granted, it was a bit tricker to find, but that’s exactly why you hire a guide, to put you in the right spot and Conor did just that. We lot’s of groups out there riding and I’m confident none of them found the snow we did and this is a testament to our guide, Conor who was able to lead us to the goods.
Here are some photos from our time in the National Park.
This part of BC was a nice change of pace, skiing with a guide and having a bed to sleep in. While skiing with a guide is very different than figuring it out on your own, especially at my level I do find that skiing with a guide is a great way to learn a lot, check out new zones you might not venture into blind, and surely get great riding.
After a week riding with friends and a guide, I headed over to the Revelstoke zone, a resort and area I know pretty well. Upon arrival, BC received there first new foot of snow in nearly three weeks so I got two really fun pow days in bounds. That said, my time in Revelstoke was just okay. It wasn’t quite as magical as I expected. The two resort days were super fun, but after that I found it challenging to find partners to head into the backcountry with and I wasn’t thrilled to keep riding the resort. This trip was all about ‘big mountain adventures’ so the resort was just really filling the cup. I did have an awesome day in the side country with a guy I met in the sauna but it wasn’t coming together like I really wanted despite constantly putting myself out there.
And so, I was really torn. Should I stay or should I go? I was getting ready to leave when I ran into professional skier Greg Hill at the coffee shop. Greg is dubbed Electric Greg and we had been introduced a few months earlier due to our shared passion for solar, electric vehicles, and backcountry skiing. Upon running into Greg, he invited me to join he and his son for a day of touring, so that was a very special and a great way to close out my time in Canada before heading down to Montana.
Here are some iPhone photos from my day with Greg and his son.
And below is a short clip that Greg snapped of me. This day was really special and I’m deeply grateful for the clip.
I’ve always loved outdoor continuing education. Water safety courses, avalanche safety courses, wildness first aid type courses, etc. These courses have been instrumental in helping me develop and grow my