Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back on the Road: Freeski World Tour, Revelstoke, BC, Canada

Back on the road. Been a while since I've traveled for work to a fantastic location but here we go again. I'll be working the Subaru Freeski World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding Series this season and I just got back last night from the first trip of the winter; the Canadian Freeski Championships in Revelstoke, BC. I've made several trips to BC and fell in love with the area right off the bat, but I'd never been to Revy until now. Widely known as a sledneck, cat and heli skiing paradise, Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) came on the scene four years ago to take advantage of the endless mountain terrain. With only three lifts you'd think that RMR is a small operation, but you'd have a rude awakening when you got to the hill; RMR boasts the biggest vert in North America at 5620 feet. From high alpine terrain down through enormous pines and endless pillows, it will cook your legs in a single run. Believe me.

In the week we were there we received 55cm (that's 21 inches yankee) of blower pow, met heaps of the coolest Canadians and drank a shit ton of Old Style Pilsner, Lucky Lager and of course Kokanee. Despite the snow causing us to use up two of our weather days (and waking up before dawn after all those Kokanees), dealing with helicopters and snowcats, athletes and unexpected snags we managed to get the show off. It was so cold and snowy I didn't even get my camera out for the first few days but here's what I got.

This was practically our first glimpse of the mountain after days of snow, looking over to the Day 1 venue

The crew assessing the situation, it was damn cold

Pretty sure there's mountains out there somewhere but I couldn't be sure

Yup, it really was that cold

Oh, there is a town down there, first glimpse, 3 days in

Our ski patrol contact, Scott, took us on a late in the day excursion into Greely Bowl to scope the Day 2 venue. It was still closed and had been for 3 days while nearly 60 cm of cold smoke fell. They kept the lift running for 1 1/2 hours after close just for us...

Jason Eder, Bryan Barlow and RMR patroller Scott. These dudes made it happen.

Gnarly mountains up there man

Day 2 venue, The Mackenzie Face. Heli access only

Pick your line, sucker

Heli LZ is on the point in the middle of the ridge with the start in the open just to the lookers left. Send it.

RMR patroller Scott pointing out some lines

Time to bump the gear out to Greely Bowl

Move it, build it, break it down, move it again, and on, and on...

Morning commute out to Greely ahead of the patrol

Almost there

Ron Pankey celebrating another morning on the job

That's no cute little A-Star over there, the Bell 205 made me feel like I was back in the Nam.

Hey, this looks like a great spot for a comp, let's heli in a bunch of gear and make it happen!

The "short bus of the sky" rolls in again while the masses warm up by the fire

Terrain for days.....

Barlow handles business while the 205 chops some air

The contest venue with the moon overhead. Pick your line buddy.

Back to work as soon as the last rider crosses the line. The A-Star came back on scene to long line our gear back out

Load the truck and peel out to the next stop. See you at Snowbird next for the first stop of the Masters snowboard series

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