Avalanche safety equipment needed in near-country too

December 28, 2015Avalanche, Backcountry

Stroke of luck Last week snowboarder Colin D. Watt shared his survival story of being swept down L’Avanger, the line of cleared trees under the Peak 2 Peak Gondola on Whistler Mountain. There’s been seldom opportunities to ski L’Avanger the last couple seasons, so with bumper December for snow like we’ve had, one can understand … Read More

Review: BCA Float 42 Avalanche Airbag

April 2, 2015Avalanche, Backcountry, Review, Ski Touring, Winter

I’ve remained largely indifferent to avalanche airbags since they started gaining popularity a few years ago. I thought them to be expensive, excessively heavy pieces of equipment suitable for snowmobilers or guests and guides at mechanized operations. I never really took them seriously for self-propelled ski touring. Earlier this season I began working with the Backcountry Access’ #Direct2Dirtbag influencer program and … Read More

SPOTS4ADVENTURES profiles Fedchenko Glacier expedition members

March 27, 2015Backcountry, Ski Touring, Winter

Earlier this season, German backcountry and freeskiing magazine BACKLINE ran a feature on the Fedchenko Glacier expedition that I was a part of in May, 2014. BACKLINE is a big and beautiful coffee table-style publication and I was more than pleased to have my name on the cover headmast alongside veteran snowsport photographers such as Adam Clark, Christian Pondella … Read More

Winterstoke Festival broadens backcountry education

March 18, 2015Backcountry, Ski Touring, Winter

While the Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Level 1 has quickly become the prerequisite for backcountry travel, ski guide Ross Berg feels that the new wave of advanced skiers migrating beyond the boundary ropes could use some additional training. “A lot of people don’t understand the value of taking a higher level course,” said Berg. “Many … Read More

Weak Season Opportunities – Mt. Garibaldi

March 5, 2015Backcountry, Climbing, Ski Touring, Winter

When a season hits you like this one, motivation can be difficult to muster. In the Sea to Sky Corridor and much of coastal British Columbia this winter, snow has receded closer and closer towards the alpine elevations. Spring conditions are upon us, powder is scarce (in many cases non-existent) and the only consolation we have … Read More

First Look – BCA Float 42 Avalanche Airbag

February 25, 2015Backcountry, Review, Winter

The only thing as awesome as using new gear for the first time, is taking it out of the wrapper on the living room floor and playing with it. Like a child at Christmas, the whole unboxing, unwrapping, tag removal and instruction manual disposal has been a ritual of mine for years now. I was recently … Read More

The Outsider – Escaping to Northern BC

February 17, 2015Backcountry, Ski Touring, Winter

The post first appeared on my Facebook feed, I felt a mix of jealousy and excitement. “Ready to pull the trigger on a roadie trip to Smithers Monday to Friday next week. Two of us in so far… One more would really bring the cost down… Who’s interested?” I was salivating at the prospect of … Read More

Up close and personal with an audience at MEC

February 13, 2015Backcountry, Lifestyle

Images are how we capture our adventures nowadays, whether it’s with a hefty SLR camera and lens worth thousands of dollars or simply our phones doubling as image capture devices. Those images can be shared across the world in seconds, receiving the proverbial thumbs up and the occasional comment of kudos. While our images are now seen … Read More

The Outsider: Tools of the Trade – ice axe

December 2, 2014Backcountry, Climbing, Winter

What’s the most obvious sign of a core backcountry skier? Transceivers, probes and shovels are now standard issue, though the knowledge of how to effectively used them is still catching up. Climbing skins are for anyone wanting to travel more than an hour beyond the boundary and folks with Dynafit gear may rip as hard … Read More

The Outsider’s guide to beer in the mountains

September 9, 2014Backcountry, Lifestyle

With summer now well and truly in Whistler’s rear view mirror, it’s time to make the best of the Fall. For me, that means crisp mornings on the trails and having to work extra hard to work up a thirst. Let’s be honest here, everyone loves beer in the mountains, whether you’re sledding on the … Read More

Sennheiser Backcountry Picnic 2014

March 20, 2014Backcountry, Winter

I’d been hearing about the Sennheiser Backcountry Picnic for a couple years when I finally decided pay a visit to Bralorne. This freeride film festival always looked like fun in the videos, but also comes with pretty big barrier to entry. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to get there and you … Read More

The Outsider: Embracing the bushwack

January 28, 2014Backcountry, Ski Touring, Winter

With the spring-like conditions we’ve been experiencing recently, there have been plenty of opportunities to get out into the backcountry. There isn’t a lot of fresh powder of course; the recent heat wave and high winds have consolidated a lot of the snow into various forms of crust. But if the avalanche conditions permit, there’s … Read More

Beyond Awareness – Researcher looks to behavioural science to spark social change in the backcountry

January 23, 2014Backcountry, Skiing, Winter

With Avalanche Awareness Days now in Whistler’s rear-view mirror, the hope of the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) is that people will take more steps to avoid the dangers of the backcountry. But one Whistler-based researcher is asking the question: Is building awareness the most effective way to reduce avalanche fatalities? “In part we’re sounding like … Read More

Debunking the human factor – Avalanche safety tools have advanced, human nature remains the same

January 16, 2014Avalanche, Backcountry, Skiing, Winter

“Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.” — Barry LePatner It was in the winter of 1973 on Vancouver’s North Shore when Mitchell Sulkers and four friends decided to venture past the resort boundary of Seymour Mountain. A storm had rolled through the region dropping almost 50 centimetres of snow that … Read More

The Outsider: Beyond the Backcountry Code

December 10, 2013Avalanche, Backcountry, Ski Touring

Last week about 40 people – including some backcountry industry heavyweights – discussed the topics and wording of a new backcountry responsibility code at the Whistler Museum. The 10 point code revolves around issues of safety and responsibility of backcountry users for themselves, their party and other parties encountered beyond the boundaries. The wording of … Read More

Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival

February 23, 2012Backcountry, Lifestyle, Ski Touring, Winter

When you hear the words “road trip” the pop culture image comes to mind of a bus load of drunken, obnoxious college kids crossing state lines being chased by the authorities. Though this scenario is certainly not unheard of in Whistler, in a mountain town the road trip usually has a more focused goal, that … Read More