Explore and Discover: Selkirk Snowcat skiing

Yesterday was the best skiing of my entire life. I honestly don’t even know how to describe it, but I will try my best. The entire day was filled with powder. Floating on top of it for longer than 20 seconds and not hitting any other tracks is quite the experience. And I will never forget it. So let me tell you a bit about my day…

After arriving at the snowcat pickup point, we loaded up into them and wow they are cool, just sitting in the back cab was an experience of its own. As we drove up the mountain, we eventually arrived at the cat skiing lodge to get the supplied gear (avalanche beacon, radio, shovel, probe) and take a tour. (sadly I have no pictures of it)

Not long after, we began our ascent up in to the clouds. Everyone was nervous because we might not poke through and have to ski in extreme low-visibility conditions all day. But we poked through the clouds, and the view was absolutely amazing. It’s like we were looking over a sea of clouds, with little islands in it. One of the guys said “Ian you look happy”; and I was, I had the biggest smile and look of awe on my face for 10 minutes strait. As you might have guessed by looking at the picture below, it sure isn’t New Brunswick.

The skiing just got better and better throughout the day. Our hosts took us to different parts of the mountain every run so it was always new and fresh. They had not had snow in about a week and because it was a cat skiing operation they had people staying up there all week to ski. There is always new and fresh terrain there because the ski-able area is the size of Whistler-Blackcomb and Vail, COMBINED. If you don’t know those places, let me tell you, that’s absolutely gigantic. Selkirk Catskiing is also the oldest in the world, at somewhere between 40 and 50 years.

The purpose of this trip was mostly for our AST1 course (Avalanche Safety Training 1) which was for learning about avalanches, avalanche rescues, and snow sciences. There’s no better place to learn about it then the backcountry. We did a scenario and looked at some snow pits. The scenario were quite fun but exhausting and  to see the different layers of snow in the pits compared to Whitewater the day before was quite cool.

So that was my day in a nutshell. A big thank you goes out to Martin, who did a lot of the organization, teaching, and helped guide. Ross, our instructor, and Selkirk Snowcat Skiing for hosting us. It was such a great experience.

Here is just a few more photos I took from the trip:



What has Ian been up to?

The title says it all. I haven’t updated my blog in a while because I’ve been so busy with other stuff and have not had the time to, honestly. I haven’t forgotten about all of you readers.

So let’s go back to last week, right after I updated my blog last.   We had a powder day over the week which was nice, and I missed class for it. I’m all caught up though, I didn’t miss much. As a group, Liam, Nick, Ethan, Mike, and I went to the local skate park to do some urban skiing after class another day. I didn’t ski, but I did take some pictures and we found a GT Racer buried under the snow, so I used that for a bit.

This past Sunday, I met up with Sara, I friend that I knew from out east who now works out in British Columbia at CMH Heli-skiing. I took her on a tour of Whitewater Ski Resort and I had a blast being able to show her around the mountain. In the process of doing so, I found a few new places to ski (Sorry about the cliff Sara).

Last night was Trivia night at Finley’s, a bar in town. The Spicy Boys (our team name) came in second place after the first round and got Heineken glasses as a prize. Sadly, we did not place after the second round and win the bigger prizes. Good try though, team.

Today as a class we began our AST (Avalanche Safety Training). It was the in class portion, but I still learned a lot about avalanches and I’m super stoked to begin the outdoors portion. This Friday we are going up to Whitewater for a portion of it and on Saturday we will be going to Selkirk Cat Skiing, I can not wait to go… at all. Can Saturday please hurry up?

Also, yesterday we found out that we will have to downsize our classroom due to another program having more students. This meant that many of the things in the classroom had to go, so we were allowed to take old magazines and posters from the shelves. My room is currently filled with a lot of them and even more already put up on the walls. The coolest thing I have though is a 1976 issue of Ski Area Management Magazine, which I currently subscribe to.

Anyway, that’s my life since my last blog post. I will try to keep you all up to date more often, but it is getting hard because of school and skiing, I have no time to post as often as I should.

Well, as usual, here’s some of the photos taken from the past week:

Photo from urban skiing, of Liam
Photo credits to Sara/ @saroachski on Instagram!
The wall of skiing
The corner of skiing
That GT Racer was super fun. photo credits to Mike!