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: