All Revved Up- The Great Canadian Adventure. Photos and Story by: Meg Haywood-Sullivan
The first stop for this year’s North American Subaru Freeskiing World Tour was Revelstoke, British Columbia, and our Bozeman crew of Sasha Dingle, Ryan Walters, Tracy Chubb, Gabe Ohlson, and Kyle Taylor were all competing. We headed up to Revelstoke from Bozeman, crammed in our cars chock full of ski gear. We drove straight through the fabled powder highway in British Columbia and were greeted with white out conditions and speeding Canadian loggers. The familiar Star Wars effect of snowflakes flitting through the headlights in the glow of passing logging trucks made for an exhausting, yet exciting adventure. While this all made for slightly treacherous driving conditions it also guaranteed one thing in abundance…snow.
The drive took it out of our posse a bit…so what is the best way to amp up a bunch of ski bums? Sun Tsu quotes from the Art of War. Sun Tsu was the soundtrack of the trip, and it was Sun who dictated our battlefield and competition advice. With inspired insight into how to slay the competition, our car brooded insights that would sway the enemy with psychological warfare. Nothing could have been more fitting as we passed epic pillow drops for miles on end through the teetering roadside on Roger’s Pass. Make no mistake there are big mountains up there and with avalanche paths zigzagging the road, there was no fooling around. This was war.
Stuffing 10 skiers to a room at the Days Inn & Suites is the best way to live a ski trip to the fullest and what better way is there to split the cost of pounding hangovers, free continental breakfasts, and hot tubs? Sleeping on a firm floor inches from your friend’s reeking ski-boots is bound to toughen you up and put you at an advantage of your competition. As Sun Tsu says, “ know thyself, and know thy enemies. Victory is assured.”
Somehow we managed to coincide our arrival in Revelstoke, BC with open arms in the form of a hefty dosage of powder. This was a Revelstoke Mountain record to date, with nearly a meter of creamy Canadian goodness blanketing the resort. The first round of the Qualifier ran, but only the girls made it through before a snow day was called. The mountain was quickly overrun with skiers hell-bent on making the most of the record-breaking conditions.
Did I mention how awesome Revelstoke is? A deep expanse of trees covers the whole mountain with snow so deep that getting lost is an actual reality. With steep terrain, big drops, beautiful bowls, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the sheer variety of the terrain offered. Oh, and the longest run happens to be 9.5 miles long. Thank goodness Sierra Nevada sponsored the FWT, it flowed like water so complaints of sore knees and aching backs were quickly cut short by a plentiful supply of free beers which we used to soak down some formidable bowls of cheese curd coated gravy fries. The diet of champions!
Revelstoke’s weather is variable to say the least. If you don’t like it just wait until the next day and it’ll probably be totally different. From days where the fog and snow was so thick you couldn’t see the friend riding next to you, to a stunning bluebird morning during the finals we constantly kept guessing and there were exhausted powder grins all around come 4 o’clock. The Last Drop Bar was the venue of choice in the evening and nothing helps make a night memorable-like a 20 dollar pitcher (yeah…the exchange rate is a bitch) and a fat plate of nachos. You only live once right? Pass the pilsner please. As you can imagine our crew had a hard time tackling early mornings and making first lifts after evenings like that, but with Sun Tsu’s words of wisdom coursing through our minds (and a hefty dose of Days Inn complimentary coffee) we persevered.
Everyone skied their hearts out but unfortunately, no Bozeman skiers made it to the finals this year. But perhaps that’s not such a big deal, for as Sun Tsu once said, “to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” We will be back.
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