Getting to know BC a little better.

25 Feb

We decided to make our way back to BC with perfect timing, my dad was on his way to Vancouver for work related activities, giving us the opportunity to spend some well needed time with him. The days leading up to his arrival were mostly spent hanging around, having a night session at Mt. Seymour and relaxing after our go go go PNW adventure.

Seymour Afternoon views

Seymour Night Sesh!


We met him at the hotel in Surrey and after a long hug, we ventured out for dinner and shared stories of the last couple months, impossibility trying to remember everything that had happened. He did his best to make sure our bellies were full, jokingly thinking that we’re a bunch of starving travellers, which does hold some truth. The following morning, he was off to meetings, and we took in the ultimate comfort of the soft hotel bed, and warm shower. Later on, we drove across town to the Sheraton Wall Hotel located smack in the middle of downtown Vancouver. As we checked in, the hotel desk employee was wondering how two people like Kayley and I were staying in a nice hotel such as this, on one of the top floors, and when I informed them we were meeting by dad here, it seemed to make a bit more sense haha. The room sat as high as the rest of the large concrete towers in the city, providing surreal views of the encompassing mountain ranges, and even a nice glimpse of Mt Baker where we once were less than a month ago. To us this was a serious treat but to my dad who spends a large chunk of his life in hotel rooms, he was less taken back by it all. We abused the hotel facilities by taking a dip in the hot tub and sauna, watching cable tv and free coffee. That evening, we all strolled around the water front, discussing how nice of city Vancouver is, grabbed grub at a local pub and catched up on more stories. The visit went by fast like most visits do. But, it was refreshing to see a family member. Thanks again Dad for all the awesome hospitality, it was well needed!

Living Large!

Big Pops!


The forecast was showing a new storm on its way for lower BC, and our plan was to get to Nelson before it hit. The drive from Vancouver to Osoyoos was mellow, making our way through many corridors and snow filled mountain tops, eventually arriving in Canada’s only desert. We wanted to spend the next day exploring around but with the storm making landfall the next morning, we knew we had to keep making our way to Nelson before the roads became unbearable. The van and ourselves arrived in Nelson right as the snow started to pick up and luckily found a spot to park up that was close enough for us to walk into town (The spot wasn’t our first choice since our van failed to make it up a steep hill). Waiting for the snow to build up, the next couple days we explore around the town, it was a place I’ve been waiting on coming to for 25 years. My Nana, Papa spent 30 years in this wonderful place and had been telling me about it my whole life, it was easy to see why. Perfectly placed in the middle of four mountains, the town features a small but unique downtown with tons of coffee shops and local restaurants, no shortage of good meals. The people are chill, nice and welcoming.

Hello Nelson

Blanket Covered

Incoming Fresh!


We had a couple buddies visiting from Kelowna while we were there, after riding we met them at their AirBnB on the north side which featured unreal views of town, grabbed a hot tub soak and chatted about our recent adventuring. The snow at this point was building faster than ever and when we awoke Monday morning, our van was completely buried along with the entire town. Locals were saying this was the biggest storm they’ve had in years, which meant Whitewater was going to be pumping!! As we attempted to dig our van out and hopefully make it up to the mountain, a super nice stranger driving by, Rachel, asked if we were headed up to the resort and needed a ride, an offer we couldn’t turn down, since she had a 4WD vehicle haha. As we pulled into the parking lot, people were pouring in, trying to get a taste of the newly blanketed mountain. You could easily feel the stoke of everyone around, it’s hard to not get excited when you’re about to float through the 40cms of new snow.

Hot Tub viewpoint

Covered…


Once we grabbed our lift ticket and threw our gear into a locker, we got into line, awaited the lift to start spinning and when 8:30am rolled around, off we went, with everyone screaming with excitement. The first couple turns have no words to describe it, it was beautiful. With Whitewater still being a family owned resort, the lifts only host two people, providing the old school powder experience. We spent the majority of day on the Silver King lift, it had plenty of runs that dipped and dodged through the trees and more pillow fields than one could deal with in a single day. Whitewater delivered….and it delivered well. So rad to experience a powder mountain on a powder day, it’s days like this when living in a van in the middle of winter makes so much sense. These are the days you live for and chase on the daily.

The Stoke Is HIGH

DAMN!

Ready to Rip!

Dropping into the good stuff!

Yew!!

Happy Roamers!

Pillow Mania!


Per usual, it’s always sad to see such an awesome day end, but exhaustion was setting in. We hopped in the shuttle, headed back to a snow covered van and spent the rest of the fading daylight digging out our buried home. Our sleep that night came easy. The next day we wandered around town, grabbed coffee at Empire Coffee and with the sun out, it gave us the opportunity to see the snowy mountain walls the encompassed Nelson. It’s clear to see why my grandparents chose to live here for so many years, the place is the template mountain town; nice people, good food, and a pristine outdoor playground, I could see us living here in the future.

Beautiful Downtown Nelson!

Where my Nana used to live!


With the roads and weather making a turn for the positive, we got the Yeti rolling towards Revelstoke. A storm was making its way through within the next couple days and we wanted to be back in Revy for deep and steep laps. The drive was as nice as any other mountain corridor with the added ferry ride that connects the highway routes. We pulled into a sunny and hardly recognizable town since it was covered in white precipitation. The last time we were in Revy, the town had green grass and was raining, winter was showing it’s face in every corner of the province. That night, we hung with friends, shared some brews, played Settlers of Catan (if you have never played this, you are blowing it) and got ourselves stoked for the incoming storm.

The Ferry Highway

The Yeti going for a little boat ride!

Very true

Friends and Board Games, the recipe for lost friendships haha.


The following morning, the snow started to pour as we awoke, as the day progressed it only got harder. As we continued with our errands throughout the day, the town proceeded to become completely buried which could only mean the same thing was happening on the mountain. That night we spent it in the Revy Resort parking lot along with the dozens of other campers, hoping to get a good spot in the line in the AM. The Revy lot always has the best vibes, always filled with tons of shredders who are just happy to be outside and enjoying the mountain, no other BS.

Buried in Revy! Woo!

Good looking Morning!


We awoke to 20cms of fresh up top! Got ourselves in line around 7am, chatted with some locals, grabbed the needed caffeine and stretched the muscles. Luckily for us, we got to spend the day with our good friends, Jay and Julien, along with their local friends, Chuck and Brooke who took us around to the spots only the locals know about. Another one of those days that allowed us to appreciate this life we’re living and how luckily we’ve been this winter. It was a day of jumping off cliffs, bootpacking to bowls filled with the goods and hitting side hits with your friends throwing down. We even had Kayley jumping off stuff! Super rad! Thanks again Jay and Julien for always being the ultimate fun havers and tour guides! Chuck and Brooke, you guys are radical humans and make snowboarding look way too easy!

Up and up to find the goods

Scoping the line

Ready to move out.

3,2,1 DROP!

Breakfast views

Locals know what’s up!

Not a bad place to hang!


Kayley unfortunately felt the oncoming symptoms of a cold the subsequent morning, curtailing another day of riding. We decided to make our way to Kelowna and meet up with Mitch for a relaxing Wax party (Our boards were screaming for a wax job!). The ensuing days we relaxed, hung out with Mitch in his apartment (Thanks again bud for letting us abuse your hospitality!), and hiked around. It was time for us to start making our way back to Vancouver, the catalyst being an RCMP officer questioning me as I was making coffee in our usual public-park spot. He framed his concern more as an interest in our camper, but it was clear he was wondering what I was doing cooking outside the vehicle and what we were doing out here from Ontario. After taking down our info and looking inside our van, he moved on and so did we. Just like what happened in Olympia, WA, I understand the concerns people have but I mean what threat do we really pose, the more people start moving towards this lifestyle or form of travel, I wonder how accepted or persecuted it will become, I guess only time will tell.

We arrived in Vancouver at the beginning of a massive rainstorm, meaning we didn’t do much other than sit in coffee shops and watched tv shows. Really we were just killing time until my brother arrived within the next couple days to shred with us in Whistler for a week. When the rain subsided, we drove to Squamish to see a couple buddies of mine who currently reside there. As we pulled into town and stopped off at the local Starbucks to get in touch with them, I luckily ran into one of them (How’s that saying go? It’s a small world or something like that…). Tony recently moved out to Squamish from our hometown of Ajax, Ontario. His intention was to explore around BC for the winter and spring but once arriving in Squamish, quickly realizing it was too beautiful and offered too much of what he wanted to leave. We chatted for a bit, then later making our way to a local watering hole for happy-hour drinks, with our other buddie Matt eventually making his way over. Matt, also from Ajax, maneuvered his way out here from Nova Scotia last year in his camper, now being settled in with a job at a rad Burger joint that overlooks the coastal mountain range while still living the camper lifestyle allowing him to climb whenever he wants! The next day brought sun, giving it the perfect opportunity for them to tour us around the area and it didn’t disappoint. If you are ever in Squamish, I urge you to check out two things, Howe Sound, probably the most Canadian scenery I’ve ever seen and Matt’s restaurant, The Watershed Grill, between the great beer and food, it’s a must. Tony and Matt, keep living your dreams and being awesome people, the world appreciates it!

Sea Treasure! (Jericho Beach, BC)

Bookstore Kitty! 🙂

Back window views (Squamish, BC)

Rad Artwork Downtown Squam.

Howe Sound!

Little Rainbow Dude

Beautiful Squamton


Matt was expected to arrive as we continued the drive to Whistler. I was pretty excited. He had never been this far out west, and had never rode his snowboard on a mountain like Whistler Blackcomb. He arrived and I couldn’t of been happier to see him! (Also, stoked to be in the presence of a hotel room for the next 6 days.) With the weather looking favourable this week, he was amped to see what this place had to offer. Our first day involved just Matt and myself since Kay was taking the day off to completely recover from her cold. It was a stormy one, but still an enjoyable one for us, Matt got his first taste of the big mountain shred, I even took him to the Flute Bowl and got his legs burning a bit. We met up with my buddy Paz where we spent the rest of the day surfing around, trying to find some fresh. With the snow continuing throughout the afternoon and evening, we knew tomorrow was going to be a stellar one.

A very happy Matt

Matt conquered Flute Bowl

Diving in the shallow end.


I checked my phone early the next morning to reports saying the mountain got anywhere between 15-20cms of new snow! I was stoked to give Matt his first real powder experience. With the Symphony Chair not opening due to Avy Control, we took the Peak2Peak and hit up 7th Heaven on the Blackcomb side and it was well worth it. The deep stuff could be found all day and Matt handled it super well for this being his 2nd day out on his board this winter. I had him jumping over and through trees, spraying the pow around and had him smiling, yelling hell yeah!! Although with Pow days come tired legs, that night we stuffed our faces and sat in front of the tv.

Today’s surf stick

Beautiful Morning

Mystic

Peak2Peak

Peak Views

Slashing around

Hello Birdy

Matt getting the tourist experience

Mayhem

Surf’s up in 7th Heaven


We took a day off, giving us a chance to rest the legs and have a day to completely just chill out. We wandered around the village, grabbed drinks and food at Tapley’s, chatted, consumed more television and grabbed rest for the ensuing day. Our 3rd day on the mountain was a blue-bird one, giving Matt the trifecta of mountain conditions. The day was dedicated to exploring the entire mountain, working our way from the far side on Whistler to the far side on Blackcomb. Groomers in the morning was super fun, great day for laying down heel-side turns and gripping with speed. We clocked many miles that day. By the time late afternoon rolled around, the runs were tracked and icy. With my knee burning and their tired legs, it was a sign to call it day and thank the mountain for all the fun.

Hotel Living

Nothing wrong with a sunny groomer day!

Blue-Birdin it!

Groomed for Speed. Yew!


Of course the week went by fast, before I knew it I was hugging him good-bye, time flies as it does when you are having a good time. It was awesome to spend time with Matt, being able to share moments on our snowboards and enjoy each other’s company. Thanks Matt for choosing to donate your week off with us, probably the best week we’ve had this winter! Can’t wait to do it again bud!

This last month was another one for the books, saw my dad which was refreshing, it was a special moment for me to walk around Nelson after hearing about it since I was a child, spending time on the mountain with good friends, and shredding around Whistler with my brother. Hard not to feel grateful.

Shannon Falls, Squamish BC.


Currently, we are sitting in a Starbucks, multitasking our wifi usage, and getting ourselves ready for a big trip below the boarder. We will be making our way to Sun Valley ID, Jackson Hole WY, Snowbird UT, Snowmass CO and Squaw Valley CA. Regardless of the weather we receive or whatever happens along the way, it’ll be a rad adventure I’m sure.

Remember to Get Out There and be a good human!

-Chris

 

Couch Surfing and Pow Turning

7 Jan

It’s weird transitioning from being in a van to being in an apartment, even though it was something we wanted over the holidays, especially with the cold air taking over the PNW. The feeling of running water, a refrigerator, private shower, an oven, consistent wifi, heat and a couch. It is crazy to think about how lucky you are and the basic necessities you miss while on the road. The opportunity of having these ‘necessities’ makes that feeling of ‘miss’ greater. If this opportunity didn’t arise, that feeling probably wouldn’t appear. It’s cool to have such awesome friends that will trust you with their shit and let you press the refresh button. Living on the road isn’t hard but there are times where it isn’t easy.

Kayley and I took advantage of a week under a stationary roof. We cooked tons of meals thanks to our Thug Kitchen Cookbook, watched too many seasons of The Office, drank our fair share of beers and yes, of course, we did some snowboarding. Big White was prime both days we chose to ride. Dec 21: it has snowed a bit the night before which left the runs nice and soft, we even had sunny breaks all afternoon. Black Forest was filled with tons of untouched snow and the lift lines were bare. A solid day to get tons of laps in and find all the juicy side hits.

Chilly hike up Knox Mountain

The mountain showing some Christmas spirit.

Happy Campers!

Paying respect to the winter solstice.

Best boardshop! Worth checking out!


Dec 24: We originally were planning on going up to the mountain on Christmas but with 25cms+ coming the night of the 23rd, it was only necessary to get fresh pow laps on the eve of X-Mas. It couldn’t of been a better day, it snowed more in the morning and was blue bird all afternoon. The day was spent in the trees carving our own tracks in the deep stuff and sending it off whatever natural booter we could find. Not a bad way to spend the holiday. Big White is fun to put it simply, it has terrain for anyone and whatever you are looking for. Plus they don’t call it Big White for nothing, you’ll always find some freshies.

Morning lifts

Making our way through the Black Forest.

Practicing my tweak technique

Snow Surfer

What I’m truly grateful for!

Christmas Dinner! Thanks to Kay for being an awesome cook!


As much as we wanted to stay longer, we both started to the feel the need to get in the van and hit the road. Also, I had been watching the forecast and Whistler had a massive storm coming in and we needed to be there for it.

The drive from Kelowna to Vancouver was a sketchy one. The corridors had been getting hammered with snow/rain over the last little while, making the conditions less than ideal. But with the future storm on its way, it was our only chance to get outta there. Mountain conditions can change rapidly and all attention must be put on the road, no room for mistakes. It’s ether beautiful or impassable, well in the winter that is.

Post-Blizzard shot somewhere on Hwy 5.


The following day we made our way up to Whistler, the Sea to Sky drive is rad, total PNW vibe; foggy, mountains and greenery. It was nice to see Whis totally covered in snow and the storm had already began to set in upon our arrival. Once getting our passes dealt with, we met up with our good friends, Corey, Keele and Paz. I had worked with Corey and Keele at Boardsports in Toronto. Corey and Paz both work in the Whistler village and Keele was visiting for the week. It was awesome being able to rip with these dudes the following morning. We headed to a local diner that night and it was puking, bringing the stoke level to an all time high. We all hit the hay early in preparation for a full day of pow slashes.

Kay and I awoke early, arrived at the Whis gondola around 8am with the snow still coming down. Once we walked out of the gondola up top, the mountain was in full blizzard mode. We strapped in, leaned back and got some deep slashes in. Before meeting up with the guys we hung around the Emerald Chair since alpine wasn’t opening due to the high wind and low visibility. The day was a dream, plowing through waist deep fluff, high-fiving, and big smiling. There are zero complaints on days where you find yourself in 45cms of fresh snow (Well, the only complaint I had is getting lost with Paz and almost falling 15 feet into a creek but other than that a radical day!). If you find yourself in Whistler on a powder day, lap under the Peak 2 Peak gondola, lots of rad glade runs, easy pillow hits and it all funnels back down to the same cat track!

Ready to Rip!

Kayley keeping it pre-1990’s

Dumping!

Find your line!

 

Stoked Dudes

Post Shred Tacos – Urban Cantina


Day 2: We were given a beautiful blue bird day and zero wind, but with that comes massive lift lines. Whistler not only known for its snow, it’s known for stupid long lift lines. We tried our best to find the remainder of the untouched stuff all day, eventually making our way to alpine, where we had some of the best runs of the season. The Flute Bowl on Whistler Mountain was steep and deep. It was the prime day for the Cool Bean; surfy turns were had all day, my face hurt from smiling. Friends were made in the lift line, advice was traded and stoke was shared. To finish off an awesome couple days I even met a legend and one of my all time favourite shredders in the Whis library, Bryan Fox. He came to Whistler to catch the same pow laps and enjoy the beautiful weather before heading to Japan. Surreal moment for sure.

Blue Bird!

Just a couple people…

Dropping in!

We came from somewhere on that upper ridge.

STOKED!

Bird Whisperer?

Beer to cap off the day.


Since Whis isn’t the most accommodating for campers, we ate out each night, La Cantina had insanely good tacos, their fish taco was out of this world. The other night we grabbed some greasy but good pizza from Fat Tony’s right by the Whistler gondola and enjoyed a heavy IPA at the Brewhouse in Olympic Village. Also, parking is impossible in town. The parking authority is very strict, there is minimal street parking, the ski lots are a no go for overnight, so we found out the convention centre and library had overnight parking for $5 and $10 for 24hrs, so luckily we snagged a covered spot at the library and held it there till we left town. With the cold weather moving in we decided to head back to Van, rest and plan our trip down to the U.S of A. I’m stoked to get down there, shred Mt. Baker and Mt. Bachelor and see Seattle, Bend, Portland, the list goes on! I’ll check back soon! Keep being rad and get out there!

-Chris