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

 

Starting off the Season the Right Way.

15 Dec

As I had mentioned in my last post, we had the chance to get our legs on snow when we were trekking through Banff, and if you’re a snowboarder or skier you understand the itch to get back out there after your season opener. The addiction is real.

Immediately after getting back into the van following a hike earlier last week, Kay and I turned onto the radio to hear Big White was opening for the season the upcoming Wednesday with half price lift ticks. Without a doubt the decision was made to be there for their opening day. Neither of us had ever stepped foot there so we were stoked to see what the hype was all about, I’ve had many good friends speaking highly of that place.

Wednesday morning rolled around, and off we went. Only a couple runs were open and it was a super hazy day resulting in pretty minimal visibility up top but it was still a rad day to say the least, lots of awesome side hits and untouched fresh!

Lift Line Blues

Lift Line Blues

Kayley stoked to slashing around

Kayley stoked to slashing around

Strapping into the fog

Strapping into the fog

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

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Kay rip

Kay rippin’

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Big White got our legs and stoke ready for opening weekend at Revelstoke. We headed back towards Revy early Friday and drove straight to the resort to ensure we had our passes sorted out before the following morning. Later that night we met our buddies, Mitch and Charles at the Village Idiot Bar for a drink, heffy grub, and discussion on the stoke for tomorrow’s big day.

Goofy looking fella

Not a bad spot for lunch.

Chilli Cheese Fries, the perfect pre-shred food.


Our plan was to be in bed early and up at 4am to get in line. Yes I said that, getting up at 4am to get into the lift time. I had been told by some friends that if you want first tracks, get your ass up early! They weren’t wrong! I was up at 3:45am, super stoked for the day, met my buddie Julien in line to be greeted with beer, some dudes cooking bacon and good vibes. I let Kay get a little bit more sleep haha, she needed a good sleep before experiencing what Revy has to offer. Getting in line early is a tradition at Revy, people set up tents the night before and deal with whatever weather is thrown at them. That morning brought snow which was a good omen for the day ahead, along with the fact that the mountain had received 70cms of snow that week and 20cms the night before. In total, there was 140cms of untouched pow waiting for the masses. The line began to fill as the morning grew older. Mitch, Charles and Winter showed up around 6:30am. we snuck them into our prime spot, and they were thankfully amped to be so close to the front. Fresh, deep powder was in the very near future. Once 8:30am rolled around, the gondola began to spin, the first grouping went up, everyone screamed with pure joy and the race for deep fresh tracks was on!!

Dropping in.

Heaven

Kayley was a loss for words all day.

We made it to Noon Jay!! Guess you have to kiss my feet…


The lines were long, visibility wasn’t the best but it was the by far the best day Kay or myself have ever had on snow, between the endless untouched pow and the super fun terrain. It was one for the books.

Post-shred included meeting the buds at the Revelstoke Rec Centre to ease the joints in the Sauna and packed the stomachs with some stellar Tacos @ The Taco Club. More ready then ever for another day of what had just passed.

Kayley decided to opt out the second day since she had taken a heavy slam the previous afternoon and was still feeling the effects. So I had the homies show me around more of the mountain in search of the good stuff. And we found it.

Morning Fuel.

Video: Mitch and Winter entering the White Room!

Finally getting some sun in the valley.


Riding Revelstoke was a huge highlight for me, I have dreamed of riding Revelstoke for years, and having the chance to ride it on opening day, hanging in-line at 4:30am with awesome locals, and slashing through insanely deep pow with your friends is a dream come true. Essentially everything that happens from here on out is just gravy. If you are ever in the Revelstoke area and/or are thinking about riding interior BC, I highly suggest Revy, the mountain has more terrain than you could ever handle, the town is filled with sweet restaurants and shops, and the locals are the coolest. I know I’ll be back.

O ya, I forgot to mention, we awoke Monday morning to a flat tire, and not only that, the spare tire’s wheel didn’t fit our van’s bolt pattern (Thanks to the asshole Used Car Dealership we bought the van from). Luckily we have CAA, so we got a tow from Revy to Salmon Arm. It was a nice ride and we had the chance to witness our van being transferred from one tow truck to another in the middle of a mountain corridor, so no complaints haha. Canadian Tire found the hole, and patched it up for 25 bucks! From the advice of our tow truck driver, we went to a local Auto Scrap Yard and picked up an old rim that matched our bolt pattern for $30. The following morning, we got the spare switched onto the new rim and headed back to Kelowna. All in all, it was a reason to visit Salmon Arm.

Not the best thing to wake up too…


After recouping from the rad but tiring weekend, we decided to head to Vancouver! The drive along Highway 97 and 5 was beautiful, snow filled valleys and mountain tops, watching all that go by really helps kill a long drive.

Quick Lunch Break


We drove straight for the ocean, Kayley had been talking about seeing the ocean since we left Ontario, so it felt like the appropriate place to go.

Van City


The following morning, Van was to experience what they were calling “Snowmaggedon”. I always forget this city never gets snow, so when they do it’s a huge deal. We thought about heading to Mt.Baker just down in Washington State, but with the storm coming, the drive seemed daunting. The day was instead filled with running errands and playing on a snowy filled beach.

Building a snowman beside the ocean. Something I never thought I’d do.

She thinks she’s actually driving a ship…

Double D’s Pizza was A+


From the advice of my dad, we headed to the Granville Island Public Market! We threw on our rain jackets and made our way through wafts of amazing smelling food booths, it was hard not to buy and eat everything in sight. Also, stopping at the Granville Island Brewery for a couple of Kayley’s favourite brews was needed. All in all, worth the visit.

Ummmm Donutssss

Heaven shaped as a donut.

Couple Granville Island Brews


Stanley Island is a trip. It feels like a rainforest located in the middle of a city, well actually, that’s exactly what it is. Big trees, rad views of the city, ocean and mountain range, it’s the place to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.

Kayley’s odd obsession with hollow trees…

Lion’s Gate Bridge

 

Rainy selfie

Beatles Inspired


Since Vancouver had been getting hammered with rain, the mountains were getting hammered with snow. Van has three mountains within an hours drive of the city, Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. All three I’ve heard are rad places to ride but I have wanted to shred at Seymour since I can remember. Throughout the years I’ve watched numerous pros rip around that place in multiple video parts and online edits, it looked like the ultimate playground. We parked the van somewhere in North Van in the hopes of getting a head start on the day and catch some fresh tracks. Seymour has experienced 70-75cms in the last 24hrs which gave troubles to the snow clearing team, leading to a delay on our day and everyone else hoping to ride the fresh. We waited from 8:30am-Noon, but the wait was well worth it. Visibility was low for the first section of the afternoon but the snow was insane and it kept coming down. Seymour is a side hit haven, natural hips and features everywhere, it had a skatepark feel to it. I can see why the locals and pros favour this place.

Lots of snow and zero visibility

Yah for snow!

Chutes everywhere

A happy girl 🙂

Riding into the night.


We spend the following day just cruising around downtown Van, and resting the legs.

Trying to get into the X-Mas Spirit.

Camper Alley (Jericho Beach)


Our original plan for the next couple days was to drive up to Squamish and Whistler to see some friends but with the weather getting extremely cold up there we decided to say in Van for a couple more days where the weather was a bit more mild. We headed to Lynn Canyon to fulfill our exploration bug. Between the suspension bridge, numerous waterfalls, pristine forest, and the snow covered river, it was a stellar afternoon. The hike around the area isn’t super demanding but it for sure gets the heart pumping.

If the Grinch were a tree.


Unfortunately for us colder weather is moving in all over BC and with no snow in the forecast for the next little bit we are just hanging out before heading back to Kelowna to house sit next week, which were both a little excited about. The idea of cooking in a real kitchen is really appealing at the moment!

-Chris