Each week at our lodge is special for each guest – but this year, the New Year’s week was an exceptionally special one for our Last Frontier family, as the Rosset clan filled the lodge to spend the week there together as a family.
Understanding the snowpack and learning to read backcountry terrain isn’t rocket science, but it IS science nonetheless. There are rules, tools and even vocabulary specific to the study of snow. This winter, many ski areas have been under the weather (sorry) thanks to wide-ranging temperatures and large gaps between storm cycles. Avalanche forecasters and snow science experts have been working hard to keep the general public well-educated and informed about current conditions, but it’s all gibberish if you can’t put it into context.
The White Room. I can tell you from experience that it’s not white, it’s black. When you are caught in an avalanche and buried, everything turns from white to grey to jet black and it’s no fun at all. There are various tools both recreational and professional backcountry users have at their disposal to deal with avalanche danger. The best tools are knowledge and experience. These are preventative tools designed to help you avoid being caught in an avalanche in the first place; things like reading and understanding terrain and weather, snowpack information and analysis, and generally developing your snow spider sense. Some of these can be taught, others can be hired.
This is why we play in the mountains. This has to be my fave photo. Photo – Reuben Krabbe
As far as jobs go, we’ll admit this one’s pretty dreamy. Being paid to fly around in a helicopter and scoring first tracks on every run is not a very tough day at the office by anyone’s standards: however, it’s not all fun and games out there. Guides need to be educated in everything from snow science to first aid because they’re the ones on the front lines if/when things go sideways, and such an education doesn’t come cheap or easy. Thinking of becoming a heli ski guide? Read on…
Someone’s got a case of the Mondays… Photo: Caton Garvie
With 124cm of new snow since December 24, the season is in full swing at Last Frontier Heliskiing. We have an average snowpack depth of 140cm at 1000 metres and there has been some great skiing so far this year. The holidays saw a mix of clear, crisp winter sunshine and some fresh snow days. Guests have been averaging just under 100,000ft of vertical each week and with that cool arctic outflow, we were able to get into some of the high alpine runs in our tenure. We’ve collected a few photos from the last couple of weeks to give you a sense of how the season has been shaping up so far and we hope you can come and join us for a week of skiing in Northern BC.
For daily ski and snow conditions updates, click [here].
When asked about Ripley Creek, professional photographer Adam Clark said it best: “After ten days I feel like I only got a taste.” There are a few places in the world that you can feel the vastness expand after you dive in – the Ripley Creek heliskiing tenure is one of those seemingly endless expanses.
The breathtaking expanses of the Coastal Mountains. Photo: Dave Silver
It can be tough to wade through all the tech talk out there. The ski industry is busting at the seams with little tricks and tools to keep you warm, dry, safe and stylin’. Most of the time, trendy new equipment hits the market and reeks of gimmick. Here, however, are a few ski gadgets that deserve to become staples in every rider’s arsenal.
When new technology becomes standard gear… Photo: Ales Fevzer
Know before you go. So you can have a long and happy life doing this. Photo – Dave Silver
We’ve all been there. That place in the mountains where decisions need to be made. That place where we debate, in our minds, whether to keep going. That place where ego, embarrassment, fear, shame, anticipation and even anger all meet to try and confuse us into making the wrong decision. Maybe it’s on a ridge top before dropping into some line you’ve been dying to shred for years. Maybe it’s before committing up some gnarly couloir or maybe, it’s just sitting at that spot you’ve been to a hundred times and debating whether today is the today to keep skiing or retire back to the car. Saying no can be difficult. Especially in light of the various human factors that can play havoc on any decision making process in the mountains. Continue reading →
Everyone has a ski fantasy – for some, it is to ski faster, for others, it is to ski slower. But a classic is the urge to ski in an exciting new location (no, this is not an innuendo). The idea of exploring a new culture on top of skiing endless powder is pretty exciting! So, skiers, ever heard of Japan? Here are a few of the best short ski videos filmed in this fantasy land.
What do you think would be your biggest ski fantasy? Photo: Adam Clark
The New Year is here. 2015. We did it! Well done, us. As we reflect on the year that was and look ahead with commendable optimism and determination to the year that will be, we vow to do some things more, other things less and a few things not at all. It’s a time of introspection and meditation (and the worst hangover of the year, so far). And, since helicopter metaphors are my favourite, let’s resolve to make this the best year yet by embracing one simple mantra: be the bird.
Getting your speedride on. Photo – Redbull Media House
What is Speedriding? For much of the last fifteen years, Redbull has been helping athletes all over the world push the envelope in just about every action sport. Let’s face it, every skier, shredder, climber, paddler, wingsuit flyer, driver, rider, diver, flier…they all dream of the support a Redbull sponsorship can bring. Unlike most other companies involved in sponsoring sport, Redbull gives time, money and resource at all levels. From the Formula 1 Team, right down to supporting athletes in sports no one has ever heard of, the folks at Redbull truly understand the beneficial relationship between talent and product to the point where they have created en entire culture of action sports out there and that have become an industry unto themselves.
When people book a multi-day ski trip they generally focus on the upshots: endless powder potential and being able to live in merino wool and Gore-Tex for five straight days. What people often neglect to consider is the probability that simple tasks such as walking, climbing stairs and getting out of bed will be rendered impossible by about noon on their very first day once their muscles begin to speak up. Fortunately, we’ve got some ski recovery tips that will help keep you shredding into the sunset.
All the heliskiers lay nestled in bed in hopes of a pow day soon to be shred. Photo – Steve Rosset
‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the town,
There was no breath of wind and no snow to be found.
The local skiers were sleeping and snoring away,
With hopes of that a winter storm was well on its way.
Their quivers of skis lay next to their beds,
While visions of face shots danced in their heads. Continue reading →
Just a hop, skip and a jump over the Alaskan border from our Ripley Creek Inn lodge in Stewart, BC, is a town called Hyder – a place where rugged was defined, lawless is enforced and magic becomes real. Why? Namely because the alcohol is so potent.
“I’m Chris Rubens and I’ve been Hyderized.” Photo: courtesy of Salomon Freeski TV