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Short Turns Fall 2014 Pt. 1 – Canadian Mountain Holidays

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The big 5-0 It’s hard to believe it was half a century ago that visionary Hans Gmoser introduced the world to Canadian Mountain Holidays and the rapture of heli-skiing, and had us dreaming of the penultimate ski holiday destination: the Bugaboos. Spectacular accommodations nestled in the alpine with untouched powder in all directions became part of… More »

Short Turns * Buyer’s Guide 2015

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GUILTY PLEASURES  How much! What can you do with a reindeer and nine raccoons in seven days? If you’re in Finland, you sew it up nice, tack a pretty price tag like $16,500 on it and ship it to Canada where we can’t think of such good uses for our racoons. No fewer than nine… More »

Are You Ready for Winter?

It’s been several years since I’ve prepared my annual pre-season quiz so for those who have forgotten the routine, I need you to find a comfortable chair, a bright light and sharp pencil before submitting your answers to the Ski Canada National Winter Test Laboratories. We’ll determine what kind of winter you’re about to have… More »

Getting High in the Mountains

from Short Turns in Buyer’s Guide 2015 issue I have a new respect and awareness of Acute Mountain Sickness, or AMS, after a day of backcountry skiing in the Swiss Alps last March. We started the day by climbing, with skins, about 600 vertical metres; it took three hours. Most of the exertion occurred just… More »

Head Tax for the Hired Help

“Tourism is the Rodney Dangerfield of the economic well-being of Canada,” Dave Brownlie, Whistler’s president and CEO, joked with me on the phone back in August, “and skiing is even lower than tourism—we just don’t get no respect.” Since a handful of conniving fast-food franchise owners were exposed in the spring abusing the Temporary Foreign… More »

Paralympics Sochi 2014


by Jim Morris in the Winter 2014 issue They have travelled different roads, but Para-Alpine skiers Kimberly Joines and Mac Marcoux hope to arrive at a similar destination during the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi March 7-16. Joines and Marcoux are the bookends on a Canadian Paralympic ski team that will combine youthful enthusiasm with… More »

What’s a medal worth?


Judged vs. timed sports: the value of Olympic gold. by George Koch in the Winter 2014 issue “Millions, we’re talking millions here.” The late, great U.S. downhill racer Bill Johnson’s notoriety stemmed largely from this widely circulated quote—he insisted it was a misquote—about the value of his Olympic gold medal at Sarajevo. Many will recoil at… More »

Short Turns * Winter 2014


Race Ready Those into Whistler’s World Cup race pistes will know that Ptarmigan, which jets straight down the mid-mountain on a northerly aspect, has been widened into an autobahn for the rolling thunder of ski racing. All thanks to upgrades from the 2010 Games, it has also been fixed up with fancy snow-blowing equipment. But… More »

Getting through in a pinch


A strong, centred body position allows the skier to apply edge or flatten the ski, depending on comfort level or consequences of the terrain. By Steve Mayer, Extremely Canadian  *  Photos: Coast Mountain Photography  *  December 2013 issue Quite often when people find themselves out of their comfort zone because the terrain is either too… More »

Where are the best skiers?

Ron & Iain @ St. Moritz

by Iain MacMillan in the Winter 2014 issue Ski Test Editor Ron Betts and I were disagreeing the other day about where to find the best skiers in the country. I don’t mean names from the World Cup or Olympic podiums or the biggest freeride fish in ski resort ponds across Canada. I’m talking about… More »