Ski Canada Magazine

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Helmets: Free choice or social obligation?

A ski helmet first went onto my head way back in 2000, when helmets were just this side of exotica. So why does the hectoring of helmet zealots for mandatory universal usage bother me so much? There’s a triplet of reasons. First off, it fails the utility test—helmets aren’t needed by all skiers under all … More »

Is it all doom and gloom?

Climate graphic

It was a magical January day with Mica Heli Guides high in the Rocky Mountains northeast of Revelstoke. We were pausing between huge pitches to gaze at the mountains ringing us. Someone pointed out a hanging glacier clinging to an enormous mountainside, its toe cleaved into translucent blue seracs that periodically crack and tumble down … More »

Skiing within your budget

There’s a weird dichotomy in the way skiing markets itself. Our sport’s image is self-consciously elitist. Glitz, glam and bling. Celebrity athletes performing superhuman record-setting feats on the racecourse or off the cliff face. Resorts announcing multi-million-dollar (or half-billion-dollar) investments for ultra-modern conveyances, 300-hp snowcats, 200-room condo-hotels or Soviet-sized mountain restaurants. Super-cool tricked-out customers whisked … More »

Brave new world

In mid-August, the 20-year-long era of the company that operates Whistler-Blackcomb, Mont Tremblant, Panorama, Blue Mountain and numerous other resorts came to an end, or turned a page in its history. After appearing to have flatlined in the face of a rising Canadian dollar, stagnating skier-visits and a scarcity of lucrative new development projects, publicly … More »

Potholes still rule the West

B.C.’s business-friendly Liberal government that replaced the NDP just after I wrote the previous column has cut taxes and taken steps to restart the province’s economy. The Vancouver Island freeway, which runs just inland from the Strait of Georgia, now extends north to Campbell River, easing access to Mount Washington and distant Mount Cain. The … More »

No more mumbo-Jumbo

I figured I’d have long been writing travel articles on riding Canada’s highest ski lifts and exploring almost 2,000 verical metres of dramatic, glaciated terrain. No such luck. Still, Vancouver architect and skiing visionary Oberto Oberti’s plan has made progress in the year since B.C.’s Cabinet accepted the recommendations of the province’s Environmental Assessment Office … More »

Holding Court at Castle

“Last season we had some of the lowest lows you could possibly imagine,” says Andrew Rusynyk, Castle’s director of snow sports, marketing and development. “We had liftees and instructors handshovelling snow to try to keep the mountain open.” And yet, and yet… The radical environmentalists who engineered Haig’s delay delivered a blessing in disguise. Even … More »

Pot-holed to death in B.C.

Pot-holed to death in B.C. Welfare kills. Do they have those patronizing commercials in the East, where a cop-voice warns “Speed Kills!”? I think the evidence is stronger that welfare kills, or at least an excessive government fixation with welfare. B.C., Canada’s tourism playground, also has one of the worst road systems in North America. … More »

Invasion of the Calgreedians

In certain social circles up and down the Rocky Mountain Trench, the long valley in southeastern B.C. that separates the Rockies from the Purcells, Selkirks and Monashees, they are known as “Calgreedians.” These are the comfortably bourgeois through downright grillionaire folks from southern Alberta–mostly Calgary–who often spend a 60-hour week toiling in the office towers … More »

Helmets: Free choice or social obligation?

A ski helmet first went onto my head way back in 2000, when helmets were just this side of exotica. So why does the hectoring of helmet zealots for mandatory universal usage bother me so much? There’s a triplet of reasons. First off, it fails the utility test—helmets aren’t needed by all skiers under all … More »

Is it all doom and gloom?

Climate graphic

It was a magical January day with Mica Heli Guides high in the Rocky Mountains northeast of Revelstoke. We were pausing between huge pitches to gaze at the mountains ringing us. Someone pointed out a hanging glacier clinging to an enormous mountainside, its toe cleaved into translucent blue seracs that periodically crack and tumble down … More »

Skiing within your budget

There’s a weird dichotomy in the way skiing markets itself. Our sport’s image is self-consciously elitist. Glitz, glam and bling. Celebrity athletes performing superhuman record-setting feats on the racecourse or off the cliff face. Resorts announcing multi-million-dollar (or half-billion-dollar) investments for ultra-modern conveyances, 300-hp snowcats, 200-room condo-hotels or Soviet-sized mountain restaurants. Super-cool tricked-out customers whisked … More »

Brave new world

In mid-August, the 20-year-long era of the company that operates Whistler-Blackcomb, Mont Tremblant, Panorama, Blue Mountain and numerous other resorts came to an end, or turned a page in its history. After appearing to have flatlined in the face of a rising Canadian dollar, stagnating skier-visits and a scarcity of lucrative new development projects, publicly … More »

Potholes still rule the West

B.C.’s business-friendly Liberal government that replaced the NDP just after I wrote the previous column has cut taxes and taken steps to restart the province’s economy. The Vancouver Island freeway, which runs just inland from the Strait of Georgia, now extends north to Campbell River, easing access to Mount Washington and distant Mount Cain. The … More »

No more mumbo-Jumbo

I figured I’d have long been writing travel articles on riding Canada’s highest ski lifts and exploring almost 2,000 verical metres of dramatic, glaciated terrain. No such luck. Still, Vancouver architect and skiing visionary Oberto Oberti’s plan has made progress in the year since B.C.’s Cabinet accepted the recommendations of the province’s Environmental Assessment Office … More »

Holding Court at Castle

“Last season we had some of the lowest lows you could possibly imagine,” says Andrew Rusynyk, Castle’s director of snow sports, marketing and development. “We had liftees and instructors handshovelling snow to try to keep the mountain open.” And yet, and yet… The radical environmentalists who engineered Haig’s delay delivered a blessing in disguise. Even … More »

Pot-holed to death in B.C.

Pot-holed to death in B.C. Welfare kills. Do they have those patronizing commercials in the East, where a cop-voice warns “Speed Kills!”? I think the evidence is stronger that welfare kills, or at least an excessive government fixation with welfare. B.C., Canada’s tourism playground, also has one of the worst road systems in North America. … More »

Invasion of the Calgreedians

In certain social circles up and down the Rocky Mountain Trench, the long valley in southeastern B.C. that separates the Rockies from the Purcells, Selkirks and Monashees, they are known as “Calgreedians.” These are the comfortably bourgeois through downright grillionaire folks from southern Alberta–mostly Calgary–who often spend a 60-hour week toiling in the office towers … More »

Subscribe and SAVE!

Just $3.75 an issue!

1 year (4 issues) for $15 + tax!

Outside Canada?