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The Feral Cat: Great Northern Snow Cat

No signs or billboards will lead the way either. It’s that kind of place. You have to want to get there. Or you have to have been there once before, like most of Great Northern’s guests. After taking the ferry across Galena Bay and driving around ineffectually for more than an hour, we end up … More »

The World According to Wiegele

Wiegele at home

From the Spring 2006 issue Three men are generally credited with inventing helicopter skiing: Hans Gmoser, Herb Bleuer and Mike Wiegele. Gmoser, founder and long-time head of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), retired years ago and Bleuer, the quietest of the three, currently consults to snowcat skiing operators. So of the founding trio of a genre … More »

Party Girls

Many, many years ago, well, in the mid-1990s, while I was studying at the University of British Columbia and escaping to Whistler four days a week each winter, I spent a few days staying at a friend’s family condo in Whistler’s Creekside. I learned later that this condo was not only one of the very … More »

Cold Cache

Cold cache 2

We’re gathered around a sign that reads: “Warning! No Patrol Beyond This Point.” It’s taken us all of about an hour to attach ourselves to the local fraternity of skiers at Shames Mountain—a reassuring collection of diehards that includes a crab ?sherman from Prince Rupert, a millworker from Kitimat, an off-duty ski patroller who lives … More »

Quick Fix

This feature appeared in the December 2005 issue I can’t call it karma, because I probably didn’t deserve it, or fate, because it was hardly inevitable. So let’s stick with dumb luck. That’s the only way I can explain how I wound up last February heading for Big White, one of very few ski resorts … 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 »

Falling for the Star

It could’ve been the fourth or maybe it was the fifth yard sale that really caught my attention. Not to downplay the comical spasticity of the first few bails, but until you’ve sunk your chin into a foot of Okanagan fresh five times before noon, you can’t be entirely sure you’re into something good. Steve … 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 »

Rolling with the Punch

At the outset, the winter of 2004-05 seemed fairly typical. Shortly after Christmas, however, the weather turned unseasonably cold and dry. As a result, for a number of weeks we were skiing into a crevasse leading under Blackcomb Glacier and re-emerging through another crevasse well below. Although this experience on its own quali?es the season … 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 »

The Feral Cat: Great Northern Snow Cat

No signs or billboards will lead the way either. It’s that kind of place. You have to want to get there. Or you have to have been there once before, like most of Great Northern’s guests. After taking the ferry across Galena Bay and driving around ineffectually for more than an hour, we end up … More »

The World According to Wiegele

Wiegele at home

From the Spring 2006 issue Three men are generally credited with inventing helicopter skiing: Hans Gmoser, Herb Bleuer and Mike Wiegele. Gmoser, founder and long-time head of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), retired years ago and Bleuer, the quietest of the three, currently consults to snowcat skiing operators. So of the founding trio of a genre … More »

Party Girls

Many, many years ago, well, in the mid-1990s, while I was studying at the University of British Columbia and escaping to Whistler four days a week each winter, I spent a few days staying at a friend’s family condo in Whistler’s Creekside. I learned later that this condo was not only one of the very … More »

Cold Cache

Cold cache 2

We’re gathered around a sign that reads: “Warning! No Patrol Beyond This Point.” It’s taken us all of about an hour to attach ourselves to the local fraternity of skiers at Shames Mountain—a reassuring collection of diehards that includes a crab ?sherman from Prince Rupert, a millworker from Kitimat, an off-duty ski patroller who lives … More »

Quick Fix

This feature appeared in the December 2005 issue I can’t call it karma, because I probably didn’t deserve it, or fate, because it was hardly inevitable. So let’s stick with dumb luck. That’s the only way I can explain how I wound up last February heading for Big White, one of very few ski resorts … 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 »

Falling for the Star

It could’ve been the fourth or maybe it was the fifth yard sale that really caught my attention. Not to downplay the comical spasticity of the first few bails, but until you’ve sunk your chin into a foot of Okanagan fresh five times before noon, you can’t be entirely sure you’re into something good. Steve … 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 »

Rolling with the Punch

At the outset, the winter of 2004-05 seemed fairly typical. Shortly after Christmas, however, the weather turned unseasonably cold and dry. As a result, for a number of weeks we were skiing into a crevasse leading under Blackcomb Glacier and re-emerging through another crevasse well below. Although this experience on its own quali?es the season … 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 »

Subscribe and SAVE!

Just $3.75 an issue!

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

Outside Canada?