Ski Canada Magazine

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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 »

9 for the Road

It was the greatest run of a fabulous season. What appeared as a dusting of snow on the access road became eight cm in the parking lot and, as we rode Castle Mountain’s two long, ? xed-grip chairlifts, deepened to 25 cm. Not Castle’s usual Rocky Mountains cold smoke, but Alaska-style stuff, humid and supportive, … More »

Apex of the Okanagan

It’s dark outside and I’m driving uphill. Transitions are one of the most exciting things about going to the ski hill. There’s always a giddy excitement whether it’s leaving the rain-soaked congestion of Vancouver for the snowy hills or entering the Rockies from the stubble ?elds west of Edmonton. Tonight’s transition ?nds its wellspring on … 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

9 for the Road

It was the greatest run of a fabulous season. What appeared as a dusting of snow on the access road became eight cm in the parking lot and, as we rode Castle Mountain’s two long, ? xed-grip chairlifts, deepened to 25 cm. Not Castle’s usual Rocky Mountains cold smoke, but Alaska-style stuff, humid and supportive, … More »

Apex of the Okanagan

It’s dark outside and I’m driving uphill. Transitions are one of the most exciting things about going to the ski hill. There’s always a giddy excitement whether it’s leaving the rain-soaked congestion of Vancouver for the snowy hills or entering the Rockies from the stubble ?elds west of Edmonton. Tonight’s transition ?nds its wellspring on … 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 »

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 »

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 $5.00 an issue!

1 year (4 issues) for $20 + tax! Outside Canada is additional for postage.