Page 1

PRESENTS

POWERED BY

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE WARREN MILLER SKI FILM TOUR 2013


Scan for more. Fuel consumption figures for Juke range: URBAN 28.8-48.7mpg (9.8-5.8L/100km), EXTRA URBAN 47.1-67.3mpg MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing, in accordance with 2004/3/EC and intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. (Optional Park, Denham Way, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 9YS.


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(6.0-4.2L/100km), COMBINED 38.2-58.9mpg (7.4-4.8L/100km), CO2 emissions 169-124g/km. equipment, maintenance, driving behaviour, road and weather conditions may affect the official results). Information correct at time of going to print. Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, The Rivers Office 303139


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Twenty four years ago. Guy Chambers (left) and the legendary Warren Miller (right) prepare to take on the slopes at Heavenly, Lake Tahoe, California.

THE TEAM EDITOR: GUY CHAMBERS MAGAZINE DESIGNER: CRAIG JOHNSON TOUR DIRECTOR: JIM ODOIRE ADVERT MANAGER: SIOBHAN BURKE WEBSITE: ANTON MORRISON & ALEX KEMPTON

Published by Black Diamond 15 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9HE. Telephone: 020 7240 4071 www.blackdiamond.co.uk Š2013 Black Diamond Films. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used, reproduced, stored in an information retrieval system or transmitted in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publishers. This Publication has been produced wholly upon information received from contributors and while the publishers trust their content will be of interest to readers, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The publisher cannot accept, and hereby disclaims, any liability for the consequences of inaccuracies, errors, omissions or opinions in such information for publication or otherwise. No representations, whether within the meaning of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 or otherwise, warranties or endorsements of information contained herein are given or intended and full verification of all information must be sought from the respective contributors. The publication of the articles herein does not necessarily imply that the opinions are those of the publishers. PRINTED BY FOUR CORNERS PRINT on paper made from wood sourced from well-managed sustainable forests.

SIX


TRACK ONE

THIS IS THE EDITOR’S COMMENT

STORY: GUY CHAMBERS

“THIS IS THE WAY

BLACK DIAMOND

STEP

INSIDE”

more than a million vertical feet by the end of January which was no mean feat back in an era when there were no high speed quads and it was only the rope tows and the single seat chair lifts. Warren would use his films to generate just enough money to buy his ticket to ride and now, two generations on, we are still watching his films with the same passion and obsession for snow riding and I am sure in two generations time it will be just the same! How technology will have evolved, who knows? Everyone at Black Diamond looks forward to welcoming you to this year’s screening of Ticket to Ride where our sponsors have once again provided some great prizes to be won and to quote Warren’s favourite phrase that is now immortalised at Black Diamond: ‘If you don’t go this year you will be one year older when you do.’

is in its 24th year of promoting and staging the annual Warren Miller ski film tour. It all started with the appropriately named film Warren Miller’s Born to Ski; back then we lugged two 16mm prints (which are about the size of a car wheel) as well as all the projector equipment to over fifty venues around the UK. Invariably, we would have a film that would splice itself after several screenings and then we would make swift repairs with sellotape that thankfully would go unnoticed to the adoring ski bums in the audience. Moving on 24 years and the huge changes in technology, we are now able to digitally send the entire film via fibre optic to be beamed into cinemas at a touch of a button with perfect sound and no need for any sellotape! However one thing that has not changed is that our road crew still go to every venue and set up the event exactly as it was with Born to Ski. At each screening there is a real buzz of energy from the compere and our face of the film tour, Jim Odoire, who gives out great prizes each night. Yes, you not only get the adrenalin ski fix from the film but also the chance to win a fantastic holiday to the spectacular ski resorts of Ski Lake Tahoe in California. As with every James Bond movie, Warren Miller’s films set a feverish expectation of what the film will bring during the opening montage sequence. With gasps and laughs a-plenty, the audience is then ready to be transported around the globe to get the start of the ski season officially underway. When Warren Miller first started making ski movies over 60 years ago he was driven by the passion of skiing and just wanted to ski as many days and as much vertical as possible. Each season he would clock

Ski hard, Guy

A NOTE ABOUT THE CHAPTER TITLES Does the title of this year’s movie have the sound of the Fab Four reverberating around in your head? Well, our magazine designer and creative director, Craig Johnson, has taken the theme even further. Each chapter’s title is a lyric from another song from his personal music collection, some more obvious than others! See how many you can recognise and then find the answers to all of them on page fifty four.

SEVEN


During the movie’s interval. Jim Odoire takes charge, whipping the audience up into a frenzy with the chance to win a host of prizes.

I HAVE SKIED

every year of my life since I was 6 years old. Often for far more than the usual one week family holiday. I love the sport so much that I even selected my degree course based on where I could spend a year ‘on exchange’ so I could be in the Alps and close to the sport that has, to a large degree, come to define me and my career. True, I have been hugely privileged, even to have been able to try this wonderful sport. But as I’m sure readers of this magazine will empathise, once skiing has its hooks in you, you will move heaven and earth to indulge yourself - even if it means delaying the career with a winter or two in the mountains after university or by stretching the credit card balance to near breaking just to get your annual fix. So you can imagine the creeping dread when it slowly became apparent that 2014 might be the first season (for more years than I care to mention) when I don’t get onto skis (or board) at all... not even for a day! I’m not yet sure that my mind can quite comprehend what this means. No checking the snow reports in the week before departure. No praying that the storm sweeps through the day you before you arrive in resort, delivering its payload of white fluffy stuff. No getting

Masquerading as an Innuit. Tour Director and compere, Jim Odoire enjoys the aprés-ski in Val D’Isere.

EIGHT


T R A C K T WO

THE TOUR DIRECTOR SPEAKS

STORY: JIM ODOIRE

“PLEASE ALLOW ME TO

INTRODUCE MYSELF”

the nation. The Warren Miller ski film tour - Ticket to Ride - is your surrogate winter holiday. Live vicariously through the exploits of the world’s best skiers and boarders as the lenses of Warren Miller’s cameramen capture the sensations and feelings that make us yearn for the slopes and the hastening of winter. Ticket to Ride is not just a great opportunity for skiers, boarders and their friends to get stoked for the season ahead, it is a great night out. As well as the HD film with world class athletes and killer soundtrack our film crews will orchestrate a prize draw every night so you might end up leaving the show with a lot more than you bargained for! Presented by Nissan and powered by Nismo, Ski Lake Tahoe, Virgin Holidays and The Independent, tickets for many shows sell out fast so be sure to secure yours by visiting warrenmiller.co.uk today. And if you are like me and your plans will stop you from hitting the mountains for real then visit your local show and get a hit of the next best thing.

the skis and boards out of the loft to wax and edge them after a long summer of estivation. No checking the batteries in the avalanche transceiver and no arranging of guides who will sweep you through the crowds and with skis on back, will lead you far from the madding crowd to secret stashes of powder with mind-clearing views of the roof of the world. No stories of epic days and epic lines with friends and no nights of deep revitalising sleep within the sound-proof blanket of thick flakes falling outside your window. But all is not lost. Help is at hand for myself and all others who find themselves in a similar predicament. We may not be able to get the fix we need in the mountains but we can still feel the same first-morningfresh-off-the-lift exhilaration, still feel the soft snow under our skis, still dream of the rush of adrenalin served up by cranking some fast turns or dropping in to a pristine chute to lay down your fall line signature in the snow. For an annual event is sweeping the UK from mid-November serving up lashings of mind-blowing action and awe-inspiring scenery at cinemas around

The London Premiere. For over a decade, the Vue West End Cinema has played host to the traditional ignition of the ski season.

NINE


TRACK THREE

THESE ARE THE CONTENTS

“LET'S TAKE A RIDE AND SEE WHAT’S

MINE” EIGHTEEN

TRACK FOUR

“...HOOKED TO THE

SILVER SCREEN” This is a photograph of Ted Ligerty in Greenland. It was taken by Ilja Herb.

TR A C K FI VE

TORDRILLO MOuNTaINS

SCENE BY SCENE

This is a photograph of Aurelien Ducroz and Kaylin Richardson in Norway. It was taken by Sverre Hjornevik.

BUY ALL THIS FROM SNOW+ROCK

Athletes: Seth Morrison, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, Sean Pettit, Tommy Moe Equipment: Skis, helicopter, plane When it comes to the Last Frontier, the thrill of discovery remains at large. One region where the term “the middle of absolute nowhere” is still applicable is the Tordrillo Mountains, located northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Seth Morrison, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, Sean Pettit and Tommy Moe turn their stoke on high when they are introduced to what feels like a never-ending playground. A 1956 Beaver airplane acts as the perfect shuttle for the crew. Rocky knolls provide ridge-afterridge and lip-after-lip of playful lines, and these guys are humbled by the amount of “banger stuff” that lies before them.

new

“...A

1: ABS UtrA 8 Silver: £589 with Steel CAniSter, 8 litre Zip-On: £53 The Silverline range is brand new for this year, offering a premium version of the classic ABS base unit and a stylish zip-on 8 litre pack. The brand’s trusted design features still come as standard, with the addition of a more ergonomic shoulder strap design, detailed stitching, an updated waist strap, activation handle holder, and additional padding for added comfort. Available in two back sizes, the base unit remains compatible with ABS’s popular Vario range of zip-on products giving you complete versatility.

Track five. Four brand new items available from Snow+Rock.

generAtiOn CAlling” The website for Snow+Rock is

SWITZERLaND

www.snowandrock.com

1:

2: MAlOjA FriO jACket: £295

Athletes: Sascha Schmid, Chris Davenport, Rolf Roethlisberger, Sigi Rumpfhuber Equipment: Skis, telemark skis, trams, trains, crampons, iceaxes, skins Nestled in the Jungfrau Region, in the town of Mürren, is where you’ll find Swiss native Sascha Schmid ripping turns with fellow telemark skier Rolf Roethlisberger. Meanwhile, Sigi Rumpfhuber and Chris Davenport have one particular feat in mind: to climb the west face of the Eiger and ski it. The Eiger is a 13,020-foot mountain in the Bernese Alps. On the Eiger, Davenport knows that risk management is a must: “You develop a relationship with a mountain over time … it’s always changing and it’s never static.” From skinning to boot packing and climbing, these men will make the strenuous ascent to find that moment of perfection and ultimate freedom. In the Swiss Alps, Chris Davenport will tell you that the spirits of the mountaineers who scale these mountains align with those of the ravens that soar above them: both aim to take flight, test boundaries and free their spirits at the mercy of these jutting peaks.

Waterproof, breathable and packing enough lightweight insulation for a comfortable day of tearing up the mountain, the Maloja Frio Jacket is the perfect companion both on and off the piste. Constructed from a unique wax-effect fabric, the jacket has a weathered, vintage look that is suitable for skiers and boarders alike. A great host of features offer additional protection and innovative storage for all of those essential bits of kit, ensuring that you are fully equipped for whatever nature has to throw at you.

2:

3: AnOn MAgnetiC gOggle: £190 The Anon M2 Goggle marks a revolution in both style and functionality with a sleek, futuristic look and unparalleled optics. Available with Black/Blue Solex or Landvik Pro/Dark Smoke lenses, the goggles’ Wallto-wall visibility provides the ultimate fit and the best possible field of vision, while the innovative magnetic lens system brings a whole new meaning to the idea of quick interchangeability, allowing you to easily adapt in rapidly changing conditions.

4: SAlOMOn X prO: £290 The X Pro 100 has Twinframe technology which has been adapted for instant fit and all-day comfort. X-Pro’s revolutionary 3D liner design eliminates pressure points and provides foothold for performance skiers. The oversized pivot answers the question posed by wider skis while the Custom Fit 3D gives you fantastic foothold.

4:

THE GOLDEN TICKET TO RIDE Athletes: Colby James West Equipment: skis, Corvette, motorcycles, ninja weaponry How does one get their mitts on the ticket to ride? In skier Colby West’s experience, it requires scaling a mountain and seeking guidance from The Great Sensei of the Mountain. Beware however, and remain privy to the ninjas who seek to destroy whoever holds this ticket. Luckily, Colby’s got moves and arrives in the Mammoth terrain park just in time to throw down.

3:

CONTINUES

EIGHTEEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

TWELVE TWENTY TR A CK SIX

Track four. A scene by scene guide to Warren Miller’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ detailing the location, the athletes and the ski equipment used.

BUY ALL THIS FROM ELLIS BRIGHAM

“NEW

1: AtOMic skis usiNG ARc tEchNOLOGy Atomic’s ARC technology concentrates the skier’s power in one single point in the centre of the ski producing a freer more natural flex but also more grip. This increases traction and makes it easier to control the ski and drive power more cleanly. ARC has been added to the Nomad Blackeye Ti and Crimson Ti skis to produce two of the most exciting all-mountain carvers for 13/14.

GOLD DREAM...”

2: GOLDWiN hiRyu jAckEt £499.99

The website for Ellis Brigham is

Tokyo-based Goldwin makes its debut in the UK this season, exclusively at Ellis Brigham. Employing the Science of Kigokochi, the elements of lightness, stretch, warmth and design are brought together in a perfect combination to deliver skiwear of the highest performance that is effortless to wear. The invisible elements work hard to make sure you can enjoy long, warm and comfortable days on the mountain. And aesthetically you’ll enjoy effortless alpine style.

www.ellis-brigham.com

1:

2:

3: sALOMON X-PRO 100 BOOt £290 From the first time you slide your foot into the X-Pro, your feet will experience a new level of comfort. Salomon’s 360º Custom Shell now extends to the top of the cuff for more comfort around the calf and a personalised fit to the foot in just 20 minutes. Combine this with an entirely new liner concept called MyCustomfit 3D which is pre-shaped on a 3-dimensional form around the ankle and foot and fully thermo formable to accommodate any anomalies on your foot, and you’ve got yourself comfort like never before.

3:

4: suuNtO AMBit2 GPs hR £409.99

4:

Move effortlessly from the boardroom to the mountain with this progressive GPS sports watch which delivers sharp aesthetics and a host of features to record your snowsports escapades. Plan and follow routes using the GPS, clock your vertical speed, total ascent and descent and view it all on an altitude graph, keep tabs on the weather and temperature and measure your real time heart rate including how many calories your exploits are burning. And you can personalise the watch to whatever activities you prefer by downloading one of the 1000s of Suunto Apps available.

TWENTY

WIN AND

WIN AGAIN!

Turn to pages fifty and fifty one. You could win either a brand new motorsport inspired Nissan Juke Nismo or a ski holiday in Lake Tahoe!

TEN

Track six. Four brand new items available from Ellis Brigham.


TRACK S EVEN

TRAC K TE N

A TAHOE LOCAL’S GUIDE

TWO NEW LIFTS FOR WHISTLER

“LAKE TAHOE,

“UP THE

Photograph taken by Kyle McCoy/Ski Lake Tahoe.

STORY: LAURA GALLANT

sTORy: JENN GLECKMAN

“SINGING LA, LA, LA ,LA ,LA, LA, LA, LA”

COLD MOUNTAIN WATER”

IT CAN BE

a challenge making sure you get the most out of your ski holiday. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find the best terrain and snow, the best watering holes, or get the best bragging rights to share with your mates back home. After all, it’s not like you’ve got a local at your side giving you the beta, right? These tips might help. And you don’t even have to buy me a beer. While the days of celebrating Elvis’ birthday are long gone, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe still retains its quirky side with events like the Santa Ski Crawl and Slide Back Retro Day. There’s much more to the resort than that though. MT. ROsE boasts some of the steepest inbound terrain at Tahoe with The Chutes. How does 1000+ feet of north facing slopes with pitches from 40-55 degrees sound? If that’s not your style, check out Slide Bowl’s wide open pistes and expansive views of the Nevada desert. After you’ve conquered runs with names like Cardiac Ridge, Nightmare and Chaos, celebrate with a drink at the Sky Bar in Winters Creek Lodge, savoring the incredible views of Washoe Valley.

There’s a reason why sqUAW VALLEy is home to so many big mountain skiers (and Warren Miller athletes) like JT Holmes and Julia Mancuso. It’s a skier’s playground, and with 3600 acres of terrain that ranges from cliffs to gentle groomers, it’s no surprise you’ll find folks of all abilities enjoying themselves here. That said no visit to Squaw is complete without at least one run off KT22. I love doing laps off Headwall until my legs give out, but there’s so much more to explore here that you shouldn’t limit yourself. Think Siberia Express, think Granite Chief, think Silverado. While I tend to forgo lunch for skiing while here, no day here is complete without at least one of the world-famous cookies at Wildflour Baking Company in Squaw’s Olympic House. Located down the road from Squaw, ALpINE MEADOWs can be considered its younger sibling, albeit one that shares a lift ticket that allows you to ride both resorts in a day. Alpine’s Summit Chair accesses a candy-store equivalent of terrain, including plenty of hike-to options for the more ambitious. Begin

This is a photograph of Jenn Gleckman. It was taken by Nils Miller.

Photograph taken by Chris Bartolowski/Ski Lake Tahoe.

ARTHUR

Photograph taken by Blake Jorgenson.

HILL

BACKWARDS”

DeJong peered up at the hulking, sleek steel frame of the new Crystal Ridge Express chairlift that was just installed on Blackcomb Mountain. Standing on the new, recently leveled upload station, he looks on as the lift snakes its way up the mountainside and disappears in the mist above. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle trying to piece together all the different parts and fixtures of this new chairlift

but, it will be worth it once it’s up and running December 7,” said DeJong, Whistler Blackcomb’s mountain planning manager. “The old fixed-grip triple chair that was previously here was too slow and we outgrew it. This new one will be able to accommodate more people and shuttle them quicker up into the Crystal Zone which means reduced wait times for guests.”

Photograph taken by Paul Morrison.

accesses some of Sierra’s steepest terrain through its five gates. Those seeking less extreme terrain should head to West Bowl, home to wide open runs, and terrain park riders will find no less than 7 parks to choose from. After a morning of powder, there’s nothing better than a hot lunch at the 360º Smokehouse BBQ at the top of Grandview. This Southern style BBQ boasts enormous pulled pork sandwiches and brisket, along with my favorite, the sweet potato fries. If you like deep snow and challenging terrain get thee to KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN REsORT stat. Located south of Lake Tahoe, it features plenty of interesting natural features in its 2300 acres. Start your day on the Cornice Express lift, which accesses a ridgeline of possibilities. Warm up on Zachary or Lower Olympic before testing your mettle on Sentinel Bowl. If you’re looking for something more challenging, consider The Wall chair, notorious for its ‘Experts Only’ sign. Be warned – that sign isn’t a joke. Runs with names like The Wall, Notch Chute and All the Way are not for the intermediate of skills. Expert riders will understand why Wagon Wheel Bowl is one of my favorite places on the mountain. On your way back to Tahoe, be sure to stop off at the Kirkwood Inn, a historic inn built in 1864 that features awesome nachos.

with the wide open blue runs in Alpine Bowl before you progress to Wolverine Bowl’s steeper pitches. While you might be tempted to spend all day here, don’t miss out on the great views of Lake Tahoe off the appropriately named Lakeview chair. Cap off a great day of turns with snacks and an Alpine Bloody Mary at the Last Chair Bar. NORTHsTAR CALIfORNIA is renowned as a family friendly ski resort, one with a decidedly upscale side. It’s also home to a 22-foot Superpipe designed by Shaun White. So you can have your immaculately groomed corduroy and try out your skills in the terrain park too. I’m partial to the long, leg-burning pistes off the Backside, now accessed by the new Promised Land Express. Warm up on Castle Peak before working your way over to more challenging runs like Iron Horse and Monument Glade. Fuel up at the Zephyr Lodge, located near the top of Promised Land Express. End the day with a drink at one of the firepits in the Village, and if you dare, a session on the outdoor ice rink. sIERRA-AT-TAHOE is a gem of a resort is located 12 miles from South Lake Tahoe, and it’s my favorite place to hit on a storm day. Think trees, glades, and plenty of powder pillows. Experts will want to check out Huckleberry Canyon (with a friend, naturally, or better yet, with one of Sierra’s Backcountry Tours), which

TWENTY TWO

quad chair. The goal is to improve access to the Crystal Zone, Blackcomb’s best kept secret. The Zone covers territory from the top of the Crystal Chair down to Excelerator Express and is characterized

DeJong and his intrepid band of alpine elves have been hard at work all summer and fall laying the foundation for the new upload station and organizing transportation and installation of the new high-speed

CONTINUES

CONTINUES

TWENTY THREE

THIRTY SIX

TWENTY TWO

THIRTY SEVEN

THIRTY SIX

Track seven. Jenn Gleckman provides a personal view of Lake Tahoe.

TWENTY EIGHT

Track ten. Laura Gallant ‘lifts’ the lid on Whistler’s new season.

TRACK EIG HT

LAST YEAR’S FILM NOW ON DVD

“THIS

YOU ARE SKIING

down a slope and your full attention is focussed on the movements of your body, the positionof your skis and the air whistling past your face. There is no room in

STATE

your awareness for conflicts or contradictions, no distracting thought or emotion.The run is so perfect that you want it to last forever. This is the Flow State.

FORTY

OF INDEPENDENCE SHALL BE”

Host Jonny Moseley and other world class athletes such as Colby West, Jess McMillan and David Wise throw down some of the most impressive action the Warren Miller film crews have ever captured. The

Track eight. Last year’s Warren Miller movie, now available on DVD.

Track eleven. Any questions? Then why not ask the Ski Club of Great Britain.

‘Flow State’ session guides you to the top of the world’s most striking peaks including Japan, Norway, Austria and beyond; Olympic gold medallist Ted Ligety takes on Alaska’s mighty Chugach and Julian Carr bombs down Utah’s famed Wasatch capital. With super slow motion, HD quality and a pulsating soundtrack, Warren Miller’s 63rd movie guarantees to put you in a ‘state of flow’ so make sure you are prepared!

T RAC K E L E V E N

THIS IS THE SKI CLUB OF GB

“THE

ANSWER THE

MY FRIEND...”

Ski Club of Great Britain provides its members with a dedicated and knowledgeable information team, waiting to answer any questions you may have in the lead up to your holiday. Alongside industry-leading snow reports, our team of experts can advise you on just about anything to do with skiing, from kit and equipment to skiing with a disability. You can ask BASI trainer Mark Jones (one of the top instructors on the mountain) for some technique tips or run any niggling injury concerns past knee surgeon and general injury specialist Jonathan Bell. Or maybe you’re wondering which skis you should choose to maximise those priceless powder days? Al Morgan, equipment guru, can help. Whatever your question, our team of experts can point you in the right direction so that you can get the

most of your quality time in the mountains. Join the Ski Club of Great Britain today to gain access to our unrivalled expertise and take advantage of the many more benefits available to our members, including hundreds of discounts and our unique Ski Club Leader service. Visit skiclub.co.uk to find out more about Ski Club membership.

Call our membership team on 020 8410 2015 or visit skiclub.co.uk/join and quote WM1314 for £10 off Ski Club membership. See skiclub.co.uk/ terms for full terms and conditions.

This is a photograph of Mark Jones, our top BASI qualified ‘ski technique’ expert.

THIRTY

FORTY FOUR Purchase from:

WARRENMILLER.CO.UK or DEMANDDVD.CO.UK

Track nine. Tour director, Jim Odoire, spends two days in Aspen.

Track twelve. James Morland spends two months as a heliski guide in Northern BC.

TWENTY EIGHT

TRACK NINE

TRAC K TW E L VE

FORTY EIGHT HOURS IN ASPEN

THE HELISKI GUIDE’S DIARY

“I’M WAITIN’, YEAH AT THE

ROCKIES”

a year, at the end of each winter season, I am lucky enough to travel to Warren Miller global HQ in Boulder to catch up on news and see a sneak preview of all the footage shot for that year’s Warren Miller ski film. Knowing there’s nothing quite like watching the raw action of the new Warren Miller film for getting the ski juices flowing, I had taken the precaution of adding a couple of days to my trip, so after leaving Boulder I struck out west and headed 3 or so hours up Interstate 70 into the heart of the Colorado Rockies to the legendary ski town of Aspen – location for one of the sequences in Warren Miller’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ As well as hitting the same steeps as the Warren Miller athletes, I was interested to see if it was possible to get a taste of what Aspen was all about for us mere mortals – even if I only had a limited time to do it. On paper this seemed an impossible task – the skiing is huge - Aspen consists of 4

mountains, each with its own unique character and between them boasting enough varied terrain to keep 7000 or so permanent residents of this old silver mining town happy for a lifetime of skiing. And I was soon to learn that the town proved to be the perfect foil to the mountains - it’s a big small town with an impressive spectrum of restaurants, hotels, shops and bars… some of which I was determined to visit after getting some miles under my skis. I checked into the centrally located Limelight Hotel, originally a bar / nightclub for outlaws and miners before rooms were added through the 1950s and 1960s turning it into the Limelight Lodge which was transformed in 2005 with a full renovation into the Limelight Hotel, one of the hippest and relaxed places to stay in Aspen. I signed up for First Tracks in the morning and hit the hay. I had an early start if I was to make the most of my 48 hours in Aspen.

STORY: JAMES MORLAND

ONCE

STORY: JIM ODOIRE

“...IT’S SPRINGTIME IN THE

FORTY

HELI-

hunted down the Oasis Champagne Bar. When I say hunted down, I mean it – it is a small pop-up bar whose location changes daily. To find out where it is you have to visit the Little Nell’s twitter feed (the Little Nell is the name of Aspen’s smartest hotel – located slopeside at the base of Aspen Mountain). But the effort was well worth it – it is the perfect place to grab a glass of bubbly, a few caviar canapés and relax for a while in their deckchairs soaking up the views and the sunshine, of which Aspen enjoys over 300 days each year. Back on our skis we worked off the bubbles in the bumps on Face of Bell before catching a few last turns in Lea’s favourite terrain - the Dumps – the steep eastfacing slopes through the old mine dumps off the top of the FIS chair which channel out into the long wide open cruiser that winds its way past the delightfully named Kleenex Corner back into the town of Aspen. What Bonnies is to breakfast then the Ajax Tavern is to Apres-ski – it is right at the base of Aspen Mountain, next to gondola and it offers the best mountainside patio in Aspen – an ideal place for Lea and I to rest the legs and wind down after a day on the hill – washing down a cone of their ‘signature’ truffle fries with a pint of the eminently quaffable Ajax Pilsner from the nearby Aspen Brewing Company. But there is no rest for the wicked – I wanted to pack in as much of Aspen’s vibrant dining and nightlife as possible, so after a quick change, Lea and I voted

In Aspen The early bird catches the worm - and DAY ONE for free. First tracks is a first come, first served opportunity for guests to get up the mountain before the lifts open, accompanied by instructors from the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen. So after ripping several laps of Aspen Mountain (or Ajax as the locals know it) on the freshly groomed corduroy, I was about ready for breakfast so headed to Bonnies (an Aspen institution as my instructor told me) whose 2 tiered sundeck sit at mid-mountain and has long been THE place on Ajax to sit and do a spot of celebrity watching, not that I would have seen them from behind the mountain of oatmeal pancakes that arrived and (I’m ashamed to admit) were devoured almost instantaneously – I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back out on my skis… My guide for the morning was Lea Tucker, an Aspen local who had kindly offered to show me some of her favourite spots – first, she explained, we were to explore the glades of Aspen Mountain in search of “the shrines.” There are 33 of these Shrines, hidden away in the trees between runs – and Lea and I spent the morning hunting down a number of those including Elvis, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix – all of which are small homemade ‘temples’ often nailed to a tree that house keepsakes, pictures and messages to their famous owners. We had already decided that A) given the size of my breakfast and B)in order to maximise my ski time that we would forego a big lunch and instead

END OF THE

ROAD”

this part of the world in 1998, driving a beaten up pickup truck – laden with skis, fishing rods and camping gear - some 2,000 miles over potholed, snowcovered roads to Valdez, Alaska - but that’s another story... To me there is something special about the north. It’s a no B-S kinda place where men cut down trees, drink beer, fight, shoot bears and catch fish. Women do the same. Southern BC, with all its fancy ski resorts and big, commercial heliski operations seems like another country. Up here it’s big, it’s wild and it’s

skiing in Canada conjures up a few images. Vast quantities of deep, dry powder billowing over your head is probably one of them. Fancy, commercial heliski lodges and big groups crammed into fleets of oversized helicopters is perhaps another. If you like the sound of the former but the latter doesn’t strike a chord, then a little known corner of northern British Columbia could be just the place to investigate. Last winter I was lucky enough to spend the better part of two months working as a heliski guide in one the wildest corners of northern BC. I first visited

Photograph taken by SimonPuklPhoto.com.

once or twice in a lifetime and here we were doing it 10-15 times a day, day after day, week after week. Was it all a bit gluttonous? Oh yea. If I’d been eating I would have been on the liposuction long ago. Without wishing to give our European resorts (which, incidentally I like very much) an inferiority complex, it’s not just the snow that doesn’t compare. The Last Frontier Heliskiing tenure is a staggering 25 times the size of Les Trois Vallées in France but here there are just two small lodges - three helicopters and thirty skiers at one, two helicopters and 15 skiers at the other. By contrast, Les Trois Vallées has 183 ski lifts and is capable of transporting 260,000 skiers per hour up the (often icy) mountain.

raw. And when it comes to snow there are industrial quantities of the stuff – 25 metres a year on average (at only 1,500 metres above sea level). To put that in perspective, Val d’Isère in France and Verbier in Switzerland average only four or five metres a year. I’m not sure if that includes artificial snow or not but either way it sounds kind of pathetic in comparison. Somewhere around my 40th day of work, four hundredth run and eight gazillionenth powder turn I still hadn’t made a single turn in anything but truly epic snow conditions. Every one of these runs was the kind that gets a normal ski resort buzzing for weeks -the kind that slots into the ‘best run of my life’ category. Most people would be lucky enough to experience this

Photograph taken by SimonPuklPhoto.com.

CONTINUES

THIRTY

CONTINUES

THIRTY ONE

FORTY FOUR

ELEVEN

FORTY FIVE


T R A C K FO U R

SCENE BY SCENE

“...HOOKED TO THE

SILVER SCREEN” This is a photograph of Ted Ligety in Greenland. It was taken by Ilja Herb.

TWELVE


Tordrillo Mountains

This is a photograph of Aurelien Ducroz and Kaylin Richardson in Norway. It was taken by Sverre Hjornevik.

Athletes: Seth Morrison, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, Sean Pettit, Tommy Moe Equipment: Skis, helicopter, plane When it comes to the Last Frontier, the thrill of discovery remains at large. One region where the term “the middle of absolute nowhere” is still applicable is the Tordrillo Mountains, located northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Seth Morrison, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, Sean Pettit and Tommy Moe turn their stoke on high when they are introduced to what feels like a never-ending playground. A 1956 Beaver airplane acts as the perfect shuttle for the crew. Rocky knolls provide ridge-afterridge and lip-after-lip of playful lines, and these guys are humbled by the amount of “banger stuff” that lies before them.

SWITZERLAND Athletes: Sascha Schmid, Chris Davenport, Rolf Roethlisberger, Sigi Rumpfhuber Equipment: Skis, telemark skis, trams, trains, crampons, iceaxes, skins Nestled in the Jungfrau Region, in the town of Mürren, is where you’ll find Swiss native Sascha Schmid ripping turns with fellow telemark skier Rolf Roethlisberger. Meanwhile, Sigi Rumpfhuber and Chris Davenport have one particular feat in mind: to climb the west face of the Eiger and ski it. The Eiger is a 13,020ft mountain in the Bernese Alps. On the Eiger, Davenport knows that risk management is a must: “You develop a relationship with a mountain over time…it’s always changing and it’s never static.” From skinning to boot packing and climbing, these men will make the strenuous ascent to find that moment of perfection and ultimate freedom. In the Swiss Alps, Chris Davenport will tell you that the spirits of the mountaineers who scale these mountains align with those of the ravens that soar above them: both aim to take flight, test boundaries and free their spirits at the mercy of these jutting peaks.

THE GOLDEN TICKET TO RIDE Athletes: Colby James West Equipment: skis, Corvette, motorcycles, ninja weaponry How does one get their mitts on the ticket to ride? In skier Colby West’s experience, it requires scaling a mountain and seeking guidance from The Great Sensei of the Mountain. Beware however, and remain privy to the ninjas who seek to destroy whoever holds this ticket. Luckily, Colby’s got moves and arrives in the Mammoth terrain park just in time to throw down. CONTINUES

THIRTEEN


MONTANA

KAZAKHSTAN

Athletes: Tyler Ceccanti, Josh Bibby, Elyse Saugstad, Keely Kelleher, Crystal Wright, Scot Schmidt Equipment: Pickup truck, skis, chair lifts The Big Sky Country is known for being wide-open with vast areas, seemingly never ending, ideal for tearing through in a flatbed pickup truck. Tyler Ceccanti, Josh Bibby, Elyse Saugstad, Keely Kelleher, Crystal Wright and Scot Schmidt reflect on their love for this space and the “immense energy” allotted to the people who reside in Montana. As the fourth-largest state and hardly populated, Montana could be the most overlooked ski destination in North America. Easily accessible, backcountry touring offers friendly tree glades that aren’t too dense to navigate. Gusts of wind charge through the Flathead Valley and pick up snow, frosting the trees that occupy the surrounding peakssculpting impromptu backcountry features, ideal for dropping, jibbing and taking laps through the kneedeep cold smoke snow of Montana.

Athletes: JT Holmes, Espen Fadnes, Chris Anthony Equipment: Skis, helicopter, speed riding canopy What should a pro skier and, for that matter, any skier expect when visiting Kazakhstan for the first time? For JT Holmes and Espen Fadnes this was as much of a cultural experience as it was an adventurous opportunity to ski an entirely foreign landscape. Deep inside the Tian Shan range, the boys start their adventure at the Chimbulak ski area where trail maps denote rocky ridges and non-groomed sprawling pitches. Holmes and Fadnes complete a fast mountain descent by speed riding these unique mountains. Meanwhile, Chris Anthony shows the boys his little piece of paradise in Kazakhstan, where Warren Miller films are as good as gold.

VALDEZ Athletes: Rob Kingwill, Seth Wescott Equipment: Snowboards, helicopter When Olympic skier Seth Wescott calls up his comrade and snowboard veteran Rob Kingwill for a heliski trip to Valdez, Alaska, naturally, Kingwill says, “hell yes, I’ll be there.” The two hook up and prepare to descend what they refer to as the “epicentre of big lines”. After 20 years of introducing skiers and riders to mountains and terrain, the Valdez Heli-Ski guides know how to get these guys right where they need to be. The boys encounter a giant half-pipe of a gully and charge through avalanche debris side-by-side. Halfway into the trip, however, Seth has to take off to prep for the Olympics and the men’s infamous sense of humour emerges when the two try to maintain a long-distance brotherly friendship.

GREENLAND Athletes: Ted Ligety, Doug Stoup, Michelle Parker, Mark Abma Equipment: Boat, skis, dog sled Quaint, colourful homes cover the hillsides of this fishing village where locals, who have stood the test of time through harsh winters, claim this winter was the mildest they have seen in 40 years. Ted Ligety, Doug Stoup, Michelle Parker and Mark Abma witness for themselves what effects climate change has had on Greenland but they still manage to earn solid turns amongst the glaciers. Experienced guide Pete Patterson preps the crew and they anchor the boat in the heart of the goods. Complete with a dog sled ride, the gang reminds us why we need to respect the environment in order to sustain winters for us to rip the way we do.

CONTINUES

This is a photograph of JT Holmes in Kazakhstan. It was taken by Braden Gunem.

FOURTEEN


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NORWAY

ASPEN

Athletes: Aurélien Ducroz, Kaylin Richardson Equipment: Fishing boat, AT skis and equipment Former U.S. Ski Team member Kaylin Richardson meets up with French skier Aurélien Ducroz to explore the majestic Fjord region of Norway - where water meets the mountains and you often have to cross one to access the other. As Kaylin points out, much of the theme of this undertaking is “to go Viking,” which means committing to the unknown and embracing the Nordic lifestyle - a necessity for exploration. Ducroz and Richardson set out on a fishing boat to stake claim on the untouched powder that surrounds the town of Ålesund. After skinning to the summit, Richardson and Ducroz begin their descent, launching themselves off of ice fields and weaving down the ridges that border the seaport of this coastal Norwegian town. An illusion of skiing into the sea is spawned and the Vikings feel ever present.

Athletes: Colter Hinchliffe, Gretchen Bleiler, Aidan Sheahan, Chase DeMeulenaere, Peter Olenick, Stian Davenport, Chris Davenport, Trey Humphrey Equipment: skis, snowboards, sit ski While making turns with his son, Stian, Chris Davenport sheds light on the significance of being a good steward to the earth: “Those of us that get out and ski and snowboard get it - we love our environment, we love our snowy winters and we understand the importance of environmental responsibility.” With this thought in mind, the boys from Aspen’s terrain park take it off the mountain to Somerset Coal Mine, located in Gunnison County, where there is a massive capturing plant to convert methane waste to electric energy for the resort. From there, we head back into the park with two generations of skiers and riders including Peter Olenick and Aidan Sheahan. Gretchen Bleiler proves that “girls can look like girls and still rip.” Further inspiration comes from U.S. veteran of the war in Afghanistan and amputee, Trey Humprey, finding his way back onto the mountain and embracing every turn via sit-ski.

This is a photograph of Seth Wescott in Valdez. It was taken by Brian Nevins.

ICELAND Athletes: Jess McMillan, Sierra Quitiquit, Julia Mancuso Equipment: Hula-hoops, skis, boat, helicopter Hula-hoops and skis somehow graft well together when big mountain veteran Jess McMillan, rookie Sierra Quitiquit and three-time Olympian Julia Mancuso explore the Icelandic terrain. With the assistance of Arctic Heli Skiing guides, this trio of girls recognise a “skier’s paradise” when they discover tracks that few others have skied on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula. Whilst skiing these inviting routes, “going fast is just a state of mind,” and the ladies reflect on how thankful they are to be living their dreams. For Quitiquit, there is no better way to give thanks to the Snow Gods than by blasting down the mountain clad in only a hot-pink swimsuit. Sierra says it best, “we only walk this earth once. It’s your choice, how do we want to ride this earth? We only have a short time and now is your time to seize the opportunity - this is your ticket”. This is a photograph of Kaylin Richardson in Norway. It was taken by Sverre Hjornevik.

SIXTEEN


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EIGHTEEN


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TWENTY


YOUR WINTER starts here

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T R A C K SE V E N

STORY: JENN GLECKMAN

A TAHOE LOCAL’S GUIDE

“LAKE TAHOE,

IT CAN BE

COLD MOUNTAIN WATER”

a challenge making sure you get the most out of your ski holiday. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find the best terrain and snow, the best watering holes, or get the best bragging rights to share with your mates back home. After all, it’s not like you’ve got a local at your side giving you the beta, right? These tips might help. And you don’t even have to buy me a beer. While the days of celebrating Elvis’ birthday are long gone, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe still retains its quirky side with events like the Santa Ski Crawl and Slide Back Retro Day. There’s much more to the resort than that though. Mt. Rose boasts some of the steepest inbound terrain at Tahoe with The Chutes. How does 1000+ feet of north facing slopes with pitches from 40-55 degrees sound? If that’s not your style, check out Slide Bowl’s wide open pistes and expansive views of the Nevada desert. After you’ve conquered runs with names like Cardiac Ridge, Nightmare and Chaos, celebrate with a drink at the Sky Bar in Winters Creek Lodge, savoring the incredible views of Washoe Valley.

There’s a reason why Squaw Valley is home to so many big mountain skiers (and Warren Miller athletes) like JT Holmes and Julia Mancuso. It’s a skier’s playground, and with 3600 acres of terrain that ranges from cliffs to gentle groomers, it’s no surprise you’ll find folks of all abilities enjoying themselves here. That said no visit to Squaw is complete without at least one run off KT-22. I love doing laps off Headwall until my legs give out, but there’s so much more to explore here that you shouldn’t limit yourself. Think Siberia Express, think Granite Chief, think Silverado. While I tend to forgo lunch for skiing while here, no day here is complete without at least one of the world-famous cookies at Wildflour Baking Company in Squaw’s Olympic House. Located down the road from Squaw, Alpine Meadows can be considered its younger sibling, albeit one that shares a lift ticket that allows you to ride both resorts in a day. Alpine’s Summit Chair accesses a candy-store equivalent of terrain, including plenty of hike-to options for the more ambitious. Begin with the wide open blue

This is a photograph of Jenn Gleckman. It was taken by Nils Miller.

Photograph taken by Chris Bartolowski/Ski Lake Tahoe.

TWENTY TWO


Photograph taken by Kyle McCoy/Ski Lake Tahoe.

runs in Alpine Bowl before you progress to Wolverine Bowl’s steeper pitches. While you might be tempted to spend all day here, don’t miss out on the great views of Lake Tahoe off the appropriately named Lakeview chair. Cap off a great day of turns with snacks and an Alpine Bloody Mary at the Last Chair Bar. Northstar California is renowned as a family friendly ski resort, one with a decidedly upscale side. It’s also home to a 22-foot Superpipe designed by Shaun White. So you can have your immaculately groomed corduroy and try out your skills in the terrain park too. I’m partial to the long, leg-burning pistes off the Backside, now accessed by the new Promised Land Express. Warm up on Castle Peak before working your way over to more challenging runs like Iron Horse and Monument Glade. Fuel up at the Zephyr Lodge, located near the top of Promised Land Express. End the day with a drink at one of the firepits in the Village, and if you dare, a session on the outdoor ice rink. Sierra-at-Tahoe is a gem of a resort, located 12 miles from South Lake Tahoe, and it’s my favorite place to hit on a storm day. Think trees, glades, and plenty of powder pillows. Experts will want to check out Huckleberry Canyon (with a friend, naturally, or better yet, with one of Sierra’s Backcountry Tours), which accesses some of Sierra’s steepest terrain through its

five gates. Those seeking less extreme terrain should head to West Bowl, home to wide open runs, and terrain park riders will find no less than 7 parks to choose from. After a morning of powder, there’s nothing better than a hot lunch at the 360º Smokehouse BBQ at the top of Grandview. This Southern style BBQ boasts enormous pulled pork sandwiches and brisket, along with my favorite, the sweet potato fries. If you like deep snow and challenging terrain get thee to Kirkwood Mountain Resort stat. Located south of Lake Tahoe, it features plenty of interesting natural features in its 2300 acres. Start your day on the Cornice Express lift, which accesses a ridgeline of possibilities. Warm up on Zachary or Lower Olympic before testing your mettle on Sentinel Bowl. If you’re looking for something more challenging, consider The Wall chair, notorious for its ‘Experts Only’ sign. Be warned - that sign isn’t a joke. Runs with names like The Wall, Notch Chute and All the Way are not for the intermediate of skills. Expert riders will understand why Wagon Wheel Bowl is one of my favorite places on the mountain. On your way back to Tahoe, be sure to stop off at the Kirkwood Inn, a historic inn built in 1864 that features awesome nachos.

TWENTY THREE

CONTINUES


Photograph taken by Kyle McCoy/Ski Lake Tahoe.

Heavenly Ski Resort is unique, and not just because it straddles two states. Its 4,800 acres boast a wide variety of terrain, from groomers to terrain parks to the steeps of Mott Canyon. Whatever you do while here, make sure you ski Ridge Run at least once, where you can enjoy terrific views of Tahoe. The trees off Olympic are a good warm up before venturing into the glades off the Comet and Stagecoach lifts. With so much terrain, staying fueled up is mandatory, and there’s no lack

of good food here. Burger aficionados will want to go straight to Booyah’s at Lakeview Lodge, where you can build your own. The sweet potato fries (sense a theme here?) are similarly awesome. And whether you can consider dancing after a day of skiing or not, make your way to Tamarack Lodge for its Unbuckle Après Party, featuring a DJ, the Heavenly Angels, drink & food specials, and one of the best après parties this side of Austria.

Photograph taken by Kyle McCoy/Ski Lake Tahoe.

TWENTY FOUR


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TRACK EIGHT

LAST YEAR’S FILM NOW ON DVD

“THIS

YOU ARE SKIING

down a slope and your full attention is focused on the movements of your body, the position of your skis and the air whistling past your face. There is no room in your awareness for conflicts or contradictions, no distracting thought or emotion. The run is so perfect that you want it to last forever. This is the Flow State.

STATE

OF INDEPENDENCE SHALL BE”

Host Jonny Moseley and other world class athletes such as Colby West, Jess McMillan and David Wise throw down some of the most impressive action the Warren Miller film crews have ever captured. The ‘Flow State’ session guides you to the top of the world’s most striking peaks including Japan, Norway, Austria and beyond; Olympic gold medallist Ted Ligety takes on Alaska’s mighty Chugach and Julian Carr bombs down Utah’s famed Wasatch capital. With super slow motion, HD quality and a pulsating soundtrack, Warren Miller’s 63rd movie guarantees to put you in a ‘state of flow’ so make sure you are prepared!

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TWENTY EIGHT


TRACK NINE

FORTY EIGHT HOURS IN ASPEN

ONCE

STORY: JIM ODOIRE

“...IT’S SPRINGTIME IN THE

ROCKIES”

a year, at the end of each winter season, I am lucky enough to travel to Warren Miller global HQ in Boulder to catch up on news and see a sneak preview of all the footage shot for that year’s Warren Miller ski film. Knowing there’s nothing quite like watching the raw action of the new Warren Miller film for getting the ski juices flowing, I had taken the precaution of adding a couple of days to my trip, so after leaving Boulder I struck out west and headed 3 or so hours up Interstate 70 into the heart of the Colorado Rockies to the legendary ski town of Aspen - location for one of the sequences in Warren Miller’s ‘Ticket to Ride’. As well as hitting the same steeps as the Warren Miller athletes, I was interested to see if it was possible to get a taste of what Aspen was all about for us mere mortals - even if I only had a limited time to do it. On paper this seemed an impossible task - the skiing is huge Aspen consists of 4 mountains, each with its own unique

character and between them boasting enough varied terrain to keep 7000 or so permanent residents of this old silver mining town happy for a lifetime of skiing. And I was soon to learn that the town proved to be the perfect foil to the mountains - it’s a big small town with an impressive spectrum of restaurants, hotels, shops and bars…some of which I was determined to visit after getting some miles under my skis. I checked into the centrally located Limelight Hotel, originally a bar / nightclub for outlaws and miners before rooms were added through the 1950s and 1960s turning it into the Limelight Lodge which was transformed in 2005 with a full renovation into the Limelight Hotel, one of the hippest and relaxed places to stay in Aspen. I signed up for First Tracks in the morning and hit the hay. I had an early start if I was to make the most of my 48 hours in Aspen.

THIRTY


instead hunted down the Oasis Champagne Bar. When I say hunted down, I mean it - it is a small pop-up bar whose location changes daily. To find out where it is you have to visit the Little Nell’s twitter feed (the Little Nell is the name of Aspen’s smartest hotel - located slopeside at the base of Aspen Mountain). But the effort was well worth it - it is the perfect place to grab a glass of bubbly, a few caviar canapés and relax for a while in their deckchairs soaking up the views and the sunshine, of which Aspen enjoys over 300 days each year. Back on our skis we worked off the bubbles in the bumps on Face of Bell before catching a few last turns in Lea’s favourite terrain - the Dumps - the steep eastfacing slopes through the old mine dumps off the top of the FIS chair which channel out into the long wide open cruiser that winds its way past the delightfully named Kleenex Corner back into the town of Aspen. What Bonnies is to breakfast then the Ajax Tavern is to Aprés-ski - it is right at the base of Aspen Mountain, next to the gondola and it offers the best mountainside patio in Aspen - an ideal place for Lea and I to rest the legs and wind down after a day on the hill - washing down a cone of their ‘signature’ truffle fries with a pint of the eminently quaffable Ajax Pilsner from the nearby Aspen Brewing Company. But there is no rest for the wicked - I wanted to pack in as much of Aspen’s vibrant dining and nightlife as possible, so after a quick change, Lea and I voted

In Aspen, the early bird catches the worm - and for free. First tracks is a first come, first served opportunity for guests to get up the mountain before the lifts open, accompanied by instructors from the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen. So after ripping several laps of Aspen Mountain (or Ajax as the locals know it) on the freshly groomed corduroy, I was about ready for breakfast so headed to Bonnies (an Aspen institution as my instructor told me) whose 2 tiered sundeck sits at mid-mountain and has long been THE place on Ajax to sit and do a spot of celebrity watching, not that I would have seen them from behind the mountain of oatmeal pancakes that arrived and (I’m ashamed to admit) were devoured almost instantaneously - I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back out on my skis… My guide for the morning was Lea Tucker, an Aspen local who had kindly offered to show me some of her favourite spots – first, she explained, we were to explore the glades of Aspen Mountain in search of “the shrines.” There are 33 of these Shrines, hidden away in the trees between runs - and Lea and I spent the morning hunting down a number of those including Elvis, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix – all of which are small homemade ‘temples’ often nailed to a tree that house keepsakes, pictures and messages to their famous owners. We had already decided that A) given the size of my breakfast and B) in order to maximise my ski time that we would forego a big lunch and

DAY ONE

CONTINUES

THIRTY ONE


the summit in to the steep treelined pitches beyond. We had opted for skiing ‘Fall-line’ – the exposed route straight down the middle of the funnel - this was no fall territory made marginally safer by the fresh new snow that would help mitigate any technical mistake. After 30 minutes, several stops to catch our breath and hundreds of powder turns later, we were high-fiving on the Deep Temerity lift heading back up Loge Peak to catch an early lunch at Cloud Nine Bistro - a quaint European style cabin with sweeping views of the nearby Maroon Bells and a rustic menu that changes daily. Booking is essential as Cloud Nine only seats about 45 people but on sunny days the deck outside is set up with a snow bar so skiers can stop by, have a drink and a bite to eat on a whim. As the Elk stew melted in my mouth, more and more people arrived and by the time we left to ski back to the shuttle, a large impromptu party had started that looked like it would continue until the last lift home had long gone. Sadly my Aspen trip had come to an end and as I sat at Aspen Airport waiting for my 20 minute flight back to Denver I realised I hadn’t even scratched the surface of this amazing ski town. Through the airport windows I could see the third of Aspen’s mountains Buttermilk - host mountain of the last 13 annual Winter X Games and home to one of the world’s largest terrain parks / superpipes and as my plane took off, a glance to my left saw the mighty Snowmass - Aspen’s 4th and final mountain, the size of the other three mountains combined, inviting me back to explore its vast terrain. An invitation that I intend to accept the next time I’m in Colorado.

against a lengthy sit down dinner, instead opting to graze from Aspen’s multitude of bar menus, offering restaurant food at a fraction of the price as long as you are happy to sit and eat at the bar. So after some Margarita mussels at Elevation then some Kobe beef sliders in the bar at The Little Nell it was all we could do to muster the strength for a final nightcap in the awesome Living Room bar at the Hotel Jerome - sipping our Aspen Cruds (a mixture of Kentucky bourbon and milk and surprisingly more-ish!) under an original Stars and Stripes flag with only 38 stars - made to celebrate Colorado’s statehood in 1876. With one day down and one to go it was time to head back to the Limelight - as we strolled back across town through the streets lit by the windows of the numerous art galleries and the fairy lights in every tree, big fluffy snow flakes started falling - tomorrow promised much. A slightly more leisurely start saw me on the free 10 minute shuttle bus from the nearby Ruby Park bus station to the second of Aspen’s 4 mountains - Aspen Highlands. I was here to ‘smoke the bowl’ with my guide for the day Bob Bayless - to hike and ski the 12,392 foot Highlands Bowl - that rewards skiers with 360 degree views before they catch their breath and plummet into the 3000 vertical foot funnel with pitches of up to 48 degrees. Conditions were absolutely perfect - the previous night’s storm had deposited 8-10 inches of fresh snow and as Bob and I tore around the groomers to warm up the legs, the patrollers were out doing their stuff and securing the in bounds ‘sidecountry’ terrain of the Highlands Bowl. With skis on our backs, Bob and I forewent the option of a free snowcat ride that would cut our hike by 30 minutes and started our 75 minute hike to the peak. Skiers have many entry points to the bowl starting as soon as the hike begins and continuing all the way past

DAY TWO

For more details about the Limelight Hotel visit www.limelighthotel.com and for Aspen Snowmass visit www.aspensnowmass.com

THIRTY TWO


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TRACK TEN

TWO NEW LIFTS FOR WHISTLER

STORY: LAURA GALLANT

“UP THE

ARTHUR

HILL

BACKWARDS”

DeJong peered up at the hulking, sleek steel frame of the new Crystal Ridge Express chairlift that was just installed on Blackcomb Mountain. Standing on the new, recently leveled upload station, he looks on as the lift snakes its way up the mountainside and disappears in the mist above. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle trying to piece together all the different parts and fixtures of this new chairlift

but, it will be worth it once it’s up and running December 7,” said DeJong, Whistler Blackcomb’s mountain planning manager. “The old fixed-grip triple chair that was previously here was too slow and we outgrew it. This new one will be able to accommodate more people and shuttle them quicker up into the Crystal Zone which means reduced wait times for guests.”

Photograph taken by Paul Morrison.

THIRTY SIX


Photograph taken by Blake Jorgenson.

DeJong and his intrepid band of alpine elves have been hard at work all summer and fall laying the foundation for the new upload station and organizing transportation and installation of the new high-speed

quad chair. The goal is to improve access to the Crystal Zone, Blackcombâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best kept secret. The Zone covers territory from the top of the Crystal Chair down to Excelerator Express and is characterized

CONTINUES

THIRTY SEVEN


Photograph taken by Paul Morrison.

by long cruisers like Rock’n’Roll and Ridgerunner, as well as gladed favorites like Arthur’s Choice and In the Spirit. Among locals it’s home to hidden pockets of deep powder where exact locations are protected by an unwritten rule of secrecy. As if that wasn’t enough, the resort has enhanced its offering on Whistler Mountain as well with the installation of the new Harmony 6 high-speed six pack chairlift, replacing the Harmony quad chair. Set to open December 14, the new lift will decrease wait times and offer a quicker shuttle up to the Harmony Zone’s expansive terrain. This area alone covers a whopping 1,200 acres, offers a wide variety of runs suited for beginners to experts and gives way to high alpine powder-laden terrain Whistler Blackcomb is known for. Whistler Blackcomb is also pouring a cool $3 million into snowmaking upgrades, amping up the snow coverage this season adding 15 additional snowmaking guns to their arsenal. Not that the mountain needs it. Its consistent and reliable snowfall produces 1,174 centimetres of snow per year on average. Deep. Whistler Blackcomb’s ski season kicks off officially on November 28, 2013 and runs until the end of May. Insider tip: the best lift and lodging package deals of the season can be found at www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

Photograph taken by Blake Jorgenson.

THIRTY EIGHT


WONDER is it a

PLACE MIND P: Blake Jorgenson S: James Heim L: Blackcomb Peak, January 2013

or a state of

whistlerblackcomb.com

TWO NEW LIFTS Introducing the new Crystal Ridge Express and Harmony 6 Express. COMING WINTER 2013.14


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most out of your quality time in the mountains. Join the Ski Club of Great Britain today to gain access to our unrivalled expertise and take advantage of the many more benefits available to our members, including hundreds of discounts and our unique Ski Club Leader service. Visit skiclub.co.uk to find out more about Ski Club membership.

Call our membership team on 020 8410 2015 or visit skiclub.co.uk/join and quote WM1314 for £10 off Ski Club membership. See skiclub.co.uk/ terms for full terms and conditions.

This is a photograph of Mark Jones, our top BASI qualified ‘ski technique’ expert.

FORTY


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T R A C K T WE LV E

THE HELISKI GUIDE’S DIARY

STORY: JAMES MORLAND

“I’M WAITIN’, YEAH AT THE

HELI-

END OF THE

ROAD”

this part of the world in 1998, driving a beaten up pickup truck - laden with skis, fishing rods and camping gear - some 2,000 miles over potholed, snowcovered roads to Valdez, Alaska - but that’s another story... To me there is something special about the north. It’s a no B-S kinda place where men cut down trees, drink beer, fight, shoot bears and catch fish. Women do the same. Southern BC, with all its fancy ski resorts and big, commercial heliski operations seems like another country. Up here it’s big, it’s wild and it’s

skiing in Canada conjures up a few images. Vast quantities of deep, dry powder billowing over your head is probably one of them. Fancy, commercial heliski lodges and big groups crammed into fleets of oversized helicopters is perhaps another. If you like the sound of the former but the latter doesn’t strike a chord, then a little known corner of northern British Columbia could be just the place to investigate. Last winter I was lucky enough to spend the better part of two months working as a heliski guide in one the wildest corners of northern BC. I first visited

Photograph taken by SimonPuklPhoto.com.

FORTY FOUR


Photograph taken by SimonPuklPhoto.com.

once or twice in a lifetime and here we were doing it 1015 times a day, day after day, week after week. Was it all a bit gluttonous? Oh yeah. If I’d been eating I would have been on the liposuction long ago. Without wishing to give our European resorts (which, incidentally I like very much) an inferiority complex, it’s not just the snow that doesn’t compare. The Last Frontier Heliskiing tenure is a staggering 25 times the size of Les Trois Vallées in France but here there are just two small lodges - three helicopters and thirty skiers at one, two helicopters and 15 skiers at the other. By contrast, Les Trois Vallées has 183 ski lifts and is capable of transporting 260,000 skiers per hour up the (often icy) mountain.

raw. And when it comes to snow there are industrial quantities of the stuff - 25 metres a year on average (at only 1,500 metres above sea level). To put that in perspective, Val d’Isère in France and Verbier in Switzerland average only four or five metres a year. I’m not sure if that includes artificial snow or not but either way it sounds kind of pathetic in comparison. Somewhere around my 40th day of work, four hundredth run and eight gazillionenth powder turn I still hadn’t made a single turn in anything but truly epic snow conditions. Every one of these runs was the kind that gets a normal ski resort buzzing for weeks the kind that slots into the ‘best run of my life’ category. Most people would be lucky enough to experience this

CONTINUES

FORTY FIVE


For much of the time I was working at Last Frontier Heliskiing I was at their Ripley Creek base in the frontier town of Stewart. Drive through town and in three minutes you cross the border into Hyder Alaska… and here the road ends. Originally the home of the Skam-a-Kounst Indians, the town of Stewart was first explored in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver. With the discovery of gold the town boomed and supported a pre-World War I population of around 12,000. Today it’s down to about 450. Walking down the wooden boardwalk past the toaster (yup, the things you put bread in) museum to the Ripley Creek Inn, the bustling gold rush history of the not too distant past is almost tangible. Driving from Meziadin Junction, through the Bear Pass and down to Stewart you pass through some of the most rugged and spectacular scenery in British Columbia. Turquoise-blue icefalls hanging precariously above the road, huge trees snapped like match sticks by class 5 avalanches and snowfalls so intense they can bury a car overnight. Needless to say this is not your regular kind of ski resort. In Courchevel, France you might expect to see a fur-clad Russian stepping from the door of a fancy, raised Lexus that pretends to know how to drive on snow. Here you are more likely to see a dead moose dripping blood from the back of a pickup truck that could eat the Lexus for breakfast. The best way to describe this type of ski or snowboard experience is ‘no frills’. It’s about the quality of the skiing not the fancy lodge or waiters in bow ties. And when you compare it to other heliski operations in BC this is firmly reflected in the price with an average week being 20% less expensive. ‘No frills’ it may be but I ate like a king during my stay. Looking down the Portland Canal after a day of skiing in the lightest snow imaginable, muscles eased in the hot tub and cold beer in hand is my kind of luxury. Needless to say I had a pretty good time here but one of the highlights was guiding a private group on a safari trip between Ripley Creek and Last Frontier’s other base at Bell 2 Lodge - a journey of 100 km that takes in some of the most spectacular and seldom skied areas in the 9,500 km2 of exclusive ski terrain. I was pleased to be working with Franz Fux - a fourth generation Swiss mountain guide and one of the founders of Last Frontier Heliskiing. To put it mildly, Franz has a bit of mileage behind him in this part of the world and as the new guy I was relying pretty heavily on him for some orientation. The group was split into two. Franz took the four ‘older generation’ in the first heli-load and I took the two young rippers in the other. Looking back up the mountain at our tracks it wasn’t hard to tell who was who. On one side was the tightly grouped artistry of the heliski connoisseurs - laid with the precision of an Olympic synchronized swimming team. On the other

Photograph taken by Dave Silver.

CONTINUES

FORTY SIX


go beyond.

Picture the largest single heliski area on the planet, 82 feet of annual snowfall, groups of just 4 or 5 guests, and two remote lodges to choose from. Now imagine yourself with four like minded enthusiasts cranking out turn after turn in zero-density-blower-fluffypow. Try wiping that smile off your face. Visit our corner of northern British Columbia, Canada, and discover for yourself what makes Last Frontier a legend in its own right.

0203 059 8787 | uk@lastfrontierheli.com lastfrontierheli.com THIS IS P A G E 57


and with Mattias the snowboarder up to his neck in snow - we tramped around under what can only be described as a jungle-like canopy of trees. Not really great helicopter landing terrain. The radio comes to life: FRANZ: “How is it down there James?” JAMES: “Can’t really see where we are going to get picked up any ideas?” FRANZ: “Ahhh...well...not too sure about that James maybe to the right. Good luck.” Crackle, crackle. After a bit more sweating and tramping around we found a nice clearing, got picked up and flew straight over the intended pickup - some 50 metres from our tracks and a bit higher up. Throughout the course of the day it became more and more apparent that despite 20 years of guiding in the area Franz had still only scratched the surface. But his many years of experience had definitely taught him one thing - much better to send the new guy down first to test things out.

was a random array of high speed turns and straight lines. In musical terms it was like comparing Mozart and Rage Against the Machine. Somewhere in the vast wilderness between Stewart and Bell 2 Lodge, I’m flying up with my group when a call from Franz comes in on the radio: FRANZ: “Hey James you may as well take that one right down to valley bottom - looks good. We’ll be behind you next run. Just keep heading down where our tracks stop.” JAMES: “Ok - sounds good Franz - thanks.” At least someone knows where they are. The top section of the run was superb. Fast, big turns into a perfect alpine bowl followed by small, sparsely spaced trees and knee-deep, cold powder topped with 3cm of sparkling surface hoar (those beautiful crystals that sparkle in the sun). Within minutes we were standing on a little knoll staring down into the dense forest below. I radioed Franz for a bit of guidance: FRANZ: “Oh yeah James, just head left of my tracks. It’s pretty obvious.” Off we went; down into the towering trees, popping off little pillows, faces blasted with snow. I found myself smiling uncontrollably. As we neared the valley floor I stopped more frequently making the odd traverse to try and figure out where the helicopter might pick us up. Nowhere obvious stood out. Down on the flats at the bottom, sweating profusely

Trips to Last Frontier’s Ripley Creek start at £4,100 for five days heli-skiing and can be booked with Elemental Adventure. www.eaheliskiing.com www.lastfrontierheli.com james@eaheli.com 0203 059 8787

Photograph taken by Cedric Bernardidni.

FORTY EIGHT


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A N D FI N A LLY

WHERE THE TITLES COME FROM

Title track (cover) and final track (back) borrowed from ‘Ticket to Ride’ off the album ‘Help!’ by The Beatles

Track one (p.7) borrowed from ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ off the album ‘Closer’ by Joy Division

Track two (p.9) borrowed from ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ off the album ‘Beggars Banquet’ by The Rolling Stones

Track three (p.10) borrowed from ‘The Passenger’ off the album ‘Lust For Life’ by Iggy Pop

Track four (p.12) borrowed from ‘Life On Mars?’ off the album ‘Hunky Dory’ by David Bowie

Track five (p.18) borrowed from ‘New Generation’ off the album ‘Dog Man Star’ by Suede

Track six (p.20) borrowed from ‘New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)’ off the album of the same name by Simple Minds

Track seven (p.22) borrowed from ‘Lake Tahoe’ off the album ‘50 Words for Snow’ by Kate Bush

Track eight (p.28) borrowed from ‘State of Independence’ off the 12” single of the same name by Donna Summer

Track nine (p.30) borrowed from ‘When It’s Springtime in the Rockies’ off the album ‘Year Round Cowboy’ by Gene Autry

Track ten (p.36) borrowed from ‘Up the Hill Backwards’ off the album ‘Scary Monsters and Super Creeps’ by David Bowie

Track eleven (p.40) borrowed from ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ off the album ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ by Bob Dylan

A FINAL NOTE ABOUT THE TITLES

Track twelve (p.44) borrowed from ‘End of the Road’ off the single ‘Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On’ by Jerry Lee Lewis

With such a wonderfully music-referenced title for this year’s Warren Miller movie - and vinyl sales on the rise - it felt totally appropriate to re-explore my own collection of singles, EPs and LPs to come up with the titles for each article in this year’s tour magazine. What started as a bit of fun, became something much more interesting. Some came straight away (tracks one, two and three); track seven was inevitable and Bowie had to be in there, worked perfectly for track four - track ten takes a little liberty! But most pleasing of all - I got the chance to listen to all of these again (rest assured, no vinyl was scratched during the making of this magazine!). I had fun putting them together I hope you had fun trying to work them out. CRAIG JOHNSON

Hidden track (p.55) borrowed from ‘Where Will I Be?’ off the album ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Emmylou Harris

And finally the two bonus tracks are borrowed from ‘Win’ (p.50) off the album ‘Young Americans’ by David Bowie and from ‘So You Win Again’ (p.51) off the album ‘The Very Best of Hot Chocolate’

FIFTY FOUR


HIDDEN TRACK

THESE ARE THE TOUR DATES

“WHERE WILL I BE?” TOWN CINEMA DATE TIME Tuesday 26 November 8pm Aberdeen Belmont Picturehouse Aberdeen Belmont Picturehouse Thursday 5 December 8pm Aberfeldy Birks Cinema Wednesday 27 November 8:15pm Aviemore Spey Valley Cinema Thursday 12 December 8pm Bo’Ness Hippodrome Thursday 28 November 8pm Brighton Cineworld Monday 18 November 6:45pm Bristol Vue Cinema Cribbs Causeway Monday 9 December 8pm Cambridge Vue Cinema Wednesday 4 December 8pm Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) Tuesday 3 December 8pm Durham Gala Tuesday 3 December 8pm Edinburgh Dominion Cinema Sunday 01 December 5:30pm Omni Vue Cinema Monday 9 December 8pm Edinburgh Glasgow Film Theatre Monday 2 December 8pm Glasgow Glasgow Cineworld Renfrew Tuesday 10 December 8:30pm Eden Court Monday 25 November 8:15pm Inverness Inverness Eden Court Tuesday 17 December 8:15pm Vue Cinema (Apollo) Wednesday 27 November 8pm Leamington Spa Leeds Vue Kirkstall Monday 2 December 8pm London, Leicester Square Vue West End PREMIERE Thursday 14 November 8pm London, Leicester Square Vue West End Wednesday 11 December 8pm Wednesday 20 November 8pm London, Shepherd’s Bush Vue London, Fulham Broadway Vue Cinema Thursday 21 November 8pm Ski Club of Great Britain Monday 25 November 8pm London, Wimbledon Manchester Didsbury Cineworld Thursday 5 December 8:30pm Matlock Bath The Grand Pavilion Thursday 14 December 8pm Nottingham Cineworld Thursday 28 November 6:45pm Oxford Ultimate Picture Palace Tuesday 26 November 7pm Penrith Rheged Centre Friday 29 November 7:30pm Perth Concert Hall (Norie Miller Studio) Wednesday 4 December 8pm Poole Lighthouse Thursday 9 January (2014) 8pm Reading Vue Cinema Thursday 5 December 8pm Sheffield Vue Wednesday 4 December 8pm Southampton Cineworld Tuesday 19 November 6:45pm Stirling Macrobert Tuesday 10 December 8pm

BOOK TICKETS AT

WARRENMILLER.CO.UK


I THINK IT’S

TODAY, YEAH

THE COVER IS A PHOTOGRAPH OF ELYSE SAUGSTAD. IT WAS TAKEN BY PASCAL BEAUVAIS

Warren Miller Ski Film Tour 2013  
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