Mountain Life – Coast Mountains - Fall/Winter 2023-24

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Max Kroneck | Vincent Daviet | Claudia Ballet Baz Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation Journeyman Tenure, Callaghan Country, BC


FEATURES P.18 KYE PETERSEN The Great Wide Open P.54 MOVE IT ON OVER Female Photographers to Watch P.76 END OF THE ROAD Sand Creek Ranch


P.110 WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER Lessons from the Trans Canada Trail

P.31 DESIGN Intuition Turns 30 P.36 BACKYARD Stories on the Mountain P.48 BEHIND THE PHOTO Mark Gribbon P.95 LITERATURE Book Reviews P.98 BEYOND Jon Turk Rocks Out P.103 ARTIST Andrea Mueller P.124 GALLERY Look Ma!!

ON THIS PAGE Time waits for no one; set that alarm. Dawn patrol at Mt. Baker. GRANT GUNDERSON ON THE COVER Filip Hrkel, Whistler.



Mountain Life Coast Mountains operates within and shares stories primarily set upon the unceded territories of two distinct Nations—the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and the Li l̓wat7úl. We honour and celebrate their history, land, culture, and language.

PUBLISHERS Jon Burak Todd Lawson Glen Harris




Feet Banks






CONTRIBUTORS Jessy Braidwood, Matthew Bruhns, Jon Burak, Mirae Campbell, Mary-Jane Castor, Peter Chrzanowski, Abby Cooper, Morgan Fleury, Ben Girardi, Taylor Godber, Robert Greso, Mark Gribbon, Grant Gunderson, Erin Hogue, Jason Hummel,Lani Imre, Steffi Jade, Blake Jorgenson, Yan Kaczynski, Isaac Kamink, Mikaela Kautzky, Carmen Kuntz, Riley Leboe, Maxime Légaré-Vézina, Zoya Lynch, Jimmy Martinello, Mason Mashon, Robin O’Neill, Kenna Ozick, Angela Percival, Kristin Schnelten, Andrew Strain, Laura Szanto, Jeff Thomas, Jon Turk, Anatole Tuzlak, Dianne Whelan

SALES & MARKETING Jon Burak Todd Lawson Glen Harris

Published by Mountain Life Media, Copyright ©2023. All rights reserved. Publications Mail Agreement Number 40026703. Tel: 604 815 1900. To send feedback or for contributors guidelines email Mountain Life Coast Mountains is published every February, June and November and circulated throughout Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor from Pemberton to Vancouver. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Views expressed herein are those of the author exclusively. To learn more about Mountain Life, visit To distribute Mountain Life in your store please call 604 815 1900.


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09.10.23 13:56


There’s a reason we don’t spend our whole lives playing around in the kiddie pool—sure, it’s great fun for a bit, but it doesn’t take long to realize…this is not deep enough. As adults, as seekers, as a civilization… we value depth. Because that’s where the fear lurks, out there where you can’t see the bottom, where the path is shrouded in darkness and the peaks are obscured with storms. The deeper we go—into the wild, or ourselves, or anything—the harder it gets. And of course, that’s where the fun is— underneath the surface, tangled up in the struggle and the secrets and the dirt. Here in the mountains, sliding around on the winter snows, things become much simpler: deep is good, deeper is better. That floating falling bottomless feeling of deep snow on a steep pitch, that sense of flying without leaving the ground. And if there is such a thing as too deep, we won’t know it until we see it—so bring it on. So here’s to a deep winter, one full of deep turns and deep connections; to ourselves, to those we travel with, and to the lands we travel over. Here’s to finding new friends with good depth of character, to deep dives that bring us new knowledge and skills, to challenge and trial and discovering new facets of ourselves—deep wisdom. And of course, we can still have fun on hardpack and moguls (speed and airtime will always deliver), but let’s hope for the opposite—boot deep, knee deep, crotch deep, deep. The days ahead will be (hopefully) cold and (definitely) dark, so keep an eye on each other, get out amongst it together, and see if you can’t surprise yourselves with just how far away from the kiddie pool you can get. Play safe Mountain Lifers, but remember—it’s not necessarily length of life that ignites our passions, it’s depth. –Feet Banks

Dan Freeze goes deep.




Pillow spine perfection at Mica Heliskiing.



The Great Wide Open Catching up with Kye Petersen

words :: Feet Banks photography :: Mason Mashon “My whole life I’ve been focused on not dying before age 33,” Kye Petersen explains. “That’s when my dad died, and I just had that number as a sort of finish line. I never thought about anything beyond that. And now, here I am.” Kye, who turned 33 in 2023, also admits that he’s always felt a need to try and achieve as much as possible and to live up to the accolades of his father, legendary ski mountaineer Trevor Petersen, who was swept away in an avalanche in Chamonix just weeks after Kye’s sixth birthday. “He accomplished so much,” Kye says. “I know it was a different time—he was a pioneer—but I beat myself up to follow the path he created. I’m really goal-oriented, and that gave me objectives to focus on from a young age.” Kye’s journey to reach those goals has been nothing less than extraordinary. He was a sponsored skier at age 11, by 15 he was skiing in Chamonix (including the run that took his father’s life). He’s travelled the globe, starring in numerous big budget ski films and graced the pages of every magazine that matters. Over the past decade though, Kye has stepped back from the limelight and put more focus on skiing on his own terms. His recent web series, Sacred Grounds, offers a look into the mental/spiritual connection between a skier and the landscape they’re pushing themselves on. And with Part Five due to drop early this winter, and a new place on the Volkl team, we caught up with Kye to talk about this phase of his life he’s never really thought about before.



Kye: It’s tough. It’s run and gun. I had to call buddies and make it happen. That’s why it’s hard to find still photos of me lately. I’m not big time enough to be able to put a photographer in the heli. It’s not like the old days, but this is the only way you can do it without real budget.

ML: Before Sacred Grounds, you had been kinda flying under the radar for a while.

Mountain Life: That big line in Part Four of Sacred Ground was bonkers, so was the Pillow episode. Does it feel like your skiing is as strong as it’s ever been? Kye Petersen: For sure I am skiing the most creatively I’ve ever skied. I think that happens naturally with age, same with reading terrain. Some stuff takes years to see. I’m skiing how I want to ski, not how I want to look. Does that make sense? I just do what feels right. That line was big and gnarly, but I don’t really go looking just for that. I like creating the wow factor, not looking for it.

ML: How difficult was it to make that series, fully independent, as compared to working with the big companies?

Kye: To be honest, I think I axed a lot of my opportunities in the industry when I was doing my own ski shaping thing. And when Sean [Petit] and a lot of the guys I came up with were really finding success, I was on the ski hill every day or heading over to Chamonix to ski with the OGs there. Going with my heart, I guess. I like walking my own path, my dad did it that way too so maybe that’s why.

ML: What can we expect from the final Sacred Grounds episode? Kye: It’s gonna be totally different. The whole series has been about getting way out there— wild locations and spots people might not really know where it is. This one is all on resort. That is sacred to me. The skate park and the ski hill are as meaningful in my life as any Holy Grail pillow zone or super remote peak.

ABOVE Downtime. Winter steelheading in the Skeena river.

RILEY LEBOE. BELOW Airtime. Whistler backcountry.



A wise skier once said, "Pillow fields are like the bull riding of skiing. A lot of it is just about holding on." Kye held this one the full eight seconds. Mica Heliskiing.

ML: There seems to be a resurgence of people just givin’er on the resort the past few years. Kye: Everyone can have fun on the hill. I actually look forward to that the most. There’s none of the

On the hill, I just shred—that is where I progress

with my mom in the morning or whatever, as soon as I got halfway up the Wizard [chairlift] it would totally change. And it still does. If it snowed two feet, I get excited—I know which pillows will be good, or I’ll be at the front of the line for Spanky’s. On the hill, I just shred—that is where I progress because there’s no cameras or job associated with it. You can’t film it because you can’t slow down.

because there’s no cameras or job associated with it. You can’t film it because you can’t slow down. pressure of the big objectives and I can just be who I am. When I was a kid and would be fighting

ML: Except this time, you did film it? Kye: Ya, follow-cam only though. Half the shots didn’t work because I am too far ahead, but I think we still got that vibe of just being on the hill with 23



your friends, laughing and having fun. It’s raw, it’s just “follow me and see what happens.”

ML: Do you ever think about skiing competitively again? Kye: If there was a ski tour like Travis Rice’s Natural Selection tour…I wish there was something like that because I need to have a goal I can focus on. But the type of skiing I want to do doesn’t really align with the contests out there right now. Hitting icy hard pack with 20-year-old kids is not my scene.

ML: You talk about goals, and now that you’re 33 and the future is this kind of great wide open, are you setting goals? Or what are you thinking? Kye: I’m letting things unfold. I’m learning that—to go where life wants to go. It’s hard because up to

now I have been very goal-driven, creating things and following a more rigid path and deciding on outcomes and making them happen rather than letting things happen. I’m trying to be better at letting things happen now. I’ll never ever be more than whatever my dad would’ve been, but only time will tell what life’s like beyond thirty-three.

Find all four episodes of Sacred Grounds on YouTube. Episode 5 drops late November/early December.


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“As a skier, my favourite part is the riding, hands down, but as a photographer I almost prefer to see images of us—skiers and riders— climbing our objectives. I’ve always found the finesse involved with climbing up a ski route to be the most attractive part of the process. I find myself drawn to the physical and thought process of the climb— how we each decide to make our way up and how we go in, out, or around obstacles, hazards and challenges. In this shot, you can feel the exposure—both below and above—and the delicateness of the climb. With the small stature of the skiers, we get a sense of what lies ahead before they actually reach the top of the line. And how the face looks without any turns spread out on the snow. The photo can give you an idea where the line will be without giving you all the information yet.” Yan Kaczynski Takhinsha Mountains, Alaska/BC border.


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LEFT Professional stitchers Dina Watt and Nathan Knock crafting the goods circa 1998. RIGHT An early product wall. INSET: The evolution of Rob's handmade foot lasts. (Lucy the Last was a key creation.) COURTESY INTUITION LINERS

Foam-O Intuition celebrates 30 years of ski boots sucking less

Since the beginning of time (or at least since the invention of plastic), ski boots have sucked. Stiff, cold, tight, clunky, painful…sucked. But did you know there was an actually a time when snowboard boots sucked too? Maybe even more? “In those early days we would just cram ski-boot liners into our Sorels*,” explains Canadian snowboard legend Kevin Sansalone. “Then snowboard boots came out and they were so big and bulky and crappy that we were all trying to jam our feet into extra small boots. I guess I was about 17 when I first heard about Intuition.” Conceived by a core Whistler backcountry skier named Byron Gracie, Intuition liners were the industry’s first heat-mouldable boot liners. Gracie teamed up with two buddies, Herb Lang and Rob Watt, and the trio sourced a closed-cell foam (think of those old thin sleeping pads for camping) and designed a liner with a wrap-around shape rather than a tongue. The result, even early on, were new pinnacles of warmth, comfort, and foot-hugging responsiveness that worked for both skiers and snowboarders of the ’90s, a time when the two sports were definitely not on good terms. “It was crazy,” Sansalone recalls. “We were snowboarders from North Van and a lot of people dissed us back then, especially in Whistler. We used to get into fights up there, but here I was, a kid really, going down into this gnarled old skier-dude’s basement to get this hot new thing that was gonna revolutionize our winter. It felt like we were going into a dungeon to see a wizard or something, scary and exciting at the same time. But the liners were super low-profile and warm. I loved them. Looking back at it, for this older generation of skiers to just open their doors and share their inventions with us… way back then. It was pretty cool.”

A couple years into the Intuition origin story, Rob Watt bought out his partners and carried on the mad-scientist, hand-designed quest for the perfect liner. Sansalone remained a fan, and continued to give rider feedback over the next decade+ when his boot sponsors at thirtytwo signed on to what would become Intuition’s longest running partnership. “I met Rob when I was two,” says Intuition president Crystal Maguire. “I was about 11 when he started Intuition, he lived upstairs from the basement suite my mom and I shared and I remember him cooking boot liners in the kitchen and carving feet and legs out of wood because he couldn’t find any lasts that went above the ankle. He used to carry around a tiny model skeleton of the foot that he would play with, just always trying to build a better boot liner.” For Intuition, the early focus was making lightweight and warm liners that could custom mould to your feet but wouldn’t pack out over time. The design featured a single-seam and a wrap-around front that held the foot in the boot better than the customary tongue design. Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam seemed to work best but finding the perfect density/mix was a challenge, especially as the ski industry began to realize Intuition was changing the game and began looking to bite their ideas. “There is a lot of low-quality EVA out there,” explains Maguire, who apprenticed under Watt as a teenager, learning the practical, boot-fitting skills, then the business side, before eventually stepping in as president in October 2016. “And every foam acts differently, especially at different temperatures. Eventually we decided to just figure it out ourselves so we recruited an old chemist and spent the next five years perfecting the process. That foam is our rock—we need to be all in on that 100 per cent. Rob said, ‘I’ll make the perfect foam, even if it kills me.’” 31

It didn’t. Intuition has been rocking their own proprietary foam since 2013. Maguire even has a small bedroom in their factory in China to stay as close and hands-on to their product as possible. The market fluctuates, but these days Intuition is making 350400,000 boot liners a year, though their proprietary foam is gaining

over the past three decades and took everything apart, pulled out seams where we could, remixed it and now we are down from 33 models to 17. It’s nice to feel like we’re not starting from scratch. We’re a small, tight company and I like it that way—everyone is self-managing, we can adapt, make quick decisions. Rob calls it a ‘horizontal company,’ we don’t worry too much about titles. Pet friendly, kid friendly, party Here I was, a kid really, going down into this gnarled old skierfriendly, West Coast vibes.” Of the people, for the people. And while dude’s basement to get this hot new thing that was gonna there’s no question Intuition has made ski boots revolutionize our winter. It felt like we were going into a dungeon suck less over the years, snowboard boots are definitely winning the comfort footrace. Which is to see a wizard or something, scary and exciting at the same time. where the Intuition après booties come in. More on those another time (but sliding into them interest from glove manufacturers, lacrosse padding companies, the after a day in ski boots is literally the best thing to happen to the Norwegian military, backpack makers, and a company who make sport since fat skis). Innovation never sleeps at Intuition (but it might preventative and rehabilitative braces for injured horses, to name a come in a bit late on a pow day). –Feet Banks few. But when it comes to their game-changing liners, this year the Intuition team is going back to their roots. * For American and overseas readers—pretty much every Canadian “The 30th anniversary liners are all simplified,” explains Maguire, kid in the 1990s wore Sorels—a shin-high, nylon boot with a felt who still personally heat-fits dozens of liners a year for customers liner—as their everyday winter boot. Great for tobogganing in, but and professional athletes. “We took all the models that worked best very floppy and unsupportive for snowboarding.

Intution early adopter Kevin Sansalone feels (and shows) the difference a good liner makes. 2016.




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Stories on the Mountain Significant firsts on one of Sea to Sky’s most iconic mountains words :: Feet Banks For any rational skier or snowboarder, daydreams of sliding down Mount Currie command the imagination much in the way the mountain itself dominates the southern skyline from almost anywhere in the Pemberton Valley. More so than the actual height above sea level, much of Currie’s visual allure comes from its web of steep chutes and couloirs and its prominence—the sheer drop from summit to base. “Mount Currie is 2,596 metres or 8,517 feet high,” longtime local Pemberton photographer Dave Steers writes in one of his many odes to the mountain. “It rises 2,300 metres or 7,546 feet above its base. What’s rather amazing is that Mount Everest—while 8,848 metres or 29,029 feet high and consequently a whole lot higher than Currie—rises only 3,500 metres or 11,483 feet. Thus, Mount Currie’s rise is over two thirds that of Mount Everest!” The altitude is, of course, vastly different but many a big mountain tale has been written beneath (and on) the storied slopes of Mount Currie. It was officially named back in 1911 after John Currie, an early settler to the area. For thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years before that, however, the Lil’wat people had their own name for the steep, towering massif: Tzśil, meaning “slides on the mountain” after the numerous avalanches and rockslides that tumble down its face throughout the year, almost as if the mountain itself is alive. The Lil’wat people have legends of massive serpents carving up the rock chutes on the mountain’s north face, and of two mischievous hunters turned to stone up on the western ridge by the Transformers. Since the mid-1980s, skiers from Whistler, Pemberton (and beyond) have added their stories to the mountain, climbing and skiing the same chutes and gullies that helped give the peak its original name. And yet, for all those descents over all those years of steep, deep, and sometimes harrowing ski and snowboard action, there remained a few stories untold…

Talon Pascal drops into the first ski descent of Tzśil by members of the Lil'wat Nation.




> chapter 1

Slides on the Mountain In 2022, Lil’wat snowboarder Sandy Ward rode the mountain she grew up under—a first for the Lil’wat Nation. Last spring, she returned with two teenaged Lil’wat skiers—Talon and Riki Pascal—and a film crew, to share and capture the experience of Riki and Talon rediscovering and reconnecting to their territory through sport. The resulting film, Slides on

the Mountain will screen at the Whistler Film Festival in December with a public release planned for later this winter. ABOVE With distinct personalities on display in the Slides on the Mountain film, Riki (left) and Talon both share a love of hunting and skiing. BELOW Morgan Fluery (centre-left) and Sandy Ward planning the mission with the boys.


Sandy Ward Ever since I started snowboarding, I’ve looked at Tśzil in a different way. I had heard of a couple kids skiing it when I was younger, but how would I ever get the skills to do it myself? It took me almost 20 years—the snowboarding part was easy, but the backcountry knowledge took time. It wasn’t until I met my partner, Morgan Fleury that I began to learn those skills. He taught me how to stay as safe as possible in the mountains. It was him that told me I could ride the mountain I grew up under. After years of planning and scoping, our weather window came one sunny day in March 2022. We wanted to show the mountain the respect it deserved, so we decided to hike it. Also, we couldn’t afford a helicopter. At first it just seemed like a regular thing, a snowboarder riding a big mountain. I didn’t realize that I was the first person from the Lil’wat Nation to ride that mountain. What’s the significance? People come from all over the world to challenge this mountain, yet not one local has been given the opportunity. I had to fight my way up through the snowboard industry—finding a mentor, sponsors, opportunities—and I started working with the Indigenous Life Sport Academy (ILSA) because I wanted to help ensure the youth didn’t have to face the same industry hurdles I faced. It was Morgan’s idea to take Riki and Talon up Tzśil for the first Lil’wat ski descent. Working and volunteering with ILSA for years, he understands and sees firsthand the importance of Indigenous people reconnecting to their territories. So, starting in September of 2022 and running throughout the winter, we began teaching the boys everything they’d need for this mission—days, weeks spent 38

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skiing steeps, touring, learning to use ropes, harnesses, avalanche gear. Practicing, practicing, practicing. The day finally came in March 2023. Gathered at the Pemberton airport that morning, I could feel the excitement, the nerves, the fear in everyone. From the heli drop atop the mountain, we had to descend down a bit then transition to skins and tour, then boot pack, then rope up and climb to the entrance of the couloir—all the skills the boys had practiced coming into play. And then, as we reached the top of the couli…Poof!! The cornice dropped, sliding down the mountain taking all our fresh pow with it. Things just got real. Faced with a 50-degree slope of chalky avy path, we rappelled in one at a time and gathered in the central couloir 1,800 metres above the valley floor. The only way out of this was down. Thinking of a calf injury I’d sustained six weeks earlier, I breathed through my adrenaline and dropped in first. Would my leg hold? Was it strong enough? My leg gave out on the second turn. Tumbling, accelerating, I frantically grabbed at the snow and finally clawed to a stop 70 metres downslope. The pain was quickly replaced by sadness, by realization. I could sideslip out of the couloir, but I’d need a heli vac off the mountain. I wanted to stay, I wanted to see the boys, I wanted to make sure they were going to be okay. Watching them drop, then those first hopping jump turns, then linking turns…my sadness turned to joy. Not only were they doing it, they were doing it well. They didn’t need me there, they had this on their own, with Morgan to encourage and witness this achievement. I let them go, realizing that this is not about skiing a gnarly mountain for a significant “first”, or about “reclaiming” our land. It’s about getting back out on the land that we never gave up, reconnecting and enjoying it on our own terms. Knowing that it’s there whenever we are ready for it.”

ABOVE Sandy Ward, first Tzśil descent by a member of the Lil'wat Nation. 2022.


MORGAN FLEURY. BELOW Earning the turns. Talon (ahead) and Riki nearing the summit ridge of the mountain they grew up under.


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Alex Cairns, in the powdery guts of Tzśil's first sit-ski descent.


> chapter 2

Top of the Hit List

Alex Cairns

Paralympian and big-mountain sit-skier Alex Cairns doesn’t make definitive winter goals, but he definitely keeps a “hit list,” and according to perennial Mountain Life contributor Jimmy Martinello, Mount Currie was “one of the bigger ones on the list.” So Martinello, who’s been skiing big lines with Cairns on Whistler Blackcomb and the adjacent backcountry for a number of years, made some calls and assembled a crew. And on March 30, 2023, Cairns loaded his sit-ski into a heli and joined Martinello, Mountain Life publisher Jon Burak, Valtteri Rantala, and Tzśil descent veteran John Johnson to make an attempt at the Diagonal line on the mountain’s storied north face.

“Almost everything you do on a sit-ski is a first these days, so it’s kind of funny, but a big one was before we even left the ground, we learned that the sit-ski fits in the cheek [side storage compartment] of the heli without disassembly—that’s important because anything that makes it easier for me to load and unload is a big win as far as efficient use of time for the team and the pilot. We got dropped right on the edge of the couloir. Some years there is a cornice and you have to rappel in, but this year the wind was in our favour. The decision was to put me on a rope, and I could take a look and drop in on the left side if I felt it was fine. The crew was so dialled, by the time I got into my ski they had an anchor set and the rope ready. Luckily, a glacier harness is low-profile enough, I can keep one on while in the sit-ski.


I got to the edge, realized I could ski it no problem, untied and dropped in. Conditions were tough—some crusty boot-top pow on the left, but the right side had been pulverized by a cornice drop. The conditions changed from turn to turn, so that was a bit spooky but it was too beautiful to really give a shit about the snow—easily the prettiest line I have ever skied. Getting out was what I worried about the most. When would we lose snow and I’d have to walk? I am fortunate in that I use a sit-ski but can still “walk” with crutches without help. If I was a full paraplegic, someone would have had to carry me and my sit-ski. That’s a different ball game, especially in avy areas. The team still had to rope me up and lower me six times over ice and rock in some of the melted-out gullies, but John really had our exit route dialled. Straying off course, even 50 metres would have meant I’d have get out of the sit-ski, scramble up, then clip back in—that could easily cost us 30 minutes or more. Down low, we ducked into the looker’s left-most avy path, which meant I could slide/sidehill down and stay seated. Knowing that the bottom was doable in less time than I’d imagined gives me ideas and something to base conversations around as far as what worked and what didn’t. I can share what I learned with other sit-skiers and use the knowledge from this mission as I look at my own future days in the mountains. Mostly though, I want to acknowledge and thank Jimmy, Jon, Valtteri, and John. I had previously only ever skied with Jimmy but the whole team was ready for anything and not afraid to give it a try. It takes a special crew that will do a big heli drop like this, knowing it could potentially turn into an epic by bringing me along.”

Commitment. Cairns drops in.



> prologue

Flashback: The First Time In May of 1985, Beat Steiner and Peter Chrzanowski climbed straight up that towering, prominent rise of Tzśil, set up a basecamp at 5,500 feet, then skied two separate chutes, including the now classic Diagonal, over the next two days. It was the first known descent of the north face.

ABOVE "What, no parade?" Steiner (left) and Chzranowski return from the first descent. PETER CHZRANOWSKI BELOW: Vancouver Province, May 14, 1985.

Beat Steiner “I don’t want to call it a ‘race,’ but Trevor Petersen had been up there a week earlier trying to ski another line and had had come back because the avy hazard was so bad. It must have been colder when we went because Peter and I didn’t have any issues. Back in those days, there used to be a lot more snow in May. There was avy debris to the valley and we hiked straight up the belly, falling rocks kept coming right past our heads.”

Peter Chrzanowski “We were pretty lucky on the way up to not get killed by falling rocks. We set up camp on the fan where the rock bands and the couloirs started, overnighting on a small ridge with a spectacular view of the Pemberton Valley below. The next morning, after a wrong turn and a dead-end chute, we found the entrance to what is now known as Diagonal Chute, an amazing run 30 feet wide leading to the summit ridge. It was not as steep as it looked from the valley, but the climb was long and tiring. We climbed left around a sizeable cornice and, after another 45 minutes of ski touring, reached the summit. Protected by the shadow of a rock outcropping, we skied back down the chute in thigh-deep light powder, in May, the town of Pemberton directly below us. I always thought Tzśil resembled a little Eiger of sorts. Perhaps that’s why some of the area’s first non-Indigenous settlers were of Swiss origin. Maybe they settled at the foot of it because this mountain felt like home.” 44






evo Photographer Jacob Smith captures a team tour up Journeyman Peak before descending for a wood-fired sauna and cold-plung après.



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“We got lucky. The time to explore Vancouver Island is when big precip off the Pacific slams into an Arctic cold front. We got almost a metre overnight and with the freezing temps, it just got dryer and dryer. Mount Arrowsmith used to be a ski hill back in the day and the runs are still there. There was so much snow, anything we could get the sleds up wasn’t steep enough to ride down, and anything rideable was too steep to sled up. It was too deep, but also totally amazing. Life is funny that way, two opposing things can be true at the same time. “ Mark Gribbon Mount Arrowsmith, Vancouver Island (L to R) Trevan Salmon, Joel Loverin, Brittany Davis


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Move It On Over... Ten female action sports photographers you should know.

words :: Jessy Braidwood

INSET Celeste Pomerantz, vintage tuck. MAIN Kajsa Larsson, Whistler backcountry. PORTRAIT MASON MASHON



Most action sport imagery is shot by dudes. And it’s time to change that. Even the most inspiring images, if produced through only one lens or one avenue of perspective, ultimately fail to represent the full spectrum of human experience. I don’t say this in a girl power, rah-rah-rah, strong-woman way (gag!), I mean it in a normal, human being way. The dudes are amazing, but they’re all dudes. I know (and love/respect/am in awe of) a lot of these dudes. I’ve spent the last 12 years on the other side of the lens working as a professional action sport model/athlete. I’ve also been shooting photos for the past few years and every time—every single time—I show a photo I’m excited about to a woman, the response is some version of “Hell yes! Exactly, THIS!” The photographic standard in adventure sport has been set by and for the male perspective. There have been outliers, but this single-perspective representation reaches far beyond athletes and photographers and up into the world of marketing agencies, team mangers, brand CEOs, magazine publishers, and beyond. It’s a boys’ club—it always has been, and it still is. Which is understandable—it’s easy and comfortable and natural to work with people we know, or want to know, or people who know people we know. This isn’t wrong or right; it’s just how it is. So let’s change it, by doing the same thing. The following pages feature some of the incredible female photographers I want to know, because I connect to and am

inspired by the way they see the mountains, the ocean, and sport—and how their friends spend time there. And yes, they are all women, because their photographic visions are different. To me, it’s a difference in feeling, in vision, in vulnerability and connection. And this is where the beauty lies, especially when women photograph other women. For all my years in front of the camera, I only ever shot with one woman (shout out Robin O’Neill!), but I remember how it felt, and I am seeing the same thing now that I’m behind the camera—it’s about being captured and seen for who you are, not as a prop, token, or unnatural, out-of-context sexual entity. Women add value to the outdoor world through their unique experiences. They can see the same strong action or inspiring environments and shoot them in a completely different way. This is what makes art great, is it not? The fresh look, the hot take, the new way of seeing a familiar and loved thing so that it opens our souls and breaks our perceptions of what is…and what can be. But don’t take my word for it, check out these next few pages and see for yourself.

jessy braidwood HOMEBASE Whistler SHOOTING SINCE 2019 INSTAGRAM @jessybraidwood “My theory is that women have had to shoot “conventionally” (clean, crisp, focusing on the action) to be taken seriously. And now we are starting to shoot however the hell we want. Which is amazing.”


TOP Monashee moonscape. BOTTOM Malou Peterson, Monashee Range.

laura szanto HOMEBASE Revelstoke SHOOTING SINCE 2015 INSTAGRAM @lauraszanto “When you’re in a male-dominated atmosphere, it can feel like swimming against the current sometimes. But growing up with Hungarian parents who weren’t connected to Canadian culture prepared me for life as an action/adventure photographer. It gave me the gift of observation, and taught me to show up prepared and ready to work hard and hustle. Being different and having to adapt is a skill that translates to shooting with weather, elements and people that are simply out of my control. Also, having a last name no one can pronounce builds character.”




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Erin Hogue HOMEBASE Whistler SHOOTING SINCE 2009 INSTAGRAM @erinhogue “When I first started, I felt like if I worked really hard no one will notice that I’m a woman. But as I went, I realized—oh, that’s still a thing. For years people would question my sledding skills, like I was always last picked. But I’m still here going to places that are unlike anywhere else and meeting some pretty amazing people. I like the challenge of working all day to get a single shot, or to get into a place most people in the world will never see for themselves. That’s rewarding.” 58

TOP Garrett Warnick, Haines, Alaska. BOTTOM Taylor Godber, Haines, Alaska.



MAIN Blake Marshall, Shames Mountain, B.C. INSET Ian Morrison (back) & Thea Zerbe, Blackcomb Mountain.

abby cooper HOMEBASE Squamish SHOOTING SINCE Age 8 INSTAGRAM @abbydells “Rewind 15 years ago when I was young, the ‘token female’ in a far more male-dominated industry. Back then I would dream of working with all females—to ditch the cringe comments, to escape the idea of pleasing the old-boys club and to speak candidly with peers. At the same time, I’m grateful for the many incredible males I worked with who absolutely were not those dude stereotypes. Now, I’d say it’s less about gender and more about the individuals I work with. I love where we are all headed collectively, these experiences we create as a team.” 60


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Zoya Lynch HOMEBASE Revelstoke SHOOTING SINCE 2009 INSTAGRAM @zoyalynch “I started when I was 18 and had a girl posse to shoot and everyone had a blog or a Tumblr account and needed pictures. I won a big contest at age 22—$5,000—and it was like my dream upon dreams. Now, photography is my only employable skill—it’s a career and a lifestyle and a language and a creative outlet. It’s a blessing and a curse but there’s just something that needs to come out through shooting…I love it so much.”

MAIN Nat Segal, Dolomites Italy. INSET Isaac Kamink, Golden, B.C.




Photo : ©Maximilian Draeger


TOP Mathea Olin, Cox Bay, B.C. BOTTOM LEFT Amanda, Vancouver Island. BOTTOM RIGHT Adam Tory, North Chesterman, B.C.

Steffi Jade HOMEBASE Tofino SHOOTING SINCE 2018 INSTAGRAM @steffijade “My intrigue with photography began when I was a little kid and found a Polaroid camera of my parents and blew through their entire cartridge of film on pictures of blades of grass. Then my grandfather got me a pointand-shoot and started taking me on photo adventures. I just love having to take a vision in my mind and put it into something tangible. I get this intense excitement shooting surfing, when I’ve battled the shore pound, swam back out, and my friend catches a perfect wave right in front of me and I just know I’ve got the shot!”


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MIRAE CAMPBELL HOMEBASE Squamish SHOOTING SINCE 2016 INSTAGRAM @miraecampbell “Photography allows me to connect with people intimately, I get to see a side of them very few others do. I‘m not sure I remember if it was difficult to break into this field, I generally tend to put my head down and muscle through things. I’ve noticed lately that occasionally clients will call to inquire about jobs and tell me, that although they are familiar with some of my work, they are mostly looking to hire me because I am a woman of colour. I wish to be hired not because I am helping a brand look outwardly progressive, but because my experiences and quality of work have allowed me to occupy space in the industry. To follow world class athletes into challenging environments and connect with them and create good images is not something just anyone can do. I want to get jobs because I deserve to be there, and if someone else is better suited I hope they get the job.”

Caley Vanular, Myoko, Japan.




From ideation to creation, the Odin backcountry collection was designed to answer our ski patrollers’ needs for every moment.


TOP Luka Lindic, Norway. BOTTOM Christina Lusti, Smithers, B.C.

Angela Percival HOMEBASE Squamish SHOOTING SINCE 2010 INSTAGRAM @angepercival “I love the creative process, coming up with ideas and going to make them happen. For me it has always been about following my own path and stay true to what I love to shoot to give people an emotional buzz with the work. I think it’s important to tap into who you are, not what the next person is doing, and the work will show your passion. That’s what sets you apart and, I think, that is what’s the most fulfilling. And work your ass off. 69


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Mikaela Kautzky HOMEBASE: Vancouver, on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm(Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations SHOOTING SINCE: 2004 (for fun) and 2022 (full time professionally) INSTAGRAM @mik00k “I love play. I engage with sports and art as forms of playing, like fooling around, being silly, and making stuff up or figuring it out on the fly. I love the world-building aspect of photography and the spreading joy aspect of working with underrepresented groups. Snow sports make winters way more tolerable but are also super expensive and have a long way to go in terms of becoming more accessible to those who have been marginalized or denied access.” Sophia Zhichkina, Oslo Norway.

71 71


Robin O’Neill HOMEBASE Whistler SHOOTING SINCE 1995 INSTAGRAM @robinoneill "And then the other part of me just says: let the images speak for themselves." MAIN Austin Ross, Tyax, Chilcotin Ranges.


The last word from the OG I love this. Because it feels like women photographers finally have a community to look up to, learn from, and to be inspired by. And I didn’t really have that. My photographic journey started in the late 1990s, documenting non-profit work of womenfocused, economic diversification projects in Africa and Guyana. Back then, my dream was to one day be on assignment for National Geographic. Instead, I ended up in Whistler—30 years old, living a mountain life and trying to survive by shooting mountain sports. I didn’t know how to snowmobile so I would sled as far as I could then ski tour the rest of the way. Sometimes I’d beat the guys to the spot because they’d have to stop and dig out a buddy, or two…I was glad it wasn’t me—I didn’t want to be the one to slow down the group because as a “girl” it would mean something different. I learned and progressed, alone. Action sport photography is still a grind for anyone—women and men. It’s a competitive field and the big brands like to hire whoever is “cool” at the time. Same with the media (whatever media is left that will actually pay for work). So many young photographers struggle to “break in” and still can’t find the space/support to make a real career out of it. I’ve known a number of young photographers over my time, but very few have been able to survive off their love for shooting photos once things like mortgages and kids come into play. It’s not just women, this industry is hard on everyone (but it sure feels hard to be a woman). So what I love most about this photo feature is the community behind it. The support, the excitement, the passion to tear down roadblocks and share perspectives, to create opportunities for each other. Humans do better when we work together, I learned this during my time in Africa and I see it every day in the mountains and in these incredible lifestyles we pursue here. I love that it feels different than it did when I was 30. Young women are shaking it up, brands are coming on board, and new voices are getting a chance to explain themselves and share the world they see. I’m still wary though, will there be a lack of support from the old guard, from the traditional gatekeepers of who gets to go on the big trips, or work with the highest performing athletes. Who will be chosen to go on assignments with the brands and athletes that are set up to deliver the most impactful images? The ones that build a portfolio and credibility? The opportunities that lead to a career? I love the energy these young women are bringing, I love the passion, and the talent. But I’m curious who ended up with the cover shot of this magazine you’re holding. Because I know these women have strong enough work to be there. –Robin O’Neill



Adventures Film Wildfire Rescue Utility


Deep in the Waddington Range, Sand Creek Ranch is a great place to visit, and a hard place to live. words :: Taylor Godber photography :: Matthew Bruhns


The old farmer saying is, "Make hay while the sun shines," but in the Waddington range, that's a good time to make pow turns too. JEFF THOMAS



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TOP LEFT Walt and Carol, 2002 alpine pack trip. COURTESY FOSTER FAMILY. TOP RIGHT That deer wants to be a heli pilot when it grows up. BOTTOM LEFT Sand Creek Ranch as the birds see it. (left) with his sisters Pegge and Sue, and mother Pat in 1963 during the construction of the road into Sand Creek. COURTESY FOSTER FAMILY


Militantly seated in a vintage high-back chair and dressed in a tucked-in, muted checkered-pattern buttonup shirt, Walt Foster’s calloused brawny hands cradle a delicate, country rose bone china teacup. The rich, earthy aroma of brewed coffee and comforting smell of freshly baked goods rise from the warm patina table and fill the room of the 1960s farmhouse. Carol sits to his right, they’ve been married for 47 years. She's wearing blue denim and a delicately woven, cozy sweater. Their polished appearance complements their strong physiques, and the gently etched lines around their warm eyes reflect a wisdom that comes from being well connected to the land and living each day with a sense of purpose. Walt and Carol make it easy to feel at home here on their property at Sand Creek Ranch, some 250+ kilometres away from the closest traffic light but only 30 kilometres away—as the crow flies—from the tallest peak in British Columbia.

An early February storm rips outside. Fierce winds grapple with the birch trees for their limbs, as snow pummels from every direction at once. The perfectly restored farmhouse doubles as a heli-ski lodge for Bella Coola Heli Sports (BCHS) during the winter months. The uncharted nature of the terrain is the draw for adventure athletes Anna Segal, Hedvig Wessel, and me. The allure of a new (to us) zone—a cumulative tenure of 3.55 million acres—builds anticipation, even as the winter storm holds us firmly indoors, for now.

The window spanning the back living room wall frames the visual noise of cold smoke snow blowing and swirling like white TV static. But in the peaks hidden beyond that chaos lies a myriad of opportunities for first ascents, descents and classics to repeat. Basalt and andesite towers reaching for the heavens, shaped by volcanic activity and glacier erosion; moraines and ice fields blanketed in snow. A shred paradise, less than a 10-minute helicopter bump away, with some descents running 1,500-metres long.


Safe and warm inside, Walt and Carol take us time traveling with historical tales, legends and stories of what it’s like to live on a working ranch at the toe of the Waddington Range. The stone framing the fire we’re gathered around (as well as the home’s foundation) is granite that Walt’s father split with a sledgehammer back in the 1960s while building his vision of living offgrid and building out a survival school. Down valley, sandwiched between Twist Lake and Middle Lake, surrounded by towering peaks, Walt’s father explored the land by horseback in the early ‘60s, and nailed in a post to stake his claim. He then set off to apply for the land. The government agreed to sell it to him, but Walt tells us there was one condition: “They said, ‘We’re not going to have any part of getting you to it.’”

Discussing his workdays, Walt once told me, “When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp. What I mean is sometimes you get so busy with your nose to the grindstone, doing stuff that needs to be done, that you forget to look up and to really appreciate everything around.”

ABOVE Anna Segal checks the scenery. BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT Anna Segal, Taylor Godber, Hedvig Wessel.


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“Around here you don’t go looking for adventure,” Walt says, “because adventure will find you.”

Over the next couple years Walt’s dad would need over a hundred 50-pound boxes of dynamite and the use of a tiny bulldozer just to break a lane at the bottom of the bluff. And that’s just the story of the road into Sand Creek, never mind the floods, fires and avalanches. “Around here you don’t go looking for adventure,” Walt says, “because adventure will find you.” Behind the glass door of the fireplace, a freshly added log crackles, interrupting a moment of silence as plumes of smoke drift from the hearth and dance into the living room in a serpentine

motion not unlike the paths of the azure blue tributaries we’d seen on the short helicopter flight from Anahim Lake Airport to the ranch. Stretches of wilderness, no people in sight, and the thought of making the trek without aircraft feels overwhelming and crazy, especially during this storm. Yet that’s how it was done by prospectors, adventurers and trappers for quite some time. Perhaps the most storied of those early souls who hauled their own provisions in heavy oiled canvas bags and bushwhacked their way through the Homathko River valley were Phyllis and Don

Anna Segal lays one out before the storms arrive.


Munday. With over 100 peaks visited (the majority of which were first ascents) in British Columbia and Alberta, the badass explorer duo first set eyes on Mount Waddington while hiking Vancouver Island’s Mount Arrowsmith. Just the peak of this “mystery mountain” was visible, but for the Mundays it stoked enough curiosity to drive multiple trips into the Waddington Range with their hearts set on summiting Waddington itself. They made several summit attempts, and in 1934 even climbed onto the Northwest summit (3,997 metres, 13,117 feet). The Northwest summit is a secondary peak, and unfortunately conditions and fate never lined up for the Mundays to stand on the Main summit (4,019 metres, 13,186 feet). We are all here—Anna, Hedvig, myself, photographer Matt Bruhns, cinematographer Jeff Thomas, and Bella Coola Heli Sports (BCHS) guides Klemen Mali and Dave Ellison—in hopes of fully immersing ourselves into some of the technical terrain that’s brought international recognition to the area. Mother Nature has other plans. She gave us a window to get a taste for the deep perfect powder tree skiing on day one, but since then we have been hunkered down

in the lodge, peaks obscured, helicopters grounded. Walt and Carol’s storytelling, memories, and carefully preserved artifacts that hang on the hydrangea print wallpaper—an old photo of Walt bull riding, a worn saddle, a detailed illustration of a flintlock pistol—mix well with the modern-day amenities of stark white sheets, nourishing meals, a wood burning hot tub and omnipresent wifi. This intermingling appears seamlessly woven together, but looking a bit deeper, past the comforts, it quickly becomes apparent how much effort is required to keep an off-grid space running, let alone a working ranch. Even in summer, when the fierce winter storms abate, Walt and Carol mount horses and drive more than two hundred cattle to various meadows, lakes, valleys, and even up into the alpine regions. And of course, there’s always firewood to collect… That four-season effort extends well beyond their own benefit, and that of us guests enjoying the remote privacy of the ranch. A life in the wild requires a healthy respect for, and desire to protect, that which provides, as well as the flora and fauna that share the space. The valley is a corridor for grizzlies, seasonal black bears, cougars, moose, foxes and wolves. Walt and Carol have observed

TOP LEFT There's something about big, isolating storms and good Scotch. TOP RIGHT Sand Creek lodgings are built to last. BOTTOM LEFT When you need a break from sitting around the fire, you tub. BOTTOM RIGHT Then back to the fire.


ABOVE The author, comtemplating how to write a shred story when you're about to get trapped in the lodge by relentless storms. BELOW Taylor Godber, contemplating something else.

elk remerging, moose trickling back—and one biologist gave feedback that the bear population was benefiting from the sensitivity and awareness of how they have limited access to the trails and roads at the valley floor by means of a gate some 15 kilometres away on their road. It keeps traffic out. They know that wildlife truly can’t be pushed much further than this valley. Which is why time spent at Sand Creek is a gift, even as our projected shred days succumb to the power of the storms outside. To be welcomed into this tranquil home, built on a foundational ethos of caring for the land, breathes a reminder for me that on trips like these, experiences always prevail over things; that it’s the people we meet along the way, the souls we journey with, the stories that are shared cliffside or around the fire, and the moments in between the action that shift our perspective—this is what this is all about. The skiing has been and will always be a bonus.

“It’s all so marvelously exciting. Even though we started out on a quest for our Mystery Mountain, we ended up with a lifetime of options, and a lifetime of adventures. Every time—it doesn’t matter whether it is a storm or sunshine—it is always worth it.” -Phyllis Munday (1894-1990)


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TO MAKE HUT SUSHI sushi, (albeit way less tasty) you can also buy OceanWise-certified canned tuna or salmon and premix it with diced green onion and mayo. Add a squirt of sriracha for instant spicy sushi. words + illustrations - Carmen Kuntz

ROLL IT It’s not a skill that will save your life. It won’t give you more hours in the day to shred, nor provide world peace. But making a tight little roll of rice, fish and veggies is guaranteed add some flavour and fun to any backcountry ski hut evening. By incorporating local and seasonal ingredients, making homemade hut sushi is equal parts experimentation and art form—a way to play with tastes, textures and colours that will leave you fueled with healthy, fun food for any winter adventure. So how can we turn the wide counter of the Kees and Claire Spearhead hut into a mini Tokyo strip, create an intimate night of candle-lit decadence at that “super-secret(ish)” renegade cabin, or invoke mad envy from the in-crowd at the Elfin Lakes Shelter? It’s simpler than it sounds:

Use a knife to cut the nori in half crosswise and lay it shiny side down on a clean, flat surface (two fat powder skis should work). Nori on the outside is simplest to roll and cut (no rolling mat needed!). Wet your fingers in a cup of snow and distribute the water across your palms to prevent the rice from sticking. Scrape an egg-sized ball of rice into your hand ensuring not to compress it, and distribute it across the seaweed leaving a two-centimetre strip of naked nori on the short edge. In the centre of the rice, lay the veggies and fish, ensuring even distribution for a uniformly thick roll. Roll using thumbs to roll and fingers to gently stuff the contents inside (fans of Snoop Dogg seem naturally better at this step). Rolls should be tight enough that the contents hold shape, but not so tight that the nori splits. Temaki (aka: hand rolls or cones) are even easier, just use a bit less rice and roll on a 45-degree angle.



Rice is the glue that holds sushi together, so it’s the most important ingredient. While difficult to perfect on a camp stove, some artistic licence is granted when you’re deep out there. Buy short-grain Japanese rice, follow the instructions carefully, and keep a close eye while cooking. Once cooked, put the pot outside in the snow for a few minutes and mix sushi vinegar in with a spoon by flipping the rice over lightly. Rice should be cool—not cold—and nice and fluffy. (Premix the sushi vinegar at home by warming about ½ cup rice vinegar and adding 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon salt).

Sushi is an edible art form, therefore presentation is paramount. Place the roll on a nearby snowboard (topsheet not base) and grab your sharpest knife. Squamish-Whistler sushi master Hiro once told me, “The key to cutting sushi to trying not to cut”. Use long, smooth sawing motions, with minimal pressure. Stagger the pieces like fallen dominos.

CUT VEGGIES Sushi is as much about texture as it is about taste, and fresh veggies add consistency and colour as well. If possible, buy seasonal greens like spinach or kale from local farmers who have mastered the fourseason greenhouse. Use a peeler to get thin strips of carrot and cucumber. For added wow factor, smuggle up an avocado or two— that texture is irreplaceable.

PREP FISH If your hut sushi experience will include fish, be sure you buy sushi-grade fish only, as it must be handled specifically in order to be eaten raw. Grocery store seafood is handled different than sushi-grade seafood and most edible sea creatures must be frozen to kill parasites. However, for backpack and wallet-friendly

Serve with the extra soy packets you saved from last week’s take away sushi and don’t worry about chop sticks—in Japan it’s totally acceptable to eat with your hands. Don’t forget a tube of wasabi. Also important, remove the hip flask of sake you’ve previously stashed in your innermost thermal layer and share a warm sip while giving thanks for the what the soil and sea provide. Here’s to oppulance at altitude! 91

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Book Reviews It gets dark quite early this time of year (and daylight savings time doesn’t help), so there’s really no better time to hunker down and let your eyeballs feast on a good book. Here are a few local books of note we think are worth checking out or will make great Christmas gifts. Or both.

GO TO THE START: LIFE AS A WORLD CUP SKI RACER By Michael Janyk How does it feel to dedicate everything to a dream? And what happens when you never quite get there? Whistler skier Mike Janyk traces the roots of his passion for ski racing and how it powered him through all the ups and downs of a 14-year career as one of Canada’s elite alpine athletes. And yet for all the insider details, the Olympics (three), the podiums, and rock-star-like tales from the road that come naturally with traveling the globe to compete amongst the world’s best, Go to the Start hits the hardest when Mike allows us inside the complex emotions, torment and anxieties that naturally swirl amongst the adventure, comedy and elusive victories along this high-speed, coming-of-age journey. –Feet Banks

ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB: POEMS By Danny Peart A poet’s life is not an easy one, but Danny Peart has added in the challenge of climbing Grouse Mountain 100 times (so far). He also rises to the task of putting into words, those quiet moments, ethereal emotions and occasionally mad-rushing mindscapes so many of us pursue through a life in the mountains. Alongside his own free verse (and the most romantic pizza box poem I’ve read), Danny includes wisdom of his mentors, heroes, and his late buddy Big Ed, who once told him, “It’s only in writing that kernels of ideas become full, meaningful expressions.” Danny wisely spends at least one week a month living at the base of Whistler Mountain. And it must be working because this is his third book and there’s a street named after him in his hometown of Port Dalhousie, Ontario. –Feet Banks

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: STORIES ABOUT TRUST, COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK By Tristan Rodgers in collaboration with Mac Marcoux Paralympic and World Para-Alpine Ski Champion Mac Marcoux skis with no central vision and only six per cent peripheral. As Mac’s visual guide, Tristan Rodgers writes about the deep partnership, trust, dedication and respect required for the duo to succeed. And while learning what it takes to rebound from injury (as a team) and win a silver medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing certainly has broad appeal, local Coast Mountain rippers will be equally intrigued by Tristan’s tales of skiing with Mac down classic Whistler Mountain lines like The Coffin, or Excitation. With More Than Meets the Eye, Tristan digs beyond the arena of athletic excellence and taps into the universally human traits—trust, resilience, compromise—that build champion mindsets in all aspects of life. (Full disclosure: Mountain Life’s Feet Banks supported Tristan on this book with some editing suggestions and comma re-arranging.) –Mary-Jane Castor


BEATING THE IMPOSSIBLE: A LIFE OF COMEBACKS, EXTREME SPORTS AND PTSD By Don Schwartz An early pioneer of Canadian snowboarding, and overall North American Champion in 1998, Don Schwartz is as badass as it gets. At age 20, he survived a tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of three of his friends and left him badly burned. After months in the burn unit, Schwartz returns to snowboarding and goes on to compete and win in various outdoor survival competitions, all with the demons of PTSD chasing close behind. An incredible story of resilience and positivity, Beating the Impossible offers access into one of the most extraordinary minds, and lives, in Sea to Sky history. –Mary-Jane Castor


Inside the Belly of an Elephant, written by adventurer, motorcycle rider, storyteller and (full disclosure) Mountain Life co-publisher Todd Lawson, explores grief and family bonds, sharing the stories of his late brother Sean Lawson. In his debut book, Todd pays tribute to Sean and his escapades through the wild era of ‘90s backpacking culture. Thrill-seeker, ski bum, nature lover and travel nut, Sean’s deep need for freedom pulled him around the world. Todd draws from journal entries, letters and notes from friends to recount Sean’s life journey. Todd’s meditations on family and travel are woven throughout the book. In 1999, the two brothers embark on a motorcycle journey to explore 6,000 kilometres and six countries in southern Africa before Sean becomes violently ill. Within days, Sean passes away from cerebral malaria, a mosquito-transmitted parasite rampant in the areas through which they journey. Todd witnesses his brother’s passing, and his desire to honour Sean’s spirit shapes the narrative. With his life adrift, Todd meets his partner Christina—a fellow vagabond—and together they find healing in the mountains of the Andes and the rivers of the Amazon on a 44,000-kilometres

motorcycle trip from Whistler to Patagonia. Their adventure continues with a return to Africa almost 10 years after Sean’s passing, where they ride an incredible 23,000 kilometres and distribute hundreds of mosquito nets to aid the fight against malaria. Todd’s love for his brother is poured into the pages of this book. Inside the Belly of an Elephant is an ode to a too-short life well lived. –Kenna Ozbick

POW WITH PALS: AN EPIC TALE OF FRIENDSHIPS FORGED IN THE MOUNTAINS By Josh Munro with art by Nick Vagelatos Self-described by the author as a book of “bad rhymes and mediocre pencil crayon drawings,” Pow With Pals started as an idea: why not make a book about all the good times and fun people who love shredding Whistler and give it away to friends with young kids? And while it’s not quite hitting the same high (frozen) water mark of say, The Cremation of Sam McGee, I’d certainly take this over Goodnight Moon (because what’s with that bowl full of mush left in the kid’s room anyhow?). With dozens (hundreds?) of DIY copies already in the hands of local youth, Pow With Pals is preparing for its big, initial public offering. It’s tale as old as Whistler-time, delivered with a punk-zine heart. –Feet Banks

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Editor’s Note: at least three of these authors will be guests on the Live It Up with Mountain Life Podcast, available where ever you get your pods and at 96

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Freedom’s Just Another Word words :: Jon Turk illustration :: Lani Imre I’m driving home after three days of glorious singletrack on the continental divide east of Butte, Montana. It’s a curvy backcountry road with a river on my left, mountains all around, green pasture, black cows and no traffic. I plug in a favourite playlist and somehow the order of the songs, and the poetry of those artists, falls into place, telling the story of my life:

Sittin’ and starin’ out of the hotel window, Got a tip they’re going to kick the door in again, I’d like to get some sleep before I travel, But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in. When I was a young man—over 50 years ago—I couldn’t make sense of the nutso world I saw all around and felt a blind terror at venturing forward along the path my parents so hopefully laid out for me. Not seeing any healthy alternatives to choose from, I rebelled in sometimes petty and criminal ways—shoplifted steaks from the grocery store, managed a small-time rock and roll band, sold a little pot.

Set out running but I take my time, A friend of the Devil is a friend of mine. If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

One day I got busted in Providence, Rhode Island for excessive parking tickets. I told the gnarled old desk sergeant that it was a band truck, not really mine, and I had no idea who got what parking tickets. I figured it wasn’t my problem and shouldn’t be his problem. He laughed and threw me in the slammer with a bunch of lowlife drunks.

There must be some way outta here, said the joker to the thief. There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief. So, I did a hard re-think, and eventually found another “way outta here.” I left the band behind, lashed a canoe on top of my rig, and headed north into the great Canadian wilderness. And over a lifetime, instead of being a ‘bad boy’ I strived to be a ‘bad ass’—skiing the steepest lines, climbing the sketchiest pitches and running the most turbulent rivers and oceans that my body could manage.

Against the wind. I’m still runnin’ against the wind. I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind. ‘Cause the consumer-oriented, oil-soaked, climate-altered, politically-nutso world around me never did—and still doesn’t—make any sense.

I hustled a little pool on the side.

I’ve had a good life. And there are still so many forests to walk through, trails to ride, rivers to float, mountains to ski.

I’m talkin’ about the midnight gambler, The one you never seen before, Yeah, I’m talkin’ about the midnight gambler, Did you see him jump the garden wall?

There is a road, no simple highway, Between the dawn and the dark of night, And if you go, no one may follow, That path is for your steps alone.


But wait a minute? Is it really all that rosy? Isn’t there a downside to running away from all the assurances and conveniences offered by the modern world? Perhaps…

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. I love Janis and the unapologetic pathos of that song, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the innate despair of those words. One of the co-authors of the song, Fred Foster, expanded on that line by writing, “You may be free, but it can be painful to be that free.” I don’t agree, but it doesn’t matter, does it? Painful or joyful, I will take freedom, whatever the cost. Because leaving the wilderness behind and moving into an old-folk’s home and finally, after all these years, joining the Pepsi Generation… Nope. I can’t go there.

joints, without the original-issue compliment of cartilage and stuff. Yes. But as I drive down the road, Jerry sings...

Well, the first days are the hardest days, Don’t you worry anymore. ‘Cause when life looks like Easy Street There is danger at your door. Come hear Uncle John’s Band Playing to the tide Come on along or go alone, He’s come to take his children home.

So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains, And we never even know we have the key.

Ah, but these are just printed sentences, squiggles on a piece of paper. Ecstasy doesn’t come in words, it comes in music, in skiing a powder line, in making love. So, make your own playlists—of all kinds. I gotta go now, ride my bike. There’s fresh snow on the peaks…

What? Come on. You’re still not with me?

‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.

I know, I know you probably scream and cry, That your little world won’t let you go, But who in your measly little world Are you trying to prove that You’re made out of gold and, uh, can’t be sold?

Make your own playlist and sing along with me.

Yes, Jimi, Janis, Jerry, Bob and everyone else: The wilderness life and the van life has its discomforts. It hurts to ride up yet another steep trail over rocks and roots under the hot sun, powered by creaky old

Credits in order of appearance: Truckin’ (Grateful Dead), Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead), Midnight Rambler (Rolling Stones), All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan, also sung by Jimi Hendrix), Against the Wind (Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band), Ripple (Grateful Dead), Me and Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin), Already Gone (Eagles), Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix), Uncle John’s Band (Grateful Dead), Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix).


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Andrea Mueller words :: Kristin Schnelten Andrea Mueller is a force. Chatting with the passionate, tenacious, fiercely dedicated Whistler artist is a full-on experience, an adventure in side-stitch hilarity peppered with poignant reflection on her decades in the industry. Mueller just celebrated her first full year at Art Pop in Creekside Village. The bright and airy shop, intended initially as a few-month pop-up that just kept going, houses her studio and gallery as well as a retail area and open flex space for classes and workshops. Buzzing with colour and activity, bath bombs and textiles, the place is a feast for the senses—and is seriously cool. “Everyone says it has good vibes,” Mueller says. “Even businessmen in suits and ties who wander in during a conference. They all look around and say, ‘This place has great vibes!’”

It’s difficult to not be inspired at Art Pop, where Mueller is so content she finds herself hanging around on her days off. And the enviable opportunity to set up shop and stick around as part of Creekside’s revitalization isn’t lost on her. “I’m just so grateful the building’s owner took a chance on me, along with other people in Whistler who have supported me over the years,” she says. “I definitely wouldn’t have been able to pursue my career in the arts without them.” She didn’t just wander into that career. In characteristic Andrea style, she grabbed it by the horns and made it happen. Headed toward a life in tourism, she says, “I opened a magazine in a waiting room, and two people I went to OCAD (Ontario College of Art & Design) with were featured—and they were killing it.” Her resulting envy fueled a decision: “I have to be in the arts. I have to find a way.”


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Mueller opened a two-day pop-up shop and made a conscious effort to take a dive deep into the arts community. The pop-up lasted a year, and saw her hosting themed shows, varied programming, gallery exhibits and opening receptions that built relationships and opened doors for her next step, a tenure with Arts Whistler. “I worked for 10 years helping other artists learn and take lessons, to have a place to showcase their art, music and filmmaking—and get paid. I’m a huge advocate for the arts, of course I am,” she says. “It’s just so difficult because of a lack of funding. I would love to see big businesses get more involved in the arts; not just with children and youth, but with the arts in general. And without censoring the difficult things.” Initiating engaging conversations about those difficult topics, she says, is what makes art important, what makes it a valuable effort. Well-known for her bold, bright animal paintings and prints ubiquitous to so many area homes (and currently festooning Whistler lampposts), there’s a depth to Mueller’s body of work beyond the bears and wolves. And some of it is dark. Her upcoming April exhibition revisits childhood memories in an effort to move forward in adulthood. “My winter show at Arts Whistler, Inconsistent Memory, is my idealized, romanticized memories of my grandparents’ farm,” she says. “But the spring show is the opposite. It’s the negative memories, childhood trauma. I find it interesting that you and a sibling can have the exact same experience but have completely different memories. I’m exploring that idea in these two exhibits.” The stark black-on-white paintings with blasts of intense colour are also a response to current events. “I think being a mother makes you a lot more sensitive to human atrocities, especially affecting children,” Mueller says. “War is not good for anybody, especially little kids. I find these images on the news really impact me now, in a visceral way.”


Andrea Mueller’s Arts Whistler show, Inconsistent Memory, opens in December and runs through the end of January. Her yet-untitled April show will take place at Art Pop. Follow @andreamuellerart and visit to keep in the loop on other upcoming shows, exhibitions and workshops.

Preparing work for those two upcoming events are monumental tasks in addition to her ongoing solo show at Art Pop, where she’s also managing the retail and class spaces. Andrea Mueller is busy. “As an artist, you’re well-practiced. You’re working, every single day. It isn’t just all fun—I mean, I do have fun doing some of it, but it’s about work,” she says. “And artists are some of the toughest-skinned people there can be. You’re putting a little piece of your heart up on a wall, literally sitting and watching people walk by and talk about it. And it’s really hard to share some of this with other people.” Her winter show, the nostalgic side of the memory coin, is less intimidating to share. An homage not just to the family farm but to her Opa, a hardworking farmer who somehow found time for oil painting, the exhibit will be a multi-media event, with paintings, photos and an installation vignette of her grandmother’s living room. And she’s carving out space for a selection of her Opa’s watercolour drawings from his final years. Because, Mueller says, “He never got an art show, and he should have had one.” Showcasing her grandfather’s drawings is natural to Mueller, a woman who’s been championing the work of others for decades. For her it’s about uplifting those in her Whistler community and beyond, and not just those in the arts. “My hope is that others will use their talents to support goodness,” she says. “Just support the good. If that’s what you can do for others, then support something that’s good and meaningful.”


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We All Need Each Other Life and Travel Lessons from Six Years on the Trans Canada Trail. words :: Kristin Schnelten






t’s late fall, deep in the dense bush of northern Ontario. Well into her third year trekking the Trans Canada Trail, filmmaker and adventurer Dianne Whelan awakens with a sigh in her frost-covered tent. Stiff and bruised, she prepares herself mentally for what’s ahead—another day of cold-water paddling, another set of arduous, frigid portages. Outside the zippered door, however, that prognosis becomes far worse: What was yesterday a choppy inland lake is now a solid sheet of ice; in the forest, 60 centimetres of cement-like wet snow encases everything. Overwhelmed by her predicament, a stunned Whelan thinks, Holy crap. What are we going to do? A paper map and satellite phone offer a sliver of hope: Her cousin could plow his way through a closed road that intersects with her route only eight kilometres away, but from her frozen-over campsite, reaching that potential rescue seems impossible. For this leg of her trip—a 1,200-kilometre paddle with 168 kilometres of portages, stretching from Thunder Bay all the way into Manitoba—Whelan has enlisted the help of a friend. That one-


in-a-million kind of friend who can easily step away from life for a few weeks and will enthusiastically carry 20-kilogram dry bags across multiple laps of a four-kilometre portage. A friend who, serendipitously, also packed an axe. It may have been a tiny, token axe meant for little more than splitting kindling, but it proves a godsend. Zip-tying it to the end of a ski pole, Whelan’s friend sits in the bow of their canoe, alternately chopping the ice and pulling the canoe forward while Whelan, having switched from her usual double kayak paddle to the wooden one she carries in reserve, chops and paddles from the stern. Every second there is the danger of capsizing into icy water. As if that weren’t enough, the storm has rendered the portages virtually impassable. The sheer weight of snow on tree limbs has bent and collapsed many of them, freezing them into place like an icy web of tangled rebar. It takes seven days of chopping and schlepping to travel those eight kilometres. One swing of an axe, one heave of gear, one brutal slogging metre at a time.


hen she finally pulled her canoe ashore at mile zero in Victoria, Bristish Columbia, three years later, Dianne Whelan became the first person to complete the Trans Canada Trail—the world’s longest official land-water route. The historic 2021 landing marked the end of a six-year cross-country odyssey, during which she pedaled, paddled, snowshoed, backpacked and skied from the Atlantic to both the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Amazingly, Whelan’s grassroots journey and the film she was hoping to make of it had no corporate backing and zero sponsors. Her bike was decades old, her canoes and kayaks all borrowed. When she lost a tent (and she lost many), she reached out to friends and family or received help from random strangers on her path (such as the ATV driver who happened upon her on the trail, head in her hands over a lost tent, and gifted his tent to her on the spot).

“It isn’t your typical adventure story,” she says. “It was a journey of the spirit. Not in a religious sort of way, but in a ‘follow your heart’ kind of way. There’s an old saying, ‘When you commercialize the sacred, it loses its meaning.’” Thus, given the particularly personal nature of the trip and her age—50 at the time—Whelan had thought, Let’s just try it this way. The result? Both the journey and its documentation were paid for by human kindness. The generosity of Whelan’s own mother had planted the seed for the project. “My mom always wanted to walk the Trans Canada Trail; in 1995 she donated to it on behalf of each member of my family,” she recalls. “Then in 2014 I found myself at a place where I had the opportunity to do it. I had just finished a decade-long film project, gone through a divorce, and my dog died. So all the things






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that would have tied me to one place were gone. And I’ve always gone to nature to sort myself out when I feel like I’m losing the sense of purpose in my life, or I’ve missed the mark or made a wrong turn.” She spent that winter in her family’s farmhouse on the east coast, training and planning in isolation. Orchestrating a July 2015 start in St. John’s, Newfoundland, she estimated she’d reach Victoria in two years. The reality was a six-year commitment few of us can fathom. Whelan kicked off the journey by riding, and ultimately pushing, her loaded mountain bike over an abandoned railroad bed, taking 10 days to cover what she’d hoped to do in two: “I realized, Wow, the mind doesn’t age. It still thinks you’re 20 or 25, and it remembers that last big trip you took. But your body is a reality check.” Catching herself obsessing over her elapsed time and the number of kilometres she’d covered, she realized she had to rethink the entire thing. “I was like, What the fuck are you doing? This schedule is a self-created reality. You planned your little trip, and now instead of just surrendering to the moment you’re focused on being behind. So I thought, You just gotta let it go, man—and burn that schedule.” Realizing it was time to connect and not to race, she “took off the rabbit suit and put on the turtle shell,” finding that connection in countless interactions with strangers, extended visits in Indigenous communities and long hours spent simply sitting with nature. “Probably the biggest change that happened to me over the six years out there was that my resonance changed,” Whelan reflects.



“The animals got closer and closer and closer, and my quiet time of being in observation with them got longer and longer and longer.” What started off as butterflies and squirrels became moose and grizzlies, even stumbling upon an indifferent mother and her cubs, quietly devouring berries adjacent to the trail. Whelan credits her slight hearing impairment for some of those close encounters, especially at night. The animals didn’t sense fear coming from her tent, because she simply wasn’t hearing them. “Fast and impatient is the energy of predators, and animals pick up on our vibration,” she muses. “I think our ancient ancestors had that sense; it was part of living with nature. It’s what happens to you when you spend a long time away from cities with your feet on the ground. Everything finally quiets down, and you strip your life down to the most basic elements of water, sleep, food and just always searching for home.”

“This schedule is a selfcreated reality. You planned your little trip, and now instead of just surrendering to the moment you’re focused on being behind… You just gotta let it go, man— and burn that schedule.”

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ome, however, was an abstraction. With her house in B.C. rented out, Whelan spent most of those years either on the trail or pausing close to it. At some point she realized self-care was the most important task on her mission. “If I got tired, I had no problem staying in my tent for a couple of days, and just doing some extra cooking, journaling, and then carrying on. Or if the weather was really rough, I’d wait for nature to calm down. It’s not like I was going to go out there to fight a battle I was going to lose.” She spent a week on a couch in Manitoba, waiting out a storm. A handful of times she left the trail entirely: a two-week visit to her ailing mother, a six-week residency in B.C. For the first two winters, she was out there plodding through the snow, but a chance encounter would see her shift in later years to sheltering in place for most of December and January. “I met a Cree woman who said, ‘You say you’re out here trying to do it the old way, but we didn’t travel in that kind of weather. In the winter months, you take your lesson from the bear. What does the bear do? It hibernates. It’s a time of rejuvenation, a time of yin, time to rebuild, sew your buttons. It’s a time to fix your pack; it’s a time to get your maps; it’s a time to prepare.’”

Whelan credits similar friendly advice for saving her life multiple times: The friends who insisted she buy a scrounged satellite phone and helped her find second-hand dry suits for winter paddles; the stranger who taught her about cowboy cooking (prepping and eating dinner early, up-river from your campsite); her reluctant acceptance of a gun before entering grizzly country. One morning, on a tiny island north of the Arctic Circle, she awoke to her partner Louisa’s terrified screams. An aggressive bear had entered their site—and it didn’t appreciate shooing and banging. Still scrambling in the tent, Whelan encouraged Louisa, who was nearly paralyzed with fear, to fire a birdshot warning. The grizzly advanced. When a second warning caused the bear to momentarily sit, Whelan frantically struck camp. (As isolated as they were, diving for the canoe and leaving their gear and food behind would’ve been deadly.) Louisa kept the gun trained on the slowly advancing bear, even as they eventually backed into the canoe and paddled away. They later discovered an earlier paddler had a similar encounter on the same island, but was forced to choose the canoe-dive option. That decision had apparently taught the bear a memorable lesson: Scare them off, and you will feast.



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She admits to making mistakes of her own: “Oh, I’m your classic fool for sure. And I don’t mind being that person… If I can do this journey, anybody can. I’m not a super athlete, or super anything. I’m losing my tents. My shoes are coming apart. I don’t have it together or figured out at all. It’s just with human kindness and perseverance that I somehow made it to the end.” And yet, Whelan can lay claim to six years in the wild without injury, without illness, without a single search-and-rescue call. No matter how dire the situation. It was something she was determined not to have to do, especially as a woman. “As a woman, when you’re out there doing things, sometimes you’ve got to do it even better than you might have to [otherwise], just because you don’t want to hear, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.’ I’m trying to break those ceilings, not bring them down on us.”

Whelan can lay claim to six years in the wild without injury, without illness, without a single search-and-rescue call. As a woman in the film world, Whelan knows firsthand about glass ceilings. Consequently, she filled key creative positions on this project with women, from executive producer and senior editor to sound mixer and director. “A lot of extremely talented men have

worked on this film. I love them, and I’m grateful for the work they’ve done. But as a woman director, and as the owner of this film, I found myself with the rare opportunity to be able to make those kinds of decisions. And this film is really about my love for Mother Earth. And you know, history is a line, right? But herstory is a circle. I wanted this one to be herstory.” And that story is, in the end, one of community, from one end of the trail to the other. “I intentionally chose subjects in my film that represent all political walks of life, because kindness doesn’t have a political party,” says Whelan. “And everybody’s kindness is what got me through this.” Especially in Indigenous communities, where she made a concerted effort to stop, listen and learn. “When an Indigenous community is having a powwow, they’re telling everybody, ‘Come on down!’ And that reconciliation isn’t a political deal. It’s friendship. It’s getting to know each other, holding each other’s babies,” she says. “That’s how we unpack this stuff. Through kinship. Not through policy.” Next spring, when she releases 500 Days In The Wild (a wildly underestimated title chosen early on the trail), Whelan will wrap up a decade of her life dedicated to a single project. She thinks of both the journey and film as pilgrimage, one with three themes: adventure, reconciliation and healing. “It’s a film where a person who is overwhelmed by the world today finds hope and meaning again, mostly through connection and the realization that radical individuality is actually an illness in our society,” she says. “It’s something I romanticized most of my life, but now I realize what a crock of shit that is. We all need each other.”



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Parker White, Whistler backcountry.



Brian Fox, Alaska.















Green Lake Station FOOD & FUEL FOR YOUR ADVENTURES Home of Whistler’s best breakfast sandwich!

ALL-DAY BREAKFAST, PIZZA, BURGERS Open 7 days/week 8110 Crazy Canuck Dr, Whistler 604-962-2090 Full menu at @greenlakestation



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1. When you're somewhere in between all-day skinning and joy riding lifts, strap into the GNARWHAL™ 25L—the perfect pack for sidecountry and frontcountry ski days with a little resort time sprinkled in. It's more compressible in the back for chairlift comfort, and a little less supply-oriented since you're likely to be hitting up the resort lodge for midday refueling. // 2. The FJÄLLRÄVEN NUUK LITE PARKA for women is a lightweight, mid-thigh version of the Nuuk parka, designed for milder conditions. Waterproof, windproof and breathable, it protects against wind and rain on blustery autumn days. // 3. Whether you’re skinning uphill or attacking the powder, the ultradexterous KHROMA TOUR INFINIUM GLOVE brings all the protection, breathability and precision you need. It features Pittards Armortan® reinforced leather on the palm and thumb, a pre-curved fit, out-sewn seams and adjustable wriststraps for a close and agile fit. // 4. Punch your ticket to powder heaven. Whether stepping into a tech toe or stomping your alpine heel, the TIGARD 130 BOOT dismisses the question of what gear to bring on your adventure. This four-buckle powerhouse rides comfortably under a lift or skinning above it. // 5. Ditch the old plastic bins and shopping bags. The TRANSPORTER 65 is ideal for a gear-intensive weekend or longer travels as a more effective space-saving storage solution. Built with ruggedly dependable, weather-resistant fabrics in new colourways and prints, the Transporter 65L will lug it all. // 6. The women’s-specific fit of the MERRELL SIREN 4 THERMO MID ZIP WATERPROOF BOOT is uniquely engineered to cradle the distinct contours of female feet, providing comfort, support and stability even on the longest hikes. Now with Solarcore insulation, a lightweight material initially designed for NASA, you never have to worry about warmth.


Whistler's Best Restaurant For Fish & Game


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7. A lightweight, technical hardshell jacket that contains no environmentally harmful polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), the ORTOVOX 3L DEEP SHELL JACKET includes Swiss wool merino inserts over key areas (like the chest and neck) that are extra susceptible to cold. The outer membrane is long lasting, easy to care for, and carries a waterproof rating greater than 20,000mm, it’s also windproof. The result is a shell with total comfort and freedom, designed and intended for big mountain freeriding. // 8. FILSON’S DEER ISLAND RANCH COAT is an ideal layer for shop work, mending fences or most any other task on dry, chilly days. Made with thick fabric that’s brushed for heat-trapping loft and softness, the hand-feel is similar to a cotton blanket. Angled-entry hand and open-stow chest pockets provide quick access to essentials and the front closure and adjustable cuffs secure with highly durable urea buttons. // 9. The insulated ARC’TERYX BETA JACKET is built for cold conditions and designed for unrivaled versatility, durability and weather protection. Leveraging Coreloft™ Continuous insulation and a more sustainable waterproof, breathable 40D GORE-TEX fabric, the Beta jacket is built to face the wet fall and winter here on the West Coast. // 10. One of their most iconic pieces year after year, Hooke's Insulated Canadian Shirt is warm, comforting and durable. With its homegrown, timeless, checkered style, this classic is made from a blend of recycled wool and polyester, and the 60g insulation is made from 100 per cent recycled material. Less waste, more awesome. // 11. There’s an entire article dedicated to their game-changing ski/snowboard boot liners in this issue, but these INTUITION CHELSEA BOOTIES might change the game again. Slip into the future of comfort! These lightweight boots featuring Intuition’s proprietary foam uppers with a 3D moulded high-grip sole will soon be your go-to après/all-around shoe this winter. // 12. Grip better, grab easier with the SWANY SX-30 X-CALIBUR GLOVE. Built with Dyna-Flex® construction and a Triplex alpha® insulation system, this glove moulds to your hand for the most natural fit possible, but also delivers 30-50 per cent more warmth than a standard insulated glove. That it’s also fully waterproof and breathable means this is your new favourite pair of gloves.


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13. With a reworked design, the iconic SALOMON QST 106 SKI brings even more reliable versatility and playfulness to your ski day. With a 106mm waist and progressive freeride shape, this versatile ski does it all with style and finesse whether you’re carving the hard pack, cruising the groomers, or floating atop the pow. Confidence and agility in any condition, at any speed. // 14. Capable of grasping every nuance of your skiing, the ATK FREERAIDER 15 EVO BINDING puts your style on full display! Now equipped with an automatic ski brake and adjustable toe piece, the Freeraider delivers top class stability, a more precise release and outstanding performance. The easy entry system makes step-in easy with any tech boot available on the market, even with worn out soles. // 15. A warm kid is a happy kid—as every parent knows. The MEC CLASSIC POLAR FLEECE PANTS are soft and fuzzy with a boost of durability and added nylon patches in key areas (because kids are hard on pants). Available in adult sizes as well, these classics are great as an extrawarm underlayer for cold days on the mountain but can easily be peeled off and worn at après. Win-win. // 16. The three-layer PATAGONIA WOMEN’S GRANITE CREST RAIN JACKET is designed to be both high performance and responsibly made. The jacket consists of NetPlus® 100 per cent post-consumer recycled nylon ripstop made from recycled fishing nets and features a water repellent coating that's fully free of perfluorinated chemicals. Waterproof, breathable, helps protect the oceans and is made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory. // 17. Built to endure the elements, the all-new RUMPL PUFFY CHANGING PONCHO is built with a DWR-treated body and 5K laminated waterproof shoulders/hood to keep you dry and stylish AF. Once the clouds part, it packs into its own pocket and pulls double duty as a pillow. // 18. Artificial intelligence can’t quite write this magazine yet (give it six months), but it can design a MADE FULL CUSTOM HARD SHELL JACKET to create a perfect fit for each individual. Simply send in a photo of you in your baselayer and the AI will size the garment perfectly. Then you choose colour, zipper type, pocket placement, vents, and if you want a hood or pow skirt. Fully customized, dry, warm, and looking unique. // 19. Get all-day comfort where it counts in SMARTWOOL’S SKI TARGETED CUSHION EXTRA STRETCH OVER THE CALF SOCKS. Now with advanced Indestructawool™ technology for enhanced durability, four Degree™ elite fit system for an unmatched performance fit, body-mapped mesh zones for added breathability and extra stretch to accommodate fuller calves.



MEATS Squamish, BC

A Charming & Unique Selection of Kitchenware and Gifts Locally Owned + Operated Since 1994 Whistler Marketplace 604-938-1110



 Located at the base of the Whistler Village Gondola Open Late! 604 932 4100

  

20 → 20. From wide-open bowls and backcountry kickers to steep lines and high-speed resort carves, the ROSSIGNOL SENDER FREE 110 SKI lets you send it anywhere the snow takes you, inbounds or out. Confident grip & playful responsive skiing combines for a smooth, powerful feel. This ski has it all, prepare for full send. // 21. A rebellious middle child, the BLIZZARD SHEEVA 10 FREERIDE SKI is a women-specific, wood-core ski that gives you the confidence to press “send” wherever you damn well choose. A versatile 102mm waist floats through blower with style and grace, bangs through chalky bumps, yet still allows you to lay it down fearlessly on the groomers. // 22. Meticulously designed, the HELLY HANSEN ODIN BACKCOUNTRY INFINITY SHELL JACKET is a three-layer shell built for high-intensity outdoor pursuits like ski touring, where breathability and moisture management are key. Featuring LIFA INFINITY™ technology, this jacket provides responsible and professional grade waterproof/breathable performance without any added chemical treatments. Check the innovative opening in the front that gives access to your mid-layer, beacon harness and the stow pocket without opening the front zipper. // 23. The KNOCKAROUND LILAC POWDER SLINGSHOTS GOGGLES are here to wish you only the dreamiest of powder days. You can fully dial in thanks to a classic cylindrical lilac lens (and a handy quick-swap yellow lens) with the ideal combination of anti-fog, antiglare, and UV400 protection. // 24. Constructed with a 100 per cent recycled membrane, the JACK WOLFSKIN ALPSPITZE TOUR 3L JACKET provides complete weather protection and great mobility. Long pockets work with a pack, and an adjustable hood helps keep out the elements when you need it. Available at SAIL. www.jack-wolfskin. com // 25. The 34L version of the athlete favourite SNOMAD PACK is designed to take you off the groomers and onto new peaks. Super comfy suspension and summit-tested features–like back access and helmet carry–make it a go-to for both skiers and snowboarders in the backcountry. 26. The OYUKI HARA YAMAPRO 2L JACKET thrives in the harshest mountain environments. The PrimaLoft® Gold insulation provides serious warmth when temperatures drop, and the tough Japanese YamaPro™ material keeps you comfortable and protected no matter what the weather serves up. With a low-profile articulated performance fit, this jacket keeps you moving and grooving without compromise.

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Offering real estate services in the Sea to Sky corridor •




“It was a pleasure working with Adam during my real estate transactions. His attention to detail and high-level of efficiency is impressive.” – Amélie

1-604-905-5180 Adam Fraser Suite 338A – 4370 Lorimer Road Whistler, B.C, Canada, V8E 1A6

Nesters Market makes it easier to be healthy

with a full juice bar, a complete pharmacy with on-staff pharmacist, natural remedies,

local products, fresh fruits and vegetables. Come visit our Whistler and Squamish locations!

whistler squamish


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27. Part backpack, part cooler, the YETI HOPPER M20 makes it simple to take your ice-cold bevvies and fresh snacks well beyond the trailhead. The powerful magnets in the top closure create a leak-resistant opening that stays open when needed but also seals closed with a gentle push. Your adult bevvies exploded with all this excitement? Don’t worry, it’s fully waterproof inside and out; just hose it down when you get home. // 28. In the mountains (or on the river), stable communication can be the difference between group perfection or solo frustration. And these ROCKY TALKY MOUNTAIN RADIOS are aiming for the latter. Claiming three days of battery life even at minus 29 degrees Celsius, and a wilderness range of 1.5-7.5 kilometres in typical mountain terrain, the Rocky Talkies also feature a built-in carabiner to keep it secured (plus an optional waterproof hand mic) and the highest transmitting power legally available without a license! Mountain Life is gonna test these babies hard for a future post on the ML website so stay tuned. // 29. The SMITH METHOD HELMET’s safety innovations including MIPS and zonal Koroyd offer enhanced energy absorption in the event of a crash. The self-adjusting fit system flexes to match your head shape for maximum comfort. SMITH 4D MAG GOGGLES offer their widest field of view and sharpest optics to give you the best possible read on the terrain. With the MAG quick-and-easy lens change, they’re the only goggles you need for all-conditions riding. // 30. The ELAN PRIMETIME 44+ offers accessibility, agility and a confident ride. Its 74-millimetre platform boasts a shorter turn radius with support and balance. Designed with PowerMatch technology for seamless energy transmission plus a dualdensity woodcore, and paired with the newly redesigned Fusion X binding system, the Primetime 44+ is for skiers seeking accessible performance in a wider piste ski. // 31. The iconic PRIOR POW STICK SNOWBOARD has been revised for 2023 with shorter, swifter swallowtail sections to minimize deflection and maximize edge hold without sacrificing pow floatation. An all-new blunted nose provides weight savings, and a slightly shorter overhang makes it nimbler and more versatile in the trees. This is the ultimate flotation ride, and it’s available in 156, 160, 167, 176 and 181cm. // 32. The SUREFOOT CUSTOM SKI BOOT is the ultimate choice for skiers of all levels. With an ability-specific shell and a heater-integrated customized liner and custom orthotic, you’re ready for the best skiing of your life—all in just under an hour. Discover the Surefoot difference.





Morgan McGonagle, depth seeker.

The deeper the trouble, the better the story. Next issue drops February 2024.



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