arts eats outdoors alive
FREE! Winter 2014
INSIDE: 2. Ryan Creary 3. Highmark Lounge 4. Rogers Pass 411 6. 100 Years of Winter Recreation
Former Canadian Olympian Mike Robertson (boardercross, 2010) gets a turn in at Sol Mountain Lodge in 2013. See page two for a mini-feature on photographer Ryan Creary, an established mountain sports photo pro who now calls Revelstoke home. Photo by Ryan Creary
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Photographer Ryan Creary sets Revelstoke roots Aaron Orlando
fter years of visits and two winters here, mountain sports and lifestyle photographer Ryan Creary is now a Revelstokian, and plans to stay. Originally from small-town New Brunswick, the call of the mountains led him to an outdoor recreation degree, then 10 years in Canmore where he developed his photography career. He does it all and captures it all in the backcountry – snow, climbing, kayak, biking, running, yoga and general lifestyle photography. His resume includes credits, features and partnerships with a very wide sampling of heavy-hitting editorial and commercial clients in the mountain lifestyles field. Alpinist, Bike, Climbing, Daily Ski & Snowboard, Explore ... you could list his clients using the alphabet, almost all top-shelf. Schooled in film – before instant digital feedback – Creary shoots only in natural light, using colour and contrast to recreate the moment in images. An explorer, he uses his backcountry experiences to build ideas for future captures. A snowboarder first, Creary has developed a passion for the full quiver of mountain sports activities in a quest to keep the passion alive. “What really draws me to all of these activities and places are the real small, beautiful details and the colours of things – whether it’s biking through wildflowers up on Frisbee, it’s just those perfect outdoor moments that are rare, and they’re fleeting. But when you experience them it’s this moment – it couldn’t be any better than that,” Creary said. “That’s part of the passion I have for the outdoors, just being out there and being out there and experiencing these magic moments as you’re trying to capture them.” Creary plans to make Revelstoke a permanent home. Although he often travels on assignment, there’s no doubt his presence will mean great exposure for Revelstoke in the years to come. For more, check out ryancreary.com
All photos this page by Ryan creary
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Highmark Lounge goes big Aaron Orlando
Above: Brined half chicken with grilled Caeser Salad and a Mountain Man Burger. Below: Owner Sue Walton and bartender Jay DiNardo at the newly opened Highmark Lounge. Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Times Review
evelstoke’s newest licensed restaurant is the Highmark Lounge, which opened its doors in late November in the location of the former Great White North restaurant, just west of town on the Trans-Canada. Owner Sue Walton has lots of Revelstoke connections, but spent the past nearly three decades in Lake Louise, where she was the general manager at the famous Station fine dining restaurant. Walton got help establishing in Revelstoke from old snowboarding friends on the Trapper pro team, who helped her clean and renovate the restaurant, which had sat closed for a few months. The Highmark Lounge features western classics in huge portions, sourcing its ingredients from B.C. and Alberta, (including a B.C. wine list.) The feature Mt. Begbie Brewing Co., Cariboos and others on tap. “When you come you have to be hungry,” Walton says. “I love to feed people – that’s what I do.” We tried the brined BBQ Half Chicken ($26) and the Mountain Man Burger ($17) and huge portions are right! The Highmark Lounge mains include elk and bison burgers, and braised pork and beef ribs. Walton recommends their starter Grilled Caesar Salad, which
is two Romaine hearts split down the middle, grilled and topped with homemade aioli, and parmesan crisps. Revelstoke snowboarder Al Clark earned a spot on the menu (and his Trapper board on the wall). His Al-A-Penos are roasted fresh jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, buffalo mozzarella and wrapped in double-smoked bacon. Walton, who is enjoying the switch from wearing a tie to wearing jeans to work, explained herself and her staff are dedicated and committed to the restaurant. (In fact, three colleagues from Lake Louise have followed her here.) “My food is really, really good,” Walton said. “I am really fussy about it.” Management changes and the shutdown at the former restaurant hurt business at the slightly off-the-beaten track location. Walton’s re-building plan is focused on bringing back Revelstoke customers. She said it’ll take “time and patience and proving myself daily.” She’s circulating a 10% discount card, and is offering a $16 roast beef and Yorkshire pudding buffet on Sundays. The Highmark Lounge (near the Smokey Bear statue on the Trans-Canada Highway) is a great bet if you’re hungry, looking for a licensed restaurant and want to take in a game.
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Douglas Sproule skins up through the meadows in the Loop Brook area of Glacier National Park. Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review
The 411 on I Rogers Pass Douglas Sproule is attempting to ski every avalanche path in Glacier National. Along the way, he’s taken a break to create the guide book to Rogers Pass – a multi-media product that is every adventurer’s dream. by Alex Cooper
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t was early afternoon in the Loop Brook area of Glacier National Park but the sun was low in the sky, hiding behind Mount Bonney, and the mountains to the north and east basked in the alpenglow. I sat enjoying my lunch on a bench beneath a wide open bowl that flowed from the top of the ridge between Ross Peak and Mount Green. I let my legs relax as the rest our group of eight caught up, cresting the roll at the end of a steep skin track through the trees. Up ahead, a restless Douglas Sproule had already taken off and was setting a skin track up the nameless bowl. He zig-zagged uphill and then turned back down, enjoying a few turns with his skins on. He did this a second time and skied back down to the group. Back on my feet, I passed him as he descended back to the group to make sure everyone was going to climb the final few hundred metres to our destination. It was definitely an exposed slope but conditions were stable. I reached the end of his skin track and broke trail for a bit. Sproule quickly caught up, climbing lazily behind me. I stopped to catch my breath and let him pass me and he scampered up ahead, setting a track that got steeper and steeper until he popped off his skis and bootpacked the final hundred or so feet to the top of the ridge. I met Sproule about a year earlier when I first heard about his Rogers Pass 411 guidebook. He was in his living room at home, where his work station and his large electronic drum kit sat.
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Left: Douglas Sproule, with Rogers Pass in the background.; Right: Sproule skis through the alpine with the valley far below. Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review
He showed me what he’d been working on – an elaborate guidebook detailing pretty much every possible line in Glacier National Park. This wasn’t just easy-toaccess stuff; it included lines that required serious mountaineering skills. There were routes in the remote backcountry of the park that required either a snowmobile or heli-drop on the park’s boundaries to reach, or several days of touring. Many of them Sproule had skied, others were simply in his imagination. He drew them on high-res photos and in Google Earth KML files. Uptracks, bootpacks and bushwhacks – the subtitle of his book – were all marked, as well as hundreds of ways down. So far, he’s published Rogers Pass North – 345-page PDF book featuring every line north of the Trans-Canada Highway. The guidebook is very detailed, not just in the mapping, but also in terms of the information it contains about the winter permit system, safe travel practices, avalanche awareness and more. The meat of the book, and the reason people will buy it, is for the detailed route information that is shown on high-res photos and described in text as well. Also available is a guidebook, PDF map and Google Earth file for the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Traverse. Rogers Pass South will be released
in a different format. Instead of compiling everything into a PDF book, he will be releasing the photos, KML files and descriptions as a downloadable directory that can be browsed on your home computer or smart phone. You can look at the photos or view the routes in Google Earth and piece together your day that way. All of this has taken Sproule several years to create during which he taught himself everything from scratch and didn’t ski much. He also put together a KML file for the Mt. Macpherson trail network while he was at it. An American who’s migrated to Canada, Sproule is the type of guy who goes on big trips and sets big objectives for himself. He’s entered 24-hour bike races, skied 130 kilometres from Rogers Pass to the Bugaboos in 80 hours (a record), skied from Golden to Rogers Pass in 16 hours, made a first descent of the south face of Sir Sandford and more. He’s attempting to ski every avalanche path facing the Trans-Canada Highway in Glacier National Park. There’s 133 of them and he’s about half-way there. Many of them require technical mountaineering skills, and a few might not be skiable – he’s still piecing the project together. Sproule turned 43 the day before our tour. He’s fit and moves fast through the mountains and I had a feeling that on our
day out, the pace was a little too slow for him. Fortunately, I wasn’t the slowest in our group of eight, so I didn’t feel like I was lagging too much. I struggled up the last few switchbacks of the skin track and then took off my skis. A few huffs and puffs later, I reached the top of the ridge, just in time to catch the last rays of sun from the top. Two valleys over, the pyramid of Mount Sir Donald was glowing orange. We took some photos and then began our descent in the shade of the mountains. We skied through the bowl – a thin wind crust giving way to soft, settled powder. We carved our turns freely through the wide open alpine to the top of the trees. There, Sproule was waiting. “Everyone went that way, want to go this way?” he asked. We pushed through the trees into the slop on the other side. The snow here was softer – not quite powder, but fun and flowy and easy to ski through. Navigating trees and popping off pillows, we yo-yoed down the mountain into the valley below. One last traverse, and we skied the final few powder turns to Loop Brook and the exit track back to the parking lot. The line was a first for me and, much to my amazement, a first for Sproule. You can learn more about Sproule’s work and purchase his guidebooks at www. rogerspass411.ca.
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100 years of winter recreation of Mount Revelstoke National Park By Alex Cooper In 2014, Mt. Revelstoke National Park turns 100 years old. The park was founded by the Canadian government at the urging of the citizens of Revelstoke. To celebrate the park’s centennial, the Times Review will be publishing a monthly series of articles over the course of the year. Part two looks at the history of winter recreation in the park.
A film crew visited Mount Revelstoke National Park in February 1941 to film local skiers for the promotional movie Beautiful British Columbia. Marge Meier Collection/Revelstoke Museum & Archives
or the longest time, before Mount Mackenzie and Macpherson and Boulder and Frisby Ridge, Mount Revelstoke was Revelstoke’s winter playground. With its slopes flowing right to the edge of town, it wasn’t long before locals started to have fun there. In the summer they hiked to the summit and in the winter, they played in the snow on the lower flanks just above the town – skiing, snowshoeing and tobagganing. A recreational ski club was formed in the early 1890s and, along with snowshoers, they spent time sliding on Mount Revelstoke. 1914 was a landmark year for Mount Revelstoke. Not only was it the year the mountain was declared a national park, but it was also the year the Revelstoke Ski Club was formed and the first known ski ascent of the mountain was made by Rosa Haggen and Cecil Atkins. “There were some wonderfully good runs on the way down,” Haggen wrote.
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In 1915, Revelstoke hosted its first ever winter carnival, with a ski jumping competition just outside the park’s boundaries. The tournament put Revelstoke on the map. Thorlief Iversen, a visiting judge, praised the enthusiasm of the crowd and said Revelstoke could “become the hub and centre of winter sports for all of North America.” In 1916, the ski club gained permission to hold the ski jumping events in the park. A famously steep and scary jump was built. Called the Big Hill, it was aptly nicknamed Suicide Hill. The 1931 competition, later dubbed the Great Fiasco, became notorious after visiting jumpers refused to leap off the Big Hill, considering it too dangerous. The competition was switched to the B jump, but Revelstoke’s Bob Lymburne, much to the delight of his spectators, soared off the A jump anyway. World records were set on the jump – most notably by local jumper Nels Nelsen, who became an international celebrity for his jumping feats. In 1925 he set a world record by jumping 240 feet on the hill. The ski jump was later named after him. The ski jump’s construction and Parks Canada’s support for winter recreation on Mount Revelstoke made the park a centre for winter activity in Revelstoke. The ski jumping competition was the highlight of the winter, but people would also cross-country ski through the woods and, later, start skiing downhill on the mountain. While jumping was the main draw, Nordic and alpine skiing gained in popularity. Nordic races were
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held on the lower slopes of the mountain and locals Mount Revelstoke National Park. Soren Sorensen, a sunday 9 snow Danish immigrant, was the driving force in the sport in would ski to the summit area to enjoyfebruary the deep Ice Carver Cabin 4-6pm Musicand fiveand wide open meadows there. Starting in 1936, the the 1950sOutside and ‘60s. He helped build theLive twoThursday January 30 The Last Drop no cover Burlap Sap Live ski club would host regular ski runs on Mount Revel- kilometre trails that now bare his name andMusic he coached KellyDJaShowdown Big Eddy PubThe 9-11pm stoke, with the leader Shred choosing route at& Live random. young skiers. Several organized races were held on Live Music Art Show Cabin Art/Performance In 1938, RevelstokeComedy Ski Club Craig Ruth- Mount However, asPerformance the sport became Roxy Revelstoke. Theatre 7pm Tournament Show -president SnowedofInChumps 11am-3pm Event/Live Music Live Music -about 45 Minutesbuilding 2-5pm erford approached Parks Canada a more popular and skate-skiing developed, Rescue Dogs Spaghetti Dinner Rec Centre 4-8pm Event more space 4th Annual Cook Off ValAroundThe Town Revelstoke 2-5pm Event moved lodge at the summit. He purchased theChiliold Three was required. Nordic Ski Club 2-4pm $2/game The Cabin Season The Cabinacross ley Hotel, dismantled itFriday and re-assembled at the sum- its operations the valley to Mount Macpherson. January 31 itPassholder Event Perks Happy Hour 4-6pm $3/game 6-10pm $3/game mit. Heather Lodge was a popular destination until it Even then, Nordic skiing continued in the park until Jam Night Benoits Live MusicDemo Trappers Board Demo RMR Canada grooming was taken down in 1967. 2012, with Parks and track-setting Mt Begbie Brewery Tours 3-6pm Bestsite in Show Eddythe FieldMeadows (across from Benoits) 4-5pm A downhill run that was the of races was built along in the Sky Parkway toEvent the Mona7pm - Entry $5 Goes Art Auction ArtEvent Starlight Nelson Historic Site 5pm up the road. In eight kilometres 1985, Parks on Mount RevelstokeAnything in 1939 and itSnowshoe would become a shee cabin Retro Boogie Skate ski Partyto the top and 7-9pm startedArena the Moonlight Ski, where skiersEvent could look forpopular spot for locals, who would Topslope. Chick Contest Drop 9pm Monday february 10 wardThetoLast hot chocolate and snacks at Event the cabin. The then zip down the steep event was it continued until 2013. In 1948, a new run was opened Al Lucus at the bottom of The so Lastpopular Drop - no cover Live Music february 1tracks from Sadly, Mount Revelstoke National Park is now Mount Revelstoke justSaturday acrossVidiots the railway Showcase Village Idiot Big Rave - Johnny Tribute The Last Drop - Tickets $10 a three-season park and Parks Canada isn’t the hospital. The Hickory Run has aCash rope tow and was deemed Live Music Cordwood Curling Arena to offer any winter activities in the park after lit up at night; it became theDance spotCompany where locals would allowed Aeriosa 7:30pm - Tickets $15 Springs PerformanceEvent Japanese RSS Wrap up Dinner Sushi Macgregors in Powder Photo/Video talkbackup withon JULIA go ski. A longer run started higher theTAFFE mountain. budget cuts by the Federal government in 2012. The FamilyDraw Swim enter to win FREE 1 month family aquatic pass - valued $130 $10/Family &Lodge Revelation The Bitterweed moonlight10pm-1am ski was organizedPerformance by dedicated volunIn 1961, when the construction of the Trans-Canada last Racerun, a 1,600-foot Poma Campbell Avein (by 2013. Powder Springs park) 3pm Event by a starteers Thiscaryear it has been replaced Highway bi-sected theWaiters hickory Long Events wasCampbell (by Powder Springs park) 3pm Feb. 9. Avesnowshoe Event light oncarSunday, lift was built near the Bed BigRace Hill. Week Mount Revelstoke Wine Passport Taste wines from is around world for people to Event The park stilltheopen explore (except the spot where locals skied raced until 1969, when Carouseland ofBenoits Nations Rec Centre 4-7pm at Dance Revelstoke Outdoor Centre for Visitthe the patio Rockford to fiarea, nd out allwhich info aboutisSpirit Fest to protect Mount Klotz closed downhill skiing was consolidated onNight Mount MackenCarousel ofHeadquarters Nations Rec Centre EnbyKharma 9pm Event zie. mountain caribou) but Parks Canada is not allowed Last Drop Beer Passport Drink beer from around the world, stamp your passport & get a T-shirt Grizzly Hockey Game Ski jumping continued in the park until the 1970s. to fund any winter activities, a sad development after Retail Passport 8th, 9th & 10th Scratch and sale event save up to 25% Pre-Novice (6yrs) Hockey Tournament RUNS SAT & SUN The Tournament of Champions was started in 1949, more than 100 years of winter fun inside Mount RevelBring a coloured block of ice to the base of Turtle Creek and add Mixed Curling Bonspeil RUNS SAT & SUN Spirit Wall spirit toNational the Spirit Wall Park. the first international competition on the Big Hill since stoke 1933. It remained a major international Sunday februaryHalfjumping 2price snowshoeevent tours for the duration of Spirit Fest. Offered by Revelstoke Snowshoe Company. thanks Revelstoke – attracting thousands of spectators ofridetown Toursfrom include aout gondola and take place inSpecial the sub-alpine forests at RMR.to Great the for all ages and fitness levels.Museum & Start Standing Sideways 1-3pm Archives, whose book First Tracks –Event the History of and on TV – until the event slowly died off in the Riglet Park & Demo - for children 5 & under SPIRIT FESTSkiing 2014 ISinBROUGHT TO YOU BY: the basis for this article. Revelstoke formed 1970s, jumping’s popularity having been eclipsed by 2-4pm Aeriosa Youth Workshop (Max 12 ppl) Workshop It The canCabin be 2-4pm purchased at the museum and elsewhere in downhill skiing. The Cabin Season Passholder $2/game Event town. Nordic skiing was Perks the last Happysport Hour to truly survive in 4-6pm $3/game 6-10pm $3/game Sled Show Shine Live music - Maritime Kitchen Party 3-6pm
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MacGregors 8pm - $8, Kids Show by donation Theatre Performance Benoits
Monday february 3 Sled Drag Racing Aerial Workshop for Adults (Max 12 ppl) Vidiots Showcase
Tuesday february 4 Stoke FM Pub Golf
All pubs in town
3rd Annual Fondue Night
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wednesday february 5 Open Mic Alan Mallory Everest Presentation/Workshop The Cabin Triple Threat Wednesday
School Atrium 6-8pm
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Thursday february 6 Frostbite Show - Michael Fraser
Burlesque Show - Voracious V
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Half price snowshoe tours for the duration of Spirit Fest. Offered by Revelstoke Snowshoe Company. Tours include a gondola ride and take place in the sub-alpine forests at RMR. Great for all ages and fitness levels.
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