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December 2016 edition

The art of the Revelstoke potluck Ski style with R Gear Caught in an avalanche! Arts: Zuzana Riha’s expanding oeuvre Super siblings Brodie & Leah Evans Behind the search with REVSAR

December 2016

Contents 4 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 15 16

News Briefs Entertainment: Stoke out with Shred Kelly About town: checking in on local social gatherings December events calendar A survivor’s tale: caught in an avalanche Inside a REVSAR search Avalanche explosives go high tech at Three Valley Gap Revelstoke sled scene welcomes the world, and they come Miracle on Mackenzie seeks a revival Trailblazing backcountry siblings Brodie and Leah Evans

18 19 20 22 23 24 25 26 30

Artist profile: Zuzana Riha Roasted in the ‘stoke: checking in with Stoke Roasted Coffee’s Mark Hartley Inside Begbie Brewing Co.’s new facility Food: The art of the Revelstoke potluck Food: Recipes for sharing December wine picks by Heather Hood Style: Slope-side style with R Gear The perfect boot fit Handon Leather crafts authentic originals

Cover: A steep pillow line deep in the Monashees . Photo: Jara Sijka

The Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine is a free monthly magazine featuring the best of Revelstoke outdoor life, food, style, visitor experiences, lifestyles, entertainment, home style, and healthy living.

Creative Director Aaron Orlando

Each month we distribute free copies to over 100 public venues across Revelstoke, including accommodations, shops, restaurants, cafes, community centres, bars, and everywhere people meet. We are an independent, locally owned publication dedicated to showcasing our amazing mountain town and the great people who create the stoke.

Staff writer Emily Kemp Graphic Design Chris Payne

For more information, including details on advertising rates, please call, or visit our parallel online publication at and click on the advertising tab. Phone: 250-814-8710

Mailing Address: PO BOX 112, 606 Railway Avenue, Revelstoke, B.C. V0E 2S0


L-R Giles Shearing is a manager with Revelstoke Search and Rescue where he’s been a member for eight years. He volunteers on the helicopter and swiftwater teams and in team administration. Giles’ day job is as an environmental and project management consultant. His other hobbies include playing cello, meditation, mountain biking and hanging with his wife and two young children. Madeleine Martin-Preney was born and raised in Nelson, B.C. and then discovered Revelstoke and made it home base six years ago. She spends her winter working as an Apprentice Ski Guide and her summer as a hiking guide and Lead Instructor for Outward Bound Canada. Imogen Whale: When Imogen Whale isn’t moonlighting as a journalist and writer based in Revelstoke, she’s out playing with her family or horses. She’s happily tripping the light fantastic Emily Kemp is a Revelstoke-based journalist and writer. Originally from Queensland, Australia, Emily moved to Revelstoke to take in the experience of our vibrant mountain community. You’ll find her snowboarding in the winter and tackling multi-day hikes in the summer.

Jodi Kay is originally from Quebec, but considers herself lucky to have called Banff, France and now Revelstoke – home. She is a recipe developer, food blogger and farmer's market shopaholic. She loves hiking the trails, doing yoga and any adventure involving trail mix. You can find her work and recipes at Sarah Mickel is a Revelstoke photographer who specializes in portrait, fashion and commercial photography. She has lived in Revelstoke for 12 years with her husband and two children. Find her work in our style session shoot at the beach and at Sarah j Spurr: Sarah is a mixed media visual artist originally from the 705 / Kawartha Lakes Ontario, and has been a Revelstoke resident for the past three years. Heavily inspired by the natural environment and her relationship with it. Stoked on all the things she's discovering in British Columbia and the way these fresh influences have found ways into her home, heart and art-making.



Get the latest stories here, as reported on — your daily source of Revelstoke news and information. By Emily Kemp

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Bighorn Lodge win at World Ski Awards The word Revelstoke is becoming synonymous with great ski vacations, with the latest proof coming from the World Ski Awards. On November 19, they proclaimed Revelstoke Mountain Resort as the best ski resort in Canada. Revelstoke’s Bighorn Lodge was named best ski chalet in the world for the fourth year running. These awards were launched in 2013 to drive up standards within the ski industry. Votes are cast online and the first nominee to reach a certain number, wins. About 1.6 million votes were cast this year.

RMR president Graham Rennie holds the trophy at the World Ski Awards. He is joined by BBC presenter Steve Rider, Ms Mojca Ogris-Schimberg, and an awards presenter in a traditional Austrian outfit. Photo: World Ski Awards

The awards are especially influential in the European market and were handed out at a gala event in Kitzbühel, Austria. RMR president Graham Rennie accepted their trophy. “I was incredibly honoured to accept such a prestigious award that puts Revelstoke Mountain Resort on the map on a more global scale,” Rennie said. “This award belongs to the dedicated team at the resort who have made us what we are.” Bighorn Lodge’s executive chef Peter Hughes was gratified with the win for his luxury chalet, owned by Michael Kirkland. “Another thrilling win for my wife Leesa and I and [the] team,” he said. “So many people both locally and internationally (behind the scenes) work so hard to provide our guests with the ultimate experience.” The French resort of Val Thorens took home the World’s Best Ski Resort 2016 title.

Revelstoke’s Bighorn Lodge is the best ski chalet in the world, according to the World Ski Awards. Photo: Bighorn Lodge

Parks Canada to demolish Glacier Park Lodge at Rogers Pass, sparking campaign The Glacier Park Lodge, which in its heyday was a popular lodging for backcountry skiers, has fallen into such a state that it will be demolished. “The buildings are beyond repair at this point,” Parks Canada spokesperson Shelley Bird said. The 54-year-old structure was an ideal spot for those wanting to access the wonders of Glacier national park. Many guests who stayed at the lodge remember it as a cozy setting with character and interesting guests — although both were getting a little frayed at the edges.


The view of the derelict Glacier Park Lodge from the Trans-Canada Highway. Photo: Jean-Marc LaFlamme

The privately-run lodge first closed in 2009 and then again in 2012 while a complex legal battle involving several vested parties played out in court.

reduced access for those coming from further afield.

In October this year, Parks Canada announced they were in control of the property. They have no fixed timeline for demolition and it’s not clear what will be done with the site afterwards. Parks Canada said they would embark on a process to determine its future plans.

“There is this real ambiguity as to what direction they are going to go in,” Calgary-based campaigner Tom McMillan, who loves to ski tour here, said. “I think it’s incumbent on the community that actually use the park to put their voice out there.”

A lobby group, Revive Rogers, has sprung up and is calling for the government to replace the lodge with accommodation for backcountry users since the loss has

The Revive Rogers group can be found on most popular social media apps.

Revelstoke pushes for hospital helipad If you’re in an accident in the backcountry or on the highway, you want to have emergency attention as soon as possible. It’s this factor that is driving a move to build a helipad at Revelstoke’s Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH). Currently, helicopters transport emergency patients to Revelstoke Airport, where an ambulance picks them up. Conversely, patients leaving QVH by air for further care at other medical centres have to be bundled into an ambulance for a trip to the airport first.

The completed helipad at Invermere District Hospital. This is similar to what QVH’s pad will look like. Photo: contributed

The issue of the QVH helipad has been ongoing for a number of years after it went out of service when it didn’t meet updated Transport Canada regulations. The new helipad will cost $465,000 to build. With the decision made to go ahead with the project, funds are needed. Revelstoke District Health Foundation’s drive lifted off on Nov. 14 and the first day saw a whopping $316,000 donated. Big donations came from the Revelstoke Credit Union with $100,000 and the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society, which runs Revelstoke’s thrift store, donated $50,000. Queen Victoria Hospital site manager Julie Lowes said the helipad will benefit the hospital’s services. “A helipad shaves time off getting people where they need to be as soon as possible and that’s something we strive to,” Lowes said. Drop off donations at Revelstoke Credit Union.

Engineering studies for Mackenzie Village reveal Revelstoke’s strained infrastructure “We have had very little investment in infrastructure for over 40 years,” developer The growth of Revelstoke is revealing itself in infrastructure strain and the time has come to face it head-on

The city weathered the 2008 financial crisis and today development in Revelstoke is steaming ahead. There are currently two hotels approved and approaching construction near the Trans-Canada Highway, nearly a dozen houses waiting to be constructed next year, and Mackenzie Village’s master development agreement was approved at the end of November. 32 new homes were under construction in Revelstoke this year, according to city building permit numbers. New engineering reports for the Mackenzie Village’s master development agreement has shone a spotlight on the state of Revelstoke infrastructure and our future needs.

David Evans said. “We’ve coasted on the fact that the population has declined from the peaks of the late ‘80s to early ‘90s. 13,000 down to where we are today —7,500. And that declining population has declined at a slightly faster rate than the capacity of the infrastructure.” Phase one of the ambitious housing project is construction of 40–50 units. It will begin next year once a development permit is approved and the snow thaws. Evans said with Revelstoke’s current state of infrastructure, the development can continue until about phase eight, which is about 10 years from now. In November, City of Revelstoke councillors approved city staff to go ahead with two exploratory engineering studies. One will look at upgrading the sewer treatment plant, which is roughly estimated to cost about $34 million. The other is updating our Development Cost Charges bylaw, which last had a minor review in 2008. Fourth Street and Airport Way corridor and intersections will be made priority projects as part of this review along with the twinning or replacement of the llecillewaet Bridge. The trick with the development cost charges will be to set them at a level that will recoup a fair share of infrastructure costs added by new development. This will be difficult: the city has an existing infrastructure deficit in the many tens of millions. The reports should firm up what needs to be done, but the city will have to reckon with how to pay for it all. “I think the future is looking very good for us,” mayor Mark McKee said. “This is something we need to do.


Shred Kelly to rock the Stoke by Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine staff

Fresh from their Germany tour in September, Revelstoke’s favourites Shred Kelly are coming back to town. They’re known here for their winter worship parties, with crowds jumping to foot-stomping music while the snow falls outside.

They have three albums out: Goodbye, 2010, In The Hills, 2012, and Sing To The Night, 2015. Their fourth album will likely be released late next year and will be an evolution of sound and experience — they tour often and play at international festivals, including recently Germany’s Reeperbahn Festival.

“We love Revelstoke,” vocalist Sage McBride says in a phone interview from Calgary’s OCL Studios where they’re recording a new album. “It’s such a wonderful community. It’s one of our favourite places to play. It always feels like a home away from home.”

“It’s been seven years now. Our original influences have changed and grown,” McBride says. “Although the new album isn’t fully written yet, we’re about three quarters in and we’re liking the direction it’s going in.”

The Fernie folk rockers, who were last here on closing day in April, will play at Traverse Nightclub on Saturday Dec. 17. They call their unique sound stoke folk — it’s dynamic, high-energy and their engaging live show leaves no dance floor vacant.

Revelstoke will get a teaser of these new songs, as well as the old favourites. The band will also give back this Christmas. During their Revelstoke visit they have three time slots available. Book them for $50 for a personalised Christmas carol serenade and funds will be donated to the charity Music Heals.

The close-knit group of five friends includes Tim Newton on vocals, banjo and cello, Ian Page Shiner on drums, Jordan Vlasschaert on bass, acoustic guitar and harmonica, McBride sings and plays the keyboard and Ty West plays guitar.

Shred Kelly plays at Traverse Nightclub on Saturday Dec. 17. Doors 9 p.m. Tickets from Society Snow & Skate or on the door — but it’ll probably be sold out by then.


On the town

We checked in at recent Revelstoke social and community gatherings Patrons of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre (RVAC) gathered at the Art in the Park show in early November for Jacqueline Pendergast’s retirement party. Jackie has run the centre for the past nine years and boosted attendance and artist participation. Some of her accomplishments include the creation of the large garden and pathways that connect the centre to Victoria Road, and the sculpture in the garden. The building has been painted, and the flooring has been redone, and there have been so many improvements to lighting, decor and the overall operation of the centre during those years. Congrats Jackie! She’s joined in the picture by Victoria Strange, who is the new RVAC director.

The Revelstoke Ski Club’s Snowflake Wine Festival at Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Revelation Lodge was another great gala event, attracting about 300 guests for the formal event. They sampled dozens of local wines from regional vineyards and danced to the Rev. Here, from left, Jessie Johnson, Tom Clarke and Sarah Petersen get into the formal attire spirit.

Jodi Kay from the Local Food Initiative and Outreach Coordinator for Community Connections Jenna Fraser serve up soup at the Nov. 19 Soupalicious event at the Revelstoke Community Centre. Their soup was made from food donated by local restaurants and stores, often because they are past their best-before date. The new event celebrated local foods, food security and community spirit. It also raised over $1,900 for the Revlstoke Food Bank. Photos by: Aaron Orlando


December 2016 Events Calendar Thursday December 1 Revelstoke Winter Market @ Revelstoke Community Centre 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Shop for fresh fruit, veggies, baked goods, arts and crafts. Friday December 2 Bob Rogers @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Enjoy one of Canada’s finest trombonists at this classy venue.

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Greeting Centre Grand Opening From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. The snowmobile club celebrates the grand opening of their new greeting centre facility at 4177 Westside Road. Bob Rogers @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Enjoy one of Canada’s finest trombonists at this classy venue.

Tuesday December 6 Toonie Tuesday @ Traverse Nightclub From 9 p.m. Free Cut up the dance floor with all your hip-hop favs. Wednesday December 7 Brown Bag History @ Revelstoke Museum & Archives 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. $5 Learn about Connaught Tunnel and celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Dusty Trucker with Conniferus @ The Last Drop Pub From 9 p.m. Two rock bands from Red Deer, A.B. unite in Revelstoke. Thunderstruck 15 Premiere @ Coast Hillcrest Hotel From 6 p.m. Check out the latest in the Thunderstruck sled video series, enjoy dinner and help fundraise for the Canadian Avalanche Centre. The Leg Up Program @ The River City Pub From 10 p.m. Funk, soul, rock, and hip-hop musical collective from Victoria, B.C. With about 15 members, this band provides great original music to listen or dance to. Tonight and tomorrow. The Christmas Shop @ Revelstoke Art Gallery 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Find a special present made from the heart. Runs until Dec. 17, from 12–4 p.m.

Foothills Brass Quintet Foothills Brass Quintet @ Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre From 7:30 p.m. Five-member brass band will play classical hits and singalongs while entertaining with humourous antics. DJ Praiz @ Traverse Doors 9 p.m. From Montreal, Praiz is based in Whistler where he rocks the Canadian hip-hop turntablism scene. Opening Day Bash with Devon Coyote @ The Last Drop From 10 p.m. Roots and blues infused rock’n’roll show. The Leg Up Program @ The River City Pub From 10 p.m. Funk, soul, rock, and hip-hop musical collective from Victoria, B.C.

Mat the Alien Mat the Alien @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. Since he was 14, Mat has been mixing, scratching and making mixes. His style has spanned many genres but it’s always with heavy beats and bass lines. From early days at his dad’s vinyl store in Northern England to international tours, this Whistler-based DJ is an expert in his trade. Saturday December 3 Opening day @ Revelstoke Mountain Resort From 8 a.m. Lifts for the 2016/17 ski season start turning.


Meagan Oxford Wine and Paint Night @ Mackenzie Common 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. $50 Enjoy a glass of wine and learn to paint under the expert teachings of local artist Meagan Oxford. Open Mic Night @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. DJ Kato @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. With roots in the turntable battle scene 15 years ago in hometown Calgary, kAto has is now based in the B.C. Rockies and loves a genre-bending party set. Expect tempo shifts, live remixes, and classic hip-hop style scratching and juggling. Easy Ruckus @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Blues and folk band inspired by John Butler Trio, Current Swell and Xavier Rudd.

Sunday December 4 Locals’ day @ Revelstoke Mountain Resort From 8:30 a.m. Bring proof of residence and get a lift ticket for $10.

Saturday December 10 Miracle On Mackenzie @ Grizzly Plaza 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Bring the kids and watch Mr. and Mrs. Claus light up Revelstoke’s Christmas tree!

Pineapple Express & Al Lee@ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Local favourites play blues, reggae and folk.

Revelstoke Grizzlies @ Revelstoke Forum From 7 p.m. Grizzlies vs Osoyoos.

Monday December 5 Private Land Conservation Potential in the North Columbia Area @ Revelstoke United Church 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The Kootenay Conservation Program will explain various ways that private land conservation can be achieved and explore the interest in expanding programs into the North Columbia Mountains.

Somewon White Out Party @ Traverse Nightclub From 9 p.m. $15 Dress all in white for this annual winter themed event featuring Blades of Steel. Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Blues and jazz artist with over 50 years experience in music.

Yuk Yuks Comedy Club @ The River City Pub From 8 p.m. Canada’s largest chain of stand-up comedy clubs is on tour. Tiger Moon @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Okanagan based, two-piece folk band who perform with a guitar, mandolin, two pairs o’ boots and two big voices. They are a minimalist barn-burning band with syrup-soaked harmonies. Art Show Sunday December 11 2nd Annual Ken Lavigne Christmas Musical Roadshow @ Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Enchanting musical tour through the 1940s and golden age of radio with special guests Alison MacDonald and Daniel James White. Enjoy Christmas tunes and favourites from Bing Crosby to Andrea Bocelli. Ken’s tenor voice and hilarious stories fill you with the joy and spirit of the holiday season. Monday December 12 Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Tuesday December 13 Holiday Train @ Victoria Road, adjacent to CP parking lot 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. The train with all the Christmas spirit is back for its 18th year. Arriving at 6 p.m, catch the show at 6.30 p.m. with Canadian country greats Dallas Smith and Odds. Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m.

Saturday December 17 Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m.

Christmas Eve Fireworks @ Revelstoke Mountain Resort From 8 p.m. Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display in the Village Plaza.

Shred Kelly @ Traverse Night Club Doors 9 p.m. Fernie folk rockers Shred Kelly are a favourite in the Revelstoke scene and always get the crowd going.

Dahly Llama Turntablist @ The Last Drop Pub From 9 p.m. Brandon Dahlberg aka Dahy Llama has an eclectic style, blending timeless classics with hard-hitting drums and baselines.

Sunday December 18 Brunch with Santa @ The Rockford 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Santa arrives by helicopter at 11 a.m. Reservations recommended.

Tuesday December 27 Toonie Tuesday @ Traverse Nightclub From 9 p.m. Free Cut up the dance floor with all your hip-hop favs.

Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Monday December 19 The Nutcracker by Ballet Victoria @ Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Be whisked away to a fantasyland where nothing exists except you, the music and this wonder-filled traditional story.

Toonie Tuesday @ Traverse Nightclub From 9 p.m. Free Cut up the dance floor with all your hip-hop favs.

Tuesday December 20 Toonie Tuesday @ Traverse Nightclub From 9 p.m. Free Cut up the dance floor with all your hip-hop favs.

Wednesday December 14 Brown Bag History Christmas Party @ Revelstoke Museum & Archives 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. donation to food bank Enjoy a social gathering for the last Brown Bag event of the year with additional treats to celebrate.

Wednesday December 21 Wine and Paint Night @ Mackenzie Common 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. $50 Sip wine and paint with local expert Meagan Oxford.

Wine and Paint Night @ Mackenzie Common 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. $50 Sip wine and paint with local expert Meagan Oxford. Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Open Mic Night @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Thursday December 15 Revelstoke Winter Market @ Revelstoke Community Centre 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Shop for fresh fruit, veggies, baked goods, arts and crafts. Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m. Friday December 16 Wes Mackey @ 112 Restaurant & Lounge From 7 p.m.

Open Mic Night @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Friday December 23 DJ Jayse Aspey @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. Raised on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Australia, Jayse started behind the decks in 2008 and now he drops sets at world-class venues internationally. He has played alongside his biggest influences including Deadmau5 and Krafty Kuts. He currently resides in Whistler, holding down residency at three nightclubs. John Jenkins @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Rooted in in Golden B.C., this two-man trio plays roots, rock, blues, funk and folk. Saturday December 24 R Gear Rail Jam @ Revelstoke Mountain Resort From 5:30 p.m. The Xmas Eve rail jam in the village with features set up on the Last Spike next to the Turtle Creek tubing lanes. Perfect your run for a high score and win a sweet prize pack from R Gear! Register for $10 before the event.

Wednesday December 28 Wine and Paint Night @ Mackenzie Common 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. $50 Sip wine and paint with local expert Meagan Oxford. Open Mic Night @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. Thursday December 29 Neon Steve @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. This Shambhala Music Festival resident, known for his luminous attire, has cultivated a reputation for high-energy sets that blend and twist conventional genres. He keeps a crowd guessing while jumping — a Neon Steve show is an exploration into underground bass music, sprinkled with fragments of your parents, and your grandparents, favourites. Parab Poet & The Hip Hop Hippies @ The Last Drop Pub From 10 p.m. A variety of instruments including bass guitar, violin and mandolin put to the sounds of hip-hop with a hippy groove. Friday December 30 DJ WakCutt @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. For over 13 years, Golden-based WakCutt has been turning heads with his turnatablist talent. Saturday December 31 Revelstoke Grizzlies @ Revelstoke Forum From 7 p.m. Grizzlies vs Kelowna. New Year’s Eve Fireworks @ Revelstoke Mountain Resort 8 p.m. and midnight Celebrate with two spectacular fireworks shows. The early family-friendly show will take place from the village, and followed up by the midnight display at Revelation Lodge, visible from the village and downtown. New Years @ Traverse Nightclub Doors 9 p.m. Three DJs will be rock the dance floor till dawn.


Images in the aftermath of the incident. Photos contributed by Madeleine Martin-Preney

It was a bluebird day, then all of a sudden ...

Getting strained through a tree and earning a bloody compound fracture was actually the less of two evils in this ski touring story gone wrong By Madeleine Martin-Preney Editor’s note: The snow season’s here, and that means the avalanche season has started too. The Revelstoke Mountaineer reached out to the Revelstoke-based Avalanche Canada for a personal story about an avalanche incident that came with an illuminating message to share. Here’s Revelstoke-based skier and guide Madeleine Martin-Preney sharing her story about an incident while touring near the Empire Cabin near Kaslo, B.C. It was a bluebird day in 2013 near the Empire Cabin. As a group of nine people we were spread out — a few of us faster at the front, others taking pictures and chatting a bit behind. Along the ridge crest I decided to drop down to a small copse of trees where it seemed reasonable to access the slope we wanted. I de-skinned quickly, wanting to get moving as we had a big day ahead of us and the sun would start affecting the other slopes we wanted to get to. As the rest of the group was still arriving at the transition spot, I turned to my friend: “Hey, I’m going to start down. There is my re-group point, don’t send the next person until I get there, OK?” “Ok sounds good!” I started skiing down, feeling the familiar anxiety and excitement of being the first one on a new slope, unconsciously holding my breath. I looked up behind me in time to see a crack shooting across the slope about 15 metres above me. In that instant I knew it had all gone wrong. I looked down the slope, remembering what I had told my Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST) students all those times: “If you’re caught in an avalanche, try to ski out of it. If you can’t, ditch all your gear and start swimming – fight for your life!”

Except that for me, that felt impossible. I couldn’t ski out; I was stuck in the moving snow. I didn’t even have time to try and ditch my gear before I was crushed against a huge larch tree. Everything went dark and grey as I felt the washing machine effect of being inside the avalanche. I could feel my body hitting trees as I ragdolled down the slope. I kept waiting for the final impact that would make it all stop. ‘If I am still alive when the snow stops moving, I have to try and make myself an airway,’ I thought. Suddenly, instead of me moving with the snow I felt it pushing against me. Then stillness. Quiet. I tried to lift my head. My eyes caught the faint movement of a small branch glistening in the sunlight against a bright blue sky. A huge wave of relief washed over me. ‘I’m not buried. I am still alive, I’m going to be OK,’ I thought. I tried to sit up, realizing I was wrapped around a tree. That is what saved me from being buried under two to five metres of debris farther downslope. Looking down at my feet, I noticed one was at an odd angle. Reaching down I started lifting up my pant leg until I saw blood. I quickly put it back down, not wanting to know what was underneath, yet. I started yelling, screaming as loud as I could for my friends, not knowing if they were all OK above the fracture line, or if they had also been caught and swept away.

Looking back This event, as with many avalanche incidents involving people, was not the result of one really bad decision. It

was the cumulative effect of several smaller decisions and a lack of awareness to the subtle changes in conditions – both internal and external. Our group was not inexperienced. Many of us had several years of backcountry skiing experience and some bigger expeditions under our belts. A few had taken the Avalanche Operations Level 1 course, and all of us had first aid training. We had discussed conditions and investigated the snowpack in the slopes around the cabin. Avalanche danger for the region we were in had been recently downgraded from ‘considerable’ to ‘moderate’. We all felt fairly confident that we had done our research and investigated what we could. I had been given somewhat of an ‘expert halo’ as the one person who had been to the area before, even though it was only for an afternoon. I didn’t want to feel as though people were relying on me to make decisions, but I failed to verbalize that and create more discussion about the decision making as a group. Instead I internalized my unease and just went with it. This led to a situation in which others were not as likely to voice their concerns and observations, and perhaps that could have made a difference in the decisions and outcomes of that day. We will never know. The ability to be aware of the subtle changes in conditions, both internal and external is essential. This skill builds over time with vast amounts of conscious experience and reflection. We were fortunate that this incident could become a part of building our experience instead of a tragedy. If you’re new to the Revelstoke area and plan to seek powder this winter — even just a little bit on the other side of the ropes — be sure to check out for a wealth of avalanche information and resources.

Help us help you. Here are four basic tips to avoid triggering a REVSAR search, and what to do if you get into trouble. 1. Turn your cell phone off before you head out into the backcountry for the day. That way if you get lost and need it later there’s lots of juice. 2. Bring the 10 essentials with you: a light, a signalling device like a whistle, fire starter, extra clothes, a pocket knife, shelter, water, food, a first aid kit, a means for navigating like a GPS and compass and a SPOT/InReach, PLB and cell phone. When travelling in winter, add in a shovel, probe and transceiver. 3. Let someone know when you’re going and when you’ll be back. 4. Don’t go downhill if you’re lost. Be visible, build a shelter and stay put. A REVSAR long line rescue of a skier. Photo contributed by Giles Shearing/REVSAR

Anatomy of a REVSAR rescue

Revelstoke Search & Rescue is one of B.C.’s busiest volunteer search organizations, and winter is their peak season. We asked REVSAR manager Giles Shearing to describe what happens during a typical winter rescue, and for some simple steps the public can take to avoid getting into trouble in the backcountry. By Giles Shearing Hi. My name is Giles, and I’m one of six managers with Revelstoke Search & Rescue. REVSAR, as we call ourselves in the SAR world, has been part of the Revelstoke first response scene since 1952. That’s 64 years! Our entirely volunteer organization has evolved over those years to become one of the busiest search and rescue groups in B.C., responding on average to 40 to 60 calls a year, mostly in the winter, and most involving skiers and snowmobilers. The average call goes a little something like this: It’s 3 p.m. My five-year-old son and I are drinking hot chocolate at La Baguette at gondi bottom after an awesome afternoon of skiing. Suddenly, my pocket sings. I know the ring tone; it’s one I’ve set for when the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) is phoning. Mid-story, I ask my son to hold on — I need to pick up. The dispatcher on the line tells me that BC Ambulance (one of nine government agencies that can request our assistance) needs our help to pick up an injured snowmobiler on Boulder Mountain, possibly a femur fracture. Details are thin. I hang up and notify our helicopter and sled rescue teams using an app on my phone; it notifies everyone at the same time. My ski partner and I dash to the truck. It’s early January and the light will be gone soon.

A quick stop home, then to the SAR office. It’s been 10 minutes since I received the call. I start getting some texts. Team members who received my callout are already at our base assembling our longline rescue kit and getting the sled trailer hooked up. At our base I check in with BC Ambulance, who now have GPS coordinates. The rescue team and I meet to discuss the mission and our rescue heli pilot is notified to prepare the machine. The ECC is updated with current avalanche conditions and I confirm that we have an avalanche technician who will do the reconnaissance flight. We pull up the GPS coordinates on our big screen TV and one of our sled team members knows the exact area: the Toilet Bowl gully behind the Boulder Cabin. The team agrees that we can sling a rescuer into the trees to package the subject into a spine board designed for flying below the helicopter. Our heli rescue team heads to the hanger. The team arrives at the hanger and loads the long line kit into the cheeks. It’s 3:40 now, and the winter sun is arcing closer to the Monashee peaks to the west, and daylight is fading fast. We only have about 45 minutes of flying time left.

The first flight is to locate the subject, determine the avalanche danger and the length of the sling line to use: 100, 150 or 200 feet. (All of our rescue techs are professional avalanche techs.) We find a landing zone close to the subject so the heli can be rigged with 150 feet of line. The rescue tech clips in and we lift hime slowly above the canopy and then lower him next to the injured subject. Her snowmobile friends help her get loaded onto the stretcher for flight. The subject is brought back to the nearby landing zone, repackaged into the heli and brought down to the awaiting ambulance just before light fades. It’s 4:18. The mission isn’t over. One of the rescue techs had to be left on the mountain because of space limitations in the heli. One of our sled rescue team members heads up to pick him up. Back at the base, equipment is brought to the office, placed on our large drying racks, inventoried and a debrief ensues. Everyone has a chance to speak about things that went well and how we could improve. And this process repeats again, every few days, for most of the winter. To volunteer with REVSAR we look for people who can commit to two years, who are well trained and versed in mountain travel and who are able to commit.

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Three-Valley Gap gets first in avalanche tech

Remote avalanche towers in dangerous transit corridor to reduce Highway 1 closures this winter By Emily Kemp High up in the clouds this past fall, in the treacherous mountains of Three Valley Gap, a small team of specialized workers hung from ropes. They were installing four Wyssen Avalanche Towers in preparation for a remote avalanche control system to go live this winter, just outside of Revelstoke. It’s part of a $6 million government project and the first of its kind for North America. Selkirk Mountain Helicopters’ pilots placed the towers, as tall as 39 feet and angled at about 15 degrees, with finesse. Perched on rocky outcrops in avalanche paths, these towers hold sensitive cargo. 12 explosive charges are loaded into each tower in revolver-style deployment boxes. Each charge is attached to a seven-metre rope and, once dropped to full length, fuses light and they explode above the snow. All of this can be done by the push of a button from an iPad far away, at any time and in all weather conditions. Wyssen Avalanche Control is the Swiss company awarded the $2.1 million contract to install and maintain the towers. Revelstoke-based general manager Walter Steinkogler oversaw a team of workers who accessed the site by ropes and harnesses. Daily safety meetings were the norm. “The project is a big challenge. It’s Highway 1, nothing is easy with it,” Steinkogler said. The project is expected to reduce the size of avalanches in the area. This means less delays and closures to the main east-west commercial link. But while the towers will operate this winter, we won’t see their full benefit until next winter after four more are installed in spring, and the project is completed. This new technology heralds a shift in Canada that Steinkogler has noticed. “It’s a change in attitude,” Walter said. “When I was here the first time, which is now eight years ago I think, people were telling me, ‘We shut down the highway or Rogers Pass for hours or even days, that’s normal’ and I was shocked because that would never happen in Europe. “It’s exciting to get to be part of this huge change going on in Canada. I think this project is just the start.” A similar project in Rogers Pass is being looked at for next year.

Left: Canadian Rescue Systems install explosives in a deployment box. Right: A pilot places a Wyssen Avalanche Tower above Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap. Photos by Rob Buchanan/© Wyssen Avalanche Control


Snowmobiling on Frisby Ridge. Photo: Daniel Stewart/Tourism Revelstoke

Revy snowmobile trade still setting high marks each year But will Alberta’s economic slump impact put a regulator on the sledding trade? And how can the industry deal with increased congestion on popular riding areas?

By Emily Kemp

There they are in the parking lot at Save-On-Foods. Gleaming snowmobiles side-by-side on the back of jacked up pickup trucks, waiting in quiet anticipation. Their riders, decked out in sledding gear, are inside the supermarket grabbing last minute snacks or lining up at nearby La Baguette for their early morning coffee. The sledders chat to each other about where they’re headed. One is going for Sale Mountain, the other to Griffin. It’s a weekend in November and with snow overnight, they’re banking on a good day. This is a common sight during winter in Revelstoke and when early season snow falls in the mountains, those with the means to do so get after it. Revelstoke is on the international bucket list — known for our big mountain sledding and access to the backcountry — both new challenges for visitors from the flat Prairie provinces. City of Revelstoke economic development director Alan Mason conservatively estimates over $10 million is pumped into Revelstoke’s economy every winter from sledding. Since we became a resort municipality in 2009, every year has been a record year for tourism and even in bad years like 2014/15, Revelstoke’s conditions are is still the best. “I think in B.C., we have the largest impact from snowmobile visitation,” Mason says. “Revelstoke is the place for snowmobiling.”

New moves for Revelstoke Snowmobile Club The first flakes of snow had just started to fall in downtown Revelstoke. It was two weeks before Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened, but for the local sledding community, winter had already begun. I was headed to the new Revelstoke Snowmobile Welcome Centre on Westside Road to meet with Dan Kellie, the president of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club.

The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is the second oldest club in B.C, started in 1968, two years after the club in Vernon. We have the largest club in the province with over 700 members last year and growing (about 150 members are local and a large percentage are from Alberta).

will stay longer. Glacier House Resort is already booked out for February and March. Revelstoke’s season is long, with sledders able to get into it as late as June. But it’s not a cheap sport. The estimated cost per day for the sled tourist to Revelstoke is $500, and that’s on top of the cost to get into the sport.

The brand new $400,000 purpose-built building will be a warm place for sledders to meet and to grab some information. Funds for construction were pooled from the club, the city, the province and the Columbia Basin Trust — the joint effort an indication of the impact snowmobiling has on the loca l economy. The grand opening is December 3.

“It’s not a poor man’s sport, and it’s not a lazy man’s sport,” Kellie says.

The centre sits at the base of Boulder Mountain, the entry-point to acres and acres of powdery bliss. Nearby is their other tenure at Frisby Ridge. The club’s three groomers clear the access trails, which riders pay $20 to use. Last year the club had 20,000 days of riders between Boulder and Frisby Ridge. They’re getting overused, with the numbers up by 6,000 last year. The snow gets tracked out earlier and earlier each year, causing some to complain. To deal with the growing number of visitors, the club has applied to expand their tenure to Sale Mountain, Mount Hall, Turtle Mountain and Griffin. “We’re coping, but we want offer our market a wider selection,” Kellie says. “Give them easier access to the mountains.” Kellie arrives in a truck emblazoned with red and black advertising for Great Canadian Tours (GCT), his adventure company based at Glacier House Resort. A lot has changed since 2013 when Kellie didn’t know how to sled, yet took on the club president role three months after arriving in Canada. He came to Revelstoke for business. Before Revelstoke, he owned a successful pub in Sydney, Australia. He found Glacier House Lodge via a Google search for businesses for sale in B.C. He’s since expanded the club’s fleet of sleds to 26. In the last decade, the Revelstoke club has grown, evolving from a social club into a business — it employed 19 staff last winter. But the question everyone keeps asking is what effect has Alberta’s slumping economy had on our tourism? Not much. Yet. Kathy Burke, the club’s event organizer, says some corporate advertisers have been more hesitant this year and some sledders have been more conscious of their membership cost.

Club president Dan Kellie

“I’ve been told what you see is 18 months after the big change in the economy, so this will be our year,” Burke says. But for some sledders out of work, it might mean they

Some things you maybe didn’t know about snowmobiling in Revelstoke • How hard it is — sledding relies on upper body strength with the rider sitting in a forward bent posture, and heavy lifting of the 500-pound machines, pulling, and pushing when you need to get out of a jam. • There are about 12 riding areas in the Revelstoke area. See if you can name them. (Boulder, Frisby, Turtle, Griffin, Caribou Basin, Sale, Keystone, Area 51, McCrae, Hall, Alkokolex, Wap Lake) • Snowmobiling can be a dangerous extreme sport and those playing in the hazardous backcountry need skills, knowledge and proper equipment. • Many skiers and snowboarders use snowmobiles to access backcountry ski areas. • ...And sometimes they like it more and ditch the skis. • There’s a diverse range of people that do it — the enthusiast who sinks all their money into it, the family, and the sponsored professionals. There are a variety of styles too. Hill climbers (high marking), freestylers (tricks and ramps), Freeriders (jump off natural features), recreationists (ride for the scenery) and those who want ski and snowboard access. • Dirt biking helps you snowmobile better, and is a preferred summer crossover sport for local sledders. • It is one of the fastest growing winter sports in B.C. 13

Sleds get into the action on Frisby Ridge. Photos: Daniel Stewart/Tourism Revelstoke

The sled experience

Great Canadian Tours lead guide Steve Scott paints a picture of the sled experience.

“You’re not limited to gravity,” Scott says. “You can play on flat terrain, uphill and downhill and mix it all together, without the interruption of a chairlift.”

“It’s amazing because you have this empty canvas of snow, that is totally up to your own creativity to do what you want with it,” he says. “It’s soft and forgiving and has beautiful landscapes.”

Sleds have come a long way in toning down the impacts of vibration, noise and emissions. “The nice thing is in Revelstoke we have such a deep snow pack that there is zero impact on vegetation because it is blanketed — even with denning bears the sound is completely muffled,” Scott says.

Scott’s other passion is ski touring but the difference he says with in snowmobiling is the variety of terrain, with snowmobilers doing up to 250 kilometres on a big day.

“There is caribou, ungulate, interactions. The snowmobilers respect this and stop instantly and wait of them to leave. It’s mandated, and a good excuse to break.”

From left: Aimee Schalles, Connie Brothers and Alicia Joiner

Change is afoot at Connie Brothers’ law office to spending more time on my work with City Council and In July, the office rebranded as Mackenzie Peak Law Group to be more reflective of the wide range of services volunteer organizations.” provided by not only Connie, but also her associate, Aimee joins Mackenzie Peak from a full-service business Alicia Joiner, and legal assistant, Mandy Leonard. law firm in Vancouver, where her practice focused on corporate and commercial clients. She and her husband But the new name and look aren’t the only new begin(a ski guide with Mica Heli Skiing) recently moved to nings at hand: Connie has recently announced that after 35 years of practicing law, she is planning on retiring town from Squamish. “We couldn’t be happier to be here. as of December 31st. Aimee Schalles has recently joined Revelstoke has everything we were looking for: a vibrant sense of community, great outdoor recreation, and a robust Mackenzie Peak to assume Connie’s role and clientele. small-business scene” she says. “I am really looking forward Connie first came to Revelstoke in 2007 after practicing to becoming a part of this community and helping our clients to solve problems and achieve goals.” family law in Toronto for many years. Since that time, her Revelstoke practice has expanded to be full-service Aimee stressed that it will largely be business as usual at and encompass almost all areas of law. Mackenzie Peak. “I am very lucky to have the ongoing support of Alicia and Mandy, who are already familiar with the Although she professes that she still enjoys the pracclients and the practice” she says. “We will remain focused tice, Connie is ready for a change of pace. “It’s my time on providing excellent and practical service – although the to retire. I love the law and I love my clients, but I am ‘Mackenzie Peak’ name is new, this firm and those values ready to slow down. I’m excited to hand things over to are not.” a new generation of lawyers and am looking forward 14


Mackenzie Peak Law Group is located at 201-217 Mackenzie Avenue, and may be reached at or (250) 837-4971.

Miracle celebration saves Revelstoke’s Christmas

Revelstoke gets 25-foot Christmas tree after annual parade canned By Emily Kemp Miracle of Mackenzie festivities have saved Revelstoke from being a big ole Grinch after our annual parade was cancelled this year due to low participation and dwindling volunteer numbers. The short evening show on Saturday, Dec. 10, will run from 3–5 p.m., with families lining First Street and Mackenzie Avenue to watch Mr. Claus and Mrs. Claus on their way to Revelstoke’s geographic heart — Grizzly Plaza — where they will light a 25-foot Christmas tree. Festival organizer and EZ Rock Revelstoke host Shaun Aquiline said it will be an interactive show that will bring a touch of Christmas cheer to Revelstoke. “It’s for the little guy and little girl who light up when they see the lights and see Santa,” Aquiline said. Revelstoke has always been a little snow crazy. Ice carnivals have been held

throughout the years and our first Winter Sports Carnival in 1915 ran until the 1970s. Schoolboys fought formidable snowball battles around a huge snowman and there was an annual outhouse race through the downtown. In recent history Revelstoke’s parade was popular in the ‘90s, but today there is no annual celebration. “Sometimes when things fall down, they can be picked back up,” Aquiline said. “Sometimes you have to lose it in order to go, you know, we should do that. Maybe next year there will be a committee that is really willing to put together a big parade.” The Miracle on Mackenzie committee has drawn together the business community to make this year’s event happen, with performances from local school kids, a crafts corner in Conversations Coffee House, A Christmas Story will show at The Roxy for $2 and Tim Hortons will provide free hot drinks. As Revelstoke grows as a tourist attraction and highway access gets better, is there an opportunity to grow our Christmas spirit? Aquiline uses the Bavarian-modeled town of Leavenworth in Washington as an example. He says the town of 1,900 people displays half a million lights at Christmas, drawing a crowd of 15,000 people daily to the town. “All we have is potential,” Aquiline said. “We just need to tap it.” Miracle of Mackenzie — Saturday, Dec. 10 from 3–5 p.m. in Revelstoke’s downtown. Revelstoke’s Winter Sports Carnival in 1915. Photo: Revelstoke Museum & Archives

Open Mic Thursdays: December 8, 22 & 29 Your après destination for the ski season. 250-837-7160

Call to book your holiday party: 250-814-5027


Leah Evans in some Revelstoke powder. Photo: Zoya Lynch

Siblings Brodie and Leah Evans. Photo: Imogen Whale

Catching up with the Evans siblings

A brother and a sister, both on top of their games, reflect on their path to backcountry trailblazing By Imogen Whale Super sibling duo Leah and Brodie Evans are at the top of their game. Leah, a pro big mountain skier and brother Brodie, a pro sledder, call Revelstoke home. I had the chance to chat with them to discover what they have in store this winter, to reminisce about their past experiences and to quiz them about each other

Leah Seven years ago Leah Evans packed her skis and moved to Revelstoke. “I wasn’t loving Whistler and I had heard from my good friend Izzy Lynch, who lived in Revelstoke, that it was a gold rush of skiing,” Leah says. A pro big mountain skier, Leah has been competing, filming and travelling for the past several years. “I like the idea of being a renaissance woman when it comes to skiing and doing lots of different things,” she laughs. These different things include her partnership with Patagonia, which has given her more creative freedom in the industry. This winter, Leah will be producing and skiing in a film for the company. “I’m still very much into the ski action,” she explains. “But I love having creative projects as well.”

An apprentice carpenter nearly ready to take his journeyman’s ticket, sledder Brodie Evans has lots of love for Revelstoke. “I moved here for a few different reasons,” he says. “My sister was here. Plus it’s kind of the next step up from Rossland, where I grew up. A bigger mountain and better snow.” The future seems wide open for the Evans siblings. “She’s living the dream, skiing and travelling,” Brodie says of his sister. What does Leah see in her crystal ball for Brodie? “I think Brodie is making his dream happen. I haven’t told him this. I think someday he is going to make an amazing family man. He has these incredible experiences and the ability to relate and share them with people.”


Brodie: “I was with my best friend Shane Davies. He had a couple older sleds his dad bought, and we were bombing around farm fields.” With a knack for dramatic first time outs when it comes to sports, Brodie, using the sled but not knowing what he was doing, blew the drive belt. “I completely grenaded this sled and was stuck in the field,” he laughs. First move towards their pro careers 2006(ish)



First big mountain memory


Eager to give back to the industry that has been so important to her, Leah offers a not for profit side of Girls do Ski called 12 under 20, a free avalanche-level one course for young women. When it comes to the ski industry, Leah Evans is on the rise.

“This winter will look different than any previous ones I’ve had,” explains Brodie, who has spent the last seven months rehabilitating from an overuse shoulder injury and has no plans to reinjure it any time soon. The summer has been about growing up, Brodie says, and listening to his body. Although he has filming plans in the works for the winter, Brodie is planning to keep it mellow. “I’m going to not do quite as much jumping, so I can make it more sustainable and so I don’t miss summer,” he says.

Brodie: Around the age of ten, Brodie’s dad took him touring for the first time. The two headed up Grey Mountain, near the resort (there is now a chair there). “It was my first time in wreckers,” Brodie says. “I could hardly skin up.” Brodie battled with electrical tape to keep his skins on as he and his father dealt with low visibility fog. The two of them skinned up the mountain and promptly dropped in the wrong side, skiing down to the creek drainage in the valley bottom. “It was a mission. My first time out and it was a 12-hour day and super late at night by the time we made it out. I remember skiing beside the Red Mountain snowcats on the way back,” he recalls.

Leah: When Leah was 12 years old, her family made the difficult decision to pull Leah from the race program. Leah, a talented young racer who had represented Rossland at provincials and nationals, was heartbroken. “I was just shell shocked by the revelation I wouldn’t be able to race,” Leah says. “I started skiing with my friends who snowboarded, which is when I really started skiing powder. It turns out quitting racing was probably the best thing for me; I just wanted to be a pow skier.”

In addition to being a pro skier, Leah is the founder of Girls Do Ski. Based in Revelstoke and Golden, Girls do Ski attracts a national and international clientele. “The goal is to have camps for women between 25 and 35 where we do the physical work of skiing and the mental work of self belief as well,” she says.

One of the most well known sledders around, 24-yearold Brodie has a reputation for big air jumping and has been a regular in 509 Films and Slednecks videos for the past three years. Though a pro sledder, Brodie considers himself a skier first and is gravitating to mountain biking in the summer and more ski-based winters. “Really, I want to be an all season athlete,” he says.


Brodie Evans. Photo: Ryen Dunford

Through the years Born: December 12, 1987 (Leah) May 15, 1992 (Brodie) First major event in the snow 1990s Leah: For Leah, growing up in a ski town and being a part of the Nancy Greene race program from a young age means she has no one specific memory. “I was just so very in love with racing,” she explains. “I wanted to be Nancy Greene.”

Leah: Offered a full field hockey scholarship to university in the United States, Leah left after her first year. “I knew what I wanted,” she explains. “I knew I needed to commit to skiing and see where it took me. So many people feel lost in their lives, not knowing what they really want to do or be, but I’ve always known. I consider quitting university to commit to skiing the first real step in my becoming a pro skier, it’s when I set up my goals and put them into motion.” 2011 Brodie: “I never really had a plan,” Brodie says. “I was just doing whatever sports felt right. I never really had any pressure, so it took a couple years to form me into what I am now. A lot of it was being in the right place at the right time with the right people,” he explains modestly. “I was just riding along with a friend who was filming, and we ended up creating a segment. It progressed from there.”

Upcoming Events and Progamming Community Theatre Project Over the past few months we have been conducting theatre workshops with the community to explore what it might mean to be displaced from your home and how Revelstoke can be more welcoming and inclusive to newcomers. Now we will begin devising a theatre production based on these workshops. Everyone is welcome and no experience is required. Theatre Devising begins Monday November 28th 7pm-9pm at the Railway Museum. Ongoing rehearsal schedule will be created based on the needs of the group. Final performances for the project will occur February 12 & 13, 2017 at the Railway Museum.

After School Programming Our popular Glee Club for ages 8+ returns this winter led by Gaila Hemphill and Bex Reid-Parkin Classes run January 24 - April 11, 2017 Tuesdays 3.30-4.30om $110 for 11 weeks (+$15 music/audio files) Drama Classes taught by Gabriella Draboczi beginning January 18th K-Grade 2 - Wednesday 4pm-4.45pm - $56 (6 week session) Grade 3 + - Wednesday 5-6pm - $64 (6 week session) Flying Arrow Productions (FAP) is excited to annouce an international partnership with the David Glass Ensemble (DGE) based in the UK. The AB Project will begin April 2017 as FAP & DGE colloborate to offer workshops and a large scale international youth theatre production involving young people aged 16-25 years from more than ten countries. We are recruiting youth participants now - get in touch!

Reminiscence Theatre Project Flying Arrow Productions is launching a new project this winter which involves the sharing of stories with local seniors through chatting and interviews and follows with a performance created with those stories. This is a fun event with the intention to celebrate the wonderful stories of our local seniors. If you would like to be a story-sharer, an interviewer or a performer in this project get in touch. All are welcome! Process begins December 2016.

For information on all our programming contact Heather at or go to our website for more information We look forward to playing with you!


Zuzana Riha with a work from her November Art in the Park exhibit at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. Photo: Aaron Orlando

A work created in situ at Art in the Park. Photo: Aaron Orlando

Zuzana Riha explores our place in the mountains

Revelstoke artist’s growing body of works range from illustrations, landscape works, canvas and wooden sculpture

By Sarah j Spurr Zuzana Riha to walks me through the Art in The Park exhibit at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. She introduces me to each of her paintings in the November show. She shares narrative about her four-day retreat spent sketching in situ in the Glacier National Park landscape. In August, a dozen artists came together to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the mountain park by producing artworks. The program is designed to inspire an emotional connection and deeper understanding of Canada’s national parks. Riha has helped with this program before; she works for Parks Canada as a product development officer in their visitor experience office. But this year she contributed as one of the visual artists. Her vibrant painting of Mount Sir Donald beside the Illecillewaet Glacier is the first we meet. A cool wave dips down from a pocket of night sky over an illuminated valley of rocky figures. She’s brought life to her studies using acrylic on canvas. Her series borrows inspiration from famous Canadian artist Lawren Harris. Riha’s kind-eyed portraits of watchful bears carry the same moving brush strokes through their shaggy coats as she’s applied to create glacier etched landscapes. Riha’s gallery works are just one part of her expanding portfolio. Her current darling has been the children’s bike park at the Nels Nelsen recreation area at Mt. Revelstoke national park. The bike park — which has been a team effort involving others — is designed to build foundational skills in youth. She has consulted with professionals to help meet design standards and is the creative force behind the interactive ‘creature features’ there. Her life-like sculptures, including an educational animal scat gallery, are created using concrete and epoxy. The project will be completed in time to celebrate with Parks Canada, for the 150th anniversary of Canadian federation in 2017. At the end of the day, Zuzana brings her passion for outdoor spaces inside. Artistic expression is at the core of her home. It’s in her use of locally milled wood and with her careful application of carvings and inlays of trees, bears, and leaves. She’s a trained sculptor and illustrated the children’s book Radar the Rescue Dog, a story about an avalanche rescue dog. (Riha has volunteered as an avalanche rescue dog handler.) Zuzana exemplifies a culture of wild creativity that is found in resourceful Revelstoke. Creativity finds its place out in our community with strong messages about our treasured environment and passion for recreation. Contact Zuzana to inquire about her work: Visit to learn about Art in the Park program and the upcoming local Parks Canada celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canadian federation.


A carving at the new youth mountain bike skills park in Mount Revelstoke national park. Photo: Aaron Orlando

Mark Hartley

Mark Hartley splitboards in the backcountry. Photo: Greg Hill

Roasted in the ‘stoke

Revelstoke’s Stoke Coffee roaster Mark Hartley is a connoisseur of caffeine and adrenaline. By Emily Kemp

He was at the forefront of the splitboard revolution known for slaying dreamy backcountry lines, but these days Mark Hartley splits his face shots between powder and espresso. He has an obsession with coffee and his mission, as the owner/operator of Stoke Coffee, is to provide Revelstoke with quality coffee. You’ll find his brand stocked at local cafes, retailers and the winter market. But the coffee novice might wonder, how can Revelstoke have its own coffee brand?

Artist Meaghan Oxford in her home studio. Photos in this story by Sarah j Spurr

“One part of the quality equation for coffee is having it freshly roasted,” Hartley explains at his small warehouse and roasterie in the Big Eddy. He’s surrounded by 150-pound bags of coffee that he imports from the world’s best coffee regions. “In this day and age you can ship coffee quite quickly from the roaster to the consumer but it does take some dedication to manage inventory and keep it fresh.”

Adult Upgrading

Stoke Coffee began in late 2008 and has grown organically with the demand. “There’s been kind of a food movement to local production and local processing, it seems like a lot of towns and cities have their own roaster now,” Hartley says. He rattles off a bunch of names, such as Bean Bag in Golden, Kicking Horse in Invermere and Oso Negro in Nelson. For Hartley, this venture really began with a love of coffee. And lots of it. Back then, when snowboarding and touring was life, he and his friend Conor Hurley would hole up at The Modern, the earliest opening cafe at the time. Hurley, who had tried his hand at home roasting on a barbecue, figured they could go further than just drinking coffee. “Lots of people were drinking coffee, and there wasn’t really anyone producing it,” Hartley says. “So we just though we would step it up and get a proper roaster and start roasting coffee and see how that went.” “It seemed at the time, we could have our coffee and drink it too.” While the business grew, snowboarding was still the main focus for about the first four years. Later Hurley’s life took him in a different direction while Hartley decided to keep grinding and grow the Stoke Coffee brand.

Do you want to complete high school? Do you need pre-requisites? Do you want to improve your academic skills?

“I didn’t anticipate at one point I wouldn’t be a ski bum anymore,” Hartley says. “Now I’m not a ski bum and I’m roasting a lot of coffee and it is making some money.”

Take the Next Step

Prepare for your future Full-tuition grants available Flexible schedule options For more information, call the AACP Coordinator at your local campus.

The process of choosing and roasting coffee gets pretty technical, so we’ll save the science class. But coffee flavour has as much to do with how it’s roasted as it does the bean and its origins. “Each roaster has their own way of doing things,” Hartley said. “I generally shoot for a classic, well-developed medium roast. “I do roast some offerings, mostly African coffee, lighter and brighter, similar to third wave style roasters like 49th Parallel out of Vancouver.”

250-837-4235, Ext. 6516 in Revelstoke LN2938

Harley doesn’t define himself as a coffee snob, but without a doubt, he’s passionate. He has a diverse range of coffee so customers that know their coffee need to know what their tastes are. “I define myself as a coffee professional,” Hartley says. “Sometimes as a street level drug dealer.” “You have to find what you like. If you like it, it’s good coffee.”

Stoke coffee served at many local restaurants, including Sangha Bean Cafe, The Modern Bakeshop & Cafe, Mountain Meals and La Baguette. Stoke is sold at the winter farmer’s markets and several local stores. 19

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.’s owners Tracey and Bart Larson at their new production facility. Photos: Aaron Orlando

Mt. Begbie Brewing’s new brewery set to open

The Revelstoke beer experience gets upgraded with a brand-new, purpose-built microbrewery By Emily Kemp Tucked away in the back of Revelstoke in Johnson Heights, a sleek industrial building sits surrounded by quiet forest, snow and mountain views. Inside, bright lights reflect off a line of aluminum tanks, standing like soldiers on a polished concrete floor.

end,” the guild’s Ken Beattie said.

This is the new home of Mt. Begbie Brewing Co., Revelstoke’s local award-winning brewery known for popular beers such as the High Country Kölsch and Tall Timber Ale.

Their COMAC canning machine, which throws out neat packages of six, does 3,800 by the hour. It’s worth a few hundred thousand dollars — the brewery’s media officer Darryn Shewchuk says it’s their Ferrari.

Their brew flows at most venues around town and to deal with growing demand, reaching from Vancouver Island to western Canada, the company needed a bigger space. It’s the second time they’ve moved and it’s been a long time coming. Construction began around May 2015 and should be finished this month.

“It’s like everything high performance and Italian, it’s very expensive,” he says.

The struggle is to stand out, which Tracey says they do by having a consistent quality. It helps when you have top-of-the-range machines to help with production.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the brewery’s move is its expanded offering to visitors. Inside, there is an observation deck where visitors can view the beer-making process from above. At their previous facility, production The company supplied about 6,600 hectolitres of gold- had to be stopped for tours. en goodness to its customers this year and will likely Then there’s the large modern-deco tasting room, with do about 9,000 in 2016. The capacity of their new tables and chairs facing a wall of windows that provides quarters is 15,000, so there is plenty of room to grow. views out to the actual Mount Begbie on a clear day. Owners Bart and Tracey Larson began the brewery in 1996. Bart has a PhD in nuclear physics and Tracey has Barstools line the expansive bar area in readiness for degree in biology, but that hasn’t changed the way they this season’s beer samplers and outside, in the summer, there will be a patio dedicated to the equation of loungbrew beer. ing, sun and beer. “When we started, the failure rate was one in two for craft breweries,” Tracey says. “Our parents thought we were insane for leaving our careers and education.”

No doubt with such a short stumbling distance to the nearby Hillcrest Hotel, guests will take advantage of this latest addition to Revelstoke’s broad range of tourist attractions. For Bart and Tracey, they’re hoping things will ease up after working the seven-days-a-week toil. “It’s not getting any easier but we keep expanding and growing,” Tracey says. “I get excited when I see it coming to life.”

Head brewer James Bell

The number of breweries in B.C. today is expanding. The B.C. Craft Brewers Guild says there are 126 registered in B.C., a vast change from 2013 when there were under 60. “We have grown by more than 20 breweries each year to rise to the current 126 with more scheduled by year

Media officer Darryn Shewchuk


The new building out in the woods.

Mt. Begbie’s craft beer to try this winter Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. releases a number of special seasonal beers to keep things interesting. This month Stoked Winter Ale will be on tap and in retailers. And as Mt. Begbie has reached its 20th birthday, the company will also be releasing a number of beers over the next six months as part of a Heritage Series. “We wanted to resurrect and remind people that Revelstoke has had a long history of quality brewing,” Shewchuk said. The most significant of this history began in 1891 with the Revelstoke Brewery. It operated on the north bank of the Columbia River and ran until 1900. Enterprise Brewery, operating where the Alpine Inn sits today on 1001 2nd St W, ran for longer from 1897 to 1957. Lastly the Revelstoke Wine & Spirit Company, who later changed their name to Revelstoke Brewery operated

from 1903 to 1906 on at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Fourth Street. “[The first Revelstoke Brewery] were one of the biggest breweries in B.C. and they made a lot of really good beer,” Shewchuk said. The Heritage Series will include a Revelstoke Lager, Pilsner, Strong Ale, and Stout, and will be marketed with the ‘50s style labels. The first, to be released in late December, will be the Revelstoke Lager, described as a crisp, refreshing, old style lager.

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. current line includes: 1. Mt. Begbie Cream Ale: their original signature, a golden ale with delicate, fruity flavour and a hint of honey.

2. Powerhouse Pale Ale: a traditional full-flavoured pale ale driven by a big helping of lightly roasted malt, with a caramel hint. 3. Tall Timber Ale: their most popular brew. This moderately-hoppy, full-bodied English Brown Ale brings caramel undertones and some residual sweetness. 4. Nasty Habit IPA: award-winning beer features a blend of rich specialty malts and a hoppy profile. 5. Brave Liver Scotch Ale: smooth full bodied strong ale. Scottish pale ale malts are artfully crafted to impart hints of oak, scotch and caramel. 6. High Country Kölsch: a light, mildly-hopped beer originating in Köln, Germany, using Kölschbier yeast. Mt. Begbie has won several awards for this delicate and drinkable beer.













To view our full list of classes visit: 21

GATHER: The art of the Revelstoke potluck By Jodi Kay The potluck dinner party is a popular concept among friends, especially in Revelstoke. With so many new faces arriving each winter to make Revelstoke home, it’s easy to understand why; pot lucks are fun, easy, budget-friendly and offer a chance to share a family-style meal for those of us who are far away from family. The simple act of gathering with others to eat a homemade meal has real value, especially around the holidays when we all tend to be a bit busier. We’ve chatted with a few Revelstoke locals who were generous enough to share their favourite tips for planning or attending a pot luck. Here’s hoping this will help up your chances for a successful potluck season!

Pick a theme “I always like to theme my potlucks because it helps narrow the possibilities of a dish for your guests and also adds a new element of creativity,” say Conner Potton. “It is always so exciting to see what different ideas people come up with for a Mexican fiesta theme, Italian dinner, or southern barbecue cookout. Sometimes I like giving the guests a mandatory ingredient to use. I’m always so surprised with the spread of food! This way you can decorate, play tunes or have activities according to your theme. It gives the gathering an even bigger purpose than just a great meal with your pals, which in itself is hard to beat!”

Dress up your table Nicole Cherlet of Big Mountain Kitchen says potlucks are a chance to break from the ordinary. “Just like we brush our hair, put on some accessories and make our stretchy clothes into a party outfit, we can get creative and add a few personal touches to a table to make our feasts feel a little more special — without spending money. Try using the left over fresh herbs from your dinner recipe mixed with a few tree sprigs (when you trim your tree, don’t throw the pretty cuttings out!) It adds a lovely smell to your table and whets your guests’ appetite for the meal!”

Plan games “At my potlucks, my friends that come know that a game or two is on the agenda after dinner,” say Toni Johnston. “We like to get out the Wii and have a few laughs at ourselves while we compete on balance games like ski jump or soccer. Mexican Train is a good game for a group of five or six.” Toni says preparing the food itself can act as an activity. “When I make homemade chilli rellenos, some have to roast the peppers over an open gas flame, while others beat the egg whites and we all take turns assembling and cooking. They are a lot of work but it pays off in the eating!”

Picky eaters “When you are cooking for friends with kids (who may be picky eaters!) it’s nice to make a meal that comes in simple parts so the everyone can take what they like,” suggests Sarah Darval. “For a Mexican night you might cook a big pot of brown rice and a big pot of pinto beans with some simple homemade tortillas. Make some salsas and put out any other toppings that go well and everyone can create their own meal!”

Bring bubbly! “When in doubt of what to bring for wine, bring bubbly” says Revelstoke Mountaineer wine columnist Heather Hood. “It’s great for brunch, lunch or with appetizers at dinner, you can’t go wrong!”

Potluck friendly recipes Revelstoke is full of active, healthy people and with that comes varying diets and food restrictions. I have been to gatherings in the past where people have not been able to eat my dish due to a personal food allergy or intolerance, and that just breaks my heart. Food is meant to be shared! So now I focus on developing recipes that everyone can enjoy, even hopefully those picky eaters. Here are my top three recipes that would be suitable for a holiday themed pot luck: easy to prepare ahead of time, free of all glutens, dairies and sugars – but full of flavour. We’ve even suggested a wine pairing for you – how easy is that? Mexican train here we come!

Smoky Butternut Squash Dip Ingredients • 1 small butternut squash ($3–$4 at the winter market) • Extra virgin olive oil • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon •1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt • 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic • 1 + 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (from a can or home cooked, chickpea cooking liquid reserved) • 1/4 cup tahini • 1–2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice • Water, as needed • Your favourite hot sauce or harissa, as needed for desired heat

What to do Preheat oven to 400 F. Half the squash and scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into large chunks, no need to remove the skin. Toss squash with extra virgin olive oil, ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground cinnamon and sea salt. Add enough olive oil so that the pieces are well coated. Place squash on a baking sheet and add garlic cloves to the sheet. Roast for 20–30 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Peel the roasted garlic and add it to a food processor or blender, along with roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, tahini and apple cider vinegar. Puree until creamy and smooth, adding as much chickpea cooking liquid as needed. You might need to add the liquid reserved from one whole can of chickpeas. Adding olive oil can sometimes cause your hummus to solidify in the fridge, so this tip ensure you will have a soft and smooth hummus for everyone to enjoy. Scrap down the sides of the food processor and blend again, adding a little water if needed.

Smoky Butternut Squash Dip. Photo: Jodi Kay


Adjust seasonings as needed (spices, salt & pepper to taste). Store in the fridge and serve with you favourite friendly crackers or vegetables. Top with your favourite harissa or hot sauce for extra heat. Best paired with this month’s suggested white wine.

Stuffed Mushrooms Ingredients • 15-20 cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed from the caps • 1/2 cup whole, raw almonds • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 tablespoon gluten free tamari • 1 clove garlic • 1/2 tablespoon miso • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar • Sliced green onions, for garnish

What to do Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and place mushroom caps stem side up on the baking sheet. Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil (a few tablespoons) and place in the oven for 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine mushroom stems, almonds, olive oil, tamari, garlic, miso and apple cider vinegar. Blend until coarsely ground.

Stuffed Mushrooms. Photo: Jodi Kay

After 10 minutes, remove mushroom caps from the oven and fill each cap with tamari almond stuffing. Return to the oven and bake fore another 20 minutes, or until caps are soft and brown. Top with green onions and serve warm or at room temperature. Best paired with this month’s suggested red wine.

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Wine picks for the Revelstoke holiday season By Heather Hood

The month of December can be a busy time celebrating with friends, family, colleagues and new acquaintances. This month, all of these wines would be great choices to pick up for a holiday gathering, impromptu potluck or even a gift! The white and sparkling wines that I have selected both taste really wonderful chilled, as well as when they are left out of the fridge and allowed to warm up at room temperature. When the wines are served chilled, they are crisp with a more pronounced acidity. Once the wine begins to warm up, the sweetness becomes more prominent. If you were to serve the Hands Up White with your appetizer and leave it on the table to also accompany dessert, you would certainly notice a difference in the flavours of the wine. For the red wine, allowing it to breathe will enhance or change the flavours. Methods that can be used to let a wine breathe are pouring the wine into a wine glass or decanting it into a carafe. Wine is interesting as the flavours can evolve from the time you open it up, to when you have finished drinking the bottle and I encourage you to see if you can taste these differences.

Monte Creek

2015 Hands Up White $16.22 If you have ever driven to Kamloops, you have probably seen The Monte Creek Winery which is located on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway, 10 minutes from Kamloops. The Hands Up White has been my favourite new find this year and is a wine I would highly recommend. The wine is very versatile and would work well with an appetizer, a main or dessert. This wine has a great balance of acidity and sweetness. There are flavours in this wine of candy apple, ripe pear, honey and it has is a nice viscosity (the way the liquid of this wine coats the inside of your mouth).

Bartier Bros.

2013 Cabernet Franc $32.74 Michael Bartier the winemaker has a long and impressive history for making extraordinary wines and is an exceptional winemaker in the Okanagan Valley. There are not many wineries that produce a Cabernet Franc wine in B.C. and Bartier Bros. is one of those the few. This medium bodied red wine is well rounded and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. The wine has red fruit flavours of plum and cherry, subtle herbaceous flavours of green pepper and light balanced tannins (tannins are the dry feeling you experience on the sides of the back part of your tongue). This would be a fantastic wine to bring to a special occasion or to share with a wine enthusiast.





Beaumont Family Estate Winery 2014 Spritz & Giggles $23.61

The Beaumont Winery is family owned and run and they are a certified organic winery. There are fewer than 15 wineries in B.C. that are certified organic. Sparkling wine is a great choice for any meal you are invited to, even breakfast. It is the perfect wine to celebrate the holiday season or any random Thursday evening. This is a really nice wine using less traditional grape varieties for sparkling wine. The flavours from the Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer give this wine a nicely developed flavour profile that has floral characteristics, pear and hints of lemon. This wine would be fantastic paired with truffles.

All wines available at Cheers! Downtown Revelstoke Open 9am to 11pm Delivery to your Door Call 250.837.4550 24

Images: Sarah Mickel Photography Models: Nelly Dargnat and Edouard Mesnil-Merpaux Styling: Stéphanie Richer-Henry Clothing: R Gear Edouard wears Picture Organic Clothing’s cooper shirt / $94.95, jacket / $289.95 and RMR snapback / $29.95. Nelly wears Picture Organic Clothing’s chyme hoody / $114.95, holly 3 vest / $139.95, jude toque / $39.95 and buffalo leggings / $69.95.

Edouard wears Picture Organic Clothing eno 2.0 jacket / $499.95, Picture Organic Clothing track lab pants / $259.95, Oakley airbrake prizm sapphire goggles / $298.95, Dakine poacher 36L RAS backpack / $279.95 and Picture Organic Clothing handsaw toque / $39.95. Nelly wears Coal waffle toque / $39.95, Smith chromapop sun shadow goggles / $249.95, Burton heron pullover / $79.95, Picture Organic Clothing apply 2.0 jacket / $249.95, and Picture Organic Clothing great pants / $229.95

Edouard wears Oakley flight deck prizm torch goggles / $249.95, Arc’teryx castlegar toque / $39.95, Arc’teryx atom LT jacket (mid-layer) / $279.95, Arc’teryx rush jacket / $799.95, Arc’teryx stinger bib pants / $699.95, Salomon quest pro 120 boots / $579, and Smith vantage helmet / $259.95. Nelly wears Smith IO/S chromapop sun goggles / $249.95, Coal toque / $39.95, Arc’teryx atom LT hoody (mid-Layer) / $299.95, Arc’teryx vertices hoody / $129.95, Arc’teryx sentinel jacket / $699.95, Arc’teryx sentinel pants / $599.95, and Salomon quest pro 80W boots / $399.95.

Get decked out at RMR’s R Gear High quality brands, custom souvenirs and staff that love the mountains as much as you do

There’s something about the ski industry that ignites a passion in its people. You know that when you walk (or ski) into R Gear at Revelstoke Mountain Resort you’re among friends, and a huge range of high-quality gear. Just look at the people that work there. Manager Benoit Lafon used to be a pro snowboarder. He grew up ski racing on the Pyrenees and today he’s on the RMR Pro Team. Stéphanie Richer-Henry, R Gear’s merchandiser and buyer, was brought in to the store this year from Whistler where she ran the Arc’teryx store. And retail supervisor Louise Stanway loves the outdoors, having instructed high ropes and kayaking. “We are all skiers or snowboarders,” Lafon said. “We’ve done it all and can give the best advice.” The store was expanded two years ago and is fully stocked — from technical base and outer layers to stylish après looks. There’s backcountry equipment and skiing accessories such as helmets and goggles. They stock high quality brands — Arc’teryx, Icebreaker, AK, Salomon, Dakine, etc. — and they recently took on Picture Organic Clothing. It’s a fair-trade company from France that is technical, high quality and uses recycled and organic materials (see it featured in the fashion shoot). Check out their first-rate collection of custom souvenirs. From RMR emblazoned drinkware to key rings featuring miniature gondolas or the unique RMR snow globe featuring Gnorm the gnome and plenty of pow. R Gear is focused on supporting local where possible and Revelstoke’s Integrated Apparel and its artists create custom t-shirt designs, printed on organic bamboo. They also worked with local artist Jessica Leahey and Salmon Arm’s Abundant Specialty Advertising to launch a made in Canada, organic t-shirt range. “People love to bring something back from their experience,” Lafon says. “We have a versatile and exclusive to Revelstoke collection.” RMR season pass holders get 10 per cent off at R Gear.

The R Gear team: (From left) Louise Stanway, Bryn Vickers, Stéphanie Richer-Henry with manager Benoit Lafon. Photos: Sarah Mickel

The perfect bootfit

Your whole movement, whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, starts at your feet. This means your boots, and how well they fit, can truly make or break your day. The mechanics of the perfect fit go beyond the technical and into the medical. “A boot is an orthotic device — it controls the movement of your foot and what it does for you,” Bryn Vickers explains.

A customized footbed can boost your performance.

He’s R Gear’s boot fitter, brought on this year after completing a masters program at MasterFit University in the United States and worked under the mentorship of Lindsey Bennett, Canadian boot fitter extraordinaire. R Gear’s other boot fitter Thede Preiser, has a degree in orthobionics. Bryn’s favourite subject is clearly boots — he’s passionate as he tries to explain how getting a footbed can lift your performance. “Everybody’s foot is a different shape and moves differently,” he says. “I build foot beds that help stabilize people and movement in the boots. It keeps you comfortable, you ski better and you’re warmer because you have better circulation when you’re properly supported.” A variety of factors can result in cold feet. With well-fitting boots, this won’t happen and your foot and ankle muscles will likely fatigue slower. “Ultimately, boots are the most important part of your gear,” Vickers says. “With the technology and equipment available today, you can have fun with most boards and skis, but you need to have boots that keep you balanced and drive your skiing or boarding.” R Gear’s boot brands include Lange, Atomic, Salomon, Full Tilt, Burton and more. A custom footbed is $210 including labour and future adjustments done right on the hill. And if you were skeptical to begin with, Vickers guarantees you won’t be afterwards.

R Gear’s Bryn Vickers fits boots for Devon Knopf.



“I love the shock value, when I show customers things they can’t see, or didn’t think about,” he says. “Many people don’t realise they have a problem until it’s been fixed. It’s a complex area and the average buyer benefits from a guiding hand.”

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Local artisans Handon Leather create enduring quality By Sarah j Spurr

Before the arrival of this season’s snowfall, we filled a leather postal bag with creations and took to the moss-covered Jordan River Canyon to match warm colours against the last green days of forest floor. We set up under the shade of the cedar boughs and unpacked amazing tanned Handon Leather works for our photo shoot. Handon is Hannah Kinsey and Donnie Frederickson, two spirited entrepreneurs practicing their craftsmanship within a classic trade, hoping to bring back sensibility and longevity to our most well-loved and used accessories. They began with the simple concept: making things better.


And with a good four years under their homemade and handmade belts, they have done just that. They’ve expanded their studio and have been busy producing goods to fill their Etsy shop. They’ve gained a following by attending artisan shows and are often busy fulfilling custom orders and requests. The scalloped envelope of the sweet Stephanie clutch looks like a love letter. The firm structure of their various side satchels are practical, hardy and bold. They make totes for your cameras, notebooks electronics and lunches. Their full-grain leather wallets for boys and girls feature interesting folds. Hannah has shown me pieces that will age gracefully with time; they are handmade with care and inspired

Photos: Sarah j Spurr

by the freshness and authenticity of their headquarters in Revelstoke, B.C. Handon believes that choosing leather is a way to hold up classic, clever design for works designed with a long life cycle in mind. These leather creations are heirloom quality and one of a kind. Genuine leather goods are biodegradable and ensure new plastics don’t make it to the landfill. Buy Handon Leather goods at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives gift shop. For contact info and current popups, visit Handon Leather at their Etsy Shop and like them on Facebook. @handonleather /


Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine December 2016 issue  
Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine December 2016 issue  

This is the digital issue of the Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine for December, 2016. The magazine is distributed to over 200 locations acros...