I had an epiphany that BC is where all good things happen. Deep snow, friendly Canadians, lots of ski guiding jobs.... Later I learned that all American ski guides have had the same epiphany.
Cathy and I stayed in Revelstoke with our friend Cece and skied with her man Giacomo. Then we went to Valhalla Mountain Touring, a ski lodge near Nelson.
Giacomo and Cathy on our first tour, up to Bruins Pass above Roger's Pass.
Giacomo points out Mount Sir Donald. The sun/shade line is the Northwest Arete, route number nine in Roper and Steck's Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.
Giacomo skiing Peak 8812. Giacomo has been a Revelstoke ski bum for seven years. His touring style is decidedly recreational, but with a heavy dose of experience and casualness. Perhaps a revolt from growing up in the mountain guiding culture of the Dolomites in Italy.
Cathy skiing from North Terminal Peak to the Illecillewaet Glacier.
Giacomo below Mount Tupper on the Tupper Traverse. In the new guidebook Uptracks, Bootpacks & Bushwacks, this obvious coulie is labeled as "?" That must mean "filled with pow" in Canadian.
Giacomo skiing 2,000 feet of avalanche path to the Trans Canada Highway.
Cathy hitching the Trans Canada. Giacomo and I are hiding in the bushes.
I joined guide friends Cece Mortenson and Mike Bromberg for their morning guide meeting at Selkirk Tangiers, a heli ski operation that had 150 guests on this day. For some reason I imagined Canadian guide meetings to be a bunch of brief-case toting executive types. They were actually just regular guides: fit, friendly and droopy-eyed at 6am from back-to-back days of work.
Morning guide meeting at Valhalla Mountain Touring with owners Jasmin Canton and Evan Stevens. North Conway IFMGA Mountain Guide Peter Doucette and I joined them each morning and evening.
Canadian avalanche professionals use the InfoEx (Information Exchange) to share information.
Cathy with our long-time friend Majka Burhardt. Majka and I met in Ouray in 1997. The next year we learned to mountain guide together at the American Alpine Institute. Soon after, Cathy and Majka met and became great friends.
Majka's husband Peter at VMT.
Cathy and I joined a big, fun group of Majka and Peter's family.
Peter's brother Jim showing us what a telemark turn looks like.
Cathy in the Valhallas. Coming from Alaska, trees are a nice change, but they are also intimidating to be around in avalanche terrain as they act like baseball bats.
Cathy below saggy cornices.
The cornices in the previous photo are in the background.
Superhero guide Jasmin Canton in her home turf.
Cathy learning Canadian culture from Glen as we cleaned up the perishable booze on the last night.
Thank you Giacomo, Cece, Mike, Majka, Peter, Jasmin, Evan and everyone else for an incredible trip! Please let me know when I can move to Canada.