BC Ski Blog – Notes from All Over: Coldsmoke’s A’Coming, VIMFF, Zero Ceiling, etc

 

We’re well into the impressive program of films and guest speakers at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, and have been some amazing presentations. On Monday night, legendary sea kayak adventurer Jon Turk enthralled the audience at Centennial Theatre with stories and images from his ski/hike/kayak circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island. Lest you believe that all adventurers are young bucks sponsored by rampaging energy drinks, Turk is in his 60s, the author of a half-dozen books, and as he said, this trip had him looking death square in the eye (Turk had to be medivac’d one day after he completed his trip). His stirring narrative was reported earlier this year in the New York Times, and he recently wrote a solemn, yet inspirational, meditation on avalanches and death after the holiday tragedy on the Duffey Lake Road that took the life of pro patroller Duncan MacDonald. You can find out more about Turk’s adventures (and buy his books) on his website. National Geographic has nominated Erik Boomer and Turk as one of their Adventurers of the Year 2012 for their Ellesmere circumnavigation.

Quick Competition Notes:

Another awesome weekend for Canadian skiers/snowboarders, led by Invermere’s prodigious Ben Thomsen, who finished second on the 2014 Winter Games course in Sochi. Canadians took home five medals in the Dew Tour action sports stop in Utah over the weekend, while closer to home, Olympic snowboard queen Maelle Ricker from Squamish abbed first place at the Mount Baker Banked Slalom competition.

VIMFF Continues – Two Ski Show Nights

“Ski Night” has proven to be so successful that this year, VIMFF will have two nights devoted to sliding (and some suffering) on snow. Nick Waggoner from Sweetgrass Productions (Signatures, Hand Cut, and VIMFF 2011 Best Ski Film: Desert River) is coming up from the USA to present their latest film, Solitaire, along with stories about making award-winning ski films utilizing simple self propulsion.

Help Whistler’s Zero Ceiling Raise $20,000 ($4500 in one week… a great start!)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since Whistler ski pro/mountain biker Chris Winter started Zero Ceiling, an innovative programme that introduces at-risk street kids to finding a positive life working and playing in the Coast Range Mountains. Zero Ceiling has a fund-raiser happening from now until May 31st to select ten underprivileged youth to relocate to Whistler and participate in their Work 2 Live program.  Find out more about the great work that Zero Ceiling has done on their webpage and Facebook page.

Grinding at Grouse… on Snowshoes

Hikers throughout the Lower Mainland have tackled the infamous Grouse Grind – “Mother Nature’s StairMaster” as it’s been described. But did you know there is a winter equivalent that’s not quite as physically demanding? It’s called the Snowshoe Grind, and covers a 4.2 kilometre course from the Peak Chalet to the summit of Dam Mountain and back again. You can do the Snowshoe Grind at pretty much anytime, but the Snowshoe Grind Run coming up on February 25th offers plenty of prizes and is a great way to meet other snowshoers.

BC Nordic Photo Contest Offers Great Prizes, Courtesy Tourism Whistler and Yeti Snowshoe

The BC Nordic Marketing Society is running its annual Nuts for Nordic photo contest (no, you don’t have to be crazy to enter…). Upload your favourite (original!) photo of you, your family, or your friends enjoying Nordic activities, like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic ski touring and backcountry skiing in British Columbia. It can be a fun, goofy photo, a loppet pic, a family snapshot, or a contemplative scenic landscape. Just show them what inspires you out there as you enjoy BC’s beautiful Nordic trails and you’re in the running for a prize!

Hit the Road to Whitewater’s Cold Smoke Festival

For six years now, the Cold Smoke Festival has been British Columbia’s premiere backcountry skiing skills festival. With competition and courses from skiers like Eric Pehota and Allison Gannett, this three day gathering of the AT and telemark tribe is definitely worth the drive over to Whitewater to partake in. Meet and ski with Kootenay ski legends like Peter Velisek, Wren McIlroy, and Ramin Sherkat. Oh, and as always, there are awesome prizes by Arc’teryx, Genuine Guide Gear, and Backcountry Access. Make sure you check out the Backcountry Olympics page…

Eye Candy of the Week: Norrona Magazine

Norrona is a premium outerwear clothing company based out of Norway, and their on-line magazine is a visual delight. My favourite story and photo essay from this month’s edition was written by Kari Medig, an award-winning photographer out of Nelson, BC. He completed the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Traverse last spring and brought back some visually dazzling images.

 

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