Vancouver SUN Ski Guide Blogpost: Week of March 11 – 17 – Steve Romeo, Shames, Whistler Pounded with Snow, Cypress March Madness, Radical Reels from Banff

Proceeds from the Radical Reels festival on Thursday go to the Spearhead Huts project. Here’s some awesome alpine scenery from the Garibaldi backcountry, courtesy of Liz Scremin.

No columnist or blogger wants to continually be the bearer of bad news, but this has been a really, really tough week for those of us in the snowsports world. Word arrived on Thursday that highly-experienced ski mountaineer Steve Romeo (and one of the best ski bloggers) from Jackson Hole and his partner Chris Onufer had been buried in a huge avalanche while attempting a ski ascent of Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park. You can read a fascinating interview in Outside Online that talks frankly about the kind of risks that elite level ski mountaineers like Romeo take.

Then, on Saturday, came the awful news out of Grindelwald, Switzerland, that Canadian ski cross team member Nik Zoricic died after landing on the final jump of the course. This tragedy has truly resonated throughout the snowsports world – huge condolences to his family and the Craigleith Ski Team. Nik’s father Bebe was coaching at the J1 Nationals in Whistler over the weekend. There’s a wonderful tribute by Zoricic’s team members on the Alpine Canada website.

Let’s not forget, however, that it was a weekend of great success, as Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon scored her first career World Cup podium Saturday, placing third in the slalom at Are, Sweden. Gagnon is ranked 10th in slalom and is only 22, so she’s got a bright future ahead of her.

Rio Tinto Mines White Gold at Shames Mountain

OK, how about some good – if not great – news? Yeah, the people of Terrace are getting that, following an announcement in the Terrace Standard that Rio Tinto will be contributing $175,000 over the next three years to help offset operating costs at Shames Mountain, which is now operated by a not-for-profit co-op. Of course, there are mountain managers who earn that kind of dough in one season, but here’s hoping that some of the other companies who operate in the Kermode Tourism Region will be able to step up and help out as well. If you want to get some idea of what the skiing at Shames is like, check out Jordan Manley’s video story of the little ski hill that could. Also compulsory viewing: mad Norwegian telemarkers from the Haglofs team poaching deep Northern BC pow.

March On The Mountain at Cypress

No, Cypress’s march on the mountain isn’t like those protest marches in front of the Art Gallery. It’s a two week long series of special events happening up at Cypress Mountain – things got underway over the weekend with something called a Nordic Fondo (or, is that ‘Nordic Fondue, maybe?) held at the cross country area over the weekend. There’s a whole list of fantastic events and programs, but perhaps the best one for harried parents is the Raven Riders four day spring camp. It’s a great deal and is definitely better than dropping ‘em off at the mall.

La Nina. Killing It At Whistler for the Second Year in a Row.

Talk about lots to do – on and off the slopes. The Whistler event calendar says that there’s a Winemaker Apres this week at Steeps restaurant, and a Nintendo Family Adventure Day on March 25, and there’s even the 15th Annual Showcase Showdown slopestyle snowboarding event on March 29. But the real story at Whistler Blackcomb is the 29 feet of snow that has fallen – and continues to pound down – on the bowls and glades, since Mike Douglas created that Embedded video, way back in November (Remember that?) Just another record breaking year in the Coast Range. Use those Edge Cards up, now!

Reel Radical Films Hits Vancouver on Thursday Night

Every year, the Banff Mountain Film Festival gathers up the craziest videos screened at their annual fall festival and sends ‘em on tour throughout the rest of the world. These Radical Reels will be coming to Vancouver on Thursday, March 15, at the Denman Cinemas in Vancouver. Tickets are $12 online and $15 at the door. The proceeds from the event will go to support the Spearhead Huts Project.



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