Waking up to a dump of snow in Vancouver is a rare sight, usually followed by a scramble for gear, a few phone calls and subsequent powmania. But we had different plans this morning and as the clock struck 4 am we had the Players Club; a two wheel drive German automobile with tires as bald as its owner and enough warning lights blinking to light up a pinball machine, over packed and ready for the trip to Rossland. With 28 hours till the start of the Canadian Freeskiing Open Ian, Hamish, and I led the charge up the stormy Fraser Valley with the rest of the UBC Freeride Team to follow.
It soon became apparent that an upgrade was needed for the Players Club and with chains ‘securely’ fashioned the newly dubbed Space Tank was once again ready to pass semis at 90km/h through the deepening storm snow. With a couple breaks from the maddening drive we began to climb through the Coast Range.
As the temperature plummeted our lack of heating became more noticeable. By the top of the pass temperatures were reaching -25 C and toe warmers, sleeping bags and winter gear Ernest Shackelton would be jealous of were in full effect. We still couldn’t feel our extremities.
With the Good, The Bad and The Ugly cassette on full blast for the 5th time through we watched the temperatures slowly rise and storm ease off. A couple more stops and a few more trucks in the ditch rounded out the 14 hour expedition and we arrived in the West Kootenays at sunset to new snow and smiling, ski toting hitchhikers.
After a few bends in the road we ended up at a cabin far exceeding our expectations, decorating with a fine array of antlers and bears skins that would make Paul Bunion proud.