Croney Cove 2016

Croney Cove is the ultimate base camp that offers the best of Sun Valley, Idaho. Located just a few miles beyond the ski resort, where the road ends and the hot springs flow, this private ranch is the gateway to the Smokey Mountains.

In the late 1800’s the Cove served as a gathering spot for miners looking for a warm bath and female companionship. The brothel flourished for several decades until the end of World War I, when the price of ore suddenly plummeted. Today the clientele no longer seek precious metals or a fleeting one-night stand; instead they come for an intimate long-term relationship with virgin powder fields amongst old growth forest made accessible by the Castle Rock fire of 2007.

From the top of the resort, skiers can legally duck the rope and tour less than an hour to access Frenchman’s Bend, a 2500 vertical foot amphitheater with a series of steep ridge-lines that finish at the doorstep of Croney Cove. This magical slice of Idaho also sits within the boundary of the largest permitted heli-ski zone in the lower 48, featuring more than a quarter quarter-million acres.

So if you don’t want to hike for turns then you can get a little help from Sun Valley Heli and arrange pick up and dropped off at The Cove where clients can quickly transition from ski boots to hot pools overlooking the Warm Springs creek.

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For one week out of the year, The Cove becomes a melting pot of talented folks from different walks of life. This year we kicked off the session by hosting musician, G Love, for his first ever heli-ski experience proving that, ‘G can Ski!’

The action was captured by professional photographer,Tony Harrington, who was kind enough to present a slide show featuring the record-breaking surf that has been pummeling Mavericks and the North Shore of Oahu this month.

Adding a bit of flare and contrast to the scene were acclaimed artists, Nelson Parish and Dino Columbo, crafting art installations around the property and making sure there was never a dull moment.

And a big thanks goes out to the Stellar guides, Doug Stoup, Tucker Patton, and Danny Jendral, for picking up my slack when I twisted my ankle while carrying a BBQ while setting up for the 100+ person King Crab Party.

It’s always a team effort and nobody deserves more credit than my wife, Lola, who is now nursing me back to health while carrying a baby in her belly. Fortunately we ended the week in style as we danced the night away (on one foot) as The Kris Lager Band blew the doors off the barn with special guest appearance from Bryon Friedman.

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Kashmir, India: An Adventure of a Lifetime

Gulmarg, Kashmir in India provides extraordinary view of the Himalayas / Photo: Will Wissman
Gulmarg, Kashmir in India provides extraordinary views of the Himalayas / Photo: Will Wissman

Words: Tony Rossi

The people of Kashmir are recovering from being immersed in a 25 year war. Lack of infrastructure limits their progression to a slow crawl. Power outages and lack of clean water are just some of the issues they struggle with on a daily basis. The main source of income is tourism but where there is war, there’s no travelers. Luckily the tide is turning and tourism is returning to the region.  For good reason, it’s quite possibly the most beautiful place on the planet. In the seventeenth century the Mughal emperor Jahangir set his eyes on the valley of Kashmir. He said that if paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here, while living in a houseboat on Dal Lake. If there is ever a heaven on earth, its here, its here, its here.

Ski bag after ski bag piled high en route to Gulmarg. Skeptical of only one strap holding our precious cargo we were proven that less is more / Photo: Will Wissman
Ski bag after ski bag piled high en route to Gulmarg. Skeptical of only one strap holding our precious cargo we were proven that less is more / Photo: Will Wissman

We exited the plane in Srinagar and headed to baggage claim. Surrounded by armed guards, everyone was a bit intimidated. Nobody knew what to expect and after traveling for over 24 hours to get to our destination we were totally worked. We were approached by a local who acted like we should know him. He and his guys started loading our gear onto carts and saying “Come with us, we are to take you to your taxi’s.” After locating and loading our taxis sky high, the hands of the men who helped us with our bags were extended palm up. “Tip, tip. You owe us a tip” confused we start pulling out Rupees. Come to find out, the people who took us to our taxi were in no way affiliated with the taxi service and they weren’t supposed to be “helping” us.

When we arrived in Gulmarg the taxi’s couldn’t make it up to our lodge.  Huge ruts that even my Vermont roots were impressed with limited the SUV’s ability to climb the steep hill.  The SUV’s came to a halt right next to the community dumpster.  In the U.S. we are so used to unsightly things being hidden.  That’s not the case in Kashmir.  Trash from the Lodges goes directly to a cart in the middle of all of them.  The benefit for tourist is the trash attracts the Monkeys as well as the mammoth Ravens and Eagles. We realized quickly that it’s the ultimate form of recycling.  In the U.S. this “waste” would be buried below tons and tons of other trash in a landfill.  After a day you get used to the trash and realize it’s just part of the culture.

Trash was hauled to this "Dumpster" from the lodges daily. After the scraps were picked through by Monkeys, Ravens, and Eagles it was hauled off. We found it to be a refreshing way of recycling even though it was a bit unsightly / Photo: Will Wissman
Trash was hauled to this “Dumpster” from the lodges daily. After the scraps were picked through by Monkeys, Ravens, and Eagles it was hauled off. We found it to be a refreshing way of recycling even though it was a bit unsightly / Photo: Will Wissman

As we unloaded our gear and settled into our rooms at the Grand Mumtaz the weight of travel lifted from the crews shoulders.  It was time for beers and a little relaxation before production started.  There are a number of little watering holes around the Gulmarg and our first stop was the Hotel Highlands Park.  It’s a cozy nook about a 10 minute walk through the woods from the Mumtaz.  It’s at that point that you realize Gulmarg is much like any other ski town. Good times, good company, and lots of snow. We were lucky enough to catch up with winter locals who offered their stories from the past few days. Stable conditions with snow on the way was the word on the street and for a production company, that’s music to the ears. With the Stokemeter rising we departed the Highland to hit the sack.

Sleds are used to haul tourists and baggage around when their legs get tired. Expect to be followed around by locals trying to earn a buck / Photo: Will Wissman
Sleds are used to haul tourists and baggage around when their legs get tired. Expect to be followed around by locals trying to earn a buck / Photo: Will Wissman

It snowed, and snowed, and snowed! The upper elevations of Gulmarg are primarily above treeline and when it’s coming down it’s impossible to know where you are. With it’s limited resources Patrol ends up shutting down the upper portion of the Gondola.  We were limited to a zone called Monkey Hill for a few days.  A quick skin to tree filled lines and unlimited features proved perfect for Thayne Rich to get his Jib on.

Thayne Rich provided fireworks in Monkey Trees while upper elevations were closed due to avy conditions / Photo: Will Wissman
Thayne Rich provided fireworks in Monkey Trees while upper elevations were closed due to avy conditions / Photo: Will Wissman

When the weather cleared, it was game on.  Kashmir Heliski provided our vessel to the heavens.  The fresh snow was light and dry and each and every run was first descent after first descent.  Standing on top of 15,000′ peaks that are dwarfed by the surrounding mountains is a feeling I can’t begin to describe.

Tony Rossi takes in the fact that he's standing on a 15,000' mountain later named Grace Peak after his First Descent / Photo: Will Wissman
Tony Rossi takes in the fact that he’s standing on a 15,000′ mountain dwarfed by the surrounding peaks  / Photo: Will Wissman

As the crew became more and more comfortable with conditions bigger and more dramatic lines came into play.  Flying around, it was hard to choose which lines we were going to ski as there were so many.  Every twist and turn of the bird presented more and more opportunity for first descents.

Thayne Rich with a First Descent off of what was later named Soulryders Zone / Photo: Will Wissman
Thayne Rich with a First Descent off of what was later named Soulryders Zone / Photo: Will Wissman
Another First Descent provided by Kalen Thorien / Photo: Will Wissman
Another First Descent provided by Kalen Thorien / Photo: Will Wissman

After two full days in the bird, the heli budget was all but shot.  From here on out we utilized the gondola and human power to access terrain.  It was wonderful to be able to get a heli lift to the goods some of the deeper goods, but the front side of Gulmarg will have you drooling as well.  The Gondola drops you off on top of an enormous ridge that extends as far as the eye can see.  Flank after flank provide over 4000′ of vertical with open bowls, spines, Japanese like blossom trees, and softwoods that protected the incredible amounts of powder snow.  Let’s just say…if you don’t have the budget to get in the heli, there’s ample amounts of terrain that will keep a grin on your face for years to come.

Vanessa Aadland buried in the deep powder snow protected by softwoods / Photo: Will Wissman
Vanessa Aadland buried in the deep powder snow protected by softwoods / Photo: Will Wissman
Tony Rossi gets a taste of the local flavor / Photo: Will Wissman
Tony Rossi gets a taste of the local flavor / Photo: Will Wissman

We wrapped up our skiing portion of the tip with a 6 mile ski to the Drang Valley.  Starting at the top of the gondola on Mt. Apharwats 13,530′ peak you descend 5,600′ of vertical through many layers of high alpine until you reach a small village.  Be sure to bring some goodies for the children.

Kalen Thorien finds some amazing snow while heading towards Drang Valley / Photo: Will Wissman
Kalen Thorien finds some amazing snow while making the Six mile descent to Drang Valley / Photo: Will Wissman
Mark Koglemann gives out some goodies to the local kids in Kashmir, India / Photo: Will Wissman
Mark Koglemann gives out some goodies to the local kids in Kashmir, India / Photo: Will Wissman
Tony Rossi gets a warm welcome from the local children in the Drang Valley, Kashmir / Photo: Will Wissman
Tony Rossi gets a warm welcome from the local children in the Drang Valley, Kashmir / Photo: Will Wissman

We decided to pull out a day early, which was crushing on some levels as it started to hammer snow again.  That is, until we reached Dal Lake, the crown jewel of Kashmir.  Houseboats sit at the center of the lake which is surrounded by snow lined peaks for as far as the eye could see.  Our travel included a night on one of the houseboats.  Let’s just say…we got down!  We started out with a feast of a meal that concluded in raised glasses and words from each individual on the trip.  It concluded well into the night with many a memorable laughs and a peace that is unexplainable.  The next morning everyone woke with a haze but made sure to catch a Shikara ride to check out one of only two floating markets in the world, the Sabzi Bazaar.

One of only two floating markets in the world, the Sabzi Bazaar takes place everyday from 4am to 6am and is a must experience while in Sringar / Photo: Will Wissman
One of only two floating markets in the world, the Sabzi Bazaar takes place everyday from 4am to 6am and is a must experience while in Sringar / Photo: Will Wissman
A farmers strikes a deal with a sabzi seller and weighs out the goods with an old fashioned scale / Photo: Will Wissman
A farmers strikes a deal with a sabzi seller and weighs out the goods with an old fashioned scale / Photo: Will Wissman
Mr. Wonderful Flower man (in front) and the New Big Eye. These two partners sell flower seeds such as Poppy and Lotus to locals. Their names are as smile enducing as their personalities. The container in front of Mr. Wonderful flower man is a pot full of charcoal he called his "Winter Wife" which he drapes his full length coat over to keep warm / Photo: Will Wissman
Mr. Wonderful Flower man (in front) and the New Big Eye. These two partners sell flower seeds such as Poppy and Lotus to tourists. Their names are as smile inducing as their personalities. The container in front of Mr. Wonderful flower man is a pot full of charcoal he called his “Winter Wife” which he drapes his full length coat over to keep warm / Photo: Will Wissman

Out last stop and the reason we left a day early was the Taj Mahal.  It’s never easy to leave a place while it’s snowing, but how could we travel half way around the world and not check out one of the 7 Wonders of the World.  Let’s just say…it was worth it!

The Taj Mahal in it's full glory / Photo: Will Wissman
The Taj Mahal in it’s full glory / Photo: Will Wissman
Longtime friend of Soulryders founder Mark Koglemann, Chinese healer Thomas Flach made the journey from Kathmandu to join our trip. This guy works magic and was essential in negotiating many scenarios while in India / Photo: Will Wissman
Longtime friend of Soulryders founder Mark Koglemann, Chinese healer Thomas Flach made the journey from Kathmandu to join our trip. This guy works magic and was essential in negotiating many scenarios while in India / Photo: Will Wissman
The crew of a lifetime minus the man behind the lens Will Wissman
The crew of a lifetime minus the man behind the lens Will Wissman at the Taj Mahal

A journey; An adventure melded in rich culture immersed in a land far from home created a bond within our crew that is hard to express with words.  It’s something that is understood, not explained.  It may not have been lavished in amenities but it did provide an experience of a lifetime…and incredible snow.

Skiing the northernmost mountains in the world continued: Svalbard, Norway

Reggie Crist skiing Trident North. Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist skiing Trident North. Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman

A continued photo essay by Will Wissman.  Click Matador Network for original story

Words: Will Wissman

When arctic explorer Doug Stoup asked me to join his expedition to Svalbard, Norway, to ski on the planet’s northernmost mountain range, I figured it would be more of a novelty. What I didn’t realize was the terrain and snow conditions would be world class.

Our journey began in Longyearbyen (population 2,000), roughly 800km from the North Pole, a whaling community turned coal mining town that currently features one grocery store, a couple of overpriced hotels, and a scattering of bright colored buildings. With less than 60km of roadway, the best (and virtually only) way to get around is by snowmobile. So our team of seven loaded up a small fleet of snowmobiles, along with towing sleds carrying all of the necessary gear and supplies to survive and ski for two weeks. Leaving fuel caches along the way, it took 12 hours to reach our final destination, the Atomfjella Glacier, containing the highest mountains on the island.

The following is a collection of photographs I captured while on the remote glacier for those two weeks. After the adventure was over, I had no hesitation in saying there is absolutely no better place to ski in the world than Svalbard during the month of May.

Longyearbyen, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Longyearbyen, Norway in the early morning sunlight. Photo: Will Wissman
Spitsbergen, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Scoping out the mission. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountain Range Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountain Range in Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont setting up the First Ascents basecamp on the Atomfjella Glacier. Photo: Will Wissman
Basecamp Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Basecamp in the clouds. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountains Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
The Atomfjella Mountains provided extraordinary views and skiing. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Doug Stoup hiking Rabbit Ears Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist and Doug Stoup earning their way to the top of Rabbit Ears. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Svalbard, Norway Powder Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist skiing blower Svalbard pow at 3am. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist makes with contrails all the way to basecamp. Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont getting her fair share of powder turns. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist, Doug Stoup, Lexi Dupont Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist, Doug Stoup, and Lexi Dupont seem to be in the right place at the right time. Photo: Will Wissman
Polar Bears Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
A Mother and her cubs in search of a meal. Photo: Will Wissman
Sailboat Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
The Noorderlicht frozen in time. Photo: Will Wissman
Polar Bear Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Watching the wildlife made us realize that we were in a land dominated by survival of the fittest. Photo: Will Wissman
Seal Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
A seal takes a break for a little people watching. Photo: Will Wissman

 

 

National Geographic Adventure Extreme Photo of the Week

caroline-gleich-skiing-mt-superior_78618_990x742Photograph by Will Wissman

“A photographer’s dream”—that’s how top ski photographer Will Wissman describes the day he made this picture with ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich. “I have skied Superior nearly a hundred times, and this day would be in the top three for snow conditions. It was deep, light, and stable.

“I contacted a few of my most trusted backcountry skiers for a Superior shoot, including Caroline. She is a seasoned pro with heavy avalanche safety credentials. I knew I could count on her to make the right decisions,” Wissman says, adding that this was of particular importance due to the treacherous conditions of the 2014 season.

As the two veterans worked their way down the mountain, a phenomenon revealed itself. “When it’s cold with bluebird skies in the Wasatch, it’s a fairly typical phenomenon to see something I call the ‘sparkle effect.’ If you get the angle just right, you can capture it.” Shooting from the ridge of Superior, where he could capture the line Gleich choose, Wissman knew he had a dramatic angle.

“The sun was in the perfect location to make the ‘sparkles’ come to life,” recalls Wissman. “The eastern flank of Superior was lit up while the base area of Snowbird was still shaded, giving the photo depth and contrast. I spent a total of 40 minutes navigating through deep snow and pepper rock in order to find my angle. As Caroline slid into my frame, I knew instantly we had nailed it.”

Wissman photographed with a Canon 1D X, and 70-22mm, f/2.8 IS ll USM Canon lens.

Artisan Series Episode Three: Thayne Rich

thayne

Artisan Series Episode Three features Thayne Rich. He is an incredible athlete but and even better man. Thayne is wise beyond his years and has a methodical way of making the mountains his playground. While in Gulmarg, Kashmir he threw down and stomped air after air. It was seriously amazing to watch.

Thaynes Sponsors: 4FRNT, Strafe Outerwear, Smith Optics, Daleboot

Artisan: a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsmen

Each Stellar Artisan is a spoke in the wheel that makes us whole. From Athletes to Graphic Designers, we work in unison to create. Each Artisan selects their music, hand writes their signature, and helps to shape the journey that is…Stellar.

The Artisan Series showcases individuals whose talents and efforts have helped shape what has now become Stellar Media…

http://www.stellaradventuremedia.com

Artisan Series #2 / Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell

Haines Alaska
Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell Haines, AK Photo: Will Wissman

Artisan: a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsmen

Each Stellar Artisan is a spoke in the wheel that makes us whole. From Athletes to Graphic Designers, we work in unison to create. Each Artisan selects their music, hand writes their signature, and helps to shape the journey that is…Stellar.

The Artisan Series showcases the unbelievably talented people whose efforts have helped shape what has now become Stellar Adventure Media.

Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell’s epic Road Trip “Leaving Powder for Powder” culminated in Haines, AK.  The brothers hooked up with Stellar and threw down.  In one short stint in AK these brothers put together a lifetime of epic lines.  They are Artisans, masters of their chosen craft.

Wyatt Sponsors: Yes Snowboards, Eddie Bauer, Sun Valley, Smith Optics, MTN Approach

Yancy Sponsors: K2 Snowboards, Eddie Bauer, Sun Valley, Smith Optics, MTN Approach

Artisan Series #1 / Jacqui Edgerly

Artisan: a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsmen

Each Stellar Artisan is a spoke in the wheel that makes us whole. From Athletes to Graphic Designers, we work in unison to create. Each Artisan selects their music, hand writes their signature, and helps to shape the journey that is…Stellar.

The Artisan Series will showcase each individual who’s talents and efforts have helped shape what has now become Stellar Media…

A Powder Highway Migration

Photo Essay By Will Wissman

Lexi Dupont, Jacqui Edgerly, and Lynsey Dyer enjoying the comforts of the Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BC
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Jeffrey Loewe behind the lens at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BC
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Lexi Dupont getting a face full of the goods at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BC
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Lynsey Dyer enjoys the cold smoke at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BC
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Lynsey Dyer, Jacqui Edgerly, and Lexi Dupont catching a ride at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BC
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Sunset Upper Arrow Lake Nakusp, BC
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Reggie Crist at the K2 Rotor Lodge/CMH Heli
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Rogers Pass, BC
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Skin Track at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Sam Cohen glides along at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Sam Cohen about to drop a pillow at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Jacqui Edgerly turns it on at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Hayden Price airs it out at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Sam Cohen enters orbit at Golden Alpine Holidays, BC
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Revelstoke, BC
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Lexi Dupont enjoys the whiteroom at Eagle Pass Heli in Revelstoke, BC
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Along the Powder Highway, BC

The Powder Highway Road Trip – Dispatch #7 – Haines, Alaska

Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman
Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman

Words: Bruce J. Bauer

A cold, dark winter subsides as the days grow longer and the sun’s rays intensify. The inevitable change in seasons triggers an innate response in all living creatures—bears awake from hibernation, birds take flight, and fish swim upstream. Migration is a matter of survival for certain animal species while select humans prefer to make it a way of life.

When the snow melts in the Lower 48, passionate skiers and snowboarders travel northward in search of cold, deep snow. Instinct and passion supersede rational thoughts. I know this because, as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, I have followed my own migration for 32 years. My livelihood depends on spontaneous decisions based on intuition and ever-changing conditions. Chasing large schools of fish into the Bering Sea during a violent Pacific storm challenges conventional wisdom, but I have always believed in chasing my dreams.

Skier Hayden Price in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman
Skier Hayden Price in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman

Similarly I recognize and admire the dedication amongst the team of skiers and snowboarders that have been chasing their dreams along the Powder Highway this winter.

For the past two months, I have following this nomadic tribe of mountain people, recognizing familiar faces likes Reggie and Zach Crist along with Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell as well as Lynsey Dyer, Lexi Dupont, Jamey Parks, Leo Ahrens, Colter Hinchcliff. There are even a few new names I have yet to meet including Jacqui Edgerly, Hayden Price, and Sam Cohen. It seems that their travel plans and destinations are always changing, but as the season progresses I know they will eventually migrate northward to Haines, the frontier of Alaska heli-skiing where the road ends and the ocean and the mountains collide.

Sam Cohen in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman
Sam Cohen in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman

Some team members arrive by airplane while others travel by ferry, car, and even a motorcycle.  One by one, each person finds his or her  way up the Funny Farm driveway, reunited at our beautiful three-story lodge that everyone affectionately calls home.

Erradic pieces from a complicated and diverse puzzle, we are all part of the same clan, a family that looks after one another. This was made clear to me four years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and Reggie Crist organized a benefit to raise money for my treatments. Eddie Bauer matched the proceeds raised on that night.

Our tribe is many, including Nick and Kami Trimble, owners of the Fort Seward Lodge, along with the entire SEABA guide staff lead by Scott Sundberg. Collectively we work together to preserve and strengthen the annual migration knowing full well that as one season ends another begins.

Yancy Caldwell in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman
Yancy Caldwell in Haines, Alaska; Photograph by Will Wissman

Powder Highway Road Trip – Stop #6 – Golden Alpine Holidays, BC

Skier Lynsey Dyer at Golden Alpine Holiday, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman
Skier Lynsey Dyer touring with Golden Alpine Holidays, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman

Words: Zach Crist

A remote lodge trip may be the signature experience of the Powder Highway. Enough of my friends have returned home, minds blown, from a weeklong trip to interior B.C. Few regions in the world are blessed with so much cold, dry snow; and when you’re sequestered for a week surrounded by fine, mountain-loving people who want to shred pow, it’s likely gonna be a REAL good time!

A ten-day mission to the Vista Lodge in the Esplanade Range proved no different. Just off the Powder Highway are numerous remote lodges. Helis or snowcats service some of the lodges, but several others are meant for good ol’ fashion self-powered backcountry touring.

Golden Alpine Holiday, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman
Sam Cohen at Golden Alpine Holidays, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman

Golden Alpine Holidays‘ Vista Lodge is part of a system of huts in the area. A few valleys away from Rogers Pass, Vista sits just above tree-line on a bench overlooking the Columbia trench that divides the Selkirk Mountains from the Canadian Rockies.

Golden Alpine Holiday, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman
Golden Alpine Holidays, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman

Every good hut trip has a ring leader to bring all people together. Photographer Will Wissman rallied a group of ten, pieced together from Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming—some old friends, a few new—all like-minded souls with a passion for getting out and about in the mountains.

Golden Alpine Holiday, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman
Sam Cohen at Golden Alpine Holidays, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman

Golden Alpine Holiday Local Vitals

Why Golden Alpine Holidays rocks: Surrounded by Canada’s highest mountains and two national parks, this place is a ski-touring mecca!
Snowfall: The Esplanade range at the northern end of the Selkirks has an average annual snow fall of about 10-12 meters. (Can you say POW!?!)
Don’t miss the terrain at Vista Lodge: Above the Vista Hut, an alpine cirque has a variety of aspects and picturesque vistas. At and below the lodge offers tree skiing and pillow land galore.
Gourmet casual: It’s a special treat to bring in a chef. Good food always tastes better in the mountains after a big day of earning your turns.
What to bring that might not already be on your packing list: Dark Chocolate, mini speakers, essential oils for pillows and the sauna, and ear plugs
Most valuable item in the lodge: Non-slip lodge slippers
Hut highlight: Drinking water straight from the lake and taking afternoon saunas
Golden Alpine Holiday, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman

Sam Cohen at Golden Alpine Holidays, British Columbia; Photograph by Will Wissman