February 24th, 2010
After the final stop of the Dew Tour and my short stop back home in Vancouver I took off for Smithers, BC to spend a week at Skeena Heli. Northern B.C. is an interesting place. All the towns are extremely remote and tiny and the people are really nice and a bit out of touch. Even though I was born in a town just like it and spent time up there as a kid, it’s always a culture shock after traveling constantly for so long and spending nearly all of my down time in a city like Vancouver. Our crew consisted of myself, Mikey Rencz, Marie France Roy, photographer Scott Serfas and filmer Darcy Wittenberg. We were greeted by the lodge manager Jean, a former rodeo champion and long time resident of Smithers. He was extremely friendly and reminded me a bit of my late grandfather. Jean drove us the two hours out of Smithers and through the thick forest to where the Skeena Lodge is located. It’s in the sticks, big time. There is nothing within 20kms of it, just river, forest and mountains. As you can imagine, it’s quiet, which is a rare sound for someone like me. The lodge is amazing, it’s made entirely of local wood and is full of dead animals, everything from owls to moose to foxes to polar bears. You name it, the owner had it stuffed and put on the wall. Kind of creepy, but you get used to it after a while. Up there, there isn’t PETA or vegans. People hunt, farm, fish and they love it. After a snack and some shit talk everyone went to bed, excited for the next day.
Our first day was full of sunshine and powder and some really sick riding by Mikey and Marie-France. The next three days followed a similar pattern, minus the sun and the addition of a lot more ceasers and beers on Mikey, Scott and Darcy’s part. Every day we were woke up with a hot cup of tea and spent our mornings eating fresh cinnamon buns and gourmet breakfasts. Every single meal was different and absolutely delicious. We had everything from steak to halibut to ox tail soup and baked alaskas. I looked forward to eating almost as much as I did going riding every day.
It was a big change of pace for me, but a much needed one. I forget sometimes what true snowboarding is and riding powder in one of the most amazing places in the world is definitely true snowboarding. It’s actually why I do it and I’m really stoked to have spent the week having my ass handed to me again and again. Thanks to RedBull for footing the bill and sending us on an amazing trip and thanks to Scott and Darcy for shooting and to Marie and Mikey for riding with someone who sucks as bad as I do. It’ll hopefully be a story for Snowboard Canada so all you Canucks can check it out next year sometime. I’m sure you’ll remember.
Olympic blog coming soon.