South West Snow

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In the ski town of my mind, the weather is blue and rainy, the town is sleepy, yet a vibe constantly thrums and a presence looms over the town. Like a heartbeat fueled by snow, everyone knows what blue weather means, and, suddenly, a rainy day becomes the perfect anticipation for the best phrase in any turn hungry town: Powder Day.

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This winter has been a struggle across much of North America’s ski towns to find a weather system pushing snow and averting dry weather. It’s been a race to find any sort of tracks which one could call their own and it seems reluctance and skepticism took the driver’s seat over faith towards the powder pilgrimage. The winter has been slow with snow falls remaining few and far between, even in places typically rife with snow, the weather seems to be following this trend… Frankly, the past few seasons have been this way and the places which receive notable snow are sending up full chair after full chair. I shy away from long lines and short runs because I know of the perfect place with a huge vertical descent and almost non-existent lines. The best part is that each season, a storm system comes off the South West and hands snow graciously to Mt. Mackenzie and Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
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Each run, you are surrounded by not just friends but people enthused about being on a big mountain. Runs can be fast but if you want to stop, relax, and enjoy the peace of the trees, then it’s guaranteed your friends will be there.  I can’t say that I have chased snow across the west and I would be lying if I said that I’ve skied all over the world. But one thing that is for sure, Revelstoke has a pull that I nor any of my friends have felt.

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The snow seems to never end, the lines are always quick, and above all else, the people are local and friendly. It’s the sort of community which can only be found in a small mountain town with a big mountain attitude. If you’re looking for that right place to divide your time in the winter and you want a small community to stray from the mindset of a visitor to a friendly local, make your pilgrimage to Revelstoke.

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Written and photographed by David Jackson. David is a freelance photojournalist covering stories across Canada. His background is in Journalism and his heart is firmly rooted in adventure. To view more of his work, please visit his pages: BlogWebsiteInstagramFacebook.

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Playground Earth

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I held fascinations as a child with the mountains, curious and whirling my mind constructed a playground to which only the meticulously trained and undeniably free could embrace. I imagined sharp peaks, inverted skies, and ghosted trees all the while finding untracked snow that flowed beneath your feet to the valley below. I also wondered about the people who would embrace such a place and I could imagine their smiles, I could hear their voice recalling harrowing tales that can only be shared over cold beers and between good friends. I was in search of a farfetched world, a place where time seems to stop and begin again with every turn and all that remains are the subtle feelings of pure ecstasy. I know now, I was in search of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

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In Revelstoke, your day starts surrounded by friends and a hot coffee on deep, comfy leather couches at La Baguette (at the mountain). Overwhelmed by butterflies, your stomach sinks not at the fact that the mountain above your head is technical and accessible, rather, your stomach fly’s away at the fact that last night saw 30cm of fresh snow on the mountain and it’s currently blue skies above your head. A definition of ‘powder day’.

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You guzzle your coffee, rush out the door of La Baguette and hop on the first gondola up at 8:30am. On the trip up the mountain, people laugh, eyes widen, and childlike grins can be seen through everyone’s balaclava. By the time you reach the first chairlift, a group of glass-eyed children gawk at the untouched playground all around them.

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Stepping off the Stoke Chair puts you at the base of a perfect boot pack up to the summit of Sub Peak, below Mt. Mackenzie, and with a short hike you find yourself atop  a sea of first tracks. Time seems to freeze as you become engulfed in the white abyss of clouds and surrounded by the eerie existence of snow ghosts. No words need be shared as you strap in, each person contemplating their journey  into an ocean of white. Once you drop in, each and every turn cuts deep into the mountain as a spray of champagne snow cascades around you. Like walking on water in an ocean of snow, the feeling is indescribable, but the rewards of earning each turn leave you with no questions, just satisfaction.

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The treeline approaches and the glades begin to unfold around you. It’s time to stop a minute, mostly to fight the leg burn, but more importantly to look back up at the peak you just descended, and now a sea of trees which lay ahead of you. It’s time to take on an entirely new attitude as it is no longer wide open turns through knee deep snow, it’s time for the glades and a more aggressive approach. The snow is just as deep, yet the turns are a little bit quicker, but still effortless. Now, instead of a white world mitigated by miniature frozen trees, it’s time to feel like a swift ninja jumping through 50ft trees and thigh deep snow.

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David Jackson Photo (9 of 16)

Whether a 4ft snow pillow on top of a big boulder below a mysterious drop appeals to you, or effortless  turns through wide open trees seems more appropriate, the options are endless and readily available on either side of the groomed runs. That’s what makes Revelstoke such a special mountain. The unpredictability of the big mountain terrain where between the trees and cliffs anything can happen, yet is safely accessed and descended by chairlifts and cat tracks. It’s truly a destination for adventurists and professionals alike, a mountain best felt with friends and loved ones.

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Though the mountain alone inspires awe, it is the people who call Revelstoke home that make the entire trip a true mountain experience. Riding down you might hear a story about a local guy who just hid in the trees with a sign that reads “Will you marry me?”, waiting on the girl he loves. At the bottom of the hill you see the now happily engaged couple ride in, champagne in hand, smiles beaming. Their friends wait for them at Rockford Wok | Bar | Grill for a drink and a celebratory toast. A heartfelt moment that only Revelstoke can deliver. Friendly hellos and wide eyed grins are the norm and you’ll always have someone to share a drink and a story with. Staying on the mountain at The Sutton Place Hotel with their ride in and ride out ease in the heart of the village connects you instantly. The stay is world class in a mecca of world-class riding- it’s the best place to stay to maximize your time on the on the  slopes.

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I’ve grown a little bit since my days spent dreaming of a beautiful mountain, yet I still feel the same as when I was young. The truth is, I am still young. Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a place where anyone can be eager and energetic because anyone can find exactly what they are looking for, even if it is ethereal things like a snow cased tree or a ride through the clouds. For myself, I have always looked for a way to satisfy the intangibles to which I desire. What I found in Revelstoke was far from a ski resort in British Columbia, I found a place to deliver the satisfying moments to which I have always dreamed.

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Written and photographed by David Jackson. David is a freelance photojournalist covering stories across Canada. His background is in Journalism and his heart is firmly rooted in adventure. To view more of his work, please visit his pages: BlogWebsiteInstagramFacebook.