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2009 GAUNTLET SKI AND SNOWBOARD SUPPLEMENT

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					                                                                                                               2009 GAUNTLET SKI AND SNOWBOARD SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                               KICKING HORSE KIMBERLEY BIG WHITE LAKE LOUISE SUNSHINE NAKISKA FERNIE CANADA OLYMPIC PARK CASTLE




EDITORS :   ROMAN AURITI, LAURA BARDSLEY, GEOFF MACINTOSH, CHRIS PEDERSEN CONTRIBUTORS: KATY ANDERSON, CAELI HANN, MIKE LEMMON, GINA LOITZ, JORDYN MARCELLUS, ÆNDREW RININSLAND, JON ROE, CHRIS TAIT, BRAEDEN WISEMAN
                                                                                                                                                                                                       THREE
GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: BRITISH COLUMBIA




The heavyweight champ
K I C K I N G                    H O R S E



 Chris Pedersen
 Ski Gauntlet




T
           ruly Kicking Horse is this
           year’s undeniable heavyweight
           champion of Canadian resorts.
           While other hills so far this season
           have not been blessed with snow-
fall, Kicking Horse is well covered with small
sections of rock or grass. By mid-December
the hill was in fine form with all lifts open
and a base of 98 centimetres. The hill isn’t for
the faint of heart as there’s only one easy way
down from the top of the Golden Eagle Gon-
dola.
   Kicking Horse is situated three hours away
from Calgary near the tiny mountain town of
Golden, B.C. It can be done as a day trip from
                                                                                                                                                                                   Geoff MacIntosh/the Gauntlet
Calgary if you choose to leave early and ar-
rive back in town late. For those who don’t
enjoy the drive out, there are numerous hotels
to stay in, with more than enough restaurants
and pubs. The base has numerous restaurants
                                                              16                     16                            47                         2                       1                          $67
and shops, offering everything from coffee            Horse features the second longest vertical in      blue, black and double black runs, which all     age of terrain to explore and one could easily
and sushi to the classic ski treat — hamburg-         Canada.                                            cater to experienced riders.                     stay a whole week and not have found every-
ers and fries.                                           Riders will have the choice of skiing Bow         At Kimberley, there is something for ev-       thing the mountain has to offer. With all the
   Kicking Horses’ runs are long, which is            Over, Feuz Bowl or the Crystal Bowl, which         erybody. In the bowls, cliff-crazies will find   terrain, it’s worth the effort to take two days
great compensation for the $70 lift ticket.           all offer excellent snow, a steep descent and      ample boulders to launch themselves off and      to ski Kicking Horse to truly appreciate its
While other resorts offer long runs, Kicking          immense fun. The hill features numerous            there are plenty of moguls. There is no short-   grandeur.



Fun to be had with smaller crowds
K I M B E R L E Y                           be extra careful to avoid repairs.
                                               Kimberley has a good mix of runs
                                            for all levels of expertise, with the
                                            majority of runs rated intermedi-
                                            ate or expert. There is an easy path
 Geoff MacIntosh
 Ski Gauntlet                               down from every chair, although
                                            beginners should consider stick-


T
       he season started just               ing to the North Star quad chair
       before Christmas at Kim-             to avoid green runs that are noth-
       berley this year, as the resort      ing more than cat-tracks — narrow
commenced operations Dec. 19.               paths that are icy and less interest-
The hill is by no means fully func-         ing than the green runs on the front
tional in these early season condi-         part of the mountain.
tions, with less than half of the runs         Those venturing into the black
open and enough exposed rock to             runs will be rewarded with a taste
seriously damage new gear.                  of what Kimberley has to offer: var-
   Those who braved the early sea-          ied runs with just enough snow on                                                                                                      Geoff MacIntosh/the Gauntlet
son conditions were rewarded with           them to be fun.
the beginnings of powder on some               Owner/operator Resorts of the
runs. Even the groomed runs are
pleasant enough and there was sur-
prisingly little ice on the hill.
                                            Canadian Rockies — the largest
                                            private ski resort owner in North
                                            America with six resorts — made
                                                                                            13                 30                      23                      1               0                  $59
   Kimberley seems to suffer from           it public policy to avoid big air ter-   to pull more extreme tricks might       trip, fewer people will make the          There is fun to be had at Kim-
a small base, which doesn’t cover           rain parks in favour of parks that       want to shy away from RCR resorts       journey. Kimberley claims smaller      berley, although it was confined to
up the shrubs, tree debris and rock         are intended to instruct. This policy    in the future.                          crowds when the conditions are         a small number of runs early in the
that litters run areas. It is possible to   decreases the chance of injury. Ter-        Kimberley is situated quite a dis-   good. This means a better chance       season. As the base increases, Kim-
dodge most obstructions, but with           rain park patrons disagree with the      tance from Calgary and other large      of untouched snow for those who        berley should provide good runs as
new or rental gear, one may want to         necessity of this, so those looking      cities, but because of this longer      are willing to make the journey.       long as the snow keeps falling.
FOUR
                                                                                                                                                            GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: BRITISH COLUMBIA




Powder: please use responsibly




                                                                                                                                                                                            Geoff MacIntosh/the Gauntlet




        20                                       63                                        30                                  4                                   1                            $71
BI G            W HITE             R E S O R T isfy your trick cravings, on a powder day, you’ll the oblivious bunnies as the beginners’ Plaza                   season is rumoured to be another avalanche
                                                          be dying to check out what else the mountain        Chair is located here.                             laden one, so only check out the back country
                                                          has to offer.                                          Heading west, the Powder and the Falcon         if you are well prepared and accompanied by
                                                             The Alpine T-Bar will take you as close to the   Chairs — both old school enough to look like       a buddy.
                                                          mountain’s summit as you can get and is worth       they belong attached to a picnic table — offer        Depending on the weather and traffic, the
 Caeli Hann                                               the painfully slow trip up for boarders just to     incredible glades. Some of the groomers are        drive up from Kelowna can last 45 minutes to
 Ski Gauntlet
                                                          see Big White’s notorious snowghosts (trees so      steep enough to keep the bunnies away and fast     two hours. It’s worth staying on the hill for both




B
               ig White’s famed “champagne                loaded with snow that they’re bent over), which     enough to catch some wicked air time off the       the early morning riding and late night party-
               powder” is not served in dainty lit-       are great for photos and the occasional jib sesh.   rollers.                                           ing. Snowshoe Sam’s — the only after-ski pub
               tle flutes, but in overflowing bowls          The infamous cliff area offers advanced bowls       Usually the last to open, the west Gem Lake     worth going to — packs in a crazy crowd of
               of some of the lightest, driest, fluffi-   steep enough to churn the cereal you had for        area offers challenging black and double blacks,   cougars, bunnies, seasonaires and drunk tour-
               est white stuff you’ve ever tasted. If     breakfast, but tempting enough to shred all day.    vast glades and wicked trees, but can often be     ists every night. With the number of foreign ac-
you have the time for the eight hour road trip            The adrenaline rush is well worth the initial       burdened by high winds and limited visibility.     cents you’ll hear, you’ll think you’d made a road
to B.C., Big White — with an annual snowfall of           nausea. If you feel up for a bit of a hike, check   You can venture into the back country from         trip to another continent.
750 centimeters — will whet your powder ap-               out the East Peak, which is usually only touched    here, but you are best to do it with someone          While Big White seems to be a little behind
petite.                                                   by a few keen locals on an insane powder day.       who knows their way around. Beware of recur-       the gun with its late opening dates (Dec. 9
   Next to Whistler Blackcomb, Big White is the              Runs like the Ridge Rocket/Snowghost Ex-         rent avalanches and the difficult hike out.        this season), it always catches up by late De-
second largest resort in B.C. but is not yet ac-          press, the Bullet Express and the Black Forest         Last season Big White experienced an in-        cember and the whole mountain becomes
companied by the same ridiculous prices, long             Express usually offer tons of freshly groomed       bounds avalanche that took the life of an Aus-     plastered with white velvet. Priding itself in
lift lines or arrogant — albeit sponsored — park          trails and standard greens and blues. On your       tralian worker. While the head of Ski Patrol,      all 100 per cent natural snow — which is so in
rats. While Big White boasts an Olympic-size              way through the Village Centre to the base of       Kris Hawryluik, assures that every precau-         vogue these days — Big White truly lives up
super pipe and an impressive terrain park to sat-         the Ridge Rocket and Snowghost, watch out for       tion has been taken to keep this area safe, the    to its motto: “It’s the Snow.”
                                                                                                                                 FIVE
GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: ALBERTA




Newbies galore




                                                                                                   Chris Pedersen/the Gauntlet




         28                 51                        34                     4                1                   $76
L A K E          L O U I S E                The Grizzly Express gondola is        bring your own lunch. The parking
                                         a quick — albeit noisy — way to          lots aren’t a far walk from the base
                                         gain elevation and the main means        of Louise and it’ll save you another
                                         to reach the summit of Lake Lou-         chunk of your wallet to bring food
 Roman Auriti                            ise’s Front Side. From here, there       from home than to spend time in a
 Ski Gauntlet                            are a plethora of runs which cater       crowded lunch bar.
                                         to any skill level. Taking the Front        At the Sports Alpine Boutique at




T
          here’s no reason to            Side down yields both nice blue and      Louise, the staff are as friendly as
          say that there isn’t any       green runs for beginners and black       the lifties. If you’re on the lookout
          good skiing in Alberta         diamonds for advanced and expert         for a new set of ski goggles, toques,
          when Lake Louise is right      skiers and snowboarders.                 masks, helmets or just about any-
          on Calgary’s doorstep in          From the Grizzly Express’ launch      thing related to skiing, there’s an in-
Banff National Park.                     area it’s easy to find the way to the    credible assortment available. The
   Lake Louise’s majestic 4,200          Back Bowls. You’ll need to be a          salespeople even let you try items
acres of skiable terrain lies a little   higher level snowboarder or skier if     on. This, combined with prices that
farther down the Trans-Canada            you want to tackle the runs because      are the same in Calgary, makes for a
Highway than Sunshine Mountain           they have numerous blue, black dia-      pleasant stop at the boutique.
and is about a quick two hour drive      monds and double black diamonds             Lake Louise is an enjoyable expe-
through Banff National Park from         trails strewn all the way across. At     rience. The RCR staff at Louise are
Calgary. However, anyone enter-          the bottom of the bowls is Larch         extremely helpful and it is obvious
ing the park has to purchase a day       slope, which has the unfortunate         that they love what they were doing.
pass in order to park within Banff.      tendency to ice over because a large     Since the Front Side is populated
So if you’re planning to ski at Lou-     part of it rests in the shade.           with beginners trying new equip-
ise, be sure to bring along another         Lake Louise is a popular mountain     ment and skills, stick to the Powder
$10 to accommodate this fee.             to ski, so be sure to arrive early and   Bowls for the best experience.
SIX
                                                                                     GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: ALBERTA




      Fun in the sun




                                                                                                        Geoff MacIntosh/the Gauntlet




                20                   28                        43                  5                1                     $76
      S     U     N    S   H     I    N    E are few and far between.                    berry chair together, then you can
                                                   As for lift tickets, $75.95 for an    head to some of the off-piste ski-
                                                adult day pass can cause sticker         ing Sunshine has to offer and meet
                                                shock, but for the quality and lo-       back up for a late lunch. Delirium
       Katy Anderson                            cation of the hill, it’s worth paying.   Dive and Wild West both require
       Ski Gauntlet                             There are a couple ways you can get      a beacon, a buddy and a shovel to
                                                around the steep price. If you plan      ski, but with those you have ac-




      L
                ess than an hour’s              on visiting the mountain more than       cess to some great “out-of-bounds”
                drive from Calgary, Sun-        twice in a season, it’s worth buying     skiing. And with this season’s ava-
                shine boasts some of            a Sunshine Card. Available at gro-       lanche conditions as they are —
                Canada’s best snow. Av-         cery stores around town, it gives        many meteorologists are calling it
                eraging over 30 feet per        you the first, fourth and seventh        the worst they’ve seen in 100 years
      year, the snowy playground has            days free, with varying discounts        — it’s a great way to venture into
      over 3,300 acres of terrain on three      on the days in between. You can          the back country and feel safe.
      mountains.                                also spend a night at the mountain.        Sunshine Village is located in
         Unfortunately, this alpine gem         While it costs a bit more, the price     the basin between Mt. Standish
      isn’t a secret. Long lines and the        you pay for waking up at the base        — which features a run that will
      price of a lift ticket can quickly        is the best you’ll find. Sunshine Inn    take you into B.C. and back again
      curb your enthusiasm.                     offers a night’s stay and a pass for     — Lookout Mountain and Goat’s
         Because the parking lot was built      $129.                                    Eye. To get there you park at the
      before skiing went mainstream it’s           With 107 runs and a season that       bottom and take a gondola to the
      small and fills up quickly, leading       lasts from mid-November to May,          top. This can create a huge back-up
      people to park along the entrance         Sunshine is a great mountain for         during the morning’s peak hours,
      road. On peak days, cars can be found     all levels of skiers, making bringing    but when you’re done for the day,
      sidelined almost the entire way to the    a friend or family member out for        instead of taking the gondola down
      gondola’s base. There are shuttles that   the first time easy. You can cruise a    you can cruise the ski out — an
      pick people up along the way, but they    couple runs off the Wawa or Straw-       eight kilometre run to the base.
                                                                                                                          SEVEN
GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: ALBERTA




Reams of gold and silver
N        A         K       I   S    K   A Calgary, which makes it a viable alter-
                                            native to Sunshine or Lake Louise.
                                               Beginners will enjoy many of the
                                            runs off of the Silver and Olympic
    Chris Pedersen                          chairs. They’re wide and groomed,
    Ski Gauntlet                            perfect for people to practice their
                                            turns without worry of running into




N
              owhere in Canada              other skiers and boarders. The hill
              can you find a view as        also offers lessons for all skill levels.
              glorious as Nakiska’s.           For skiers looking for harder
              There isn’t a better          runs, and maybe powder, have
              feeling than riding the       no fear. Nakiska can provide this
Gold chair to the top of the moun-          in abundance. Experts will enjoy
tain and looking out at the sun             heading to the top of the Gold chair.
blanketing the surrounding peaks            To skiers’ right, there are some ex-
in a golden hue.                            cellent powder runs that eventually
   Gorgeous scenery isn’t the only          lead to leg numbing mogul runs. To
thing Nakiska has to offer to skiers        skiers’ left, experts can play in the
and boarders. The hill caters to all        trees, scream down moguls or just
skill levels by offering runs perfect       take the groomed run for a little
for beginners, gutsy intermediate           speed. Although it seems to have
runs and powdery terrain suitable           a bad reputation, Nakiska can pro-
only for the most experienced ski-          vide terrain equal to than Sunshine
ers or boarders. The hill has four          and Louise.
chairs, over 2,400 feet of vertical            When you look for a place to go
                                                                                                             Chris Tait/the Gauntlet
rise, an average snowfall of 250 cen-       for your next ski vacation, but do
timetres per year and 750 acres of          not want a long drive, head to Na-
skiing, 35 of which are the glorious
glades.
   Nakiska is located 45 minutes from
                                            kiska for a day of fun and frivolity.
                                            There is powder, speed, groomers
                                            and an amazing atmosphere.
                                                                                        4   20   4   2   0              $59
World class skiing
           32                  42             32               2           $75
F         E            R       N    I   E   land, or stick to the sticks as there is
                                            plenty of alpine terrain, some with
                                            massive trunks and little shrubbage
                                            to give off an enchanted forest feel.
                                               Fernie is well equipped to accomo-
    Gina Loitz
    Ski Gauntlet                            date snow enthusiasts of all levels and
                                            you can litterally pick the percentage


T
      here's a reason why the               of pow you want and be assured to
      mountain resort giant Resorts         have 100 per cent fun.
      of the Canadian Rockies con-             The resort is made famous by its
tinues to hang onto Fernie Alpine           powder, and not its park, so skiers and
Resort and that reason falls on an av-      boarders that prefer to test their tech-
erage of 29 feet each year.                 nical skills may find Fernie, and RCR
   Fernie continues to gain a reputa-       in general, a tad dissappointing to hit
tion worldwide for its "legendary"          up when the snow is not falling.
powder, emblazoned on every page               There are many fine establishments
of their website. Although many re-         located at the base of the mountain in
sorts boast this same verbiage, Fernie      the little village of Fernie.
can actually put its money where its           Start at The Griz and then head
mountain is.                                into town because you're guaranteed
   Located three hours from Calgary         to have as much fun during a night
and nestled in the southeast corner         on the town as you did on the moun-
of the B.C. Rockies, it's a snow mecca      tain. Fernie is notorious for its night
which gets hit generously and con-          scene bustling with pub-hopping po-
tinuously with snow.                        tential and live acts from open mike,
   Use your skis and boards to scoop        to dance floor DJ delights and live
up the powder in one of Fernie's five       rock n' roll.
deliciously deep powder bowls which             Fernie: worthy of the "legend-
make for a wide open winter wonder-         ary" self-acclamation.
EIGHT
                                                                                                                                                                      GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: ALBERTA




A trickster’s paradise                                                                                                                                                    Skiing music
                                                                                                                                                                          Roman Auriti

                                                                                                                                                                          • You’ll need headphones, sport
CANADA OLYMPIC PARK                                                                                                                                                       earbuds, or, at least, a hat to go over
                                                                                                                                                                          top of your regular earbuds. Refrain
                                                                                                                                                                          from taking your old walkman to
                                                                                                                                                                          the hill. The smaller your mp3 play-
                                                                                                                                                                          er is, the better off you’ll be.
  Chris Pedersen
  Ski Gauntlet
                                                                                                                                                                          • Here are some hill tune sugges-




M
                  any people say                                                                                                                                          tions bearing in mind that these
                  “home is where the                                                                                                                                      are the songs on your playlist that
                  heart is.” In Cal-                                                                                                                                      should prepare you mentally and
                  gary, we say “home                                                                                                                                      get you pumped to ski for the day:
                  is where the half-
pipe is.” COP is home to one of the                                                                                                                                         “Harmonic” by Unwritten Law
largest halfpipes in North America                                                                                                                                        because of it’s punk beat and tun-
and one of the best terrain parks                                                                                                                                         ing intro.
in Canada. Tricksters will not be
disappointed with COP’s numerous                                                                                                                                            “Like the Angel” by Rise Against
tabletops, walls, rails and jumps                                                                                                                                         because Rise Against write wicked
to satisfy their need for air. Riders                                                                                                                                     songs that stoke anyone doing
must fill out a form to get into the                                                                                                                                      sports.
park and a helmet is mandatory.
   The main hill consists of blue,                                                                                                                                          “Don’t Speak” by Eagles of Death
groomed and crowded runs, which                                                                                                                                           Metal because of its snare backing
                                                                                                                                            Chris Pedersen/the Gauntlet
are not very long or exciting. De-                                                                                                                                        the rest of the song.
spite this, COP is a perfect place to
head for an evening of skiing with
friends. For the last two hours of
operation, riders can get discount-
                                                1                      1                        1                     2                0                   $38              “Time to Pretend” by MGMT be-
                                                                                                                                                                          cause it’s awesome and funky.

ed tickets and have a blast working     signed for all levels of skiers and its   ski track for the outdoor enthusiasts    witness world-class bobsleigh and              • You’ll also need specific travelling
on techniques and becoming better       instructors are top notch. For rook-      who prefer flat ground over icy hills    luge events, go to the Olympic hall            music for going to and from the
skiers.                                 ie daredevils, there is a mini terrain    covered with flailing bodies. The        of fame or simply enjoy a walk                 hill. These songs will be more mel-
   COP is designed for quick trips      park in the middle of the hill, which     track is over two kilometres long        up the path next to the bobsled                low than anything else that should
and beginners. For those wanting        allows people to learn tricks on          and is open both day and night.          track.                                         be on your playlist. Here are some
to learn how to ski, snowboard and      small jumps and even boasts a small       There is terrain suitable for all lev-      The next time you are severely              suggestions:
telemark, there is no better place.     halfpipe. This lets the main terrain      els of flat ground skiers, making it a   hung over and still desire to go ski-
The medium terrain and wide runs        park cater to experienced riders and      perfect alternative exercise.            ing, give COP a chance. There is no              “Bubble Toes” by Jack Johnson
allow for beginners to feel comfort-    also gives beginners an opportunity          Beyond its terrain park and ski       mind-numbing drive to the moun-                because it will commence your
able and progress at their own rate.    to improve their skills.                  hill, COP offers so much more for        tains and no costly lift ticket, just          daytrip with an easy beat that won’t
The hill offers numerous lessons de-       COP also features a cross-country      visitors. Calgarians or tourists can     fun and accessibility.                         wake up any of your sleeping com-
                                                                                                                                                                          rades.

                                                                                                                                                                            “Bright Spring Morning” by
                                                                                                                                                                          Suburban Legends because this
                                                                                                                                                                          ska song is the best road-tripping
                                                                                                                                                                          song that combines guitar riffs with
                                                                                                                                                                          trumpets.

                                                                                                                                                                             “Lend me your Love” by Slack-
                                                                                                                                                                          string because Slackstring is fa-
                                                                                                                                                                          mous for “writing songs for the
                                                                                                                                                                          sport of watching the sun set.” In
                                                                                                                                                                          other words, it’s a song that’s easy
                                                                                                                                                                          going.

                                                                                                                                                                            “Hard Sun” by Eddie Vedder be-
                                                                                                                                                                          cause its acoustic rhythm resounds
                                                                                                                                                                          across a plain of silence, making it
                                                                                                                                                                          the ideal morning song.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Be sure to acknowledge your
                                                                                                                                                                          friends’ music tastes as well. There’s
                                                                                                                                                                          no need for blood to be shed before
                                                                                                                                                                          arriving to your hill.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Finally, don’t listen to music while
                                                                                                                                                                          in transit going up the hill. This is
                                                                                                                                                                          the time to associate with others.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        NINE
GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: BRITISH COLUMBIA




Driven mad for powder
C AS TLE               M O U N TA IN



 Mike Lemmon
 Ski Gauntlet




C
             astle Mountain has an
             amazing ability to drive you com-
             pletely insane. The problem lies in
             the resort’s delicate partnership
             between terrain and snow. Its ter-
rain is amongst the most challenging of the
hills in the Canadian Rockies, with enough
                                                                                                                                                                                    Chris Pedersen/the Gauntlet
black runs to allow even the most technical
skier to pump a fist or two. With only 15 per
cent of the mountain devoted to beginner
trails, Castle really is an experienced skiers
paradise. All you need to do is point your skis
                                                          11                                 24                                   23                              2                                 $61
towards the end of the Haig and you will find      epic hill within driving distance of Calgary.      the main skiing area of Castle as well as the      site and open during the weekends.
some of the most technical lines off of a com-        Castle also has the added benefit of some       chutes off of Haig. The vertical rise is 863 me-      If you plan on parking your ass at the hill
mercial hill in North America.                     of the most easily accessible ski moun-            tres at its maximum and includes 67 marked         and avoiding coming back to the city any
   The problem lies in the availability of snow.   taineering terrain around. With lines like         trails.                                            sooner than need be, you can find accommo-
Some seasons — such as the beginning of this       RoShamBo, KC’s and the Haig East Face —               After a hard day of technical skiing, there     dation at the Castle Mountain Ski Lodge and
one — it’s easier to find Wii Fit at Future Shop   just to name a few — there is a near end-          are three main establishments that cater to        Hostel where you can stay for as little as $20
than a skiable base at Castle. That being said,    less treasure trove of extreme back country        your appetite. The T-Bar Pub and Grub is           per night.
when the combination of knee-deep powder           descents to enjoy.                                 open every night and serves not only a fantas-        With these features and a $61 day pass, it’s
and technical terrain reach that perfect bal-         The hill itself has six lifts, of which there   tic pint, but also a decent burger. The Barnaby    hard to imagine a better place to hide from scho-
ance, you would be hard pressed to find a more     are three high-speed chairs that serve both        Steak House and Fireside Lounge are also on        lastic responsibilities this upcoming season.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ELEVEN
GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: FEATURES




Jumping the gender gap
Canadian halfpipe rider Charmaine Ironside talks about being a female at the park


 Gina Loitz
 Ski Gauntlet




F
            emales are notorious for
            overanalyzing situations and
            the physics and fundamentals
            of freestyle snowboarding are
            no exception. They overanalyze
how their skills and styles will translate to
the features of a freestyle training ground
and how they will be received by their
                                                                                                                                                                                            Chris Tait/the Gauntlet
male counterparts. Females that have dif-
ficulties overcoming these and other barri-
ers in their mind, especially if they are just         “Those kind of things don’t matter anymore.”       more often, as they can relate to you more.”        you’re competing at these events.”
learning to ride park, will sadly shy away                The sport, like many facets of society, still      When guys are out of the picture, it be-            For the most part, guys are stoked to see
from believing they would enjoy a day                  gets grinded up in those gender gears that         comes less of a competition to impress the          girls hit features at any level because they
tricking.                                              have women concerned with being inad-              alpha ollie-ing males and more about the            don’t see it as often in parks at typical re-
   B.C. Provincial Team and Canadian Devel-            equate on the hill when it comes to getting        fundamentals of tricking with Trixies of simi-      sorts. Some girls are timid and shy away
opment Team pipe rider Charmaine Ironside              tricky. Females and males do not compete           lar genetic makeup and level of shredtastic-        from trying new tricks for fear of embar-
agrees.                                                in the same stream for a reason in any sport;      ness. Females can be great supporters of each       rassing themselves in front of guys. This
   “Girls believe that guys care a lot more than       there is simply too large a gap between skill      other and can provide an environment free of        is yet another example of how things get
they do,” she says “[But] the guys themselves          levels and physiology. This is to be accepted      progression-inhibiting judgment.                    mixed up between the sexes, as boys usu-
have things they’re working on and paying              rather than feared.                                   As Ironside’s list of achievements grows —       ally celebrate rather than berate their at-
more attention to.”                                       Ironside rides on teams of a relatively         she just took fifth in the half pipe event at the   tempts.
   Ironside has been riding for the last               equal number of males and females and              Dew Tour in Vermont and finished eighth in             “Snowboarding gives me confidence in ev-
                                                                                                                                                              erything in life, I find my identity through my
                I started riding when I was 12 and was super intimidated by the cooler older                                                                  sport,” says Ironside.
                                                                                                                                                                 Ironside will live out her pipe dream
                guys . . . but now I don’t really care because I need to and want to progress.”                                                               Jan. 23–24 as her and three other females
                                                                                                                                                              from the national team represent Canada at
                                                                                                                                                              the World Cup in Korea. They also have an
12 years and still remembers what it was               says there is a difference in the pipe eti-        the Burton New Zealand Open. Ironside gains         opportunity to gain a two-year government
like starting out.                                     quette between the two sexes.                      more shred-cred from both sexes every day.          sponsorship program if they place within
   “I started riding when I was 12 and was super          “When you’re hiking the pipe all day, you         “I’ve definitely had a lot more people            the top 16.
intimidated by the cooler older guys, and for a        learn people’s runs, and what they’re working      come up to me at the bigger events to of-              Both guys and girls have got to give credit
long time still was, but now I don’t really care be-   on, so everyone is stoked if you land a trick,     fer their support — a lot of guys and a lot         where credit is due — especially in this case
cause I need to and want to progress,” she says.       but the girls will usually give the shout outs     of girls,” she says. “It’s pretty equal when        — for the chicks who rip.
TWELVE
                                                                                                                                                                GAUNTLET SNOWFALL 2009: FEATURES



A day in the life of an Aussie liftie
“The worst part of my day is puttin’ on that fucking furry hat,” grunts Wilson. “Every morning
I walk to work and ask myself why I am doing this for $9.50 an hour.”
                                                    am doing this for $9.50 an hour.”                  amusement in poking their poles into his ass.       grabs a Red Bull to re-energize himself. His
                                                       While some days are sunny and cold, most          Wilson’s mind begins to wander back to his        toes have almost thawed, but by the time he
                                                    days are just plain cold.                          nighttime activities.                               has to march back to his “flat,” they will freeze
 Caeli Hann                                            “Stepping outside in the mornings some-           “The most common thought I have is,               once again and the snotsicles will undoubt-
 Ski Gauntlet                                       times feels like I’ve just opened the door to      ‘Hmmm, the pub was good last night,’ ” says         edly reemerge from their cave.
                                                    a gigantic freezer and am about to crawl in,”      Wilson. But the second thought always fol-             His flat is a five bedroom house with six




T
            oby Wilson sometimes forgets            says Wilson. “It was a big shock coming from       lows shortly after.                                 Australians and one English bloke. They bicker
            why he came from a coastal town         a sunny coastal Australian town to Canada.”          “Wow, I should not have drank that much.”         constantly over whose turn it is to shovel the
            in Australia to work at a ski hill in      His journey to work usually consists of a         His mind takes frequent trips to beaches          steps. There is one clean plate, about four mis-
            Canada.                                 frozen nose, toes, snotsicles and a pounding       in South America and often retreats back to         matched sets of cutlery and a pile of pots and
              “I’m trying to think of a nice        headache from the previous night’s series of       Australia for a little while, playing in the surf   pans that have taken up residence in the sink.
way to say monotonous,” Wilson says of his          jägerbombs. More often than not, Wilson is         of his homeland. It often wanders to girls at       Like Wilson’s long underwear, the house also
work.                                               running late and takes the short cut and winds     the resort or the lack thereof.                     smells a bit like a high school change room.
   Wilson’s job is what the Australians have        up wading through knee-deep snowdrifts.              “There are probably about six guys for ev-           Massaging his neck and shaking the snow
deemed a “liftie, mate!”                               “My favourite part of working up here,          ery girl, and the girls usually get snagged up      out of his boots, Wilson bursts in the front
   Every morning Wilson wakes up with the           though, is that I can carry around cherry          by the blokes with enough coin to take them         door to be greeted with a can of Lucky and
sun, seemingly as lethargic as he is during         chapstick without feeling like I need to make      for dinner,” says Wilson.                           some ridiculously loud music. The party has
the winter months, and “rugs up” for a day          manly excuses,” he says.                             There is only one grocery store at the ski        already begun. Wilson smiles, tears off his
of work. His long underwear smell a bit like           After struggling with a few new snowbanks
a high school change room and his only pair
of warm socks — adorned with a growing
                                                    that seemed to have emerged overnight and
                                                    the wind that sometimes threatens to thieve                     But, “it’s the most I’ve partied since first-year
number of holes — are still wet from yester-
day. And the day before. After checking the
                                                    his furry hat, Wilson takes a bus to the chair
                                                    lift he has been stationed for that day. On the                 uni. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
temperature, Wilson dresses accordingly,            bus, he catches up on the “bar goss” that the
dons his furry “liftie hat” which resembles         other lifties have to share and buckles down       resort and by the time Wilson can get there         furry hat and remembers why he came to
that of an early fur trader. They have to wear      for another stimulating day of pass scanning.      after work, all the good — that is, expensive       work as a liftie in the first place.
it, as the owner of the resort Wilson works at         On an exciting day, a kid’s jacket will get     — food has already been bought by the tour-           “It’s the most I’ve partied since first year uni,”
has decided it possesses an authentic Cana-         stuck on the gate and the lift will stop for two   ists, who are able to shop in the mornings,         says Wilson. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
dian charm.                                         minutes or a disorganized family will result       and all the Sidekicks, canned soup and cheap          Except maybe his socks, if he could af-
   “The worst part of my day is puttin’ on that     in a human domino-like spectacle. Gener-           bread has already been snagged by the hill’s        ford to. And if he’s lucky, he will have
fucking furry hat,” grunts Wilson. “Every           ally, Wilson just deals with teenagers trying      evening staff.                                      learned how to carve down the bunny hill
morning I walk to work and ask myself why I         to scam the system and little kids that find          Towards the end of his shift, Wilson usually     by the end of the year.

				
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