I had always wanted to build my own park and had tried a few times around Burlington, with a few kickers here and there. But this season after moving to Banff, there was definitely high ambitions to build something good, especially when our season got off to a relatively snow start. Well since late November as soon as snow stuck to the ground, we have been working on our mini-park in an undisclosed location around Banff (maybe if you get on my good side you can check it out some time… after we lead you through the forest with blindfold on bwahaha).
Home sweet home...
At first, we just did a lot of prep work as there was no real snow base on the ground to build anything. This started by ‘borrowing’ some milk crates & pallete’s (and random crap like doors, anything we could find) from some generous businesses around town. Finding a nice little rolling hill with a tranny for the landing, we picked a spot to build our drop-in ramp and build that for the first day. After the snow picked up, next was covering the drop-in and runway with snow and building the jump obviously, all aided by using some logs & whatnot to supplement the lack of snow. After each snowfall more work was done, and as of this past week the setup is looking pretty sick, and is super fun to ride.
Gnarly Log Jib - This one needs more snow to be less sketchy.
Features: drop-in to small kicker, small tabletop kicker at the bottom, 1 small log jib, 1 massive gnarly log jib (yet to be hit, needs more snow), and another small plastic pipe jib which needs work.
Here is some recent pics from December 24th when we had an awesome session, will be putting togethor a video with some footage soon too.
Mike with back 180, as you can see we could use a bit more snow on the landing.
Justin with a back 180 off the tabletop kicker.
Prepping for the next session...
So, not too shabby for now but it’s a work in progress. It’s currently dumping in Banff as of this morning, so can’t wait for the next session.
Well I expected cold when moving out to the Rockies but the past two days redefined the word entirely… Apparently Banff hit record lows set 80+ years ago in the past two days, Sunday waking up to -32 C, and Monday was -41 C, which hit -42 C by 9AM!!! Luckily there was no wind so if you were properly layered and kept active it wasn’t that bad aside from beards / eyebrows freezing within minutes, not to mention beers turning to slush halfway through drinking them…
And what better way to stay active than to head out to our secret mini-park to continue building the jumps? Some considered us crazy for doing this in -30 to -40 temps, but there is nothing better than shoveling a ton of snow to keep you warm and energized. Due to the extreme cold testing our jumps / features wasn’t really an option as they had to set properly, but things are starting to come togethor and look pretty sick… Will post some pics soon of the progression as it’s been a work-in-progress, starting with milk crates and palletes ‘borrowed’ from the industrial area… We swear we will return them in the spring.
With 15 days put in so far including 3 fresh pow days, it’s been a killer season so far and I can’t complain. Tomrrow we are hitting up Kicking Horse for the first time, so pretty stoked about that and will have a post about it for sure.
Frontlipped has been kicking out some good stuff lately now that Jason has the net again, so check them out – also look for the Lake Louise opening day post that I contributed 🙂
Lastly fingers crossed for TJ Schnieder as he took a pretty harsh bail after launching the biggest air I’ve ever seen at Sunshine on Dec. 2nd… I was up this day but working, and didn’t realize his crew was up there, too bad as it would have been fun to shred with them. They sure picked a good day as we had 20cm of fresh that morning – it was epic.
Thursday, November 27th
Had a really good session today at Sunshine (also my friend Justin’s bday session! =), it was a bit cloudy but the sun was shining through for most of the day creating sort of a dull sunlight. This was good until about 2 when it started to get a bit flat-light, but this was once we had gotten to know the cliff. After doing about 4 chairs once we got there – 1 strawberry 3 angel, 1 of which to grab Justin’s gloves off the 16th chair of ang. express.
- Justin entering le-wawa sidecountry, or “slack country” as a recent TW snow mag read.
- Justin, not so stoked right after the 45min initial hike. We had some refreshments at the top.
Next was a trek up Wawa, past the gates off the green run on the left side and towards the weather station ridge, but not all the way up as we became interested in these wind-blown cliff drops which although were technically cornices which can be bad, we tested the snowpack enough to make sure that it was decent, and decent it was – soft landings on the 30ish degree slope that lay below, so this is where the session started and just kept progressing from hitting the natural cliff then building a small kicker to get a bit more air time.
Mother nature has finally cooperated for Sunshine, and having the day off I decided to hike it seeing as how work has me on until next wednesday. Got some first tracks on the 14cm in last 24hr and 34 in last 4 days. A long hike up Strawberry lift twice and up Standish once gave me my fill of fresh lines and though was a pain in the ass hiking that far, having the entire hill to yourself (more or less) is pretty rewarding.
Some Rocky Mountain Sheep on the access rd greeting me on the way
Decent coverage on the first hike up, but some rocks sticking through
November 10th, 2008
Well it’s been pretty a pretty mild start to our season so far, and the snow hasn’t exactly been blanketing us yet. Everyone seems to be broke here in Banff, and it’s really quiet around town, nothing to do here at the moment other than watch shred vids and build small patches with whatever snow is around.
Mt Rundle Sunrise
This week, however in and around Banff is forecasted to get some snow, and if my favorite site is correct, then Sunshine is going to get some decent snow around 25, Kicking Horse will get pounded too with 40ish, as with most resorts as a nice looking storm is coming in. Tonight it was already snowing in Banff, which is a good sign!
Mt Rundle Sunset
So do the snow dance and pray to the snow gods, and the snow will come for the Canadian Rockies soon enough… And take what you can get for now, as Lake Louise is open with 1 run 1 lift, I ended up going there this weekend, will be posting with Frontlipped with the story as part of a season kickoff, so check that out.
Well, this summer has flown by for me, with 3 different jobs at different times, moving / driving across the country, and now coming to rest right at the foot of the rockies, it’s been a pretty interesting summer. Right now I am living in Calgary, with a friend, while Adam is still in ON hoping to get out here in time for the season.
If anyone has a place in Banff or knows people who might have vacancied hit me up because depending on whether or not I get a job on-hill, might be looking.
Shred mags have hit the shelves – already read Transworld’s first issue back-to-back while bored at work (watering lawns… lots of downtime), and just picked up SBC’s buyer’s guide issue (which is basically just a full issue, with a buyers guide included, as opposed to TW stand-alone guide which I didn’t bother with. Plus im broke so who needs a buyers guide?) Also grabbed Document Snowboard 50th issue.
Shred vids are coming soon enough, have read a ton of good reviews, notabely Forum’s new release ‘Forum or Against ‘Em’, Absinthe Films – Ready, and of course Double Decade from MDP. I suspect the amazing season experienced throughout most of North America should give birth to some pretty awesome shred flicks.
Also if you want to know what’s going on with the Canadian snowboard scene check out Frontlipped, on my blogroll as they update pretty frequently with various info from a Canadian perspective – right on eh!
Anyways that finishes my random snowboarding thoughts as Sept rolls in to Calgary and it’s about 4 degrees already here, and seeing that snow already sticking to the mountains really solidifies the fact that the season is a knockin’. PB
It’s not too often that a new resort opens, especially one as epic looking as this place. Although they have been open for cat and heli boarding / skiing for years now, but this season starting Dec. 20th, 2007 have opened with lifts as well. I have a feeling this place is going to blow up, especially considering the impressive stats it claims, and epic looking pow accessible by three ways, cat, heli, or lift.
- Extension of the gondola from the upper village to the village base, increasing the vertical by 885 feet. With a total of 5,620 feet, Revelstoke Mountain Resort will have the longest lift-serviced vertical descent in North America!
- Construction of a new, high-speed quad chairlift in the North Bowl area, opening up an additional 900 acres of intermediate terrain (ski runs and tree skiing), as well as 300 additional acres of expert skiing.
- Extensive glading and trail cutting throughout the resort’s ski terrain.
- Purchase of two snowcats (one winch cat and one grooming cat).
- Expansion of Revelstoke Cat Skiing’s terrain to 2,210 acres.
- Increased glading and run development within the existing 500,000 acres of Selkirk Tangiers Helicopter Skiing’s tenured terrain.
Image courtesy of the Revelstoke website