Posing in Prince Rupert on the day of Patrick’s departure.
What could be better than having the time of your life and sharing it with your brother? Luckily, Patrick had already decided to come over from Switzerland before it started snowing in Europe… and so we spent the longest time together since I had left my parent’s house. Not only do we get along really well, we’re also perfect ski buddies: Patrick’s slightly stronger in the downhill (I hate to admit), so I am always a bit pushed to go harder, and he proved to be still strong enough to hang with me uphill despite my huge exercise advantage this year.
Chapter 1: Roger’s Pass delivers
Shredding pillow lines…
… and hucking trees in the “Dagobah system”.
After a week on Roger’s Pass we had six days of ski touring in our legs and it got warm. So we decided to hit the road to the northwest via the famous Icefield Parkway highway and Prince George, where we stayed at our childhood neighbour Klaus’ and his wife Sabrina’s .
Chapter 2: Bummer in Smithers
When we got to Smithers, half way up between Vancouver and the northern boundary of BC, on the continental side of the coastal range, there was no sign of the praise it had received in my guide book. Dry, dusty and windy.
This poor moose, the first one we ever saw, just seems to embody our Smithers experience…
We did what we would have done in Europe if conditions were bad: Get the summit! Mount Hankin near Smithers was the only one we cared to get in twelve days of skiing.
Patrick proved to be a worthy gipsy in many ways:
1. When in trouble, double. Slept in the car four times in a row at the Shames Mountain parking lot together with a giant like me in a space as small as 120 x 200 x 60 cm…
2. Cooked an elaborate pasta dish („al gorgonzola“) with the camping stove at the motel…
4. Went to public swimming pools to get a chance to wash every now and then, even scored a free swim night in Terrace!
5. Not explicitly a gipsy virtue, but nevertheless noteworthy, he endured two bursts of six back to back days of ski touring, for a total of around 15,000m in vertical.
Chapter 3: And then there was Shames
Jesus loved us and let us know about it.
We arrived in Shames all depressed after an evening drive from Smithers through the brown Skeena valley. But when we got up in the morning on the parking lot of Shames Mountain Co-op, everything fell in place within seconds: there were 10cm of fresh and the sun was just cracking through. The chair was not operating and we kept being greeted by backcountry skiers who were either locals or also camped on the parking lot.
Shames felt hippie from day one and soon become an enchanting love affair.
Rippin until the break of dawn! Here on “No dogs!”
Blue sky for Patrick’s last day.
One of our more rad lines to Hidden Lake.
Shames in all its beauty.
I was very sad to see my brother go home. But I had no clue yet what Shames and Terrace had in store to comfort me the next day…