Last spring the Salomon Mountain Collective asked me to join the FreeskiTV crew at Chatter Creek for a ski trip with Cody Townsend, Josh Daiek and Leah Evans. The stoke was high to join up with the crew and learn from some of the best in the industry.
Heading into the lodge we were given a preliminary report that the forecast was calling for sunshine, and lots of it. Normally bluebird skies are welcomed with open arms but with a lack of fresh snow the conditions were not looking optimal for what we had in mind; big drops, big lines and pillow times.
Upon arrival we met up with the guides and made a game plan with what was available. The first day we cruised around and scouted potential zones for natural airs and hidden pockets of dry snow. It was limited but we were able to find some great stashes amongst the massive tenure at Chatter.
To be honest I was a little disappointed at first, as I was hoping to be able to get into some bigger lines. It’s not often that I have a chance to go out riding with athletes of this caliber and learn how to make my way around in the big terrain and interpret the lines that I want to ride. What was originally intended to be a big mountain adventure quickly became what we affectionately dubbed spring break!
We found a few natural features to play on which was fun, but as the days rolled on our options started thinning out. Then it dawned on us; let’s get everyone in the crew to try the sit ski. For sure it was not the easiest environment to learn how to ride a sit ski in, with heavy spring snow and variable (backcountry) terrain. But everyone had an open mind and was more than stoked to give it a try. I said, it’s kinda like riding a bike, and is easier / more stable with a little bit of speed, to which Leah took a little too literally and ended up straight lining for a few hundred meters until she hit a roller and tomahawked several times before coming to rest. She got back up and linked a few turns right to the bottom. Josh and Cody were keen to giver as well, although not quite as fearless as Leah. I was most impressed when Cody decided to follow me down a pretty steep pitch that was totally sunbaked. I barely made it down myself and radioed up that it might be a better idea to hike down as the snow was shot and a creek at the bottom, basically no room for hesitation or mistakes. Cody was like, thanks for the heads up but I got this… and well, to find out if he did you need to check out the clip from this latest instalment from Salomon FreeskiTV.