Like hundreds of other mountain enthusiasts, I’ve made the trek to
the heart of interior B.C. to participate in this historical opening of
Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Rumours surrounding Revelstoke’s new alpine
resort have been circulating around the snowboard community for years,
but the concrete information and statistics about this mountain have
always remained mysterious. All I’ve heard about this zone is that
avalanche danger is high and there’s worry of people suffering from
altitude sickness. In my opinion, those are two of the best criteria
available to represent amazing terrain.

With my wingman Colin Adair behind the wheel, our drive from
Vancouver is smooth and dry, but a grueling battle against our anxious
excitement and when we finally arrive in Revelstoke at 5:36 pm, it’s
six minutes too late to obtain our lift tickets in advance in hopes of
beating the morning rush. As we pull to a stop downtown, I open the
truck door and am greeted by locals Keith Martin and Stevon Hunter
before my feet touch the sidewalk. I thought that I was excited, but
these two are climbing the curtains as they choke out some sporadic
vocabulary, of which I only retain: “four feet fresh”, “steep”,
“advanced”, “big”, “crazy”, “all winter”, and something about Stoker’s
Lounge headlining only one stripper per week. We next make a quick stop
at the liquor store (primarily to ask directions to our hotel of
course), where we soon after retreat for an hour-long power nap. At
7:00 pm, Nick Brown and Chris Dufficy arrive with their Kamloops
entourage, the guys who complete our group and increase the energy
level at any place they visit.

After an excessive dinner feast we hit the town for some
socializing. It’s holiday season and the intimate town of Revelstoke is
on the eve of receiving the largest Christmas present in history, so
the inhabitants are celebrating; the ambiance is similar to what it
would be like for the die-hard fans in Chicago if the Cubs were to ever
win the World Series. Consequently, our self-proclaimed 10 p.m. curfew
is extended by several hours in order to take it all in.

In the morning we’re slightly sleep deprived and confused, but we
still manage to be in the lift line by 7:30 a.m. With more than 1,000
people already in queue, we quietly slide up front with Keith and
Stevon, who were out later than us the previous night, but still
managed to hit the hill before us. There’s a brief, but emotional
opening ceremony, giving credit to the resort’s founding fathers and
all the blood, sweat and tears that have led to this day. The ribbon
wrapped around the first gondola is then cut and the lift line is
opened. Somebody in the operations department takes the liberty of
blasting U2 over the stereo as the crowd begins to swarm the moving
gondola cabins. Game on.

The shiny new Poma gondola of Revelstoke Mountain Resort is claimed
to be the fastest lift in North America, taking only six-and-a-half
minutes to reach the top. Even if that is a fact, our ride feels like
it takes an eternity. At the top there’s a short traverse to the
high-speed quad that expresses you to the summit. We hustle off the
chair, strap in and start our descent. Before we’re halfway down the
run, I’ve completely lost my voice for the rest of the weekend, yet
continue to scream and giggle in the most emasculating manner
imaginable until we reach the bottom. Our group collaborates in the
lift line and we look at each other grinning in disbelief before
hugging it out. We rip laps all day alongside hundreds of other
shredders who are having just as great of a time as us. Big mountain
skiers Ryan Oakden and Dan Treadway are in the mix, along with veteran
snowboarders Kyle Wolenchuck and Scott Newsome, with his children in
tow.

Colin and I had originally planned to shoot photos on the hill, but
with the perfect conditions and Colin’s snowboarding skills it’s easy
to get sidetracked with riding and leave the camera trapped in a
backpack all day. We do, however, bump into Alterna Films’ Carlo Wein,
who has been hard at work filming here for a week producing the
resort’s promotional video. I’m convinced that this destination is
about to explode.

A day-and-a-half later, and after several thousand vertical feet of
waist deep powder, I’m back on the road home and completely exhausted.
I’m claiming to my fellow passengers that Revelstoke Mountain Resort
possesses the best chairlift accessible terrain on the planet with
unbelievable snow and a positive atmosphere. I’m also thinking that
I’ve never felt so apathetic about going home for Christmas and the
considerations that I’m unable to kick from my mind are how to buy a
season’s pass, find a place to live, and move to Revelstoke until the
summer.

For more information on Revelstoke Mountain Resort, check out revelstokemountainresort.com

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