Monday, March 14, 2011

K3 Catski - 'steep or deep'

I hate to plan trips in the winter, which annoys my wife ... and when I do plan, it still annoys my wife as I rarely keep plans. Weather, snow, and invariably others involved continually change. Consequently, my week and a half long plan of celebrating Griz Dayz in Fernie, BC, followed by a string of catskiing locations with a filmer, writer and photographer was diminished to two days at K3 based out of Sicamouse BC.
I was tired of trying to communicate to anyone, and arrived at the Best Western, unaware that this would be our lodge. Photographer Bryan Ralph, skier Matt Elliott and I soon realized the benefits: close to cheep beer, a pool, cell service, privacy, and Timmy Ho's next door.
As we turned off kilometer 3 of the logging road and climbed the switchbacks, our guide Carl explained the difficulties of keeping the road plowed to the cat, and even the troubles of keeping the cat roads maintained as it has snowed at least every four days this season. Our terrain was limited, but the snow seemed bottomless.
We were guests here with a purpose: to capture publishable photos, to gain photos marketable for K3, and to shred pow. And during our short stay we knocked off all three. Matt and I kept finding pillows jutting out of the trees and we would try and figure out a take off and landing, sometimes compromising both for the sake of some good old hang time. When one of us asked the other about the landing, the answer was always "oh yah, its good!" ... " Is it steep?" ... "oh yah, super deep!"
Over years of skiing and surfing, I've learned the value of seizing the moment when conditions are right so Elliott and I jumped off everything we could find.
On our last run we caught a glimpse of K3's bigger jaw-dropping terrain, which was a bit of a sucker punch, but also inspiration to return.