Going Deep With the Oakley Team
One of the best teams in skiing tackles deep snow in BC
Part I – Words by Chris O’Connell
Every year, the Oakley team gathers in Nelson, BC, for two weeks of filming, photography, product testing and a chance to ski bottomless Kootenay Mountain powder at the local backcountry operations. Nelson’s still a bit under the radar, but it’s legit enough that Team Oakley has picked this area for its annual winter gathering three years in a row, and Tanner Hall and Seth Morrison each bought part ownership in a local cat operation at Retallack Lodge. If Nelson’s good enough for some of the world’s most well-traveled skiers — “the best snowfall pocket I’ve seen,” according to Tanner — then you know it’s sick. So I arrived in Nelson with Team Oakley in the middle of January last year, ready to wreak havoc in town, cash in on Seth and Tanner’s Retallack investment and check out the environs.
Mix this kind of terrain, the hippie/mountain-biker haven of Nelson and Oakley’s team — Anthony Boronowski, Seth Morrison, Tanner Hall, Kye Petersen and Dan Treadway — and an epic is sure to ensue. All the members of Team Oakley listen to different music, have different interests, ski differently and have totally different perspectives on life. But they all share the common love of skiing and they combine to make one of the best teams in skiing. When they all end up in one place together, it’s like an animal invasion made up of monkeys, parrots, alligators, koala bears, lemurs and a zebra.
JANUARY 3, 2007 – NELSON, BC
“That’s a pretty f—king good breakfast sandwich.” Seth Morrison stares across the table at the Oso Negro coffee shop in Nelson, British Columbia. It’s often hard to tell what’s really going through Seth’s mind, but he’s very serious about the sandwich. About a half dozen people recognized him this morning already. He chats with strangers about skiing, their last pair of his pro model skis, or whatever else they want to talk about. He looks like he doesn’t mind being bothered over breakfast. Seth doesn’t really give a shit about much; he doesn’t get caught up in industry bullshit. He calls it like it is and does his own thing. He’s happiest when it’s steep and deep and there are big cliffs to jump off of, but you won’t see him complain when it’s hardpack ice either. He’s been around the block and cheated death more than any other skier out there. He’s been a professional skier for well over 10 years now, and he still loves his job. But this morning he loves his breakfast sandwich more. Oso Negro is located in downtown Nelson, they do a ham egg and tomato on Spelt Kaiser roll with hippie sauce and it’s the best breakfast sandwich in the world.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.