Oakley still in Retallack: Having Fun with Karl the Gnarl

Oakley still in Retallack: Having Fun with Karl the Gnarl

Words by Matt Murray

Retallack, BC is a very special place where the vibe is relaxed, but filled with action packed powder runs. Did that make sense… let me try that again. Retallack has the most pristine and unique setting that there can be for the slaying of insanely deep blower powder. It’s truly one of those places you have to personally experience to fully appreciate the positive flow of energy it gives you.

Here on Freeskier.com you have seen numerous posts from Retallack Lodge over the past few years, so I have decided to turn the focus of this post on one of the very unique characters that makes up Retallack. His name is Karl Guderyan, or better known to some of his co-workers and guests as Karl The Gnarl.

“Karl looks like someone straight out of Lord of the Rings,” stated Grayson from Outside Magazine. In all honesty there could not be a nicer, more up beat, full of energy person on this planet. Embodying everything that is Retallack Lodge, Karl joined on about four years ago having been long time buddies with Kevin (one of the owners).

The first few years Karl was on board he helped build roads and sitting shotgun for ride alongs with Marty one of the top cat operators at Retallack. After a few years of that Karl moved up to operating the cat for guided tours with about a dozen tours two years ago and close to 50 this past year.

When I asked Karl what he loves most about Retallack he laughed. “You know I was asked that same question last night by one of our guests. I guess I would have to say it’s about the special place Retallack is… I mean the scenery is just insane with the 360-degree views of the many cirques and valhallas that surround this area. Also, it’s about the people that make up Retallack Lodge…. There are just really great people on this staff from the cooks to the guides, everyone is stoked to work here and in return that stokes out the guests. So really it’s a winning situation all around.”

Being a favorite for several of the Oakley skiers, Karl scores big points with his approach to charging it up the mountain in his cat and hilarious stories. I was lucky enough to shred a run with Karl yesterday and it was all-time. He could not stop hootin’ and hollerin’ from under his Oakley Blade sunglasses.

“You know what is great about shredding here at Retallack? You’re never alone, you are hanging with your buddies on sick powder runs,” states Karl. “I really love firing it down around the ridge tops of Wishful, that their snow is all-time.”

With an attitude of just wanting to have a plan old good time no matter what, Karl makes everyone around him have an instantly positive outlook. “I really enjoy making the guests happy and the ability to socialize with the many different types of people that come to visit Retallack, whether they are guests returning for the ninth year in a row or here for the first time.”

You said it Karl.

Big thanks go out to Kevin and Phil the owners of Retallack, the rippers on this trip – Dan Treadway, Seth Morrison, Shane McConkey and Kye Peterson, the entire Retallack staff and of course Karl The Gnarl – your all-time in our book.

Make sure to check out the photo gallery, showcasing Retallack’s famous blower powder.

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