The Revelstoke super sampler; A five-day visit to the land of powder and snow machines

The Revelstoke super sampler; A five-day visit to the land of powder and snow machines

Revelstoke is ridiculous. The British Columbian destination has some of the best heli-skiing, cat-skiing, touring and snowmobile skiing I could ever imagine. On top of that, you’ve got the ski area itself, Revelstoke Mountain Resort. I currently live in the not-so-quaint ski city of Vail, Colorado: Home of the “lift lines seen from space.” To me, Revelstoke mountain seems pretty sleepy. But a good sleepy. Ski onto the chair during powder days sleepy.

Below you’ll find some outtakes from the Strafe Outerwear team shoot I did in mid-December with Whit Boucher, Thayne Rich, Hayden Price and local Revelstoke legend, Jake Teuton. We tasted the powder in as many way as possible. With sleds, lifts, snowcats, and skins.

The Columbia River runs directly through the town of Revelstoke, on the west bank you see the Monashee range, and east, the Selkirks. Both ranges receive massive amounts of snow and provide endless options for ski touring, snowmobiling, snow cat and helicopter operations. Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) lays east of the massive Columbia on the edge of the Selkirks. RMR is 5,620 vertical feet of incredible skiing with inbounds terrain that you could ski for years without skiing the same thing twice and sidecountry access into the wonderland. We were there for five short days to sample what Revelstoke has to offer. Jake Teuton, Revelstoke local and long-time Strafe ambassador acted as our tour guide for our five-day stint.

Day 1

The view from the top of the Stoke chair, 5,620’ above the Columbia River, is nothing short of epic. Frost coated trees known as snow ghosts litter the high alpine terrain creating wintery forms seldom seen in the mountains of Colorado. After a few minutes of taking in the view from the top we followed Jake on a short hike out to North Bowl. North Bowl is an immense breadth of terrain that is filled with so many good features to shoot; it’s hard to decide what to ski. But, luckily our tour guide knew the mountain well and had us set up on awesome features in no time. We progressed down the center ridge of the North Bowl known as Gracias Ridge playing on cliffs and wind lips, big smiles stretched across everyone’s face.

Reaching the bottom of the ridge we found a couple small features to cap the day off and end on a strong note. The gully that you have to follow on the way out to the R1ipper Chair (the only way out from North Bowl) is long and filled with big moguls. After skiing and hiking around for the day the burn in the legs was real, but following Jake’s line made things a lot easier as long as you had the right speed. From the top of the Ripper chair you have one hell of a descent down to the base via the longest groomers in North America.

Day 2

Day two started with a 5:30 a.m. wake up, but the early alarm came with excitement rather than lament. A day of cat-skiing with RMR in their cat terrain was good reason for high stoke levels at such an uncomfortable hour. With a bustle of prepping gear, making breakfast, and double-checking our beacon batteries and we were out the door. It was lightly snowing and cold as we entered the gondola with our guide, Simon.

Chatter of deep snow and soft landings made the gondola ride to the top go by quickly. We rode the Stoke chair and down a powdery run to the cat. We met our cat driver, Dale, and all loaded in. Inside, the cat was warm and cozy with a substantial sound system; we all agreed that cat skiing is by far the plushest way to ski powder. Jokes and laughter filled the cat as the massive machine crept out to the cat-skiing tenure.

After a brief avalanche safety conversation we jumped back into our rolling refuge and made our way to the top. Several laps of capturing media in the powder had all of us fatigued. The ski down the monstrous groomer at the end of the day was especially daunting with fading light, blasting snow guns and 5,620 vertical feet.

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Day 3

Five-o-clock a.m. alarms buzzed again. With tired eyes, we loaded backpacks, tossed our gear in cars and drove over to “Goon Acres”—Jakes residence. Located just outside town, this little farmhouse has become home base for Jake and his friends. Every truck in the driveway had a snowmobile in the back and there were even more sleds littered around the yard, a true sled neck retreat. Looking into the old farmhouse bodies zipped across the window, back and forth, a whole lot of commotion for 5:30 in the morning to say the least.

Walking into the little farmhouse, we were pleasantly greeted by Jake, his roommates and the five other guys crashing there. Everyone was up and anxious to get out there and into the deep. After a few minutes of conversing with Jake and the crew we were on our way to Sail Mountain, a popular sled skiing zone about thirty minutes outside of Revelstoke towards the famous Micah Creek.

British Columbia is an awe-inspiring place. Passing massive dams and huge rivers that are as wide as a good size lake on the drive towards Sail made our native Colorado landscape seem small. After thirty minutes of jaw-dropping scenery we pulled over, unloaded sleds, packed up and set off. The snow kept piling up the higher we went; finally at the top, the snow was incredibly deep for the end of December. We sledded down to a good viewpoint where we could inspect our lines and made decisions on what we wanted to ski. After hours of crushing the first pillow zone and a small fire break we decided head back towards the front side to play in the trees due to the deteriorating light quality.

We were able to find a little face to lap that had all sorts of fun poppers and slash opportunities. After a couple hours skiing our zone on the front side the daylight started to dwindle quickly so we headed back down to the trucks, loaded up and retreated back to Revelstoke for the evening.

Day 4

Both the Selkirk and the Monashee ranges report incredible amounts of snowfall, but for some reason they always seem to get a little more, even than expected. This made our decision to venture into the Monashees easy when Jake proclaimed that skier traffic is far less than the popular touring area of Roger’s Pass. On the way there, Jake informed us that this location is coveted local spot so we were sworn to secrecy. If anyone asked, we found this place on our own.

After a short sled and about a two-hour skin we got the gist why. The snow quality in this old growth forest was incredible. The type of snow that you can only dream about, snow that you can float through effortlessly and when you lay a turn it explodes. After every run hooting and hollering broke the silence of the motionless forest. Cliffs, poppers and powder. The amount of absurd skiing available in this “little” zone was enough to blow your mind.

Day 5

It was a hard call, but we had such a good time we decided to head back into the Monashees for our final day. Again, after a short sled and few hour skin we were right back in the glory zone. It had snowed the night before so all of our tracks from the previous day were gone. When we got to the top of the skin track the excitement levels were high as we discussed hitting all of the features that we missed the day before. Again the snow quality was out of this world, explosions at every turn made breathing difficult, but no one was complaining. As we found new features we hadn’t spotted and hitting things we had missed the day before.

After several hours we collectively agreed that we should all move to Revelstoke. Upon our mutual agreement sadness came over the group as we realized we had to pack it in and head back south the next day. Revelstoke is a one-of-a-kind place; there is nowhere else in the world with such incredible access to immeasurable terrain.

Associated Gear…


Cham Jacket

Strafe | $450

“The Cham Jacket is the lightest, most minimalist ski and snowboard jacket made of Polartec® NeoShell®, which is the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market. It’s designed specifically for backcountry touring, with only the necessary features for moving light and fast, like our biggest zippered pit vents, and deep, pack-friendly chest pockets for skins. It provides our highest level of breathability while maintaining fully waterproof protection for the longest, biggest days imaginable, no matter the conditions…”

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Temerity Jacket

Strafe | $495

“Our shortest, most tailored men’s jacket, the Temerity Jacket is the most versatile jacket in the All Mountain Tech collection because of the layering possibilities with the fully-featured shell. It’s built from a midweight Polartec® NeoShell® fabric which provides the highest level of breathability of any waterproof fabric on the market. The Temerity Jacket is designed to be warmer and more durable than our Cham Jacket, with added features for all mountain riding…”

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Highlands Pant

Strafe | $425

“The Highlands Pant is designed to provide full waterproof protection and insulation for the coldest days without sacrificing breathability. It’s one of the first pants made from a unique combination of Polartec® NeoShell®, the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market, and 80g Polartec® Alpha®, the first-ever breathable puffy insulation. It’s designed to provide full waterproof protection and insulation for the coldest days without sacrificing breathability, for active warmth…”

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Temerity Pant

Strafe | $385

“The Temerity Pant is the most versatile pant in the All Mountain Tech collection because of the layering possibilities it allows. Designed for all mountain skiing where added breathability is necessary, the Temerity Pant is cut from a midweight two-way stretch Polartec® NeoShell® fabric, the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market…”

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Alpha Mid Jacket

Strafe | $225

“Made with 80g Polartec® Alpha®, the first-ever breathable puffy insulation for active warmth, the AP Mid Jacket is designed to provide the warmth-without-weight and weather resistance of a light puffy, with the breathability of a midlayer for comfort throughout a wide range of conditions. Polartec® Alpha® was developed for U.S. Special Operations Forces and is now available through Strafe. Unlike down or classic synthetic fill, which require the use of “closed” fabrics, Polartec® Alpha® is a highly stable insulation that won’t poke through or migrate…”

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