Throughout this winter we have tried several times to schedule a Freeride Chronicles TV shoot at Big Red Cats in Rossland, BC but could never get schedule or conditions to cooperate, so when an e-mail came across my desk on March 20th from the owner of BRC, "We got 25cms of snow recently, You might want to come up and give it one more shot as the skiing is really good"
I immediately looked at the weather forecast and NOAA was calling for temps 28 around degrees and Bluebird. Thats all I need to to hear a few phone calls later and we were scheduled for Sunday morning.
We arrived at the BRC office early Sunday morning which sits at the base of Red Mountain Ski resort a little tired and weary after all we left Sandpoint at 4:30 am and some of us had just participated in a 24 Hour Ski Event at our local hill and were running on a half a tank.
Some paperwork, a 20 minute drive to the staging area and a short safety/transceiver talk and the next thing you know we were loaded up en route for a day of Spring powder skiing with owner and lead guide Kieren Gaul.
Owner and Lead Guide for Big Red Cats, Kieren Gaul still loves to have fun in his playground
30 minutes later we were sitting at the top of the zone, a open clear cut with a 25 degree pitch.
I guess it's my turn to go first, after all I had the video camera! It didn't take more than a couple of turns to know our timing was perfect! It's amazing what sun and good snow will do to your soul, I was Recharged and ready to roll!
Bob Legasa testing the Goods
We had a Cat skiing Virgin along with us on this trip. I radioed back up for the newbie Trisha Scott to have the honors. Trisha pushed off and made it look effortless as she ripped the slope hooting and hollering one turn after the next.
Trisha Scotts FIRST experience was a memorable one
Alison Murphy is all Smiles on her first run
The rest of the group picked out lines on either side of me which provided numerous angles and variety for filming.
Erich Thompson off the edge of the clearing where it got a little Steeper!
Willy Bartlett spicing things up a little
Through the day we covered doe ground and skied all sorts of terrain. Big Red Cats has a huge tenure which covers 8 peaks and over 19, 0000 acres and they have terrain for all levels. In fact BRC is the only snowcat skiing operation in British Columbia to offer separate trips for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and riders they even offer "Uber Expert" if your into sending it off cliffs all day.
The calendar says March but the conditions say January
One of our favorite runs was a huge alpine bowl with a steep pitch for the entrance. This feathered out into perfect 35-40 degree slope the remainder of the way to the cat.
Tommy Letourneau with a little Pucker Factor going on as he drops in
Tommy ripping the nose through the steeps
Alison made it into the Money!
Next thing you knew it was almost 3pm and we needed to start heading back. Time goes by fast when your having fun!
We made our way back up to the top of the final ridge and Kieren yelled "one more lap". The run was Sunset which was filled with perfectly spaced trees, plenty of open pockets and little steep roll overs throughout. This run had incredible flow and you could go and go and go with out having to stop for trees. Finally it seemed like the run was coming to and end as we were getting closed out by a big bank of trees.
Trisha grinning form ear to ear
Bob Loving the little rollers
After picking our way through this section we came into another big opening. This looked like a 15 year old clear cut on a fun 25 degree slope about 1000 meters long . The replanted trees stuck out of the snow about 5'-6' and were spaced perfectly so you could use them like slalom gates. Perfect run to end the day.
Not a bad run to end a memorable day at Big Red Cats
Everyone in our group was Blown Away at how fantastic the conditions were for that time of the year. As we skied to the cat the high fives were rolling and the smiles everywhere. Talk about something exceeding your expectations. That was how we all felt.