Originally published in Issue 20.1, available here!
It was early last winter when Marie France-Roy, Mary Rand, and Stefi Luxton had planned to head into a remote cabin in the BC backcountry. With a thin start to the season and minimal coverage in the complex terrain, the outcome was becoming unpredictable. Stefi came down with a cold, which dubbed her “Stuffi Stefi,” and while the rest of the crew found a replacement in Grete Eliassen, the trip remained a go. This was the first installment of a two-part excursion, with the second taking place at the more elevated Journeyman Lodge in Whistler. Marie’s approach was to head into the cabin, enjoy the wilderness, and milk the situation. And milk it they did. Accompanied by Mike Yoshida and Matt Bruhns on photo and video, the crew loaded up the sleds and ventured out to a remote backcountry hut for three days of splitboarding.
“It’s hard to find filmers and photographers willing to go on splitboard trips because it’s so much harder. You have to bring so much with you, you can’t charge your gear, it has to dry properly. I really admire those two and their courage to come with us,” Marie says, lending particular gratitude to Yoshida who took his first steps up the skin track on this trip.
Unaware of what the terrain would look like in early winter conditions, the crew was blessed with pillows, trees, and bigger alpine bowls. Marie laughs about getting worked on some of the bigger pillow lines, a direct result of the seasonally shy snowpack. The crew explored the area and got plenty of riding in, making it back at dusk each night. In true hut style, everyone kept it chill making time to squeeze in dance parties, cabin chatter, and a backflip booter session out front. “Cabin life is the best,” chimes Marie, giggling about the after-hours chit chat.
Daylight missions were motivated by the possibility of everyone’s teenage snowboard crush appearing in the vast terrain. Neither Victoria Jealouse, JP Walker, nor Johnny Lazz ever showed up, but the crew was able to find and ride a little bit of everything and have it all to themselves. What began as a split decision on a hopeful mission, quickly turned into successful trip made up of long days in the beloved BC backcountry, and long nights of candlelit banter before the team headed to Journeyman lodge, where they would be joined by Stefi, for the second component of the trip.