Life as I know it has changed. I can see brighter now, clearer. My heart has never beat so fast and I have never been so overwhelmed with joy from snowboarding. I finally made it to Baldface Lodge in Interior British Columbia. I have been hearing about this amazing place, seeing footage and shots in magazines for years. My buddy IJ was invited by owner and long-time friend Jeff Pensiero and asked if I’d like to join. I couldn’t say no. While I had expected a great trip (I had been to a cat-skiing lodge in Interior before and it was amazing), I had no idea what was going to happen over the course of a week.
We arrived in Nelson after a drive in from Spokane a night early to get settled. The next day after a yummy breakfast at the local spot Grounded, we headed to the heli pad. Up and away we went into the Kootenay’s arriving at the lodge. The lodge is nestled in a private 32,000 acre zone with several chalets next to it. People can stay in the lodge, which is more dorm style, or pay extra to stay in a private two-bedroom chalet. The day of arrival is time to meet the crew, other visitors, and get situated. Every meal is made for you and the staff makes sure you have everything you need at all times.
It was like the best groundhog’s day ever. Each morning there was a stretch class at 6:30a.m., breakfast at 7, then we would load onto the cat at 8:30 and head up the hill. It snowed somewhere around four feet while we were there just to make it that much better! The conditions and terrain were insane. So many fun trees and pillow lines. Each day got better than the last as our group began to gel. Every afternoon back at the lodge soup and snacks awaited. Everyone usually hit the bar for a celebratory Caesar and a stoked sesh on how great the day was. After a sauna and shower a three course five-star meal was set and there was hardly anything left on the plates. We would gather around the bar after dinner, play pool, games and chat with new friends.
On the final day we woke to blue skies and calm winds and prepped for what was sure to be the best day yet. Being able to see all that surrounded me was overwhelming. There were literally hundreds of moments when I stood at the top of a run ready to drop and just felt like I was in a dream. Every run that day was better than the last. I was feeling more confident, the conditions were stable, and the snow was the best yet. I found myself laughing as I turned down the mountain and talking out loud saying “This is insane! This is why I snowboard,” over and over again. I have never felt so in touch with the mountains and how lucky I was to be alive that day. I was happy to have so many great people around to share it with. Thank you Baldface for giving me the best consecutive days and best day EVER of snowboarding in my life. I will be back. —TS