Kelowna, BC- The guys at www.powderheadz.comare back in the Pacific Northwest and are taking a 5-hour drive from Vancouver, BC to Kootenay Boundary, BC to head up to Big White Ski Resort. We’ll be spending a couple of days at Big White to check out what snowboarding in Interior BC is like compared to the Western BC. Conditions look pretty decent from www.snow-forecast.com:
Looks like the Pacific Northwest isn’t done with Winter quite yet.
Located about 32 miles (51km) east of Salt Lake City, Utah, or about 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLT), Park City Mountain Resort is one of the best Ski Resorts in the Western US. With the recent merger of two iconic ski resorts by the Quicksilver Gondola—Park City and Canyons—Park City is now known as the largest Ski Resort in the United States. The whole area now operates as one giant resort called Park City Mountain Resort with Canyons referred to as “Canyons at Park City”.
Park City Mountain Resort offers more than 300+ trails across 7300 Acres of ski-able terrain with 41 lifts, 8 terrain parks, 14 bowls, 6 natural half pipes, a super pipe and a mini pipe. It also has a variety of ski-in and ski-out properties throughout the resort to make Park City one of the most easily accessible mountain destinations in the world.
How to Get There
The best way to get to Park City Mountain Resort is by flying into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLT), and taking one of the many shuttles or taxis to either the Main Park City Base Area or the Canyon’s Base Area. Since the Resort is the economic lifeblood of the city, transportation through buses, trolley, and shuttles around both base areas are free. If you need to get there fast, Ubers and Taxis are pretty easy to come by.
If you’re going to Park City Mountain Resort to wake up early and immediately get on the slopes, stay in the Canyons Base Area, as they have the best ski-in/ski-out lodging options available. However, they don’t have much to offer when it comes to shops, nightlife, or dining.
If you’re going to Park City Mountain Resort with a more relaxed approach to skiing or snowboarding, stay closer to Main Street, the heart of Park City Proper. It’s harder to get to the mountain from the city, but the famous Town Lift from Main Street can get you there.
There’s an excellent, free bus system and hotel shuttles are available throughout the resort. You’ll never really need to call a taxi, but Uber is also available.
The best way to “conquer” the resort as a local is to take a shuttle or park your car at Canyons where there’s ample parking, ski to the west to main base area, have some apres-ski and dinner in town, and then take the shuttles back to Canyons.
Park City, UT- The guys at www.powderheadz.comare taking a break from the Pacific Northwest and heading off to the Utah. We’ll be spending a couple of days at Park City testing out some new gear as well as testing out a new snowboarder. One of Powderheadz.com cousins decided to get married this year and for his bachelor party he wanted to learn how to snowboard like the rest of us.
Some of the equipment we’ll be testing out this week is:
Powderheadz.com Team at The Rickshaw Theater in Vancouver
BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM
Vancouver, BC – The guys at www.Powderheadz.com got a chance to watch “Stronger” by Union Binding Company and co-produced by Redbull Media House on October 19, 2016 at The Rickshaw Theater. Review coming soon! Hint: One of the best ways to get excited for snowboarding.
After LA, Travis Rice heads North for the Canadian Premiere.
BY ALFIE FELICIANO
Vancouver, BC – This past Saturday, the Powderheadz.com Team was able to swing some tickets to get a first look at Travis Rice’s The Fourth Phase. And with a bit of patience and luck, we were able watch the film with the cast and crew of The Fourth Phase at the same location that Travis Rice premiered 2011’s The Art of Flight. It was a surreal experience for us.
Two days after the World Premiere on Thursday, September 8th at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, Travis Rice and company traveled north to Vancouver, BC for the Canadian Premiere at Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts of The Fourth Phase. With introductions of rest of the team, a slight jab to Canada by stating “we didn’t film one day here” because “you guys have it to good up here”, a fake call-out to no-show Justin Trudeau (no, he wasn’t there), and a raffle to the lucky guy in seat 33B who won a few beard trimmings from snowboarder Eric Jackson, the film started with raucous applause. It was safe to assume that everyone here was pretty amped with Redbull. Perhaps some Vodka as well. And they had every right to. It’s been 4 long years to see the next film from Rice.
The film opens to a reflective Travis Rice aboard his Catamaran “Falcor” in a nondescript part of an ocean while Dr. Gerald Pollack, Professor of Bioengineering at UW, intros the main thesis to the movie:
‘We all learn that water has three phases. The solid state, the liquid state and also the vapor state. You can’t explain all the known properties of water with three phases alone. You need a fourth phase. As children, we have this natural tendency to explore. And then we go to school and we have to get the right answer. This has a tendency to squeeze out of us the truth-seeking nature that comes as a human being. Because of the institutionalized nature of science, scientists have become more hesitant to challenge perceived truth. If we wanna get real truth, we have to dig down beneath the foundations.’
And then the movie kicks into high gear. Immediately after the mellow opening, Travis lays waste to the Wyoming backcountry with insane tricks off of eighty foot kickers. He’s joined by snowboarders Pat Moore, Cam Fitzpatrick, and Ben Ferguson as they assault the mountain alongside him. Humble Master and Jackson Hole icon Bryan Iguchi comes along to do a quick session around the Grand Tetons with Rice before Rice embarks on this epic adventure.
“…I realized by combining my love of the ocean with my love of the mountains it might be possible to actually follow the flow around the north Pacific, travel with the water that melts down from the Continental Divide, sail with it as it sweeps across the ocean and turns into the snow that blankets Japan…” – Travis Rice
The crew embarks on their first trip of the journey through a dizzying view of a Japanese airport to some of the most beautiful tree riding we’ve ever seen. Travis Rice claims that the Japanese Alps is one of the snowiest places on earth and he wouldn’t be wrong. Snowboarders Mikkel Bang and Mark Landvik join Rice as they genuinely ‘play’ in waist deep powder.
This was the part of the film that was the most enjoyable to me. It looked like 3 guys having the time of their lives and were having a blast doing it. And it didn’t look like work. It looked like a lot of fun and there just happened to be a film crew. And its part of the film that seems the most attainable thing that the audience can do. The gorgeous lines that these 3 were able to take is sure to drive up snow-tourism in the area for years to come.
“…The cycle swings up and tears past the Kamchatka Peninsula…” – Travis Rice
What comes up, must come down. The sheer joy that is on display in Japan gets replaced with the flipside of the harshness of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. This section was probably the most interesting because it shows that even the greatest snowboarders in the world have to deal with an uncooperative Mother Nature or a very uncooperative foreign government. Or worse, boredom.
Flying around in a military helicopter around an active Russian Volcano was awe-inspiring, but once the riders got on the ground, it was a different story. They were riding through some of the ugliest, windswept terrain that’s been filmed. You can feel the frustration and boredom build throughout this part. And although a glimmer of hope gets them flying off for one last try, their trip gets crushed by government officials. The only silver lining was that Rice, Eric Jackson, and Mark Landvik were able to meet some Russian youths who recognized them from The Art of Flight. Snowboarding is alive and well in even the most harshest of places.
“…and then finally banks into the catcher’s mitt that forms the Gulf of Alaska. These charged weather systems coming off the ocean hit these coastal mountains which ring out precipitation like a sponge, creating some of the most incredible snow formations on the planet.” – Travis Rice
Rice, Landvik, and Jackson arrive to variable conditions and a questionable snowpack in Alaska. The grind of filming this movie has taken its toll on the team and Mark Landvik eventually bows out of film, leaving Rice and Jackson up north to wait it out. We are rewarded with their patience. Travis Rice and Eric Jackson put on a clinic of riding Alaskan terrain as they ride through vertical lines, narrow chutes, and knife-edge ridges with ruthless aggression. You can see the riders release all that built up energy.
Side Note: You might recognize one of the Lines that Travis Rice takes from Skier Cody Townsend’s 2014 Line of the year:
If you’ve got time, read Travis Rice’s conversation with Cody Townsend about it. It’s a glimpse to a real world dilemma if hoarding film for a movie while others don’t have to.
Rice comes back to Alaska a year later with Victor De Le Rue and Jeremy Jones to tackle Valdez again. And the next part of the film was probably the toughest to watch out of all the segments. The film crescendo’s into these scenes and the you can hear the audience at the Centre in Vancouver groan in unison and then remain silent for the next few minutes. It’s something you have to see to believe.
“I have not figured out how to separate reckless optimism from a healthy appetite to pursue things until it becomes impossible. To be able to know the difference? Yeah, it’d be amazing. I’ve been lucky to have a few glimpses into this idea of what letting go really is. I know it’s impossible.” – Travis Rice
The film ends where it begins, on a homecoming high note. Travis Rice and crew “riding off in the sunset”. The Fourth Phase lives up to the hype. If you loved The Art of Flight, you’ll love this.
Watch The Fourth Phase on October 2nd when it streams live on Red Bull TV at 8 pm.
The 2015-2016 edition of El Niño has come to pass and La Niña has a 60 to 75% of making an appearance. And according to the NOAA, a pool of cold water is materializing in the Pacific Ocean below a shallow mass of warm surface water. La Niña is coming.
And if it does, the Pacific Northwest to Squaw Valley will see above average snowfall. There is already more concrete evidence as Whistler gets its first snowfall of the season (about 3cm). We should be seeing more action from La Niña in the late fall and through the winter. Some of the best Ski Resorts in North America will get the benefit of the larger than average snowfall:
The last time La Niña mattered was during the 1998-1999 ski season, when Mt. Baker, WA received the most snow at any location during a single season. 1140 inches of powder dropped that winter, totaling 95 feet. It’s still a record that hasn’t been beaten. Hopefully we get somewhere close to that this year, if not beating it altogether. It will more than make up for the lackluster winter of 2014-2015 that the Pacific Northwest had experienced two years ago.
It is still to early to tell when La Niña will truly show up, but it something to keep in mind if you are planning on any major snowboarding trips. There is a possibility that some resorts will have enough snow coverage for the Thanksgiving weekend. Or perhaps by Christmas time. But forecasts this far out can be a little unpredictable. La Niña should reveal her true colors in the next couple of months. We at Powderheadz.com think you should hold off on buying those plane tickets until more time has passed.
Perhaps I’m writing all of this because I just needed an excuse to just to show this clip:
Travis Rice is back with The Fourth Phase, the follow-up to 2011’s phenomenal Art of Flight:
“This hydrological cycle, it’s this beautiful choreographed cycle of life. I realized by combining my love of the ocean with my love of the mountains, it might be possible to actually follow the flow around the North Pacific.” – Travis Rice
The Fourth Phase by Travis Rice is a love letter to riding that follows the exploits of Rice and fellow riders Mikkel Bang, Shin Biyajima, Victor de Le Rue, Ben Ferguson, Cam Fitzpatrick, Mentor Bryan Iguchi, Eric Jackson, Jeremy Jones, Mark Landvik, Bode Merril, Pat Moore across the North Pacific.
The premise to Art of Flight‘s sequel is an exploration of the hydrological cycle – the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean to the condensation of clouds to the precipitation of rain and snow and finally to the runoff of water back into the ocean. While exploring the Wyoming back country in 2013 with his mentor Brian Iguchi, Travis Rice comes up with an idea. He plots a 16000-mile journey to follow the water cycle around the Pacific and snowboard along the way. Along with several legendary snowboarders, Travis Rice attempts to “witness firsthand the many moods of the North Pacific storm engine”
“Travis took this idea about the hydrological cycle and turned it into this epic journey.” – Bryan Iguchi
The Fourth Phase is a journey of self-discovery and an adventure to explore new terrain around the North Pacific. The film will cover breathtaking landscapes such as Russian volcanoes, the Japanese Alps, remote Alaska, and the Wyoming back-country.
The last movie to get this much hype was 2013’s Into the Mind by Sherpas Cinema. The Fourth Phase is sure to be another classic that Art of Flight was back in 2011. This will be the perfect movie to get us all amped for what is going to be an amazing season.
Soon your Epic Ski Pass gets you riding in the Great White North.
Vail Resorts Inc’s $1.4 Billion friendly takeover of Whistler Blackcomb aims at making skiing and snowboarding cheaper for everyone. The proprieter of 13 resorts across the world just added the biggest gem to its collection with Whistler and on Monday, August 8th, they entered into an agreement to acquire them. This makes Vail Resorts owner of half of the 10 busiest ski areas on the North American Continent with Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, and Breckenridge being the top 3.
This deal comes only months after the British Columbia Provincial government approved of Aquilini Investment Group’s plan to build a $3.5 billion Ski Resort in Garibaldi Park at Squamish, BC, which is about at 45 minute drive south of Whistler. Also, Vail Resorts plans on honoring Whistler’s $345 million investment plan, the Renaissance Project, to create more offerings of additional four-season, weather-independent activities to make Whistler Blackcomb a better, more expansive year-round resort.
And What It Mean’s for You.
For now? Nothing yet. As of right now, the Season Pass for Whistler Blackcomb is still valid for 2016/2017 and the current 2016/2017 Epic Pass from Vail Resorts (which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, etc. Visit www.snow.com for more info.) does not include access for Whistler Blackcomb. However, Vail Resorts has confirmed that the Epic Pass will include Whistler-Blackcomb for the 2017/2018 season and that it has no intention of drastically raising its rates for the very inclusive Epic Pass.
For reference, the Whistler Season Pass for 2017 is regularly priced at $2049.00 CAD while the Epic Pass for 2017 is priced at $809 USD. So come Winter 2017/2018, Americans will gain a giant resort for the taking and Canadians will see a drastic price drop to their season pass. Snow for Everyone!
Located one and a half hours north of Downtown Montreal, QC in the Laurentians, Mont-Tremblant is the second-oldest Ski Resort in North America that offers the best skiing and snowboarding in Eastern North America. Founded in 1939 by America Joe Ryan and later purchased and updated by Intrawest in 1991, this charming resort is reminiscent of skiing the Alps without the expensive plane ticket to get there.
Tremblant is consistently rated as the #1 ski-resort on the Eastern Seaboard by Ski Magazineand offers 630 ski-able acres with 96 runs on four distinctive slopes:
And although you’ll get bigger skiing and snowboarding out west, Tremblant is a year-round resort that offers a more intimate slope-side village with world-class food and an amazing après-ski atmosphere.
How to Get There
The best way to get Mont-Tremblant is to take a flight into Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) grab a car and drive 90 minutes north:
Take Route 520 East towards Montreal
Merge onto Autoroute 40 East and take Exit 70 for Autoroute 15 North
Drive about an hour on Autoroute 15 North until it becomes Route 117 North
Take Exit 119 (Montée Ryan) and drive towards the mountain and make a right onto Chemin Duplessis and follow signs for Mont-Tremblant Resort.
Head East on Autoroute 50 towards Montreal
Take Exit 210 for Quebec 323 towards Mont-Tremblant
Turn Left onto Route 117 North
Take Exit 119 (Montée Ryan) and drive towards the mountain and make a right onto Chemin Duplessis and follow signs for Mont-Tremblant Resort.
A quick search online will also offer shuttles from Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) or Downtown Montreal to Mont-Tremblant as well.
During the Winter, Air Canada offers direct flights to Mont-Tremblant International Airport (YTM) from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) from LaGuardia (LGA). Those two airports should give enough options for those flying from around the world to Tremblant. More information can be found here. Shuttle service is available once you get to Mont-Tremblant Airport (YTM) that can take you to participating hotels and offer other premium services like luggage valet and express check-in.
Mont Tremblant is often fairly busy and getting up the Mountain can take more than half an hour if not longer if you are loading up from the village. If you have a car and you’re with a group of more experienced skiers and snowboarders, take Chemin Duplessis to the North Side of the Mountain. It’s less busy, has ample parking, and you’re practically in front of the lifts (Duncan Express and Expo Express).
Mont Tremblant is the largest mountain on the East Coast and can be the busiest. Bring a sack lunch to eat up the mountain or head to the village around 2pm for world-class food. Either way, you’ll find very empty hills around lunch time.
Quebec Winters are BRUTAL. Pay attention to weather forecasts at the Base of the Mountain as well as the Summit. Don’t get caught up top without the proper gear. You’ll hate yourself for it.
Follow the Sun. Ride the North Side (technically the East Side) in the morning and after lunch, ride the South Side (towards the main village). Check out our list of Top 10 Skiing and Snowboarding Goggles to make sure you’ve got the right lenses on.
If it’s a windy day, stay on the North Side.
If you plan on going to Mont-Tremblant or any other Quebec Ski Resorts for an extended amount of time consider purchasing the Ski-Passe Partout Card.
70 participating ski areas offering 5 discounts each.
1 x 40%, 2 x 35%, 2 x 30% off at most of the ski resorts.
1 x 35%, 2 x 30%, and 2 x 25% off at Mont-Tremblant, Le Massif de Charlevoix, and le Mont-Sainte-Anne.
$44.99 plus tax. You’ll more often than not make your money back after two days on any of the mountains. This is perfect for anyone who lives in Quebec, Ontario, Upstate New York, and Vermont.