Words, photos & video by David Peacock
Snow. Light. Wind. Temperature. Mindset. Ability. Luck. These are all factors that influence the outcome of every day spent in the mountains. Skiers are a vulnerable group of individuals, affected by nature in profound ways. It is nature that calls us into the mountains, but it is also nature that can drive us from them. This game of cat and mouse can be costly, but the rewards of a good day spent skiing in stable, deep snow amongst big pillows and natural terrain cannot be described.
This January, Revelstoke, British Columbia played host to hundreds and hundreds of skiers and spectators for the Freeride World Tour. The event had a number of weather days, and was ultimately held on the last of them in mediocre light. Interestingly enough, Colston VB spent all five of those days in Revelstoke skiing some of the best terrain and snow in recent memory. I joined him for three of those days. We visited three different zones, each of which provided amazing potential for shooting. Each day, we would arrive back in Revelstoke after dark, anxiously asking if anyone knew the results of the event, and each day we were told that the event couldn’t be held because of weather. While the conditions might not have been right for competing, the filming was working out just fine.
We accessed the first zone by sled, but every single vertical foot of filming was achieved by human power. I quickly became jealous of Colston’s Guardian setup, as my stone-age Alpine Trekkers refused to cooperate on a number of occasions. With the avalanche conditions riding the line between Considerable and High, we made the call to stay on shorter pitches with supported slopes….in other words, pillows. It was perfect for shooting because it meant my exposure to
Colston’s slough was limited and we could comfortably work together despite the rising avalanche danger.
This was our first time out filming for the season; Colston was gearing up for an extended stay in Revelstoke, while I was preparing to head to Monashee Powder with Legs of Steel. The elements granted us deep snow and long, productive days in the mountains. Colston was skiing with textbook precision and control, nailing nose-butters onto pillows and flatspins off of them. But this is just the beginning for our season for both of us. If nature sees fit, and our pillow talk with the mountains continues, it will be a season to remember.