Words, video: Cam Truemner
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located about a fifteen minute drive outside the beautiful town of Golden British Columbia. Being back in his home town for a few weeks to visit with his family, Rex Thomas decided that it was time someone stepped up and showed this resort what it was missing. After talking with the proper levels of management, and a lot of convincing, he was finally given the â€œokâ€?. After four nights in a cat pushing snow and a lot of time in planning, there was a buzz around this newly renowned resort, there was something new happening and people wanted to know â€œWhat is going on?â€?. They had never seen anything like this before at their small-town mountain.
Kelly Clarke and I left from Whistler Sunday morning and after a long and bumpy 8 hour drive, we arrived Sunday night. It was snowing when we pulled into Rexâ€™s Momâ€™s place, kind of nice since we havenâ€™t had much in Whistler this year. Monday we woke up and it was still snowing and clouded in, so we decided to just relax and check out the town. Staying at Rexâ€™s momâ€™s place was amazing; she took such great care of us. Took us to all of the finest beer establishments and cooked us such amazing meals.
Tuesday it looked like it was going to clear so we headed up to the mountain. Meeting up with fellow skier PY Leblanc and Elise from â€˜Team 13â€™ we collected our day passes and loaded the gondola. Special thanks to the Kicking Horse staff for taking such good care of us. And to Mike Mcphee for the lift tickets, helping pull this together on such short notice and to treating us to such a fabulous lunch at The Eagleâ€™s Eye Restaurant, Canadaâ€™s highest dining experience (if you go there, you have to check it out). So up the gondola we went, never being here before I was amazed at the scenery of the two mountain ranges side by side, split by the little old logging town. As we approached the jump, I was amazed at the size of it for its location and the fact that this mountain had no experience building kickers before. While being overwhelmed with the views, we realized that there was still a lot of work to do. Shaping the take off, packing the freshly fallen snow, marking off the in-run was just a few of the things we needed to do. The in-run was the sketchiest of all in-runs. Having to start from atop of a tree run, drop a 10 foot cliff, and avoid endless bumps, it was certainly a chore, let alone a danger, just too get enough speed to hit this smooth jump. After some work on site, we decided that due to the clouds we wouldnâ€™t do any filming so we decided to ski around and explore this large mountain. It was nice to ski fresh powder!
Wednesday we awoke to a beautiful blue sky and couldnâ€™t wait to get up there and meet up with the boys from Ride Guide TV. They wanted to include this event in the project they were already working on about Golden. This just kept getting bigger and better. Rex decided that after all the work that he had put into organizing this event, that he should be the one to guinea pig it. After a few runs doing speed checks, he decided it was time. Coming up short on a large spread eagle, we decided that something had to be done about the in-run. After a few runs of packing the snow to smooth and slick the sketchy in-run, it was finally ready to go. And go it did! Rex and PY were throwing enormous 3â€™s, smooth rodeos, and stylie 5â€™s. The snowboarders were doing the same with large spins and grabs in all places. Unfortunately there was a bit of bad news on the highway into golden that day. A Chip truck caught on fire in a tunnel between Revelstoke and Golden and prevented other invited athletes from Vernon, BC from arriving.
At night, we hit the town with roar. Drinking at the roadhouse and the Legion - a blast every night. Oh, and we canâ€™t forget about â€œFresh-Meatâ€? Mondays. Just ask â€˜Justinâ€™ what he thought of the sister act!
Thursday the highway was clear and the sun was still shining. Up the lift again to do some more shooting. Today four more skiers came over from Whistler. Joel Nagge, Al, Charlie Ager and Pierrot came and all put on quite a big show. As well as the kids from Vernon who amazed us with there bag-o-tricks. Riley Leboe, Josh Stack, Joe Shuster, and Justin Dorey We wish you could have stayed another day. Now the skiers ruled the jump, 9 skiers altogether today and down to just two snowboarders. After using the groomer to fix some of the in-run, the guys were a little more confident in their trick selection. Ride Guide TV showed up again to continue the story on the event. Big 3â€™s, 5â€™s, and 7â€™s were the choices today in all axis, no one did more then a 7, but thatâ€™s ok because everything was just so smooth it didnâ€™t matter. Rex was also the first to hit this big jump switch and stomped a smooth 180.
Nothing can be compared to the amazing scenery that this jump allowed us to get. This was a trip well worth the time and effort put into it and I hope that this will really help the mountain to grow bigger and better then it already is. We also hope that this will make the mountain recognize the value of a terrain park through this initiation. It can only improve the value of this big interior secret. So if you are looking for a place to go with some of the most expert and advanced terrain in the Canadian Rockies, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is the place for you. And donâ€™t forget to enjoy some fine dining at â€˜The Eagleâ€™s Eye Restaurantâ€™.
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