We were fifteen minutes into the drive when I asked what the purpose of this trip was. “Drinking,” Conor replied, turning back slightly from the steering wheel to address the question. It was just after dark on Friday evening and we were climbing through Rogers pass, heading for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on the other side.

Conor and Camilla had picked me up in Revelstoke. They were the first in a small convoy descending upon Golden. Half an hour behind us steamed the charter bus carrying 40 or so members of UBC Ski & Board. Ski & Board is one of the largest clubs on campus with a reputation for fun and really, genuinely good skiers.

I was in contact by text with my friend Hugh, who was on the bus. Hugh and I have know each other since we were fourteen or so. It is a sauna in here, he told me. His agitation was growing slowly with each message. Eleven hours in the half-dark of a charter bus alongside forty of your intoxicated peers, is not for everyone, let alone the antsy. He described rivers of condensation on the windows.

Photo: Kate Mussett

Our truck arrived first and we took our bags to our room to wait. My late addition to this trip meant I would be sharing a double bed with Hugh and another guy, while a couple slept in the other bed. It was cramped but that’s situation normal for a ski trip, so nobody was complaining. The bus lurched into the parking lot and in minutes the lobby was filled with baggage and noise and the muffled smell of weed. Many were already hammered. In the second floor windows overlooking the lobby, three guys lined up and mooned the crowd.

Rooms were divided, a few words of warning regarding noise and behaviour were shouted out, and we retreated upstairs. The first beer spilled in our room at 8:04 and the night stumbled on from there.

Photo: Kate Mussett

In the morning, bleary-eyed, the group shambled into the dining room and I was once again relieved that I didn’t have to get on the bus. The sky was high and mostly clear. First run we dropped off CPR ridge, cutting tracks towards the Stairway to Heaven chairlift. As we funneled into the bottom the run, Gapers Gone Wild Rider Jeremy Acland declared, “okay, I’m gonna get some shit points,” then laid out a backflip off a natural kicker. Several others did the same. “Shit points” are akin to gnar points and can be won verbally (“just do it, you pussy!”) as well as physically (same-sex makeout). Traditions like these cultivate the friendly sense of community within the club.

Photo: Antoine Caron Cabana

I dipped from the group and met up with Emile Lavoie, who works for Kicking Horse. Among much else, he’s the brains behind the resort’s competition lineup, which includes the always-rad Wrangle the Chute. We picked our way down Suckers go Left, scoping potential lines. This year the resort will hold a two-star version of the comp there, on CPR ridge, and another four-star one off of T1 ridge. We hiked the metal staircase up to Whitewall and dropped into Feuz bowl. Kicking Horse’s 4000+ feet of vertical are a little bony at the top this time of year, but it’s all relative, and the lower thirds of the resort are fast and filled with side hits and airs. Top to bottom laps are huge.


Jessy Collings' 2012 Wrangle run needs more attention

The afternoon was filled with all sorts of feel-good cliches that mostly had to do with skiing rad terrain with friends. This is one of the reasons I think you should join your school’s ski club. Not everywhere will offer as good skiing as Kicking Horse does, but the vibe translates.

Photo: Antoine Caron Cabana

Photo: Kate Mussett

After dinner Saturday night, I took a deep breath and handed the newschoolers snapchat account to Lauren, one of the Ski & Board execs. And while you really need to “be there” to experience a good party, I think she did a good job of capturing the night’s antics. The club president said the next day that he figured every part of his body had appeared on the NS snap story, which is a real accomplishment.

We had been at the Riverhouse tavern in Golden. The kind of place that plays heavy metal, has skateboarding paraphernalia on the walls and Pabst on tap. Someone tried to strap into the snowboard bindings tacked up on the ceiling. They ripped out the first one, and the second. Things were looking up for the third when the bouncer appeared and made it very clear that it was time to come down.

I lost patience waiting for a cab home and walked instead. Hugh went home with a girl, god bless her. Somebody else from Ski & Board hitchhiked back and got a blowjob in the hotel parking lot from the lady who drove him. Judge’s ruling on how many shit points that’s worth is pending.

And so, Ski and Board headed back to Vancouver after skiing Sunday. Someone pointed out that they would spend more time driving this weekend than they would skiing, but I don’t think anyone cares. I do think you should join your school’s ski club though. Rolling headlong into a ski town with a whole bunch of your friends, bouncing off the walls, throwing up in a blanket and then skiing world class terrain is a really good idea, and it’s a really good way to spend a weekend early in the semester.