The Freeride Chronicles crew had scheduled a trip to Monashee Powder Snowcats the first few days of January, after all December and January are usually a safe bet for a pow trip as storms from the Pacific tend to roll through the Pacific Northwest on a consistent basis. This winter has been a little different with the PNW as snowfall totals have been lacking making this scheduled trip somewhat questionable just days before our departure.
After scouring weather reports, we saw a storm was scheduled to hit the British Columbia interior just prior to our arrival day. All hopes were on that system to reset the terrain for untracked, Iconic Monashee Powder. We were all putting the positive vibes out on this one!
During our drive north into British Columbia we were met with plenty of snowfall dropping from the sky. The drive was not the easiest and definitly a little slower but as we would soon learn it would be well worth it. Upon our arrival at the Monashee Powder Snowcats pick up spot we were greeted by Monashee owner Tom Morgan who filled us in with some exciting Beta, their terrain received 23cm during the day with another 25-30cm forecast throughout the night! Our stoke meter peaked as we rode in the snowcat to the lodge.
Once we settled into the lodge, we spoke with a few of the guides who said, “Today was the best yet this season and tomorrow should be even better.” Things are looking good for the Freeride Crew which consisted of some of our regular athletes like Tommy Frey, Desiree’ Leipham, John Witt, Bob Legasa and Vance Shaw. We had a few newbies in the squad like snowboarders Dash Kamp and Lance Cyr and rock muscian and former pro big mountain skier, Matt Reardon, to wrap up our crew of 8.
A 6:30am wakeup reminded me of Christmas morning as my roommate John Witt whipped back the shades to check out the accumulation from the night. It was looking really good as there was still a steady snowfall coming down and heaps of snowfall on the lodge roof. That vision was even better than a quad shot of espresso to get us going. At breakfast our guide Chris “Bouche” Bouchard gave us the intel that 41cm’s dropped over night and conditions were looking to be one of epic proportion. The Monashee effect was in full swing.
We started off the day easing into terrain and found that snowpack was pretty solid and light. We were reminded of just how much we love powder as it was billowing up to our chests, and we sunk into one turn after another. We knew we hit this day right!
Our Guides “Bouche” and tail guide Chelsea Sullivan had us working the trees for better visibility and stability. That was fine with us as we explored the forested area where we found lots of steeps, perfect glades and plenty of poppers to acheive that weightless feeling.
On one of our runs we found this sweet 20′ rock band where everyone exercised their wings. Just like lemmings we lined up and sent it off a variety of spots from this rock band. Most memorable jumps went to 53-year-old John Witt who threw a huge backflip into the fluff. The Big Balls award went to Desiree’ who sent it the biggest and farthest off it.
One of the highlights of the day was making laps through what Monashee Powder calls, “The Burn”. Years back a wildfire rolled through a small zone leaving behind the makings for some incredible tree skiing. Throughout the entire day we couldn’t keep the snow out of our grills because each one of us had a grin that went from ear to ear.
You never now what your gonna get when it comes to snow, just keep the positive vibes flowing and it will happen. We proved that on this trip.
Here’s the video from Day #1 featuring the music of Matt Reardon.