The full gambit of conditions were experienced over the weekend of the third annual Canuck Splitfest held in Revelstoke January 5-6, 2013. A prolonged dry spell had locals ticking things off their hit lists thanks to a generally stable snowpack. The skies clouded over partway through the event and remained obscured for several days afterwards as the snow stacked up. Those seeking bottomless powder had to hang around for an extra day or two, but their patience was rewarded.
Splitboarders attend events like Canuck Splitfest for a multitude of reasons. Some come to enjoy the camaraderie of their own kind, others to shred big lines, most seek bottomless powder, many want to demo new products, and just about everyone hopes to win a raffle prize. The ultimate goal should be to have fun and it’s safe to say everyone managed to do so while playing safely in the mountains.
Due to the closure of the Glacier Park Lodge at the summit of Rogers Pass, the event was shifted to the Hillcrest Hotel just outside of Revelstoke. While nothing can replicate the location used for the two previous years, attendees were very stoked on a venue that is several orders of magnitude nicer. It’s safe to say a new home for the annual gathering has been found.
Nearly 50 splitboarders braved an early wake up call on Saturday to attend an informative avalanche conditions update presented by Canadian Avalanche Centre Public Avalanche Warning Service Forecast Coordinator Ilya Storm.
Due to tremendous support from sponsors, there was over $13,000 in prizes up for grabs in a fundraising raffle for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation. Saturday evening’s raffle was once again preceded by presentations. Perennial favourites Kyle Miller and Mark Hartley were back again to regale the crowd with their exploits and were joined by a couple of newcomers. Revelstoke photographer Bruno Long gave us a look through his lens and revealed some of the history of Rogers Pass. Filmmaker Kelsey Thompson had a special screening of Balance featuring local splitter Joey Vosburgh.
Almost $5,000 in raffle tickets were sold. It was standing room only with well in excess of 150 people crammed into the room and spilling out into the hallway. The timed splitboard changeover was eliminated this year for logistical reasons, primarily due to eight grand prizes being available, including seven brand new splitboards and a day of heli-boarding. An unbelievable string of luck resulted in one person being drawn for three of the eight grand prizes. Grumbles from the crowd soon turned into a standing ovation as two were generously donated back allowing two more individuals to win a grand prize. Perhaps nothing captures the spirit of this event more than this simple unselfish gesture. Kudos to Darcy – may he never have to break trail again!
With donations, raffle ticket sales and proceeds from the Prior Snowboards commemorative Canuck Splitfest t-shirts, the net benefit for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation was in excess of $6,100 – bringing the cumulative total to over $13,100.
I would like to thank all those who attended. This event wouldn’t be the success that it is without you. A huge thank you to all of the sponsors who donated product for the raffle and brought demos.
I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone at the Canadian Avalanche Centre and Canadian Avalanche Foundation, including Ilya Storm, Pattie Roozendaal, Jack Bennetto, Ken Little, Gordon Ritchie, Ian Tomm and Jennifer George for their assistance with the event, to Mark Hartley, Kyle Miller, Bruno Long and Kelsey Thompson for their presentations, to the staff at the Hillcrest Hotel and to everyone else who helped out.
Keep your skins warm, may all your turns be powder and hopefully we’ll see you again next year!