Waist Deep With Eero, DCP And The Spy Crew

A “Waist Deep Snow Session” was just a clever name when Spy announced the contest months back, but it came true. We’ve been buried above the belt in some of the best powder on earth at Island Lake Catskiing since we stepped foot out of the cat. Ten lucky shop workers scored the four-day trip of pow and paradise deep in the Lizard Range of the Canadian Rockies. Snowboarding storyteller, iconic photographer, and Island Lake co-founder Mark Gallup even showed up to greet the crew and point out secret spots from the heyday. And it wouldn’t be complete without riders Eero Niemela and DCP who joined in, too.

In the fog filled windows of the red, Piston Bully snowcats over the past three days all I’ve heard is amped rambling about riding. “Best!” “Most!” “Sickest!” The crew has been so hyped they’re running out of superlatives to describe the shredding. Slinging goggles could get you here, or even the just being the lucky one, like Willy Wonka and the golden wrapper, could put you in pow laps here, too. Some riders came straight from Jersey and dove right into fourteen runs. Some came from Michigan, like Matt Proulx, “It’s the steepest and deepest pow I’ve ever ridden. When you’re shredding fast in snow deeper than your face, it’s just insane. It’s a fantasy world here.”

It’s hard not to gloat, really. Pillows droop everywhere. Stumps, logs, rolls and gladed trees line the basin, snacks are ready in the cat, the tunes are cranked and the diesels beasts transport you through a network of high alpine roads all day. Beers wait for you at the end of the day, and we can’t even begin to talk about the food and lodge(s).

The current state is good. But the place has history. Craig Kelly? Terje Haakonsen? Jake Blattner? Jason Ford? These are the riders who came here year after year and built the scene. It’s really an honor to be here. “The 418 spring pipe session here in 2002, up in the bowl, that was so sick!” DCP told me while we rambled in the living room of our lodge one afternoon. There’s a reason people have been coming here for years, and it’s still falling from the sky by the billions as I tap these keys.

The place is legendary. The food is beyond delectable. Our back legs are burnt, our powder grins are becoming permanent and the stoke is all time as the snow keeps falling. But there’s one question: What will Spy call this event next year? Nipple Deep? I hope so…..