Words: Nicholas Khattar
After a fruitless attempt on the Revelstoke Rideshare Facebook page to entice someone into a last minute 150$ paycheck for a ride to Revelstoke the night before opening day, I managed to strong-arm my roommate into driving.
It was 8pm in Vancouver and piss pouring rain. It was snowing through the Coquihalla Summit, a notoriously treacherous mountain pass between Vancouver and Revelstoke. My roommate insisted it was not worth the risk of driving his car with summer tires 600km through inclement weather. He insisted it was far too dangerous; insisted until I sweetened the deal with free lift tickets.
At the advice of a friend who works for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, we decided against taking the Coquihalla. Instead we chose to detour to the north through the Fraser Canyon following the TransCanada 100km in the wrong direction. It was nothing but dry roads and clear skies and at 2am we were on track to be ahead of schedule. Unfortunately 80km out of Revy we hit the storm that was dumping 40cm on Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The road beers and whappys were running low and we had to limp the rest of the way. At just before 4am we pulled into Seb Grondin’s driveway. At 5am Seb was sounding the wake-up call. Now there’s one thing I have learned over my time in Revy: that is that on opening day (in the words of the great Ricky Bobby) “If you aren’t first, you’re last.” And in Revelstoke people live to be the first in line. Last year a full 24hrs before opening, I delivered a pizza to a tent set up at the foot of the gondola. People literally have nothing better to do in that town. Anyway, there was zero chance I was getting up at 5am after driving 8hrs, just to wait in line. Thus we told Seb to beat it, and slept until 9am. When we got to the hill at 10am there was no line-up and still plenty of fresh.
We managed to finish the beers and whappys on the way up the gondola and linked up with the Wasted Youth crew right away. Things quickly got out of hand and concluded with Eagle Pass Heli Ski guide Chris Spicer going for the full loop on his 147 Yes 420.
So was it worth the long drive, risking our life, and general disregard for our well being? You can the judge.