Worlds Apart

Snowboarding brings worlds together, but strangely enough, it is itself the culmination of a myriad of different worlds so unlike each other it’s a wonder they can even be called the same thing. Take popular snowboarder names like Danny Davis or Mason Aguirre and erase that mental image of a crowded contest halfpipe, probably something you saw on TV. Replace it with the stark, mystic quietness of a backcountry lodge deep in B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains. It’s weird, but do it.
“It feels so nice to land in that shit. You’re just like, ‘Uhhhhhhhhhh!'” says Aguirre about his first powder-filled trip to Baldface, a cat operation in Southeastern B.C. situated 7,000 feet above sea level just outside the town of Nelson. It’s where Craig Kelly worked as he trained to become a certified backcountry guide, and it’s home to some of the most amazing, potentially dangerous terrain in North America. “I’m still pretty new to riding backcountry,” admits Aguirre, “so every time I go out there-even if I don’t get any shots-I still think, ‘A’ight, word, well at least I brought a bomb lunch and have an extra pair of gloves!'”
Yep. It’s a whole different world. A three-hour mission from the nearest major airport. A frosty boat ride out of Nelson. A long and winding drive up a dusky loggers’ road. Darkness falls. Snow falls. You are in the middle of nowhere. Roll with it.-Jennifer Sherowski

Baldface By Numbers
It’s the world’s largest snowcat operation, and it’s chock-full of light, dry Canadian pow. Baldface Lodge is famous in pro-snowboard-dom for its sicktitude, but unlike the Whistler backcountry (requiring a grueling two-hour snowmobile ride in) or those far-flung Alaskan peaks (big dollars in heli-time and extreme backcountry expertise), you, too, can easily partake in this epic terrain. Here’re some stats to get you hyped.

36,000: Total acreage of Baldface’s rideable terrain.
20: Number of minutes’ drive from the nearest airport (Castlegar, B.C.) to Baldface’s base town of Nelson.
1999: Year Baldface was founded and introduced to the media-the first open consumer season came the following year.
2,200: Number of vertical feet in a typical run-you usually get about ten runs a day.
7: Number of sweet timber-framed chalets the Baldface crew built by hand to supplement the main lodge during a recent expansion.
42: Average seasonal snowfall for that region of B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains-in feet.
3: Number of courses in the average dinner served up at the lodge, which includes stuff like Wild Salmon filet with ginger wasabi fettuccine and raspberry white chocolate bread pudding.
2: Number of FSGA (Canadian Ski Guide Association) or ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) certified guides who accompany each group on a day of powder hunting.
1,777: Estimated cost in American dollars of a three-day lodge package during peak season (which includes transportation from Nelson to the lodge and all room, board, guides, and safety equipment).

For more information on Baldface Lodge, visit, or call (252) 352-0006.

From The Edge
Photograher Kevin Zacher’s Full Account Of His Trip To Baldface Lodge, As Told To Jen Sherowski

“Well, the trip was interesting. We were handsomely taken care of by the Baldface staff, but when we left we all paid lots of money-turns out, it was for all the booze we drank. There was a guy they had to evacuate on a sled because he was motion sick from the cat-we all thought he was a pussy. ESPN sent a writer all the way out there to interview Mason Aguirre and the guy didn’t even ski, let alone shred, so we had to cart him around on our snowmobiles for a day. At one point we had to leave him all alone in the middle of nowhere on his sled while we went riding. We were all wondering if he masturbated while we were gone.
“There were a lot of really stoked skiers and boarders in the lodge, and they came and they went every four daays. Most of these patrons didn’t really know what to make of us, and the ones who did all wanted to talk to Mason ’cause he was in the Olympics. What they didn’t understand is that even Olympians are just kids and can still be awkward and shy sometimes.
“Swedish rider Chris Sorman destroyed a snowmobile-I mean it flew through the air, taking out tree limbs and gashing tree trunks on its hundred-yard travel off the edge of the cat track. Yes, I said “cat track.” The viking couldn’t even handle a driving a sled on a cat track. It came to rest lodged on its side next to a tree, hooked in by its skid.
“Another incident occurred where Travis Rice and Terje Haakonsen were heliing around in the area trying to film tree lines, and they couldn’t make it back down to town in the dark because of fog. They pulled in for a cocktail and a night’s sleep at the lodge and flew home in the morning.
“Anyway, I’d definitely recommend everyone go there to ride. No attitude and lots of great food and great people. There were really cool, cute bartenders for the guys to look at, and you can get a great massage and even acupuncture. The owner, Jeff Pansiero, really did take great care of us, and boy, he could sure shred his board through the trees at a fast pace.”