Earning Turns On Mt. Currie's South Face

I grew up skiing in the mountains in the sea to sky area (BC, Canada), and it is safe to say this has been one of the lowest snow years I can remember.

The low snow made year made for bigger travel days instead. I had been dreaming about a super light set-up for light and fast travel days in the mountains, and luckily G3 delivered this year with the ION bindings and Synapse skis. So I was stoked to get high, really high, this season.

On a particular week earlier this winter I wanted to honour my uncle who had recently passed away. He had arrived to Canada with nothing from the Czech Rebublic and earned everything with his hands to success. So I picked a mission I'd have to earn too.

I had always wanted to ski the south face of Mt Currie, a clearly visible 2000 foot face visible from the top of Blackcomb. Ground up via a new trail seemed like the way to do it. Most people take a quick heli hit, ski the North Face lines, and call it a day. But we were keen on a bit of suffering, and had already skied the lines on the North Face in previous winters.

We climbed over 8000 feet and didn't hit snow until the 5000 foot tree line. It was a hard day, but that can be the true essence of ski mountaineering. The great thing is you get to click into your skis and ski from the true summit, which can be elusive to find from a complex set of ridges. We were rewarded with an awesome corn ski descent that easily justified the slog to get there, especially this winter when good turns were hard to come by.

As I was skiing down the lower slopes of Currie, a ray of light was beaming through the Pemberton valley. I knew Uncle Peter was watching us from above.


Photos by Alex Gibbs and Andy Traslin



Author: Andy Traslin

My parents got me into skiing and the mountains at a young age. My training followed a traditional ski racing path that progressed to freeriding the front country. It didn’t take long for me to pursue powder stashes and develop a longing to keep going farther and farther to see what would be around the next corner. That, combined with the fact that I like to push myself to the maximum in the mountains and test the limits of my physical abilities, drive me to race. I have been racing in the Pro/Elite category as both a ski mountaineer and mountain biker. Even in non-race mode, every day on the mountain brings out a drive to attain greater distances and speeds in pursuit of steep skiing and speed traverses.