The first trip of the season sets the tone for beginning of every winter.  the last few seasons i’ve always made of point of getting on some sort of road trip with a goal of having a awesome time with the crew and getting some good deep pow shredding and hopefully logging a shot or two.  the last couple years i’ve been doing trips up around the revelstoke area but after checking the weather it seemed the north coast was getting smashed with early season storms and the terrace area already had a healthy base.

Fuelled by coffee & donuts

A 3200 km round trip for 5 days of snowboarding and 4 days of driving probably isn’t the most efficient use of travel time seeing as we could fly to japan and back in less time that it took to get to terrace but whatever whats the fun in that?! it’s early season and we’ve been sitting around all fall itching to go snowboarding, on a trip like this, getting there is half the fun.  we had a convoy of 3 trucks, 6 people, 6 sleds and all with a stoke for early season shred.

Our first and only flat of the trip.... lucky!

Turn off to Alaska


I had been here once before back in 2009 so we posted up at the same motel outside of town that i had stayed at a few years past (they’ve been mailing me calendars ever year since that i’ve put up by my desk at home). it was one of those kinda places that was perfect for a snowboard trip, 5 of us in one big room, two tv’s that didn’t work, intermittent wifi, no cell reception, lots of camaraderie and an awful smell of drying wet snowboard boots.


The locals we met along the way were awesome, from restaurants to the guys at ruins snowboard shop pointed who in the right direction and the sledders we came across were by far the most friendly i’ve come across ever. they even told us where there might be some good “boarding terrain.”

Local dude on quad with tracks.

We ran into a few obstacles along our way, this one zone we tried going to had alder trees along the first 10 km of the trail which had bent over and then frozen solid, we bashed through 5km of the alder, but it was a lost caused. within 15 minutes we were completely soaked and the farther we went the more bigger trees we heard snapping.  we all decided to pack in it and make a new plan for the next day.

Fucking alders.



More alders

That snowboard terrain the sledders told us about.

Downhill and stuck. 75cm+.

the next few days were great, the weather subsided, we got some blue skies and were able to build a few things and get some real riding in.  it was a battle to get things built and hit before days end, we had to move fast. mid december in northern bc the days are about as short as they get, the sun rises at about 9am and sets starting around 3pm but during that time its golden hour the whole time.

Breaking trails

After 5 days of deep snow riding (both snowboarding and sledding) we were all pretty kicked in. the first couple days were soakers and the last were panics to get shots in limited sunlight.

320cm probe didn't hit ground.

we packed up from the motel, gassed up the trucks and then ourselves with coffee and hit the road back to vancouver/whistler just in time for christmas eve.

shovel fast.

I think everyone left feeling stoked, sledding in some pretty heavy duty conditions, gettin’ the legs going and riding some good snow, and walking away with a couple clips.

Aaron Leyland

About Aaron Leyland

I’m a snowboarder, documenter and chicken wing consumer.