Post subject: 3rd annual Vancouver Island Backcountry Festival
Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:20 pm
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:36 pm Posts: 147
Here we go again... Feb 9/10, Mount Cain, Vancouver Island, B.C.
This is one of two annual events we host on the island that makes up a pretty sizable chunk of the funding for the Vancouver Island Avalanche Bulletin... the CAC in Canada does not forecast for the island. For the fundraiser part we copied everyone else and are doing a raffle, but we also have some ACMG guides doing by-donation guided backcountry laps - good ways to sharpen your skills while riding some fun lines.
This isn't specifically a splitboarding event and we'll probably be outnumbered by telemarkers, but we're all in the snow for the same reason regardless of what devices we strap to our feet. Cain welcomes all - there is even a guy there who sometimes rocks a teleboard. Seriously. A teleboard. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like.
Anyway, teleboards aside, this time there is a catch - all the (rather limited) accommodations at the hill are booked for that weekend already. The good news is that car or snow camping is encouraged and there are facilities you can make use of, and really great places to dig a snow cave or pitch a tent near the lodge. We'll probably even use the groomer to make a big snowbank for those who want to go a little nuts on the snow cave front, after we're done using it to make a dancefloor.
The bad news is that it's in the middle of nowhere, on an island in the Pacific Northwest. As far as destinations go, it's not exactly on the convenient list. It will take you longer than you can imagine to get here, the access road is treacherous, the terrain is rugged, you are completely off the grid, and we locals are a little crazy. We like it that way.
Here is a topo of the area immediately around the area:
So far this year has been good up there - really cold, dry, deep powder... they opened the ski area early and with the best opening in terms of coverage and snow quality that anyone can ever remember... We basically just skipped "early season conditions".
Here is a bit of what it looks, from closing weekend last april:
There is a lot of other terrain too (http://goo.gl/maps/WATjv), but that weekend I didn't take my camera touring. Cameras are heavy! For the other terrain you'll just have to come and explore for yourselves.
So, yeah. It's a long haul from anywhere on the island, and an even more epic trip from off-island, but it's a unique and very special place. It's a place where there actually is an official "Director of Fun" - among other things, he's in charge of the website, and replies to snarky emails like this: http://mountcain.com/downloads/Letter%2 ... -Dec13.pdf.
At Cain you are off the grid, off the beaten path, and the rest of the world doesn't exist until you leave. It's place like few others, and we'd be stoked to share it with those who are willing to make the pilgrimage - and sleep in the snow.
If partying til late before getting up at the crack of dawn to shred powder all day is your thing, you'll fit right in. Last year we even gave away a pretty nice backpack to the person who rocked the best onsie at the party, although I'm pretty sure he stole the onsie from his friend who won it in the raffle... Honestly, stuff got a little confusing after the crowd surfing started at the raffle.