There’s where I work. There’s my old house. There’s my kids pre-school. There’s the post office. There’s the liquor store. There’s Paul’s Bakery. There’s the Sausage Factory. There’s the art gallery, the museum, library. This is the closest to home piece of real skiing I have ever done. (Ryan LaFontaine photo)

There’s where I work. There’s my old house. There’s my kids pre-school. There’s the post office. There’s the liquor store. There’s Paul’s Bakery. There’s the Sausage Factory. There’s the art gallery, the museum, library. This is the closest to home piece of real skiing I have ever done. (Ryan LaFontaine photo)

Skiing Grad Rock

Eric Dufresne describes what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience minutes from Main Street.

Pretty good winter thus far. Skiing has been good and snowfall totals up high.

In my time in Smithers, the 1.5 meters we have on the ground in town is the most I have ever seen. All of sudden, we have a possible once (maybe twice or thrice, who knows?) in a lifetime event where everything down low is skiable.

Ski tracks are popping up here and there in places where we have never seen them. Why not? Opportunity is knocking and you can skin from your door. Upon realizing the magnitude of the opportunity we were being presented with, several ski minded locales tilted their heads towards the end of Main Street where the ubiquitous Grad Rock is found.

Not sure if anyone has ever skied this. Not sure there has ever been enough snow to ski it.

I visited Grad Rock three times [two weekends ago]. The snowpack settled and the ski quality got better with each visit. Unfortunately, more and more sharks reared their nefarious heads with each visit as well. We pretty much trashed the place and with temperatures set to rise, I can only imagine that Grad Rock will quickly settle back into it’s familiar status as a non-skiable venue.

Lots of fun overall. Legit gnar of a medium putt persuasion. And for how fun and cool it was, it always got way radder in my mind when I remembered where I was. Minutes from Main Street. Close enough to hear people’s conversations.

Long-term locals have been telling me that there was one season, many years ago where this line might have been doable (‘89?). But even then they aren’t sure. Could this really have been a once in a lifetime opportunity? I hope not. But if it was, I can assure you that when I am 70 years old and pulling my pants clean up to my armpits that I will be pointing up at Grad Rock and reminding all the youngsters that once upon a time, during the winter of 2018, we got to ski that thing.

 

We ended up skiing a variety of lines across the width of the feature. The shaded diamond area in the middle of the luminous slope (in the crosshairs of the tallest telephone pole) is the most direct and classic of the lines we skied. We basically skied the ridge lookers left and adjacent to the shade and dropped into the concavity at the bench (indicated by the horizontal shade line).

We ended up skiing a variety of lines across the width of the feature. The shaded diamond area in the middle of the luminous slope (in the crosshairs of the tallest telephone pole) is the most direct and classic of the lines we skied. We basically skied the ridge lookers left and adjacent to the shade and dropped into the concavity at the bench (indicated by the horizontal shade line).

Not sure if anyone has ever skied this. Not sure there has ever been enough snow to ski it.

Not sure if anyone has ever skied this. Not sure there has ever been enough snow to ski it.

Looking down from the bench.

Looking down from the bench.

Buddy slashing.

Buddy slashing.