Shames Mountain: A ski hill for the people

Photographer
Dax Justin

Shames Mountain: A ski hill for the people

Brad Zeerip and others are happy to share with anyone who wants to come along for the ride

DAX JUSTIN

Shames Mountain is a little bit different than most ski hills I've skied in my life. Unlike most places where people strap on their boards for a whooping good time, Shames is actually owned by the people of the town. It was built on a co-operative model, is a non-profit and exists to provide recreational activities to the people in and around the Shames Mountain Ski Area. It’s claim to fame – besides the awesome snow – is that it was Canada’s first co-operative ski resort.

Enjoy incredible, untouched, powder while visiting Shames Mountain...

So, it’s no surprise the people here LOVE their ski hill. Because they own it.

Meet Brad Zeerip, Northern B.C.'s Biggest Skier.

Photographer
Dax Justin

“This is paradise on earth,” Brad Zeerip tells me when I first meet him at Shames Mountain.

This is Brad’s gigantic playground. He’ll gladly share it with new visitors like me and make anyone feel welcome who comes to his hometown – or his home.

Calling him a “mountain man” is getting to the heart of Brad passion. He skis 150 days a year and his backcountry skills are legendary. But more than that, he’s a true ambassador for the outdoors and this region he’s called home for a long time. He’s the kind of guy who likes to set the tone for what promises to be an epic ski day. He could care less about the newest or coolest gear, sporting his yellow safety glasses suits him just fine. He’s warm-hearted but you know he’s fierce in his love of skiing, his town, and from what I saw his family, too.

Brad and his wife Kim O’Black operate the Skeena River House B&B in Terrace. The story of how they met is as entertaining as they are. They found love over sour dough bread, he tells me. This is one of those Brad stories that makes him such a character. After meeting Kim, he courted her by baking her fresh, organic sour dough bread and delivering it unexpectedly. She couldn’t resist his charming ways, and they’re still together to this day.

In fact, they also own the Skeena River House B&B, where they raise their family and welcomed visitor like me with open arms.

Skiing untouched pure pow

Photographer
Dax Justin

Now I know what they mean by Champagne powder. I found it and quenched by thirst for this big, dry, fluffy snow at Shames. I blissfully carved wave after wave of undisturbed, white goodness. We felt like we had the place to ourselves, even though the mountain was busy with people.

On paper, this mountain looks like a small ski resort with just 130 acres of terrain, 18 runs, one fixed-grip chairlift and one t-bar. But this hill skis like a big mountain.

Powder to the people of Shames

Photographer
Dax Justin

When you mix a love for the outdoors with like-minded people you create a village. These are the friends and faces I saw on the hill and in the lodge. It was clear everyone is here for the snow and in the process, it brings people together. All around me there was a positive vibe and an obvious love for this place and each other. Here, people don’t care that there are only two chairlifts. For many, the lifts only serve as transportation to bigger and better adventures – in the backcountry. They don’t hesitate to hike up with skins on their skis to go deeper and discover more. The people are always in pursuit of their passion for more and more snow.

You gotta love it.

Photographer
Dax Justin

If you go

Check out the conditions at Shames Mountain here http://mymountaincoop.ca

Visit the official Terrace website to learn more about the region http://www.visitterrace.com/stage.php/events/activities

Fly into Terrace via Air Canada and Central Mountain Air with daily non-stop daily service: http://www.yxt.ca

For all your Travel Northern BC details, the folks from Northern BC Tourism can help make the planning process smooth. http://www.travelnbc.com

#SkiNorthBC and explore more. SnowSeekers has partnered with National Car rental to secure you a SnowSeekers preferred rate. Make a reservation online, or with an agent and in the Contract field enter XVC4SNO for savings that could cover your ski pass cost every day.

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