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, hes 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
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
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 dont 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.
If you go
Check out the conditions at Shames Mountain here http://mymountaincoop.ca
Call Shames at (250) 635-3773
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
Learn more about what BC has in store for you this winter, search #ExploreBC
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