Behind the lens with @ApresWheeler at Powder King
By JEREMY DERKSEN
Powder King, B.C. – Snow was falling heavily as Chris Wheeler (aka @ApresWheeler on social media) pulled into the parking lot at Powder King Ski Resort in Northern B.C in late January 2018. Not being one to waste time on a powder day, Wheeler grabbed his camera gear and hit the chair. Next thing he knew he was shooting powder slashes with a local snowboarder who had offered to show him a few of his hidden gems.
“We were tree skiing, all in bounds,” Wheeler recalls, "and then did another loop and there were powder pockets everywhere.”
Before the day was over, Wheeler had hooked up with four different crews of riders and skiers, all eager to share their favourite spots with him. He had even managed to get an invite to a birthday party at one of the cabins on the mountain, including a place to crash if he wanted to stay for more powder the next day.
That, in its essence, is Powder King.
In many ski destinations, where good conditions attract the throngs, that exacting working style is pretty much a necessity. But Powder King, often referred to as “the whisper of the north,” gave him a different feel right away.
“From a videographer’s standpoint, you can lap the area where you just were because nobody else has been there and the snow has filled in,” Wheeler says. “You can ski right next to your last powder line. It doesn’t get tracked out fast.”
“It was nice to set up and pick your spot, without worrying that someone is going to ski through. Often filming at places where there’s more traffic, it feels like you’re fighting for those powder pockets.”
To sum it up, in Wheeler’s experience, the place comes down to two things: powder, and people. Being a little more remote than some of the bigger southern B.C. ski destinations, it doesn’t draw the same numbers. But the people who do come here are loyal.
“When you’re on the chair you meet these travellers who’ve heard about this off-grid, off-the-beaten-track place that just delivers powder on a consistent basis and that’s where they’ve chosen to come,” says Wheeler. “Everyone has their own little love affair with Powder King.”
These devoted few come here for the quiet, the “whisper,” and for the great conditions that, from what Wheeler has seen, seems to be the norm here rather than the exception.
“You just don’t feel rushed at Powder King. A lot of big resorts you feel that rush but at Powder King even when it snows big, you’re excited and the adrenalin is going, but you just don’t feel the urgency the same way because you know it’s going to be there all day.”
“Every time I’ve been there, there’s been fresh snow,” says Wheeler. As he puts it, “There’s a reason the first word in the name is powder.”
If You Go
Call Powder King at 1 866-769-5464.
For all your travel Northern B.C. details, the folks from Northern B.C.Tourism can help make the planning process smooth.
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