The Playground of the North: Hudson Bay Mountain
By Doc Pow
Smithers, B.C. – “Out our back door and into the awesome,” explains Jason Krauskopf from Local Supply Co. in Smithers, B.C.
This proprietor of awesome has made it his life’s work to help people explore Northern B.C.’s outdoor playgrounds by founding a thriving ski, snowboard and outdoor equipment shop in the heart of town. One of Krauskopf’s main sources of stoke is Hudson Bay Mountain Resort, perched over the town of Smithers and is home to Canada’s youngest mayor. It's a bustling winter adventure scene with the ski resort, its epicentre.
The resort's hashtag is #PlayGroundoftheNorth and it’s not just the snow and terrain that keeps it awesome. Just wait till you connect with the locals, they’ve made it really easy for you via www.SkiandStay.ca
Ski to town, via the Rotary Club’s 4.2km run from the resort into Smithers
With easy access thanks to the Smithers Airport or a scenic 4-hour drive from Prince George, Krauskopf and Bernier have made this place their home for all the right reasons. Around here families, friends and snow seekers can shred the gnar and truly have their cake to eat too.
Hudson Bay’s layout includes variety of terrain that keeps you in the epic, and if you are lucky, you might even score an invite from the Graham family to come experience something legendary – the Shred Shack of Gnar!
“This place is bigger than us, it’s bigger than we’ve ever been,” explains Greg Graham, whose parents were the first to build a cabin over 30 years ago on the side of the ski hill. Hudson Bay is home to a very unique aspect of ski hill culture, the Cabin Colony – over 150 of them that are sprinkled across the slopes of the resort.
But Graham's cabin, the Shred Shack of Gnar (SSOG) – is something to be seen – whether it's the environmental aspect of being 100% solar powered or to get out for a ride on their personal Shred Shack of Gnar Ski Bus. The SSOG is equipped with a white board, and when we get into the beers and the creative juices start flowing (yes they have two local beers on tap at the shack) – the SSOGR&D (Shred Shack of Gnar Research and Development department) comes to life.
Ever heard of a ski bus? An idea right from the Shack of Gnar’s R&D Department
The SSOG Ski Bus has gone from the white board to reality – and why wouldn’t someone want to strap six Greyhound seats to a metal base, link it to a snowmobile – and go for a rip…to the cheers of those passengers on the back. That would be us.
Locals Know – top tips on tackling Hudson Bay Mountain Resort
From Claire Challen, Rossignol skier, SkiTV host and producer of Claire’s Ski Camps (something you or a gal you know may like intel on; http://peaktraining.ca).
Born and raised on the slopes of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort, since the age of two Challen crafted her ski stance at the #PlayGroundoftheNorth. Here’s some of her top tips to taking on this stellar snow playground;
You Gotta Ski Here – “At Hudson Bay, get out to the Ozone, it's steep and away from the “crowds” (locals here baulk on any given Saturday if the lift lines are more than three minutes)
You Can’t Miss this Event – The Schuss Boomer, a downhill event and après experience that will leave you different,
You Gotta Apres Here – Sorry Claire, but I gotta answer this one and even though Hudson Bay Mountain Resort features the lively Whiskey Jack Lounge – awesome bands most weekends and Smithers Local brew on tap – how can you really beat “The Shred Shack of Gnar”.
If you are looking for a new playground to discover, pick a winner – go ski or ride at the #PLayGroundoftheNorth
If you Go
Tourism Smithers and Hudson Bay Mountain Resort make it easy for you to ski this season via their Ski and Stay website, home to ski and stay packages.
Learn more about what B.C. has in store for you this winter, search #SkiNorthBC
For more on the terrain at Hudson Bay, check out its trail map .
Smithers is home to a convenient airport, with car rental options on site.