Skiing into the wild

But it’s not just the pow, it’s the people who make this place special


TERRACE, B.C. - Imagine using the beautiful wilds of northern British Columbia’'s winter as your laboratory. For a long time, Terrace, B.C. local Hansie Mudhenk, has done exactly that every day.

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"“Here in the north we have an unbelievable amount of geography and weather features, which makes avalanche management very interesting",” Mudhenk says.

With Terrace as home, he’s got easy access into the wilds based on the slack country access offered at Shames Mountain Ski Resort.

Get the latest snow conditions for Shames Mountian Ski Resort and start planning your winter getaway...

"“Our tenure and terrain is actually bigger than Whistler Blackcomb's",” says Christian Theberge, Shames Mountain's general manager.

Shames signs
Photo: Doc Pow

The fun at Shames continues on the other side of the boundary line.  With proper gear and avalanche training there is a whole other land just waiting for you to dive into. Shames is actually bigger than Whistler Backcomb’s terrain when you factor in their backcountry potentials.

The big difference is this awesome little ski gem found within the Kitimat-Stikine region of the province. And if you want those incredible turns, that means backcountry skiing.

Mudhenk is an avalanche forecaster, whose main client is CN Rail. It’s his job to ensure the train gets through. That means he spends a lot of time in the field understanding the science of snow, and the state it is in on any given day.

As part of our #SkiNorthBC Expedition, my pal @ApresWheeler and I had an afternoon with Mudhenk and some of his buddies, who took us backcountry skiing right into the depths of their laboratory.

The backcountry of Shames Mountain is an endless world of steeps and deeps that could keep any snow seeker busy for a lifetime.

People move here just to ski the backcountry in and around Shames. That's certainly what brought Mudhenk here after living in Prince George and growing up within the Cariboo region. Through his company, Little Cedar Services, Mudhenk puts on avalanche education for the community and for anyone who make it their passion to explore the great outdoors.

“It's a living lab around here to keep my skills topped up in understanding snow,” Mudhenk says.

Shames backcountry
Photo: Doc Pow

Terrace local Hansie Mudhenk makes his life’s work exploring the backcountry at Shames and region, it’s his lab for testing snow conditions.

This living lab improves his understanding both recreationally and professionally, testing hypotheses about snow and prevailing conditions. These consistent deep-snow conditions and the geography are exactly what keep Mudhenk firmly planted within the Terrace community.

His good friend Kris Pucci couldn’t agree more.

"“It's a place where you can find soft snow any day, anytime",” says Pucci, founder of Divide Rides, Craft Skis and Snowboards.

“"There is nothing else like it; the feeling of weightlessness when you are slashing pow. There is so much of it here at Shames and in the backcountry, it’s why I ski here and live here",” Pucci adds.

And don’'t think this winter bounty of backcountry is only for skiers, snowshoeing in the region is popular, too.

Shames shuttle bus driver, Bob Oliver is president of the Terrace Hiking Group, a thriving community of over 300 people who have regular meet ups and are happy to have anyone join them to explore.

“Shames is the perfect launch pad for any snow-filled adventure,” says Oliver.

Watch Shames Backcountry #SkiNorthBC on YouTube.

"“I think when people visit here they get that same feeling as we all do from living here; it’s a really welcoming place and just an awesome zone",” says Pucci.

Having now spent some time in B.C.’s north for many adventures and this latest #SkiNorthBC expedition, I have really had the chance to see first-hand the genuine hospitality of the people who live here.

SkiNorthBC expedition
Photo: Doc Pow

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Yes, there's the pow, but there are also plenty more reasons to get out and explore this region. We're impressed and we know anyone who visits will be too.

We've left with eyes wide open, just from meeting some amazing people that are proud to show you some incredible places in B.C.'s north.

Be sure to check out Dax Justin’'s “People of Shames” story, or his recommendations of things to do in his story 72 hours in Terrace.

Shames powder
Photo: Doc Pow

Shames Mountain Resort’s General Manager Christian Theberge doing what he loves best, shredding the POW.

If you go

Check out the conditions at Shames Mountain here

Call Shames at (250) 635-3773

Visit the official Terrace website to learn more about the region

Fly into Terrace with daily non-stop daily service:

For all your Travel Northern BC details, the folks from Northern BC Tourism can help make the planning process smooth.

Learn more about what BC has in store for you this winter, search #ExploreBC

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