bourbier blanc à la canadienne, Julien Regnier et ses potes se font une virée ambiance pâtes lyophilisée. Whystler, Canada.
Fin mars 2011.
Everyone likes camping, the smell of a tent and the intimate ambiance of a sleeping bag, not to mention the fresh outside air. And even though I have never been much of a camper, I thought this was a great idea: a week to 10 days of camping in the Whistler backcountry. There is one spot that gave us the idea, Callaghan. We used to go there on snowmobiles, like many other ski and snowboard crews. There is amazing pillow lines and gorgeous jumps out there. But the zone was closed for snowmobilers before the Vancouver Winter Olympics and was never opened since then. No one goes there anymore. And then the idea hit us, let’s put our skins on and start climbing. What a great story it would be, trek out there, camp for ten days and hit all those perfect features. We just sort of forgot how hard it can snow in Whistler.
All we need is tents, sleeping bags and kilos of pasta. Maybe some good weather? But as Julien says any weather is good weather, off we take, in the blizzard.
There is also Anthony, Eliel and Justin. Justin films for Nimbus, so there will soon be an episode on www.nimbusindependent.com including our adventures.
We have a few hundred kilos of gear and food on our backs and sleds. The way up in the storm feels endless and we set the base camp just below the tree line. There is pillows in our backyard. The snow is deep and heavy and keeps falling. The pasta tastes like an adventure.
I am not much of a camper and definitely feel a bit oppressed waking up with the roof of the tent close to my face, pushed by all the great, heavy, new snow. Julien is probably more of a camper, so, he gets out first, struggling to put his ski pants on in the restrained and moist space of our residence. After shoveling, he makes water and oatmeal. I feel lost and fear the cougars.
Then, off we go for a ski, just behind the tents. Great pillows. Heavy snow. This is the part we know how to do, I even feel comfortable. It is overcast and then, more storm comes. Returning to the base camp, it is time for head lamps and some unknown business. Have to make water. I am lost. It keeps snowing, hopefully the cougars don’t find us.
Oh, I feel oppressed and sort of cosy in my tiny personal space of a tent. I push on the roof and the snow avalanches down the sides, ending up pushing on my elbow. Julien is better at getting up and putting his ski boots on in the moist atmosphere of our lodging. I fear the cougars.
It is snowing every day and night. We finally get soaking wet. The boys make a fire, I just carry wood and add branches to the smoking pile of wet pieces of a tree. We eat rice for a change. I am not much of a cook or a camper, so it is a miracle it tastes as good as it does. Anything probably would.
More snow on the roof of our tents needs to be pushed off at night. We are feeling somewhere near miserable and wet. The storm has swallowed us for good.
There is hope for some more skiing again the next day, but the blizzard catches up with us. The snow has got wet and heavy, we have to go higher, but everything is too white.
So, we make more fire and dry our gear. My camera takes blurrier, fuzzier and foggier photos every day, it seems to be needing a break of all that weather.
But it keeps snowing hard.
We push the snow off the roof countless times that night. « Good morning, Canada! » says Julien. It is snowing harder than ever. We go for a ski and get absolutely damp. It is time to go home.
My last photo at the camp is pure blur. Everyone is smiling. It keeps snowing, the blizzard eats us on our way home. I have never been as damp.
Now the warmth of a house feels unreal. Our tents are drying upstairs, hanging from ropes and looking like tired animals that just made it home from a long, exhausting trip.
And even though I am not much of a camper, I already miss the moist atmosphere of our tent and crawling into my sleeping bag. Great times.
Textes & photos : elina sirparanta / elinaphoto.com