Austin Smith, Jared Elston, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Ciszek and Gabe Ferguson

Photo Essay

Family Day

Powder is For the Children

I’m in a snowy parking lot loading up my sled when a big, all-black Chevy Silverado 3500 rolls in. The man driving the truck is visibly angry, but still I wave to break the ice. He shakes his earmuffed head at me. A woman and three children are with him. He parks, gets out and turns to unload two snowmobiles from the back of his hulking rig. Unable to hold it in any longer, he lets us know how he really feels: “Oregon plates? Today? No fucking way. It’s Family Day.” 

It’s a crisp Sunday in British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains. Recent snowfall has produced the best conditions I’ve seen so far this year. Jared Elston, my brother Gabe and I are somewhere deep in the region following the Natural Selection Tour stop at Baldface Valhalla. Yesterday a guy in town told us we’re going to ride pow up to “here,” while tapping on his chest. But on our first day out, things are falling apart fast.

The man with the Chevy isn’t the only one looking at us like we don’t belong. Apparently on Family Day, this zone is for locals only. A slew of side-eyes makes us second-guess our decision to ride in this area, so we start to pack up the sleds. That’s when a much more intimidating man than the one before starts walking toward us. We should’ve left sooner…

Subscribe for access to this article plus the entire archive of The Snowboarder’s Journal content—and receive 10% off of The Snowboarder’s Journal products.


The Snowboarder's Journal mailing list

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.