Marie-France Roy was sorry.
“What are you sorry about, Marie?”
“I don’t know…” she trailed off with a guilty half-smile.
It could have been the rain—which, to state the obvious, was not within her control. We were sitting in the lobby of a Best Western in Campbell River, BC, discussing Plan B over a stale continental breakfast. Outside, the murk of a mid-January Pineapple Express had set in. Muggy, drizzly, foggy warmth. Unapologetic. It was only day three of a well-planned 10-day Vancouver Island alpine adventure, but it seemed we were screwed.
Plan A had begun well enough. At least for Marie, fellow rider Charles Reid, and her erstwhile filmer/team manager, Sean Black. They were working on Arbor Snowboard’s new flick, Cosa Nostra. Before Kael Martin and I arrived, they spent a few days splitboarding near Marie’s west coast home in Ucluelet, overnighted in an undisclosed backcountry location, and splitboarded their way into some easy-access powder and pillows. Then, they indulged in a heli-bump into an obscure zone. She said it was marvelous, that she could damn near see her cob house from the top.
But by the time we met up at Mt. Cain Alpine Park Sunday morning, it was warm and crusty. Rain, rain and more rain in the forecast. We’d ripped some groomers with the partied-out locals, then bailed to Campbell River. Which led us to Plan B…