Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ski Travel Feature: Shames Mountain, Northern British Columbia

I'm excited to be publishing a second story today for snow chaser extraordinaire, Powder Matt, an adventurer, top ski blogger, author of the "Adventurer's Guide to Living a Happy Life," and Vice President of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

Last week we traveled to Smithers in the story, Craving Cabin Life in Northern British Columbia. Today we travel to another town in Northern BC also known for epic powder and incredible ski days. Today we visit the Town of Terrace and the Shames Mountain Ski Area.

Again, as with last week's story, I don't expect you to jump in your car for the long drive north tomorrow. However, I know I'm always looking for new places to add to my winter travel list and some day I just might find myself traveling around Northern BC. When that day arrives, I'll remember having read this cool ski story by Powder Matt and I'll know exactly where I want to go visit. For now, I dream, I add new resorts to my winter bucket list, and I grow in my awareness of great ski areas across our country.

On the Road to Northern BC and Shames Mountain Ski Area (photo: Dax Justin)


Shames Mountain Ski Area, Terrace, Northern British Columbia


By Powder Matt


Snow, Deep, Deep snow


“Don’t fight the mountain, go with the flow.” says Christian Theberge, General Manager of Shames Mountain Ski Area. These were Christian's inspiration words as we headed higher, sinking waist-deep with each step, to reach a little knob, accessing blower deep pow, right off the top t-bar.

Each step here earns you unlimited goodness.

Large trees, with perfect spacing and copious amounts of snow, greet us as we top out. I can now see why this place, one of the largest ski area tenures in British Columbia, is not only a great place for families to enjoy sliding time, but a bonanza for ski touring and split boarders, as the scope and size is in another league.


When you factor in the actual ski area tenure, Shames Mountain Resort in Terrace BC has more terrain then Whistler Blackcomb (photo: Jim Barr)


One Day is Not Enough


“Don’t just come here for a day,” says Theberge,”as you will wind up kicking yourself, seeing all those lines that you’ll want to do, over there, around that horn, up that valley; it is all accessible from this lift,” added Theberge.

We head out on another junket, this time, taking a lap through a magical forest. With the snow flying, one gets the feeling that we have truly arrived in another world. My takeaway is that you certainly can't judge a ski area from the number of runs on the trail map. The beauty of this place is that it has so much variety of terrain to explore and you can let the lift assist you on the skin trail.


Beyond the line at Shames in Terrace is acres upon acres of white gold to be discovered (photo: Jim Barr)



Why Visit Shames Mountain


Get in the woods


At other places you have to hurry to get fresh tracks but here the trees are buried and everywhere you look is potential lines. This is the land of big sticks and with incredible spacing, it is a tree skiers dream. Go with the flow, look for the opening and don’t fight the mountain.


Prince Rupert based, Kris Pucci maker of craft skis, swears by Shames’ Backcountry bonanza.  Seeing the Skeena Mountain Range typically sees more snow then any other mountain range on the planet (photo: Jim Barr)

Prepare for deep


Be ready for deep snow. With over 50 feet of snow, you can experience some ski touring here that is easily accessible off the lift network that will blow your mind. Make sure to take time to meet with locals, and ask questions on routes and conditions to get the most from your touring journey.

Remember to have your ‘powder tune’ ready, as singing while you turn gives you rhythm. Sing your tune and enjoy the deep goodness.

Have your Powder Tune Ready (photo: Powder Matt)

Enjoy hang time with the local peeps


The ski touring community here is awesome and welcoming, so immerse yourself in the goodness. And you don’t have to work the locals to find the secret stash. It’s more about way finding, and finding the entries and return routes to the lift, as there is tons of terrain to go around. Slow down here and enjoy your turns.  

Long time Terrace Local Hansie Mudhenk moved to Terrace simply to experience the backcountry of the region. (photo: Jim Barr)


Want to Read More?


Check out Shredding it up Backcountry Style at Shames  by Powder Matt for SnowSeekers.


Caleb Brousseau, medal winner at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, grew up skiing at Shames Mountain (photo: Powder Matt)


Other stories you may be interested in:

72 Hours in Terrace with Dax Justin 


Skiing into the Wild by Doc Pow


You can also read more here about The Ski North BC Expedition on the SnowSeekers website.


Climbing up the Boot Pack Trail at Shames Mountain (photo: Powder Matt)



This story was sponsored by Snowseekers and I was compensated for publishing it.

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