Teased by Tantalus

There we sat, perched amid the most beautiful ski lines in the region. They were so close you could poke a stick at them, yet most were still out of safe reach. It was April 30, the sun’s heat was raging, and we literally watched the end of winter 2013/14 in real time, high def. What was steep and deep winter snow only days earlier was oozing into summer schmoo chunder balls faster than we could scope safe lines to ski. Well, faster than most of us, but not faster than James McSkimming. Skim was ready for battle.

Photo by Jamie Bond/Doglotion Media.
Photo by Jamie Bond/Doglotion Media.

True to its namesake, the Tantalus Range’s alluring peaks and steep descents sit tantalizingly close to Squamish, BC skiers’ and snowboarders’ backyards. But like the mythical greek character who sat helplessly out of reach of fresh fruit and water, local skiers rarely set foot across the Squamish River to indulge in the endless lines Tantalus has on tap. And when they finally do, like on McSkimming’s maiden attempt, BC’s wild coastal weather can slip the dream right out from under your feet. Early winter boasts crevasse-riddled run-outs, mid winter touts unsuitably stormy weather for the terrain, and spring… well, it’s great until April 29, apparently.


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James on Serratus. Frame grab from
Skim on Serratus. Frame grab from Teased by Tantalus, Nate Smith.

But unlike the poor sap from Greek myth, James wasn’t leaving without a taste of Tantalus spring tapas. Armed with light gear, local mountain savvy, and a season worth of ski-leg warm up, he set out on a mission to pluck some beauty lines before summer robbed us completely of winter.

What ever happened to that thing called spring anyway?

Keeping things within his comfort and safety threshold, he made the most of it from dawn till dusk, until, undeniably, the sun set on another fun winter in BC’s Coast Range.

Photo by Jamie Bond/Doglotion Media.
Photo by Jamie Bond/Doglotion Media.

Reblogged from G3.