Raven Backcountry Festival Raises $16k for Lisa Korthals Memorial Bursary

words :: Ben Osborne photos:: Craig Barker

When Lisa Korthals tragically passed away in an avalanche in March 2018, the town of Pemberton lost part of its soul. Korthals was a community icon—married to Jonny Foon of Foon Skis, a guide at Whistler Heli, and a former professional skier herself, she was known and loved by many.

Les Anthony adding emcee to his long list of accomplishments.

So, it makes sense that the entire community would come together to honour Lisa in the name of one of the other things she cared about the most—getting others into the mountain, specifically women.

The event, the Raven Backcountry Festival, brought together hundreds from the Sea to Sky corridor with a mixture of speaker panels, educational events, a gallery of art from the mountains, ski-touring clinics, and of course some food ol’ fashioned apres. The speaker panel, hosted by our very own Les Anthony (editor of the Mountain Life Annual), featured talks from local legends Eric Pehota, Kye Petersen, and many more.

article continues below
Eric Pehota has a long history in the Coast Mountains, making his talk one of the highlights of the event.

The proceeds from the event go to a bursary in the name of Korthals goes towards women who are pursuing a career in mechanized ski guiding.

Korthals was a leading figure in an industry that is typically male-dominated—which is why she would be proud to know her bursary goes towards getting women into the mountains.

In the end, the event raised $16,000 to go towards the bursary. For more information on the fund or to apply, head over to the CSGA website. If you’d like to participate in the festival next year, give them a follow on Facebook, or stay updated by visiting the website. —ML