Not Your Typical Ski Test When most testers try out new skis it is on a busy ski hill with questionable conditions. They usually get a run or two and make their assessment. Not us. No, we took our Loken's right from the hand made factory to the peaks of Snowwater Heliskiing for a 4-day intensive test run. With the experience of testing the Skevik Oda and the Anton we were familiar with how the brand felt. The Oda is a big reverse sidecut, reverse camber fun stick while the Anton is a burly big mountain slayer. The Loken, as we found out, was as different animal all together.
The First Run Stepping out of the helicopter on our first run we found ourselves on top of a wide open bowl to get warmed up on. After studying the skis for a few days my impression was that it would be quick and light edge to edge but also would break free easily in the pow. I was half right. After clicking in we all dropped into the bowl one after another. I thought I would pull a full speed long drawn out turn but the Loken had something else in mind. As soon as I initiated my turn it gripped and held like it was on rails! I was pleasantly surprised. This ski wanted to go. Three turns later I was at the bottom and I knew that the Skevik Loken and I were going to get along great.
The Rest of the Day The entire first day at Snowwater was spent in open bowls, steep chutes and lots of time playing in the trees. It was in the trees where I really fell in love with the Loken. It is so nibble from edge to edge and has a very light swing weight. After a day of skiing I didn't feel fatigued from lugging a massive ski around. Yet is still hung on at high speeds. The Loken is a perfect blend of what a skier would want: light and nimble in the trees and a confidence inspiring powerhouse in the bowls.
Some Technical Background The Loken comes in two widths: 106mm and 116mm. We opt'd for the 116mm since we do most of our skiing in the deep powder of the BC backcountry. Lengths range from 164cms to 188cms.We tested the 188. The ski design has a more traditional sidecut combined with a longer more subtle rise tip and a lower profile tail (to accommodate skins better). The Loken still has the same bombproof solid wood construction as the rest of the Skevik line up as well as the ultra fast base.
Quality The quality of the Skevik Loken is top notch. They are constructed in a small shop in Vernon which is in the interior of British Columbia. Only the best hard maple wood cores are selected, hand routered and layed up for pressing. Skevik uses 4001 sintered bases – not often seen in the freeride world as companies want fancy graphic bases. The base material is lightning fast and hard enough to handle the odd rock scuff. The top sheets are tough as well which is good because all of the graphics are designed by local artists and really add to the story of Skevik. Our pair was layed up with the new futuristic looking Scheske design. Overall quality is excellent. Handcrafted skis at its best.
The Verdict Buy a pair! If you are looking around at new skis consider shopping for something more grassroots. Skevik offers an excellent alternative to the big brands and has the quality and experience to it back up. The Lokens are a perfect one-ski quiver. They deliver float, pop, power and speed in the pow and chop. If you are skiing on piste they hang on to the hardpack and are fun to carve. Being lighter than most big skis in their category makes it so you can ski first chair to last without your legs dropping off. If you find yourself in a cat or heli, they will take on any feature the terrain can throw at them. Finally, if you are a granola crunching ski touring type, the skis are light enough to skin up without losing performance on the way down. For $649 and available in 2 sizes you can't miss with the Skevik Loken.
Are these long summer days and warm weather getting you down? This may sound weird to some people, but if you're like us and you long for winter as soon as it's over, we understand. Well, here is great chance to start planning ahead for 2014/15 when the snow is falling again. The original catskiing operation, Selkirk Wilderness Skiing, has a few open spots for next season. As I can tell you from experience, their skiing is amazing the staff will welcome you to the lodge and treat you like you're part of the family. These dates never last long, so drop them a line and tell them catskiing.ca sent you.
Tour #401, Dec.17-20/2014 (3 day package ~ 8 spaces available)
Tour #405, Jan.11-17/2015 (5 day package ~ 7 spaces available)
Tour #406, Jan.18-24, 2015 (5 day package ~ 6 spaces available)
Tour #413, March.8-14/2015 (5 day package ~ 1 space available)
Tour #414, March.15-21/2015 (5 day package ~ 2 spaces available)
Tour #416, Mar.29-Apr.4/2015 (5 day package ~ Open)
Getting back to the roots of snowboarding to discover the future.
Travis Rice is truely a modern day pioneer of the sport of snowboarding. He gives a lot of credit to Craig Kelly for inspiring him but up and comers are looking to Travis for their inspiration. In this video Travis along with other Red Bull Supernatural stars explain what led them to BaldFace Catskiing and why they do what they do.
It all happened on March 25th to 28th at Retallack Catskiing Lodge - The Orage Masters Competition. Not alot of pow to drool over in this vid but tonnes of backcountry booter action in an unreal backcountry catskiing setting. Enjoy watching the fun times as you get stoked for next season!
Here is a little explanation of what this event is:
The Orage Masters event is a team vs team battle of fun, bragging rights and ski trickery that leaves athletes and spectators speechless and begging for more. This year, skiing's one and only "anti-comp" is headed to the backcountry of Retallack lodge, BC with 10 of the most diverse skiers in the world, each set to show the world what a good time looks like… and maybe win $10,000 dollars cold hard cash along the way compliments of Orage and Outdoor Technology.
The first day of Spring arrived and for the people down in the valley bottom it was a warm and sunny day. The grass was starting to green, birds were fluttering about and people were feeling like the grip of winter was starting to loosen. Not for us though...
We found ourselves at the end of a 3-Day trip to Valhalla Powdercats where winter had decided to give it another go. We got out of the cat at the weather station to 22cms of new snow on top of the 10cms from the day before (that is a foot of fresh for those American readers!). To make the situation just a little more epic, the sun happened to make an appearance throughout the day.
Run after run of powder and sunshine was the order of the day. We have had the experience of sunny snowfall which is always majestic when one finds themselves in the middle of the Valhalla's with a close group of friends.
For those of you who are on the fence about a late March catskiing trip, don't hesitate. This is the third season in a row where we have had remarkable conditions.
Here are a few shots from the trip. We have plenty more coming so stay tuned for a full gallery:
Our late March trip to Valhalla Powdercats brought sunshine to start........ and then it snowed. Day 2 brought 10 cm of fresh and it kept snowing all day. The steep chutes and trees kept us stoked all day long. It's supposed to keep snowing, and we can only imagine how much deeper tomorrow will get. In the past ten years of skiing here, Valhalla always delivers.
It was this good in January so imagine what it is like now!
Reports from Island Lake Catskiing throughout January were sounding pretty good. We got some great shots sent to us from Mike McPhee showing some nice pow and killer blue skies. While some pockets were in a bit of a drought, Island Lake was staying consistent. Now that BC is getting whalloped with some epic mid-winter pow just imaging what it is like up there now.
This video was shot during January 2014 by Nick Nault and features Mikey Witlox, Luke Nelson, Ben Ogilvie, Caleb Brown and Mark Butcher.
Getting attention for his unique shooting style in the backcountry.
Our resident photographer Geoff Holman has been featured in the February issue of Digital SLR Magazine. Two shots from Selkirk Wilderness Skiing and a deep forest shot of mountain biking in BC's Interior. Geoff has been working over the past few season to develop a unique style and adapt his equipment for mobile use in the backcountry.
About the Photos:
Full Page - Geoff set this shot up at the end of a stormy day at Selkirk Wilderness Skiing. It was a dark day that usually makes ski photography a difficult task. With Geoff's lighting techniques he can light up the scene and get dramatic shot like this.
Half Page Ski - Again at Selkirk Wilderness Skiing but this time on a brighter day. Still using Geoff's lighting set up we get a shot that shows off the terrain but really highlights the action of the skier. It even enhances the texture of the snow.
1/4 Page Bike - It was a dry and dusty day in the BC Interior when we headed out to test some shots. We were looking for set up that could show the think foliage but still give Geoff the kicked up dust effect that ended up in this shot.
Geoff loves finding new set-ups and developing new techniques. Action photography is a great medium and the whole team at Catskiing.ca love pitching in and helping him realize his creations.
If you want to get yourself some amazing powder skiing like in the pictures above, check out Selkirk Wilderness Skiing. It will change your life.
Congrats Geoff on getting 'exposure' in another magazine!