TJ and his family enjoying a bit of quiet in the mountains.

TJ and his family enjoying a bit of quiet in the mountains.


TJ Balon, Revelstoke, Canada

Dear Australia,

Revelstoke and the rest of Canada is missing you.

From the friendly smiles of the lifts, to the bartender having a laugh behind the bar with their seasonal brothers and sisters, to the families that choose to spend their tourist dollars in little ski towns like Revy frothing in the powder and the steeps, we miss all of you.

It’s been a strange year in Revelstoke to say the least but at least they haven’t taken away our skiing and snowboarding as of yet.

Last March when we went into full lockdown for 7 weeks, we were robbed of all of our spring skiing as the government told us we weren’t allowed into the mountains, so as to save the small medical system in town, in case a large outbreak occurred. It never came thankfully, and it meant a truly enjoyable summer, full of mountain bikes and hikes.

Now the winter is back and the hill open, but along with it a massive second wave, and a scary one at that.

As everyone moved back into town from across the county, for yet another epic winter, they brought the virus with them. It got very real all of a sudden and our little bubble in a bubble felt extremely violated, almost attacked. Within 2 weeks we had 50 cases in town and the whisper everywhere was that the hill was going to close. Thankfully, we are in a small but resilient town. The mayor said stay home, stay safe for a couple weeks and we can beat this, and we did thankfully. The official report now says that since February we have had 55’ish cases in town total.

Now masks are mandatory in BC anywhere you go inside. Businesses are doing the very best they can to survive, but with an order to have limit non-essential travel, there is very minimal tourist dollars to go around. Most of the Heli ops in town are running amazing locals deals at up to 50% off just to stay afloat and others like CMH, have limited their operations all together till they feel like it’s safe and responsible to bring guests from out of province to join them in their famous lodges, and making sure that they don’t facilitate an outbreak in the tiny communities that they are part of. A truly strange year not hearing the sounds of Helis buzzing thru the valley with guests on edge for their next day out in the pristine backcountry of British Columbia.

Thankfully ( a word I’m using a lot this year) the hill is open and with the travel limitations it’s a majority of locals that make up the numbers on the mountain. It’s an experience we will probably all remember for the rest of our lives. When ever in your life can say that you skied a massive resort, with you and a few hundred of your friends and Neighbours, and no else. No lift lines, great snow, storm system after storm system resetting the mountain every few days and a few months of winter still to go. Dreamy but at the same time… eerie. The buzz on the hill is still there, but it’s different. Without all the people in town with all their beaming smiles and exhausted legs it’s different. Without being able to go and have an apres drink and snack anywhere you want in town, it’s different. And without hearing all the Aussie accents, except my families, it’s different. We miss you Australia, and we promise not to waste this opportunity we have been given to live over here for a couple seasons and will make some turns and get some face shots for all of you. Stay safe Australia and we will see you when it’s safe.

Peace and pow,