While for many April / May means bikes, golf clubs, tennis, a celebration of all things warm. For true Big Mountain riders in the Coast Range it means Game On! Yes the lawns are turning green and we can’t shred to the valley, but up high it’s cold and stable, with perfect conditions for hitting those big shaded north faces.

Approaching the north face of Joffre Pk, with the Joffre Couloir on the left above the skier

The recent weather pattern with nice spring days and cold nights has finally stabilized a somewhat stubborn alpine snow pack. There are still layers down there that could be triggered in thin rocky terrain, and sunny warm slopes can always present problems in the heat of the day, but the shaded northern snow is fat and in good nick.

Chris Ankeny looking to cross the bigshrund at the base of the Joffre couloir.

Two years ago Jon Johnson and I stood where the above photo was taken. When the third slough that was big enough to take out a rider came out of the slot within 30 minutes we pulled the pin and headed home with our big mountain desires unsatisfied. Today nothing was coming out of here but angel dust spindrift.

Chris Ankeny Climbing the Joffre couloir

Johnny Foon climbing the Joffre Couloir

Keep your eyes on the mountains and the mountains in your eyes. Many of the best big mountain lines are at max snow and max stability.

Foon ready to shred on the latest version of the amazing Foonlight. 3500 grams and made with a new environmentally friendly bio epoxy.

Chris Ankeny dropping into the Joffree Couloir

Chris Ankeny shredding the Joffre Couloir

The rain that’s falling right now, tightening up your favourite mountain bike trail, is also putting a fresh coat of pow on the peaks. Some of the best Big Mountain days of the season may be yet to come.