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Riding Dirty Down the Powder Highway

Riding Dirty Down the Powder Highway

Getting deep in British Columbia with a crew of old hotdoggers.
By Kelley McMillan
posted: 02/22/2012
Bob Legassa Cossacking

It was deep January in British Columbia and I found myself with an eclectic crew skiing the Powder Highway while the lower 48 withered away in a lean snow year. There was the original big-mountain badass Eric Pehota and his 17-year-old son, Logan, an up-and-coming ripper on the free-ride scene. Scott Kennnet of Blizzard of Aahhhs fame was on hand, scheming up a three-part action sports slash porn DVD series, when he wasn’t busy getting ‘er done on the hill. There was a gaggle of old hot-dawggers who slayed the pro-mogul tour and starred on the US Freestyle team back in the eighties and nineties: Bob Legasa, John Witt, and Brian Black. The inventor of the Shot-Ski was even there. And me.

We smashed around Revelstoke Mountain Resort for day (damn, those lines in the North Bowl are good). We had one epic day with Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Skiing, crushing powder-stuffed glades and pillow lines. Then, we hit the road, Jerky Boys cranked up high, and headed for Mustang Powder Cats, a remote backcountry cat-skiing lodge 45 minutes outside of Revelstoke. And that’s just where you drop the car off and jump onto a top-of-the-line Pisten Bully that ferries you up another hour into the Monashee Mountains, delivering you to the front door of the best cat-skiing this side of paradise.

Mustang is cowboy in all the right ways. Expert guides sniff out the goods like well trained truffle pigs and then let you have at it: 30,000-acres of steep alpine lines, BC blower, couloirs, cliffs, and prime Monashee trees. They’re experienced handlers—their snow sense is impressive and their mountain know-how, even more so. They tickle you into lines you’d think you have no business being in and unfurl the lasso only when they need to—say, to avoid a cliff, a sketchy pocket of snow, or direct you to a friendlier aspect. No farming tracks here. A typical day at Mustang means about 20,000-vertical-feet of freshies—that’s close to what you’ll average heli-skiing.

Mustang’s 30-guest timber-frame lodge makes calling it quits after a best-day-of-your-skiing-life a little easier. Good food, good music, good vibes, friendly staff, and a charming owner, Nick. Gourmet meals are served in the candle-lit main dining room, which crackles with a fire burning in a wood stove. Staff and guests mingle over halibut and apple pie. There’s a hot tub outside and a billiards room and bar inside where folks hangout. Mustang is a place that sucks you in with its skiing; it’s ambience and camaraderie make you never want to leave.

During our three days at Mustang, the dirty, old mogul men hucked massive airs, Cossacks, and backflips, and debated about who had kissed Suzy Chapstick.

After three nights at Mustang Powder Cats, I headed home with a whole new (raunchy) vocab, appreciation for B.C. and hotdawgging, while the mogul men continued on down the Powder Highway.

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