The Goat Chronicles Episode 3: The Awakening

Check me out.

“Something is wrong with this world, you’ve known it all your life, you don’t know what it is. It’s like a splinter in your mind … driving you mad.” — Morpheus, the Matrix

You know what I think is wrong with this world? Summer. I’m back. I’m juiced. I see snow in the hills and there is nothing stopping me. Welcome to the Awakening.

The Goat Chronicles, Episode 2: Denial

Lets get the elephant out of the room. I don’t know why the producers decided on the term “Denial”. So my story continues– but i’m fine. I get it. The snow comes, it goes, it will come back. Everyone wants to sit back, tell me I can’t survive a few months without snow. Plain and simple, it’s not true. Ever heard of 2-stroke smoke? It smells pretty darn good.


Just like many other Whistler residents, I came to town a skier–but I will leave as a dual-sport, no tri-sport athlete. Cause the biking around here is f*cking unreal. They told me my horns are a hazard in the bike park, but Whistler’s Westside has been pretty welcoming. Take my story as a lesson. Even with all this early season snow–i’m holding off. I’m loosening my hips, i’m railing berms, next year i’m even planning an October trip to Indo. So, take a look at the next video in my series: Denial (as I said, i’m not in Denial, my shakra’s are actually more aligned than ever).

Introducing: The Goat Chronicles Ep. 1- WITHDRAWAL

Life is tough…sometimes.

First, let me introduce myself – my name is Garbie the Goat. Let’s get something out of the way: I don’t know Sasquatch, where he is, who he is, or what he does. One thing I can tell you is this– like you probably do, I suffer from PTSD—post traumatic ski depression. For years, I’ve fought through the same process–the season ends, and I turn to the bottle.

I’m a huge mountain goat–so the bottle, for me–is a keg. Don’t judge.


I’ve simply never been a summer guy. I’ve lost years of sleep, spent countless days searching for snow after the resort closes, and struggled mightily with this my whole life—but please, let me spare you my words. I want to take this time to introduce my new 3-part self-help motivational video series: The Goat Chronicles. Let these stories be both a warning, a lesson, a therapeutic viewing experience, and a stoke fueler. Don’t give up folks: Winter. Is. Coming. Be ready.

We’re Back! Whats New in Whistler for 2017-2018

530 days since our last blog post. We know you all have been waiting with baited breath. A lot has happened since we last spoke—we brought snowboarding back into the fold via our Snowboard Freeride Camps , and invited kids on to the mountain to learn with us with our Big Mountain Awareness workshops. We’ve scouted out new locations to ski powder across the world in Hakuba, Japan and Disentis, Switzerland, and we have, of course, been skiing powder non-stop here at Whistler-Blackcomb. It’s hard to give updates with a season like last—almost no sunshine and non-stop powder poundage.  

We hope our absence didn’t offend you. Our main guy and blogging king, Derek Foose, is busy running the Whistler Freeride Club and saying things into a microphone at Crankworx among other things. This season, our goal is to give you more—more powder, more local intel, and more knowledge of the mountains. Check out a few things that are new to the Whistler Village and our programs since we last spoke:

Early Booking Offers!

First things first. We’ll make this short and sweet–the sooner you book, the more money you save. Book a 2-day steep skiing clinic today for $409 CAD +5% GST ($50 CAD in savings), book a private clinic for $829 CAD + 5% GST, or book 3+ days of Private Clinics and save $100 CAD/day. Visit our site at or give us a call at 1-800-938-9656.

Pangea Pod Hotels

In the past, these were a figment of my Instagram-brain imagination. I had watched countless videos of pro-skiers and friends who headed over to Japan and spent a night in these—but the possibility of one coming to our hometown never occurred to me.

Think of it as a sort of compromise between a hotel and a hostel. The extra space in a traditional private room is taken away—your pod fits only a double-size bed with some personal storage. The extra space you sacrifice is allocated to a common area to socialize and get to know your hotel mates. The private amenities include a bathroom, a double bed, and some personal storage. The public amenities include a common area (with a bar and restaurant), a rooftop patio, and a gear storage space for your ski’s and wet clothes. Travelling solo or with a friend? This seems like a pretty darn good way to get by on the cheaper end of things and still have a few extra bucks for some extra drinks at the bar.

Oh, and there are speakers in the shower. Nuff’ said.


Spearhead Huts Break Ground!

 Not Bad… Photo: Spearhead Huts Association

If you have skied the backcountry with us, you may have toured across the ground of one of the 5 hut locations for the Spearhead Huts System. This summer, after years of proposals and planning, the Kees & Claire Hut has broken ground. This hut is estimated to sleep around 30-40 people per night with just a small fee needed to support upkeep and maintenance of the huts.

Future Hut Locations. Photo: Spearhead Huts Association

To get to this point has been a long, complicated process and it is a huge accomplishment. Tons of hard work, volunteer hours, and donations are needed to complete the vision and give backcountry users a world-class experience in the Spearhead Range that we spend much our winter recreating in! We strongly believe it will elevate everyones experience in the backcountry and encourage you to follow the progress and lend a hang any way you can. Anything that encourages powder skiing, we can get behind.

Check out the September 25th update on construction:


Big Mountain Awareness with Extremely Canadian

 Gaining an understanding of hazards ~ photo by Randy Lincks .jpg

 Prepare your kids for everything Whistler-Blackcomb can throw at them. Picture: Randy Lincks             

For just over 5 years now, we have been leading Backcountry Adventures including ski touring trips, Avalanche Safety Training Courses, and other Mountain Skills courses. Our newest offering, Big Mountain Awareness camps, were developed with the help of Mitchell Sulkers, creator of Whistler Secondarys’ esteemed Outdoor Recreational Leadership and Keith Reid, whose list of accolades are too long to list, but most recently he has been the head of our Backcountry Adventures program.

The courses kicked off last season, with the intention of kick-starting the acute senses gained after years and years of experience in the mountains. The one-day course teaches kids how to manage the large-scale terrain of Whistler-Blackcomb, and give them the tools to manage risk by themselves, keeping themselves safe while having fun in the mountains. More details about the course can be found at the link below—get in touch if you have any more questions!–big-mountain-awareness.html

Thats a wrap, folks. We will be hitting you with a weekly blog with all sorts of pertinent information, interviews, reviews, and more. Thanks for reading and don’t forget– wear your PJ’s inside out, scream SNOW in the freezer every morning, and flush your ice cubes down the toilet…winter is coming!



Want to make it snow?

We recently did a fake survey, based on no known facts and came up with the made up number of 4.75.  That is the number of people who typically read this blog .  To you, the dedicated, I apologize.  Even to the .75 of a person who really rounds out this fake statistic.  I’ve been slack, I’ve been lazy, I suffer from a horrible affliction called procrastinatitis.  This disease is a creeper, having it’s insidious way with it’s innocent prey.  It has no know cure and it’s victims often display such symptoms as whittling away productive time using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (JK, I don’t even know what that is!)  My time has been most ineffectively abused.  Most of it has been pissed away swooshing down the powder covered slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb, some of it has been wasted in the air, and the rest of my precious blog writing time was squandered on a new baby. (my wife may disagree with this one!) This is all water under the bridge now, as I have a very real, and time sensitive topic to discuss.  How can we make it snow?


Would you? For powder?












There is much debate in the ski/farming world about artificially incentifying mother nature to make it snow.  The farmers are less concerned about snow than rain, but I’m inclined to include them as allies here because without them we would be soooo hungry!  This practice is called Weather Modification and the specific incarnation for us is Cloud Seeding.  This involves spraying small particles, such as aluminium oxide, barium, (like silver iodide) onto clouds in order to affect their development, usually with the goal of increasing precipitation.  The increased precipitation part sounds great, although I am slightly concerned about the idea of our snow pack consisting mostly of aluminum oxide, as I think it won’t be as fast as regular snow and could be very unforgiving to land on.  (ever jumped off a second story balcony into a pile of beer cans?  Don’t)

You can’t argue with science.








I feel like there may be a better, and possibly less invasive way to accomplish our goal of making it snow more, and more often.  With that in mind i’ve done some highly methodical research to see if there are any correlations between snowfall and other “outside the box” factors that the Weather Modification experts may have missed.  The Mayan calendar proved insightful (though very hard to read) and it has unfortunately expired.  The Farmer’s Almanac was also overflowing with sage divinations, but again the veracity of these predictions are as hard to prove as OJ’s glove size.  But then I stumbled onto something so elemental, so completely littered with hard evidence that I figured there must be some type of conspiracy in play to cover this up.  I’ve currently gone into hiding in preparation for the certain backlash that is coming my way for releasing this bombshell.  If you hear of some strange accident involving an unsecured piano falling on my head, or a single Peak Chair falling from the cable, you’ll know that “they” got me.  Here it is;  If you want it to snow, schedule a race.  

This guarantees powder?










That’s right.  The mountain of evidence is indisputable.  Whistler’s famous leg burning nightmare of a GS, the Peak to Valley; snowed every year since it’s inception (warning: evidence may be circumstantial at best, completely made is far more likely)  Whistler Mountain’s fabulous Winter Start festival, which included a World Cup downhill race was cancelled three years in a row for… you guessed it! Heavy snowfall, before it was unceremoniously shipped off to the drier and more race friendly climate of Lake Louise.  The final nail in the coffin is being driven in as we speak.  Currently in Whistler We are playing host to the future of ski racing’s glitterati.  The Whistler Cup.  Along with Trofeo Toppolino in Italy, Whistler Cup is widely regarded as the World Championships for U-16 ski racing.  The best and fastest gather from powerhouse alpine nations to blister slalom courses, strut their stuff, and show off the absolute pinnacle of spandex technology.  And guess what?  It’s dumping.  It’s a sneaky sort of snow storm, with rain in the valley convincing the non believers that it’s a sopping mess up there.  But up there, waaaay up there, it’s snowing. Hard.  And there will be powder for the lucky few willing to hunt it down.


Whether you believe me or not doesn’t matter.  I know, and they know I know, and now you know too.  If I were you I would find a place to hunker down and ride out the inevitable shit storm of controversy, as well as the threats and danger to personal safety sure to be brought against us as co-conspirators in unveiling this treacherous plot.  I suggest the top of Spanky’s Ladder, or the Highest entrance to West Cirque. With their total lack of grooming and absence of red and blue gates, there’s no way the shadowy snow merchants of the FIS will find us there.  Good luck and lay low.

Hope to live to ride a chair with you soon.

When It Rains It Pours – But In a Good Way!

Sure, the deepest and snowiest days of winter are pretty rad. Nobody can argue that. But what if you could have powder, sunshine, long days, and prime mountain biking / rock climbing all in the same weekend? Oh wait, you can…

Spring has sprung in Whistler, and it’s opened up a can of awesome-sauce onto those not-so-little mountains we like to call Whistler Blackcomb. While short-sighted fair-weather skiers cringed at the warm and insanely wet storms that were forecasted for the region, the gang at Extremely Canadian knew it was a perfect storm for epic spring adventures – on snow or off.

Sure enough, the storms rolled in wetter than a school girl at a Justin Bieber concert, priming the mountain from top to bottom. Down in the valley, the rains got a huge head start on the spring cleaning we need every year to pave the way for mountain biking and hiking. Meanwhile up top, the precip fell as that white stuff we all know and love, absolutely smothering the terrain with a healthy dose of sugar-coated icing to keep us entertained all spring long.

After each storm the clouds have lifted, the temps have cooled, and just to really shut the nay-sayers up, the elephant snot snow actually turned back into powder! Yep, cold temps and clear skies can do that. It’s the best kind of alchemy there is.

If this pattern keeps up, we’ll be skiing pow for the rest of the season, while the bike trails clear themselves naturally. No need for shovels and blow driers.

Life is good in spring time, especially when the top of your ski resort is 5000 feet higher than your valley trails and crags. Coming for a visit?

I’m out of words

I have officially run out of words to describe the current conditions in Whistler. Saying that you don’t have any words is not necessarily the best way to start writing something. It’s a medium that generally requires at least a passing acquaintance with words. But I’m out. They are all used up. The superlatives all seem to pale in the light of the reality.

These days it snows every day. Every day. 12/12/12, snow. Mayan apocalypse, snow. Christmas Day is looking like bulk snow. The best part is all of this magical white gold is coming in at consistently cold temperatures. Nowhere outside of Niseko have I seen this kind of volume with such high quality. Maybe Bogata. The Columbians know quality!

Shovelling the driveway twice a day is a small price to pay!

I would like to thank the good people at Extremely Canadian for allowing me to pursue a career in deep powder skiing. The skiers that we’ve had in the clinics as well as the Backcountry Adventure tours have been scoring countless laps of deep fluffy goodness, and showing them a good time has never been easier. I’ve lost count of the number of times this week that I said “I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!”

The view from my cubicle.

With Christmas just around the corner I can’t think of a better gift for under the tree than the present that piles up flake by flake. We are in the middle of a weather cycle that is sure to become legendary and you need to be here. Planes, trains, or automobiles, do whatever it takes. When this ends, and sadly one day the sun will return to our lives, you don’t want to have missed it.

Hope to see you soon for a powdery holiday feast.

Derek and the Ex Can Crew.

Coming up for a breath

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks here in the promised land. Extremely Canadian has successfully hosted the Celebrity Ski Challenge for the Whistler Film Festival, co-produced a kick-ass Whistler Brewery fuelled rager with Columbia Sportswear, and we have skied pow. Oh have we ever.

The numbers verge on absurdity;
162cm in the past 7 days. 365cm total cumulative snowfall for the season. The season is only two weeks old!! That seasonal total would be a respectable December through March number in a lot of places, but we are just getting started.

Derek Foose, in between breaths.

The Extremely Canadian gang has been doing exactly what you’d expect. Sampling the goods, testing terrain, and building iron legs to be at our best when you show up. We had a week or so without the alpine lifts running, but the generous folks on the ski patrol have been allowing us access by foot. While it may require a bit more time and sweat, the payoff has been well worth it.

Gavin Phillipson enjoying the fruits of his hiking labour.

While we’ve been lucky recipients of Ullr’s bounty we certainly aren’t the only ones. Everywhere we are planning on going this winter for the Extremely Canadian World Tour is getting pounded! It’s dumping in La Grave, it’s dumping in Val d’Anniviers, it’s dumping in Japan. The only place it’s not currently snowing is Las Lenas, Argentina, but since it’s summer there we can forgive them. Basically wherever you choose, you’re going to score.

La Grave parking lot.

Currently we are in between storms (meaning it’s only snowing 10cm per day instead of 30) and taking deep breaths before the next immersion.
The coaching crew is out with Peter doing the early season guide training, polishing skills and sharpening our summer softened minds. Saturday Dec 8 marks the official opening to the Extremely Canadian season and dammit, we are Ready!
I hope you are too…

Looking forward to riding the chair with you soon,
Derek and the Ex Can Crew.

Always listen to your inner skier

When I woke up groggy, with a head full of kleg from a stubborn cold my first thought was “I probably won’t go skiing today”. My wife is a baws with WB’s I.T. Department and her presence on the front lines was integral to the smooth operation of Opening Day.  Which meant my presence in the parenting department at our house was also integral.  That’s right, I missed opening day.  But that was yesterday.
This morning’s decision was entirely my own.

Reports from day one were hit and miss.  ”Good to be skiing, but…”  was the common theme.  Fair enough.  It is after all, november, and a mid february powder day probably wasn’t in the cards.  So hopefully my inexcusable lack of stoke is at least partly understandable.

A funny thing happened after my sleep addled brain made that Eeyore-esque decision not to go.  I rolled out of bed into the shower, and after drying off started rooting through the closet for base layers, ski socks and all the other detritus required for a day of shred.  As I cruised downstairs for coffee and a bagel my wife took in my half assembled get up and said “I thought you weren’t going?”  

“Ya I don’t think I will, probably won’t be that great”  apparently are the words that came out of my mouth.  It becomes obvious with the clarity of hindsight that I was not entirely in control of this situation.  As I munched down my breakfast, slapped five with the boy and headed out the door my wife stared at me like she was just realizing the truly handicapped nature of her chosen life partner (this is a look that crosses her face all too often).

The reality is that I wasn’t driving the machine this morning, my inner skier was.  My actions were a result of thousands of repetitions of the same process, literally on auto-pilot.  The fact that it was my first day of the year was irrelevant, as if the six awful months of snowless purgatory we just suffered through never existed.  This is what happens every day that ends in Y during ski season, and my inner skier was clearly not to be put off by something as trivial as conscious thought.


When I got to the mountain the coffee was just starting to kick but I still felt foggy and loosely held on to the idea that I probably wouldn’t go skiing.  It was only riding up the gondola, watching the snow swirl that I started to come to and realize how awesome it was going to be, not to mention how awesome it was to be riding a lift with friends on the way up to go skiing.  Then I stepped off the lift.

Jen Ashton proving that you should always listen to your inner skier.

I stepped out into a completely legit (for november) powder day.

Where the day before venturing off piste was totally unimaginable, today it was not only imaginable, it was the first thing we did.  As the snow pushed up over my thighs and bits flew into my laughing grill I realized how lucky I was to have that inner voice guiding me.  I can’t claim any great wisdom for making a good decision.  I should actually plead guilty for making a bad one, but luckily somewhere deep in there a passionate skier lurks, and that guy knows what’s up.

 From now on I’m listening.


Hope to ride the chair with you soon,

Derek and the Ex Can Crew


Introducing the Guru of Extremely Canadian’s new Backcountry Adventures: Keith Reid.

By now you are all probably aware of the new Backcountry Adventure program on offer from Extremely Canadian this season.  Up for grabs will be a guided backcountry experience outside of the Whistler Blackcomb boundaries, with a focus on safe travel techniques, mountain awareness, and finding the best snow accessible to those unafraid to invest a little sweat equity.

What you may not be savvy to is who we’ve got to run this new wonder program.  May I present to you Extremely Canadian’s newest cast member, and Backcountry Supervisor and Lead Guide – Keith Reid!

When word got out that Keith was going to be heading up the new program the response from those in the know in the snow safety and guiding world was incredible.  ”You got that guy?  Oh this is going to be big!”  Peter Smart, owner and Big Daddy boss of Extremely Canadian had this to say: “Getting him for this role is huge! Having Keith involved really legitimizes Extremely Canadian’s role in the backcountry industry.”


Keith is coming off a successful tenure as assistant operations manager and senior ski guide at TLH Heli skiing, and is heavily involved in the training of new and apprentice mountain guides through his role as an instructor for aspiring guides at Canada West Mountain school.  He has sat on the board of directors for the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and is currently the president of that venerable organization.  Believe me, this is the guy you want to go out of bounds with!


Keith has been in Whistler for 25 years, and in that time has honed his skills as a skier, guide, and mountain savant to a razor point.  Throughout his career, along with a serious work ethic has come an unflagging passion for exploring the coast mountains and all the adventure they have to offer.   Keith says  ” The lift access backcountry/ski-touring opportunities on both Whistler and Blackcomb are among the best in the world and clearly stand alone in North America in terms of its scale, variety and quality”  This experience has brought with it an enthusiasm for the new role with Extremely Canadian.  According to Keith,  ”Developing and managing what will invariably become a world class Backcountry destination is an incredible and timely opportunity.”

Timely indeed.  The backcountry ski movement is blowing up.  Ski touring binding systems, boots, skins, avalanche beacons and all the rest have become the hottest developing products for industry manufacturers.  The spirit of exploration is alive and well out there, and as the race for the freshest lines intensifies in-bounds many are seeking to forgo the chase altogether, in search of a more soulful experience.  For all of you out there looking for something new, Keith is your man.

Welcome to the team Keith.  We (and all of you out there)  are lucky to have you onboard.

Hope to ride a chair with you all soon.

Derek and the Ex Can crew.