Snow

Vera Janssen Photo Diary

Long time Whistler local, Nikita rider and snowboard mum Vera Janssen has listened to our pleas and gives us some insights into her most fabulous backcountry riding life and shares her best moments of the season so far…

Words by Vera Janssen

Route99 Motorsports in Pemberton, BC, is our local Arctic Cat Dealer. We spend lots of time and money here. In this picture I am just picking up my brand-new snowmobile – a 2013 M8! 160 Horsepower Baby!

Doing some untracked laps on the Rutherford Glacier, a 35km snowmobile ride from the parking lot. I accessed this fun little section by ghost-riding.

Because it was just me and Nadia that day and the snow was so deep that it was hard to double with two people on one sled, I found a spot where I could ghost-ride my sled. I would ride to the top, then stop, grab my board, and give the sled a push to roll down the hill. I’d then traverse over into the section seen on the previous pic, and ride back to my snowmobile. I think I did about 5 or 6 laps that way…

My thermos is definitely a backcountry essential! Being out in the cold all day, sweating and exhausting myself, nothing feels better than a hot cup of tea…

The views are unreal sometimes and with no tracks around it is hard to make a decision on where to go… We look for steep terrain features that are easily accessed: To double up (AKA two chicks one sled) we need a good route and track to the top. We spend quite a bit of time staring at terrain like this and figuring out where to draw our lines…

I’m so happy to have this rare moment captured on film! As is obvious in the picture, the snow cracked underneath me – from the impact of me entering this shelf.
The first 24 hours after a snowfall, avalanche danger is the highest – so be especially careful because not all avalanches are as cute and pretty as this mini-slide!

Nadia Samer is among the world’s best female big mountain snowmobilers (and skiers for that matter). She’s got a mean pow turn and is always down to shoot. We’ve had some super sick days shooting each other and playing around with camera settings and lighting. This is maybe one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken!

 

Taking a breather… For those who think that snowmobiling is the “easy way” to get yourself riding some lines – try maneuvering around a 250kg vehicle in waist-deep snow. It’s like taking care of 160 horses…

First Date with the new Sled. We are hitting it off…

 

I live for moments like these. No better thing than looking down at a fresh run and planning where to draw your line.

 

Little screenshot from a 3 minute GoPro Clip of me riding through the forest on Whistler Blackcomb. In December we got blessed with some huge storms and I got many, many powder days like this under my belt.

 

 

Another screenshot from one of the first days riding the new snowmobile and filming for my video series Vera’s Shredventures. Just testing out the power…

 

We’ve had some deep, deep days! Imagine the amount of snow you move as you burst through it. Most of the time you get such hard faceshots that you can’t see anything!

 

Wheelie!!! So much fun!! Love how you can see the snow shoot out from the track…

It’s usually worth it to stick around till sunset and wait for the nice light. Around this time it’s already dark in the valley  and with another hour or more of riding back to the truck, you’re in for a long day. But it’s so romantic and beautiful… PS that guy I’m kissing is my baby daddy so I’m allowed to show some affection on the internet, right?!

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