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Home Forums Splitboard Talk Forum 4th Vancouver Island Backcountry Festival (sad update)

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    UPDATE: This winter is a continuing tragedy for the snowpack in the Pacific Northwest, and Cain is still not open. We’ve been trying to sort out what to do, but it’s become clear that Cain is not going to be open for the BCF. We are exploring other options for a party and raffle, but for off-islanders It’s likely this is a no go this year ๐Ÿ™ Who would have thought there would be no snowpack in the PNW?

    We’ve got the dates lo
    cked down for this years Vancouver Island Backcountry festival… Feb 8/9!

    We had an amazing time last year and it went better than we had anticipated, the guided tours ended up being completely full and they had to run on sunday as well to take everyone. We’ll try to have more guides this year, and run both days!

    The obligatory recap for those unfamiliar – Every winter we put together an event to raise funds for the Vancouver Island Avalanche Center Society, which is our local non-profit responsible for forecasting the island. No, the CAC doesn’t recognize Vancouver Island as part of Canada. *shrug*

    So what do we do? Well, we have a raffle, we have certified ACMG guides doing educational backcountry laps by donation, and we drive a groomer into the forest to pack down a dance floor and put on a huge party. We had complaints about not enough lasers or fireworks last year, but all in all we thought we did a pretty good job. We’ll do better this year.

    This isn’t a splitboard specific event, but there are a lot of us splitboarders up here. The point is, you can invite your teleboarding, monoskiing, telemarking, or even AT skiier friends to come with you!

    So the logistics – to come to this event you need to take a ferry to some island and then you need to drive, basically forever, until you reach a little logging road. We like to call it “well maintained”, but I would recommend you bring your chains with you. And your onsies. This is Cain, afterall.

    Here is Dave’s writeup from last year (and the full gallery of his photos:

    Details on the site:
    Facebook event:
    Google map:!q=mount+cain&data=!1m4!1m3!1d3799906!2d-124.6122439!3d49.5063257!4m15!2m14!1m13!1s0x5462fcd905eada4b%3A0x8665249d669e96bb!3m8!1m3!1d42361!2d-123.3592225!3d48.4262355!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!4m2!3d50.2286111!4d-126.3261111


    Hey Jerett, this sounds awesome! Are there any fees or costs associated w/ this? Definitely thinking of going…


    Nope, the festival is free!

    The fundraising will come from the raffle tickets and from the donations for the guided laps. It’s worth getting lift tickets for the t-bars at cain because they provide incredible access to the backcountry, but if you’d rather head off in a different direction or skin up, that’s your call (they won’t be happy if people are skinning up inbounds though)

    Also the hill is very much camping-friendly. It’s not uncommon to see people camping in RV’s,vans, cars, tents, etc up there – last year it looked like a campground at the backcountry festival:

    This year we may pack down or groom a tenting area too, depending how many people it looks like plan to tent.

    There are two accomodation options as well, the very-rugged old lodge (closets with mattresses above the main lodge) and the much less rugged fancy pants new hostel (running water!!!). Those options will book out pretty quick though ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you or anyone else from Washington/Seattle area are coming and will be going through Victoria, let me know, we could caravan up!


    I could also pick up some people in Nanaimo. I got a Grand Cherokee so space really isn’t a worrie.


    Stoked! This sounds great, new terrain and not even that far from home. We’ll be there with the truck camper. Let the countdown begin… :guinness:


    Always wanted to check out Cain, I’ll see if I can make it over this year.


    Definitely coming up for this from Seattle. How can I book guided tours? Or is it first come first serve?


    The tours are first come first serve and by donation, but we’ll have signups available on friday night… They will be using the t-bars to get to the terrain quickly so that lots of people can have an opportunity to do it. The guys running these are excellent, and their goal is to take groups of similarly skilled folks out so they can use the time to teach new skills based on the groups experience and interest level.

    There were a wide variety of skill levels taking part last year, they had avalanche gear for people with no experience getting an intro to touring to people who just wanted to go ride some sweet stuff with a guide that they could bombard with questions along the way.

    The guiding services are done by and


    UPDATE: This winter is a continuing tragedy for the snowpack in the Pacific Northwest, and Cain is still not open. We’ve been trying to sort out what to do, but it’s become clear that Cain is not going to be open for the BCF.

    Cain does not want the event to go on while they are closed and we want to respect that, so we are exploring other alternatives. We still have a lot of gear to give away and a party to throw, but it’ll likely just be a party and a raffle – which probably excludes off-islanders.

    Sad announcement to make, but it’s a sad year for snow here on the coast..

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