DBair is Mining for Nugs
50.040295, -117.144921. Two seemingly random yet extremely precise numbers. Numbers which, for those knowledgeable in geographic coordinates, will lead you directly to the doors of Retallack Lodge.
Retallack is absolutely iconic amongst those who ride snow. For snowboarders and skiers, the cat-skiing here is legendary. Thanks to countless editorials and videos (including Tanner Hall’s ‘’Retallack the Movie'') it’s a winter Mecca; a necessary pilgrimage for those who like their powder deep and their pillows soft.* But powder hounds can only ride so long. Inevitably the snow melts and toques are packed away until next season.
‘It’s in the middle of the middle of nowhere.’’ That quip from Cam McCaul passed through my mind several times on the drive out. Halfway between New Denver (population 504) and Kaslo (pop. 1,026) the Retallack tenure is far from big cities and the distractions they bring. But maybe this isn’t such a bad thing? The phrase ‘splendid isolation’ springs to mind. And while it’s original usage refers to Britain’s political maneuvering in the late 1800's I think it works well here too. We had internet in the lodge but no cell service and thus no distractions. No Instagrammed food pictures or #hashtagged digging shots. No texts, no calls. Just a singular focus on a simple goal - riding bikes.
We had friends, bikes, cameras, and beer. What more could you ask for?
*Soft pillows can be found on the slopes and the lodge’s beds.