It’s kind of ironic that the visionary behind the legendary backcountry lodge named “Baldface” dons a beard that both urban hipsters and Vikings alike would regale with honor. But of course Baldface is a mountain, not a man; one of many mountains in over 30,000 acres of terrain within the BC Kootenays that await only a few dozen lucky riders each day. In less than 20 years, Baldface Lodge has become a modern-day Valhalla, a destination that somewhat ruins any other snow-riding experience by setting the bar so incredibly high and spoiling all who enter the doors with luxury, friendly hospitality, and blower pow.
Baldface has certainly earned its legendary status. Anyone who looked up to Craig Kelly — as a grom, growing up at Mt Baker, he was the first snowboarder I idolized — had heard about the new operation in BC that he was a part of. Then, nearly 10 years after Craig’s death, the world witnessed one of the most innovative snowboard contests ever: The Red Bull Supernatural. Nowadays, you can’t go a day or two without seeing a pro or industry type Instagramming their heli-approach to the lodge. Or maybe it’s a slow-mo slash into that dry Kootenay pow — a feeling that elicits pure ecstasy within the soul — and the closest feeling to flying that I’ve ever found.
Bottom line… Baldface is a place that has to be truly experienced to be fully understood. Everything about it — from the gourmet food, to the friendships you make with the staff, and of course the shredding — is of the highest quality.
The captain of the ship is Jeff Pensiero, or JP as you might hear during radio communication at the lodge. I met Jeff last spring during a visit to the lodge for their inaugural ZigZag banked slalom. Jeff is a bit of a guru and adept at reading people, both those who stay with him and those who work for him. He was kind enough to invite me to the guide’s training earlier this month where I improved upon valuable skills that will help me in the backcountry and life in general. He’s an easy person to be around. After watching this edition of Headspace, you’ll understand why.