Baldface Lodge, located outside Nelson, British Columbia, has 32,000 acres of skiable terrain that collect a whopping annual average of 500-plus inches of snow. Accessible only by helicopter, the lodge leads daily snowcat excursions into its ample open bowls and perfectly spaced trees. “For this type of operation, it’s the best setup I’ve ever come across,” says snowboarder Travis Rice. “You’re totally up in the forest, in the mountains, away from everything, but it’s still easy to get to and it’s small enough that it’s intimate.”
Interior British Columbia is known for its consistent conditions and snowfall, as well as a high tree line and cloud ceiling compared to the coast, which means you can heli even when it’s storming. That makes the region a practically foolproof backcountry choice for people with limited vacation time who can’t risk uncooperative weather. “If someone came up to me and said: I want to go on an epic trip, what’s the place where I’d have the best chance at getting great snow conditions? I’d say interior British Columbia, hands down,” says Rice. “It’s just so consistent.”
Travis Rice may be the best all-around snowboarder on the planet, whether he’s catching extreme air on groomed slopes at the world’s top resorts or pioneering first descents in remote big-mountain backcountry. He was executive producer and starred in the eagerly anticipated The Art of Flight in 2011 and took snowboarding competition to a new level when he created the Red Bull Supernatural last season. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Travis Rice's Gear Pick: Headlamp
"I always take a good bolero tie. The tie itself has roots as a soup catcher; it’s like this printed napkin. The bolero has a purpose—it closes the collar and has a sense of decorative style. Either that or a headlamp. I always travel with a headlamp in the backcountry because you just never know."