Chris Rubens has been a globally recognized professional skier for two decades. Truly dedicated and extremely passionate about skiing in the mountains, Chris spends as much time as possible in the backcountry every winter, specializing in putting beautiful lines down mountains for both film and photo projects. He spends his winters collaborating with the Blank Collective, Salomon TV, Sherpas Cinema and Matchstick Productions. He is passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge to help educate people about backcountry skiing. Between ski trips, Chris resides in the town of Revelstoke, BC, and now spends his off-season working hard, growing organic vegetables as First Light Farm.
Nadine started out on a snowmobile at age seven and has never looked back. She got into serious mountain sledding in 2007 and has been guiding in the Revelstoke area since 2010. She spends well over 100 days a season on her machine, riding with all different skill levels and pursuing professional-level avalanche training. In 2012, Nadine started La Nina Sled Camp, a venue for women riders to build confidence in a positive environment, away from the stress of having to keep up with their partners. Nadine hopes to continue influencing and educating other women to “get out and shred” as often as they like.
Over the last decade, Abby has crafted a career in the outdoor industry as a photographer, writer and Creative Director specializing in remote backcountry locations. Whether for work or pleasure this girl is always on the move, always in the mountains, and always searching for powder. When she's not chasing golden hour deep in a range with a 60lb camera pack, she's speaking at snow safety clinics and has even created her own series of social events known as "Split Social." The events are designed to educate splitboarders specifically while building a strong splitboard community, and also to instill good communication between all backcountry users. Her clinics cater to all abilities from never-evers, to those looking to get into splitboard mountaineering. Abby also works with Avalanche Canada to educate youth and as the Canuck Splitfest organizer. She currently volunteers with both Incluskivity and Mountain Mentors - both nonprofits that aim to break down barriers and make the backcountry more accessible. Abby is supported both in front and behind the camera by Arc’teryx, G3gear, Fatmaps and Intuition Liners.
Action Photo: Matt Silvestre
Sarah has been alpine/ice guiding in the Canadian Rockies for 16 years as an ACMG Alpine Guide and Instructor and Examiner for the Training and Assessment Program. Running her own company, she specialized in alpine and women specific camps that focused on building independence and skills toward self reliance and leading in the mountains. She is a sponsored athlete with Arc'teryx, Scarpa, Sterling ropes and Onward Up, and has pushed women's ice and mixed climbing in North America. With the loss of her dearest friend to an avalanche while ice climbing, Sarah understands the risks of the mountains with the greatest respect. Her new focus is to help build awareness to both the inherent risks of avalanches for ice climbers and the healing process after trauma through founding the Mountain Muskox Peer Mentorship Program.
Sandy Ward is a member of the Lil’wat Nation and a founding member of Indigenous Women Outdoors. She has spent most of her life on snow as a competitive halfpipe rider, First Nations Snowboard Team coach, and now leader of the Indigenous Women Outdoors Backcountry Mentorship Program. Through her work with IWO and Indigenous Life Sport Academy, Sandy has continually shown her devotion to ensuring Indigenous peoples can get involved in the outdoors. Sandy spends every day of the winter in the mountains and has started gaining professional level avalanche training as she works toward becoming a guide.
Photos: Kieran Brownie
Khan Yong Gee
Growing up on the sunny beaches of Australia, snowmobiling wasn't a focus for Khan until he moved to Whistler in the early 2000s. After purchasing a sled for access to backcountry snowboarding, Khan's passion for the sport only grew. He spent 15 years on the coast of BC, chasing deep powder and riding endless big mountain terrain, and has now made the move to Mabel Lake BC, where the terrain is world class and the snow is deep, light, and consistent. Khan's passion for sledding runs deeper than just riding, it's the community and the relationships within the sport that really keeps his love for the sport alive.
Avalanche Canada’s youth ambassador program leverages the social media power of a few young riders from across the country who demonstrate a strong commitment to backcountry safety, as well as to their sport. With their help and influence, our messages of awareness and safety can reach a wider audience.
Alana Norie (they/them) was born and raised Squamish, BC (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), and is currently studying in the Adventure Guide Program at Thompson Rivers University. Raised in the coastal mountains, Alana loves ski touring, climbing and mountaineering. They are pursuing their AST 1 & 2 in the new year, and will gain further Avalanche Operations Level 1 course in the Spring. Alana is a Freestyle Ski Coach at Sun Peaks, and a Youth Support Worker, who is actively working towards fostering a more equitable and inclusive mountain culture. They aim to create more opportunities for all youth to explore the outdoors and open spaces for Adventure Guides to have meaningful conversations about outdoor culture. If they aren’t on an expedition, you can often find them running their small art business, bouldering, or testing new backcountry meals!
Jonathan is from Norris Point, NL and started out his backcountry journey in Gros Morne National Park. At an early age he was exploring from the seat of a snowmobile, but over the last couple years he has fallen in love with splitboarding. Now 20 years old, Jonathan plans on spending another season in NL packed with splitboarding and ice climbing. With the Avalanche Canada AST 1 and 2 under his belt, he plans on furthering his avalanche education and moving towards becoming a ski guide. In the off season Jonathan enjoys climbing, playing music, and working as a lobster fisherman in Newfoundland
Stoked for his fourth season as an Avalanche Canada Youth Ambassador, Mason is looking forward to sledding another winter in the backcountry. Growing up in central Alberta hasn't stopped him from moving to Sicamous and working out of Malakwa for the winter season. He has completed Avalanche Canada AST 1 and 2 courses and will be taking his 80 hour Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche Operations 1 courses this season. All of which has given him an understanding of how important it is to be prepared on the mountain. Mason's passion for riding has shown him many opportunities and he's lucky enough to have support from businesses within the snowmobiling community, as well as other riders. All of this combined has solidified Mason's goals to promote training within the avalanche field while continuing to grow the sport.
Lucy (she/her) grew up in the UK, climbing and hiking as much as she could. She moved to the Bow Valley in 2021, swapping rainy Welsh quarries for big snowy mountains. Alongside ski instructing, Lucy is in her final year of the Timberline Outdoor Adventure Guide Diploma. In her first season she got her AST 1 and 2 and was quickly hooked on ski touring. She is going for her Avalanche Operations Level 1 this season, and is enjoying nerding out about snow science, whilst working towards becoming a ski guide. When the snow disappears, Lucy spends her summer climbing and mountaineering.