Kevin Giffin, who has worked as a ski patroller at Fernie Alpine Resort in B.C. for the past 10 years, says filming for Warren Miller alongside world-class athletes was “an opportunity of a lifetime for a guy like me.”
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN SKI PATROLLING AND WHAT DRIVES YOU EACH DAY AS SKI PATROL DIRECTOR AT FERNIE?
Like a lot of people, I started in the industry as a liftie. I loved being a liftie, but I thought ski patrolling looked like a pretty fun job, so after a few years I got the certifications. In my opinion, it’s the best job at the resort. You put your ski boots on in the morning and you’re in them all day. Like any other job at the resort, you’ve got to go do your work, but half of ski patrolling is skiing. That’s what’s so awesome about it.
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN AS A SKI PATROLLER?
There are endless stories, from antics that happen at work to the funniest ways people have gotten hurt. Most of the crazy things that happened at the resort are ancient
history. Between liability and social media, a lot of those things have gone away.
SO, IT’S NOT LIKE HOT DOG...THE MOVIE ANYMORE?
Well, we actually have a Hot Dog day at Fernie and some of the most awesome stuff that happens on the mountain happens on that day. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of snowboarders and skiers come dressed up in old-school gear. It’s incredible.
WHICH WOULD BE WORSE: FALLING WHILE WORKING SKI PATROL OR WHILE BEING FILMED FOR WARREN MILLER?
Definitely falling while working on ski patrol. At least if I fall during a Warren Miller shoot, maybe they’ll cut it out! If I fall in uniform, especially if it’s under a lift, two things will happen: 1) I’ll owe people a whole bunch of beers; 2) there will be endless ridicule I’ll face in the pub afterward.
LEFT: Richardson and Caston on a mission to sample some of the fresh snow above the town of Lyngseidet. OPPOSITE: Caston finds solitude in one of the many couloirs found in the Tromsø backcountry. Tromsø, set in the Arctic Circle, draws tourists to cruise the fjord, whalewatch, fish, take in the Northern Lights and, of course, shred down its steep mountainsides to the seas below.