In fly-fishing circles, BC’s Skeena River reverberates with a mystical, legendary character. Last spring Eddie Bauer Sport Shop guides Lucas St. Clair and Andrew Bennett landed at Skeena Spey Lodge in an attempt to confirm if the rumors were indeed true. After the trip—which included cold days on big tributaries, an abundance of wild, native steelhead and even a Richard Sherman fly—we asked St. Clair to explain what makes the Skeena so special and so spectacular. Then we asked him to underscore the importance of conservation in a sacred river system and natural ecosystem that draws sport fisherman from around the globe. He supplied a powerful message on preservation as both a responsibility and a necessity.
Eddie Bauer Sport Shop guide Andrew Bennett is no stranger to big fish. After more than a decade operating lodges on the Dean River in British Columbia, the Kanektok River in Alaska, and on South Andros Island in the Bahamas—and now with his newfound leisure time fishing in Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest—Bennett has hooked into some heavyweight salmon and steelhead. For the biggest rivers and biggest fish—such as BC’s legendary Skeena River that he fished last spring—he is a convert to spey fishing with two-handed rods, a method that originated in Scotland but has become increasingly popular in the big-river salmon and steelhead venues of the Pacific Northwest coast. In his latest instructional overview, Bennett breaks down why spey is now the professional method of choice for big-river fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
For the past month, it seemed like the entire First Ascent ski team was in South America. The steady stream of powder images in our feeds made us envious. But when we actually counted it was five of the rippers on our roster who were making the most of the best South America season in a decade. One of those pro shreds on location was Lexi duPont, who sent us this personal gallery from a Smith team trip to Bariloche, Argentina with her trademark charging optimism and more than a few extra exclamation points. Based on her stoke and these images, we can tell it was a really, really good trip.
Drew Tabke has spent so much time skiing in South America, some would consider him akin to a seasonal expat expert on the topic of Southern Hemisphere shredding. Yet for the last seven years his SA seasons have been a bit thin, with a serious powder snow drought in the warming Andes. This year, however, was different with a six-foot storm hammering Chile and Argentina as he arrived for a trip to the big yellow cruise ship of Ski Portillo, a journey to the end of the road ruggedness of Ski Arpa and a week in residence in his home away from home, the Chilean ski town of Farellones. Between cat trips, touring missions and Powder Magazine stories, we tracked Tabke down for a report.
When Reggie Crist rolls, he rolls in style. Staying true to a big-line worldview that includes heli time, endless global powder and occasionally a rooftop landing on a towering skyscraper to access a five-star luxury hotel was part of his program in South America this season. As our second gallery from the deep ski season in South America, Reggie provided us his vantage point and overview on guiding more than a few stable, deep and spectacular heli lines in the vast Andean terrain around Valle Nevado, Chile that holds runs up to six-thousand-feet in vertical, adrenaline-inducing drop. It’s an impressive summer ski vacation tale that even involves a heli-guiding cameo by Lynsey Dyer and a heli drop stopover at the W Hotel in Santiago.
For anyone who has been paying attention, it’s not news that the ski and shred season in South America has been firing this year. For the past few weeks our Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with an endless stream of deep powder and blue-sky images from Southern Hemisphere hot spots such as Portillo, Valle Nevado and Cerro Catedral. We’ve been a little envious. And, as you would expect the Eddie Bauer First Ascent ski and shred team has been part of the professional migration. To celebrate the their good fortune, we’re running their visual recaps all week long from being in SA when the legendary Santa Rosa storms hit. First on our list is Eddie Bauer snowboard guide Chris Coulter, who has spent nearly a decade of southern Patagonian winters guiding SASS Global Travel campers around the spectacular Cerro Catedral backcountry near the mountain town of Bariloche, Argentina.
At Eddie Bauer, we advocate for an outdoor, active culture. Our crew at HQ bikes, climbs, skis, camps, fishes and travels, both in the vast wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest and throughout North America. But some of our employees are more active than others. One of those exceptionally active individuals is Eddie Bauer brand historian Colin Berg, who recently tackled a 1,000-mile bike ride through Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana as part of the Bike the US for MS charity ride. Against consistent headwinds, braving endless rumble strips and on lonely open roads, he pedaled his ride from Minneapolis, MN, to Malta, MT. When his legs recovered, he provided us with his open road perspective on the journey.