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Original Issue

Skiing Canada's Big Back Country

From the top the slopes fall away for 10 miles or more of unbroken snow and there is every chance that man has never set boot or ski on any of it. This is a new ski world, so vast that it could swallow Switzerland and half of winter Europe. Starting from the suitably gigantic hotel at Banff, the snowfields of British Columbia alone run 400 miles wide and 1,000 miles deep and, subtracting a Mont Blanc or two, the Alps would come only waist high on most of the Canadian peaks. Here a man can jump into a different skiing dimension, as do expert Jim McConkey at right and the other adventurers on the pages that follow, carving pioneer turns all the way down.

Dropped by helicopter, experts Rip McManus, Terje Overland and Rod Hebron rally for a run into Cariboo powder, led by Hermann Frank.

Skiing the timberline at right, Jack Ciulla heads for a Cariboo valley. On the next page, McConkey and Mike Stein knife along a Whistler ridge.

Swinging down the vast snowfield of Fitzsimmons Glacier near Whistler, three ski explorers run into a problem: what do we do—go up, or down?