Story by Lexi Dupont
Deep in the Monashee Mountains of the British Columbian backcountry, nestled amongst an amphitheater of dream-worthy sendy pillow stacks and perfectly gladed old growth trees, lies the Blanket Glacier Chalet. The rustic “Eh” Frame is a historic landmark in the Revelstoke area, known for providing shred fans with a “Best Time Of Your Life” experience. The remote location is only accessible by helicopter reserving its seven months of glory for those dedicated to the life-long sacrifice of searching for deep, bottomless pow. Completely off the grid, the Blanket runs on solar power, a wood burning stove and a man-powered bucket brigade to haul water from the nearby stream. If you find yourself amongst the chosen ones to experience this remote splendor you can thank the Shaffer family for welcoming you into their home and guiding you through this magnificent land.
Corey Seeman gets stylish on a down day. Liam Doran photo.
Marty Schaffer grew up at the Blanket Glacier Chalet, shaping him into the true mountain man that he is. Before he was 10 years old, he was already guiding guests around his backyard. Keen to hike to the top as fast as he could ski down, a strong love for sharing the outdoors with others was deeply imbedded in his blood. Marty is known for his impressive skiing ability, admirable mountain knowledge, exuberant laughter at any and all moderately funny jokes – and a motivation to set people up for success and providing people with the tools to make good choices in the mountains. Marty went on to study his ass off in regard to snow science and backcountry safety and is one of the youngest Canadians to receive the ACMG Ski Guide certificate and become a CAA professional member. A few years ago, Marty bought the chalet from his parents Al and Marion to continue the Shaffer legacy, only now under the name CAPOW. Marty has put a spin on traditional guiding operations with a new “local surf shop” vibe to offer life changing experiences to outdoor enthusiasts. CAPOW is based in Revelstoke, at the heart of the avalanche safety world, and has become the leader of a new age backcountry movement.
Greg Hope airs out the laundry. Liam Doran photo.
Last winter, Marty extended the invitation to a group of friends to come celebrate all that the Blanket has to offer. Lexi duPont, Anna Segal, Greg Hope, and Cory Seeman traveled north to sample the tasty treat of a mid-winter BC snow pack and disconnect from the helter-skelter modern world. They were welcomed by over three meters of snow and sunshine!!! The snow globe of a location had been on a constant shaking rhythm of everlasting snowfall all season and these four lucky skiers arrived just in time to harvest the beautiful pillow lines. Five days of nothing but stacking shots, eating good food prepared by Heidi Shaffer, a sparkly bright light wearing a constant ear-to-ear grin, resulted in nothing but gut-wrenching laughter and happiness. It was as they predicted: the best time of their life.
Anna Segal finds a sizable air outside the Chalet. Liam Doran photo.
Guiding isn’t just about identifying hazards, it’s about finding good snow. And the Shaffer family has perfected the ideal recipe. Marty is constantly learning the new additions towards safety and snow science to remain at the forefront of the industry, all while utilizing his backyard as the stage to his movement. There is a plethora of new strategies and efficiencies that must remain current in order to build confidence in his guides and his guests. The mountains are constantly changing; the weather, the environment, the people and it is easy to get fixated and forget to look around. CAPOW in its Blanket Glacier arena is a reminder to keep your eyes out and notice the subtitles to stay safe and have a damn good time doing it. We want every day to be a successful day when exposing ourselves to this environment. We accept a level of risk out there but there is an all-encompassing fulfillment with the reality of this life style. Thank you Shaffer family for leading the guiding educational movement and including the die hard, powder hounds, in your good vibe tribe.