Freq Week VII
Unlike Star Wars, Lollapalooza or Van Halen albums, Freq Week has somehow managed to only produce better sequels to the original. Forget about Ewoks and Van Hagar, the key is to progress, not regress. And Baldface is on the forefront of snowboard progression (see recent Red Bull extravaganza and intergalactic shred championships). In the case of Freq Week VII, held March 29-April 1, this progression may also be due in part to a return from original Freq Week winner Patrick O’Neill. It really says something about a place when someone will plunk down the dollars for a return, when they’ve already gotten it for free. But Baldface is that kind of place…
With the usual suspects and a few new faces including: Freq Fan Numero Uno Marcel Dolak, photog emeritus Tony Welch, Jimmie James Lynn, Ryan and Jami Davis of Lib Tech, Tim Lawler, Nick Felt, Chris Bowlin, Maxx Von Marbod from Pow gloves, Evil’s Bike’s own outlaw Kevin Walsh, our Viking friends Christine and Stian by way of NYC, this year’s big winner Kristian Jelm, Kevin Sansalone from Sandbox, Dennis Dusseldrop from Betalion, other readers and friends, and us Freqs: Jessie Lu, Jessie Carlson, Matt Wibby, John Laing and myself – all were ready to get their Freq on.
Featuring an absurd amount of light pow, our session defied any talk of it being too late (spring in Kootenays is like fishing in Alaska in June; It’s just going to be good, period). From Moose Knuckle to Cherry Tops to Craig’s Cross, every single run was fresh, every single turn was dreamy. It’s ultimately somewhat hard to describe the experience at Baldface because it is so unlike any other operation; a helicopter drops you off at a lodge that one would construct in dreams. You get up every morning to amazing food, you get in a ‘cat, you go up, you make the most surreal turns of your life. It becomes a myopic daze of powder, shakas and laughter, followed by cold Kokanees, ribeye steaks, chocolate sculptures you eat and night caps. The last night the staff parties harder than the guests. And unlike other operations where the staff is sequestered and somewhat nameless, the Baldface family becomes your family and vice versa for a week. At the house that Craig built, Jeff and Paula Pensiero, Marina, Stella, Dave, Homie J, Bonney M and guides Demian, Andy and Mark take care of you like no one else, while being a real part of the esprit de corps of your experience. It’s the Real Freqin’ Deal.
It was cool to see the new lodge construction as well, with a soundproofed and well-lit lounge area separated from the new lodge rooms, including several suites with private baths. We stayed in the chalets as per usual; it’s hard not to opt for unbroken alpine vistas in a private cabin.
We had the fortune of holding this year’s Freq Week on Craig’s birthday (April 1). For anyone who knew the man, his birthday was incredibly apropos for the sheer joy he would derive from pranks. I recall once having to explain to a Chilean innkeeper how one of our mattresses ended up landing three floors down in the lobby at midnight -- while Craig Elmer Kelly cackled deviously from the sidelines… but that’s another story. Although the practical jokes didn’t get out of control, Tony Welch did manage to announce to the world that he and his wife were having twins with a great deal of congratulatory texts until folks starting thinking about it.
As we wound down to the lower pick-up and the A Stars came to take us away, one could only sigh and zen out on the awesomeness that was Freq Week VII.
Sign up now for next year; it’ll sell out again and those turns will only get dreamier.
Freq Week VIII: All Boba Fett, no Jar Jar Binks.
Main photo: Jamie Warner.
Video courtesy Jamie Warner and Baldface and edited by Sebastian Garber.
Gallery: Most of the names have been left off of the photos to protect the innocent.
Week of Freq
SOUNDS LIKE IRON MAIDEN?