The name of this area we call Pirates Cove got the name from a group of guys who call themselves the “Snow Pirates”. They named the area pirates cove because the first area has a u-shape like a cove, plus it’s a tucked in, out of the place zone on Boulder that no one ever rides because when you look down into the first bowl (there are 2, one above the other) the drop in is significant and there appears to be no way out other than back up a very steep incline, so most people come to the top – look and turn around to play in other areas. We found this spot by looking down – and we too were unsure if we could make it up , so we set out to find a way in from the bottom, that was no easy task and took several trips and hard slogging to find an acceptable way in. Those were great times and fun adventures as we searched out a route in very technical terrain, but we had many laughs and good stories. In the end we found a way up to the bowl we had looked down upon, and so we knew we had a way out once we dropped in and could take down and out if we could not climb back up. There were many times we dropped in that several in the group did not think they would ever climb back out, sled technology was not there yet for everyone and so we would watch and laugh as several in the group would pound on the hill in hopes of getting up and out of the pirates cove. The area offered such a challenge that one group member actually made decals and presented them to anyone who made the climb up and out of the “cove”, if you received a decal they became a “Snow Pirate” and most people proudly displayed the snow pirate sticker on their sled as a badge of honour. So, now that you know a bit about the pirates cove, our story begins with our desire to “drop the cove “ on Saturday January 3rd. The cove has 2 significant creek drainages running through the area, and with the low snow at lower elevations a couple snow pirates did an exploratory ride into the bottom end of the cove to ensure that the last drainage down was passable, that the creek holes were either not too big or at least the creek was navigable. The day before our planned trip to drop the cove, the two pirates did the exploratory jaunt and determined that, while the creek was not completely covered, it at least was passable with some finesse. So the day was set for Saturday and the conditions were excellent, blue skies, a bit chilly, but we would be sweating soon, so that was a minor inconvenience. We left the parking lot, up the trail, past Boulder cabin and up and over to the top of the Pirates Cove. We were a group of 7, bigger than we usually have, but 4 of us have been up and down the Pirates Cove several times while 3 were going to experience the Cove for the first time. As our group arrived at the top of the drop in, we stopped, as the drop in looked steeper than usual, plus with the early snow coverage we wanted to make sure the drop in was safe for everyone to proceed. So we took a cautious approach as myself and “G-Raf” (a nickname story for another time) heading down into the Cove, after we dropped in we called the others down on the radio. The snow was fresh and all untouched of course and we quickly banged up the main area while G-Raf and Robbie and I headed of into the trees to explore a shelf we have looked at but never ridden. There we found a lake we have seen on Google earth and explored a shelf we think might lead into the backside of Polaris bowl. We explored for a while and then headed back to the group and rounded everyone up so we could drop into the next area below the first bowl. We had to traverse through a partially filled creek, the creek was a challenge to navigate, so we popped over a ridge and found a new aspect of the Cove that we didn’t know existed, we played there for a bit, then we found a route into the last big bowl lower down in the Cove. On the way there we had one of our Cove newbies fall into a giant hole in the creek (see the video below) and after some laughs and heavy lifting he was up and out and we spent some time banging up the last big bowl and the surrounding tree riding area. The last drop out of the Cove entailed traversing a sparsely filled in creek and down some steep faces (see video below) and then onto a trail that would bring us back to our trucks. We had a fantastic day dropping through the Pirates Cove, we had great snow, good tree and bowl riding, some good laughs and fun times – a perfect sledding day. While the 3 newbies to Pirates Cove do not get a pirate decal- you only get that for going up from the bottom and out the top- they did get to experience an aspect of Boulder that very few have had the pleasure to partake in and they can at least say they have been in the Cove, so maybe next time we will bring them up and out and they can get the coveted Snow Pirate sticker for their sled. So if you’re up on Boulder and you see a sled with the “Snow Pirate” sticker, go over, say hi and ask them to tell you their story of how they conquered the Pirates Cove.
When we were in the Cove we had some fun and some laughs
In the Cove TJ does a nice climb and hits a small feature - just missing a tree.
Morgan finds a hole in a creek as we maneuver down the cove.
G-Raf plays in the Cove
A Snow Pirate in the Cove
The last drop out of the Cove - it's a bit steep.
A beautiful sunset to complete the day of playing in the Pirates Cove
Revelstoke was pretty slow when we arrived on the night of December 18th, many Holiday sledders were still at work as the true Holiday rush starts with a frenzy on the 26th and goes hard until January 1st. Come January 1st, many sledders headed home, with a hangover I am sure, leaving much of the main sledding areas banged up, but there was lots of hidden fresh snow treasures to be had.
We are people that love sledding in the backcountry, we love getting out and away from the crowds and enjoying the challenge of the deep snow and mountains. We love the Revelstoke area, we believe it to be the best place to backcountry sled. We are people that dedicate a lot of time to becoming better sledders and we want to pass this passion onto others as we believe there is no better sport than sledding in the backcountry.