Chris Smardenka began skiing at three years old and moved to Golden four winters ago.

Local skier Smardenka competes in second Wrangle the Chute

Chris Smardenka moved to Golden four years ago and participated in his second Wrangle the Chute this past weekend.

Chris Smardenka learned to ski at three years of age at Blue Mountain ski resort in Collingwod, Ontario but moved out to Golden four years ago in order to take advantage of the much better skiing opportunities in Western Canada.

This past weekend, Smardenka was one of a handful of locals to qualify to compete in Wrangle the Chute. It was Smardenka’s second straight year in the competition and he managed to post a respectable 40.50 two run score, good enough for 27th place in the men’s skiing division. On his second run, Smardenka jumped into Dare and hit the jump off the tree triangle half way down the chute before making his way to the finish line at the base, earning him a score of 22.17 from the judges.

“It was fun (out there today). It’s mixed emotions though, it’s fun, exciting, scary and nerve wracking,” Smardenka said. “It’s fresh powder though so it’s worth it.”

Smardenka admits he is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and part of the attraction to steep, dangerous chutes like Truth and Dare at Kicking Horse is the fear factor.

“It gets your heart going, and you have to try and get over that at the beginning (of the run) and calm yourself down,” he said.

Wrangle’s change of venue to Terminator North was a welcome one for Smarkdenka.

“It’s a much longer run which is nice, you get to enjoy it a little more and more options to hit…it’s definitely not easy and it’s the best of the best out here,” he said.

Smardenka works as a mountain guide and ski instructor in the winters and spends his summers back in Ontario at Wasaga Beach, where he works as a bartender in order to save up as much money as he can for his annual trip out west.

Not surprisingly, during the summer he enjoys water sports like wake boarding and swimming.

Eventually, however, he’d like to make Golden his permanent home and it’s more than just the skiing that keeps Smardenka coming back.

“Not only is the mountain awesome but the town is pretty chill, it’s a pretty small town and has a good vibe to it and everybody knows everybody….it’s awesome,” he said.

Just Posted

Two killed in two-vehicle crash on Highway 1

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Your weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top stories… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Five smart money moves for new graduates

Submitted Thousands of young Canadians graduated last month and many are scratching… Continue reading

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Most Read