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

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Golden Sound Fest takes hiatus until 2020, unless funds can be raised

After a huge year for Golden Sound Festival, the festival coordinators have… Continue reading

Your weekly Mountain Minute news recap

The Golden Star’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

Business Profile: Kal Tire wants you to have great winter tires

By Sarah Wegelin Kal Tire has been providing service to the community… Continue reading

Rockets defeated on the road

The Golden Rockets suffered two back to back losses in their away… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read