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British Columbia, Canada has long been the proving grounds for professional skiers looking to test their mettle in the powder and big mountains. With seemingly endless snowfall and natural terrain aplenty, it’s easy to tell why. For many years Level 1 Productions has traveled to this paradise to shoot countless drool-inducing powder segments. This year’s trip featured some of the Level 1 crew’s rising stars, Ben Smith, Ethan Swadburg, and Laurent De Martin, in addition to stalwarts like Tatum Monod, Wiley Miller, and KC Dean. We checked in with British Columbia rookies Smith, Swadburg, and LDM to hear about their experience stepping onto the big stage that is BC. From Colorado and Switzerland respectively, these skiers weren’t new to powder and big mountain skiing, but BC presents its own unique challenges and offerings. Learn about them here:  
evo: Who came to BC this year?
Ben: This was my first time in BC. Swaz (Swadburg) and I both sent it to Revy together not really knowing what to expect. Our plan was to build jumps for two weeks. That quickly changed.
Ethan: It was Ben, our filmer Robin Lee, and my first time in BC. We also linked up with Tatum and KC who both are really experienced in BC
LDM: I came with Josh Berman, it was one of the goal of the winter to shoot pow. With a really bad winter in Europe, I had to move to US / Canada to try to film some. The first plan was to go to Washington, but quickly changed & we went up north to BC.

evo: For you newbies, how’d it go? Any surprises?
Ben: In pretty much all the zones, it's like being a kid in a candy shop. There is so many options and lines, that you get really excited. I suppose I sometimes overstepped my skill level. But I'm glad I did. Makes you more aware of what line to ski and how to go about it.
Ethan: It was completely mind opening. I had never seen terrain like that in person, so everyday was crazy. Like Ben said, we planned on building jumps for two weeks but we got completely sidetracked because of how much fun it was to just ski the terrain as it is.
LDM : As a first experience in the backcountry outside Europe, it was really mind opening. That terrain was amazing but, man, I thought a snowmobile would be way easier to drive. In europe, we’re kind of jealous of snowmobiles, we have the feeling that it’s so easy to go out there with a snowmobile & do whatever you want, but no, it’ way harder than that. Even longer than trekking when you’re a noob :)

evo: What is it about BC that’s so special?
Ben: For me, it's being out there with just a few people, and skiing terrain that is really dope. It makes it more special than being on a resort racing to get to your favorite run so that you can ski it before it's tracked out. When you do that you miss all the little things. It's as close as I can get to to a raw form of skiing, and I like that.
LDM: Definitely the number of possibility & spots that you have. You can go to so many different sick places.
evo: How do you find the lines and features you ride?
Ben: Pretty much just get to a zone and start picking them out. A lot of who you're with goes into that. With Ethan, we’re good at communicating so we let each other know right away what we want to ski, and how we can help the other one out in any way possible so we can try to get some shots. Everyone I've skied with this year has been super helpful, and worked as a team which is awesome.
Ethan: Definitely just ride it as you come upon it. As soon as we see things we want to ski we figure a way to get up on it and fire it up. Everyone has a special eye for things they want to ski and how they want to ski it. Ben and I have always had a really good chemistry skiing and filming together and it translated well into the backcountry. We know what each other is capable of and we like to ski different things so it works out really well.

evo: Snowmobiles. Love them? Hate them? Love/hate relationship?
Ben: Love em.
Ethan: haha love/hate. Still getting around the learning curve but I bought a new ‘sheen this summer and I’m super amped to get out on it.
LDM: ahaha that’s a good one... As a first timer, I definitely hate it ahah but when access a sick spot with no tracks, that’s love for sure. I feel like it that it’s a hard relationship to get started, but as soon as it works, you will never let it go.

evo: Best BC moment this year?
Ben: The line I skied where where the cover of the movie was shot. That was my first time on skis in Revy ever. I ate it. We went back 3 days later with 2 feet of fresh pow, and I got it. That felt good. But really no bad days.
Ethan: Same, never going to forget the first mini-golf lines we skied in BC. That was crazy! Pretty much everyday was awesome, whether we were getting shots or dealing with broken sleds, we were all really stoked to just be out there.
LDM: The first & only sunny day in Pemby. We went all the way to the glacier, the conditions were amazing, but at the same time, a bit scary to snowmobile up there.

evo: Any tips, tricks, or recommendations for others wanting to ski in BC?
Ben: Anyone who is starting out, listen and ask as many questions as you can to people who know what they're talking about. Being out with some of the more experienced guys has taught me a lot.
Ethan: Books and classes are awesome but nothing beats good ol experience. You can learn a lot from going out with people who are more experienced than you. Stay smart, respect the mountain!
LDM: Know how to drive a snowmobile ahah