dave norona photos/for metro vancouver


Dave Norona attacks the ice-climbing wall at Apex Mountain Resort.

It was a gorgeous day as Kim Duess and I left the busy city behind us and headed up the Crow’s Nest Highway toward Penticton, B.C. Sharp snow covered peaks surrounded us as we cruised through Manning Park with the sun warming our bodies through the sunroof.

Just four and a half hours later we were ascending the road to Apex Mountain Resort as the sun sunk below the mountains. We were just in time to check into our amazing accommodations at the Apex Mountain Inn and hit the hot tub. Soon the stars were out in full force and a full moon loomed off in the distance while we drank beer and relaxed.

The next morning we awoke to sunny skies and we could not wait to hit the hill. Apex is known for it’s amazing terrain and as we boarded the Quickdraw High-Speed Chair the adrenalin in my body started to boil.

We warmed up on the fast steep pitches of Juniper and Ridge Run before heading off to the double black diamond runs of Gunbarrel, Twentytwo and our personal favourite, Gromit.

Apex is unlike any other interior mountain, although it has a ton of intermediate terrain, it is the unique steep terrain that makes it so popular. On a powder day these runs are incredible and since most of the mountain is north facing you get great soft pack powder conditions even if there has been no snow for a few days.

After hammering our legs all day, Kim and I unwound with a drink in our outdoor hot tub watching the sun drop for the night.

The following morning we went to a giant outdoor ice climbing gym. Before we knew it, we were kitted out with crampons, helmets and ice axes and were climbing our way up the 15-metre high ice face.

The instructors kindly helped us refine our technique as we both edged our way to the top. This is the only type of ice climbing gym of its kind in Western Canada and is amazingly fun. Check out www.corporateheights.cafor more on this awesome adventure and Jim’s guiding services.

  • If you’re looking for a great place to spend Spring Break with the kids filled with exciting adventures, then head up to Apex Mountain Resort and experience it all. www.apexresort.comor 1-877-777-2739.


Dave has travelled the world to challenge some of its toughest races. He has raced in over 400 events throughout his career, and hopes his passion will excite you to get involved in your own wild adventures. Visit www.noronalife.comfor more info.

gear guide

Oakley Hardcore Pant

Description: Stay warm and dry in these cool winter ski/board pants from Oakley. Waterproof breathable, fully taped seams, and inner thigh vents allow you to let cool air in on those sweet sunny days.

Price: $180

Where to find it: www.oakley.ca

Black Diamond Viper Adze

Description: Black Diamond’s Viper Ice Axe is the perfect tool for technical ice and mixed climbing routes. Super light 7075 aluminum shaft, stainless steel hammerhead, and comfortable dual-density TPU grip.

Price: $161

Where to find it: www.blackdiamondequipment.com

Camelbak Honcho Pack

Description: This Honcho pack from Camelbak is perfect for any winter adventure. At 31 litres it will hold all your essential items along with skis or snowshoes and the air mesh harness enhances ventilation to keep you dry and comfortable all day.

Price: $189

Where to find it: www.ogc.ca

Kahtoola Micro-Spikes

Description: The Kahtoola micro-spike is a slip on traction system for you shoes or boots while out on ice, snow or wet rocks. You will walk with confidence in any conditions with these on your feet.

Price: $59

Where to find it: www.kahtoola.com

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