High Stakes in Big Mountains: Interview with Josh Bibby

BCA athlete Josh Bibby has been in the game since the twilight of his teens. Growing up in the heartland of Canadian ski country didn’t hurt, but Josh’s pro-skiing career took off when most kids were still perfecting beer bong skills and trying to stay out of jail. This determination and early vision allowed him to make appearances in Level 1 Productions, Poor Boyz and Warren Miller Entertainment films. At the age of 29, he now resides in Squamish B.C. and calls Whistler Blackcomb his home hill. Bibby slowed down enough, after recently completing an AST-1 Canadian Avalanche Course, to share his thoughts on mentors, Thai food, avalanche education and high stakes big mountain terrain.


 

The draw to the mountains is always the search of finding something different and skiing bigger lines. I love the freedom and exploration of skiing, both within yourself and the places you can go. Skiing has taken me all over the world, taught me endless life lessons and helped me spend time with life-long friends. As athletes we always want to push ourselves and see what we are capable of. Ultimately, just being in the mountains and enjoying the moment is priceless.

My mentor was my dad, big time. He taught me to ski and was my coach for about 8 years. He always taught me to have fun skiing and get the most out of it.

Thai spicy for me would be around 3 to 4

I always floss then brush. The other way around doesn’t make any sense.

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Josh playing buried and “letting people poke me with probes just to see what it feels like” during his AST-1.

Avalanche Education is extremely important because your life and your friends’ lives depend on it. I was lucky enough to have an easy progression to the backcountry and usually skied with people who were very knowledgeable and willing to teach me. It is always important to respect the terrain and understand what areas could be dangerous and where your safe zones are. Once you take a few courses, it helps you question yourself and your choices out in the mountains so that you are more aware of your environment and yourself. There is a responsible and safe way to do everything. There is really no excuse for taking unnecessary risks.

I recently took an AST-1 course (thanks to BCA) to keep myself educated and thinking about avalanche conditions. It’s always good to brush up, put yourself through different scenarios of potential burials, to look at avalanche paths and the possible injuries that you could sustain. I also have taken a first responder course so I can help if someone needs it in the backcountry. You can never be too prepared and have enough respect for the mountains and the snowpack.

My go-to gear is the Tracker3 beaconFloat 22, 35cm Snow Saw, B-2 Ext Shovel and Stealth Probe. I don’t use boot gloves, but I do use boot heaters when it’s cold enough.