January 31st, 2018

Riley Suhan Gets The Green Light To Ride Kicking Horse Mountain Resort


Ever been to a ski hill and thought to yourself, man! I would love to ride my sled up here…? Well, you’re not alone. Yet we all know perfectly well that joyriding a sled around a ski resort is a great way to get arrested in a hurry. That is unless you have 509, the Golden Snowmobile Club, Tourism Golden and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (KHMR) in your corner; all working together to help make the dream of one lucky rider come true.




That fortunate sledder is none other than born-and-bred Golden, BC local, Riley Suhan. Suhan has spent his entire life looking up at the peaks that dominate the skyline to the west of town. The peaks that, since 1986, have been off-limits to anyone astride a recreational motorized vehicle.



But that changed for two days last April when Suhan was given the green light to unleash his sled on the rugged ski slopes of KHMR for a special segment in 509 Volume 12.



Riley Suhan gets a green light to shred the ski slopes of his hometown Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

A lot of planning goes into filming at the best of times. But when so many parties must be involved, the window of opportunity to get shots in the can is often finite and absolute. Two days of shooting (no more, no less) were scheduled well in advance, and the segment would be filmed regardless of conditions.



When the time came, Mother Nature, in her whimsy, unfortunately decided that the film crew should battle low visibility and overcast conditions for much of the shoot. Without the warmth of the sun to heat up the late-spring snow on the upper mountain, it was frozen stiff. Suhan was largely confined to gooning around at the base of the mountain where it was warmer.



The consummate professional that he is, Suhan took to the features of the lower mountain like a champ. He made use of berms, banks, and cattracks to launch his sled before the unconventional backdrop of ski-hill infrastructure. It was fun to watch Suhan find creative ways to incorporate unique features—like a steel staircase—into his riding.




When the clouds did eventually break, the crew was ready. They were prepared to make the most of the good light and softening snow in the alpine. There was no holding back for Suhan at that point. He’d been handed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shred the off-limits peaks of Kicking Horse. The opportunity would not go to waste; 509 Volume 12 will forever serve as a reminder of the time that Suhan and his sled rode roughshod over the ski hill.


Kicking Horse



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