25 Jan 2014

Article: Tennille Barber  

Rob Hoff is just one of the many sledders that comes to Revelstoke to shred pow, however the more you chat with him the more you realize, he won’t fit in the box you might put him in with all the rest.  After meeting him I decided it was definitely time Revelstokians take notice.  His mantra and riding style just fit, one would think he’d lived here all along.

In fact, he lives in Alpine, Wyoming, 35 miles south of Jackson Hole and has for 12 years.  A smaller town than Revy, Alpine is around 8-900 people.  In the lower 48, he says it’s probably the best place to ski and snowmobile due to the fact that the conditions are usually fairly safe and the snow is super dry.  He calls the zones similar to Revy except mini and a bit steeper.  Average up high in the mountains there, is 500 inches of snow per season, 40ft of snow.  “It’s just alot bigger here in Revy,” he says.  At home he sleds straight from his cabin at around 6000ft, topping out at 10,000ft, meaning their mountains are at a higher elevation, but the valleys aren’t as big.  The plus side to that is he arrives here in Revelstoke and doesn’t get as winded when he’s out ripping here in Canada.  “I sleep at 6000ft.”  It’s got to be a huge advantage.

Something I noticed about Rob is that he’s very health conscious.  He avoids dairy and gluten, and stretches every night when he comes home from a hard day of ripping.  “Literally I’ve ridden the last 7 days and I’m not sore.  I could ride tomorrow.  I think it’s just eating right.  I think if you eat a light, healthy diet, you can be a strong athlete, the older you get.”  He’s 38 years old, but he looks much younger.

Single track motocross is all over where he lives, so not only can he sled from his door but also dirtbike, the terrain and infrastructure where he lives is well developed world class level and keeps him on the throttle in the summertime.  Some of his other sports are downhill mountain biking and whitewater kayaking, two of the gnarlier non-motorized sports IMO.  He keeps his pockets full as a carpenter building Mackenzie Landing (the mansions on RMR ski hill) level houses.  “If I wasn’t a carpenter I would probably be a photographer.”  A passion of his, a couple of his photos can be seen in this year’s photo annual of Sledheads.  He’s had two cover photos on Sledheads and been in catalogues as well as commercials for Skidoo.

Rob’s plans include a tentative move to Revy, maybe just the winters, however I’m willing to bet he’ll stay for the summer when he realizes the potential for fun here in the summer too.  He calls his present home a close second to best.  He loves the chill atmosphere here, and all the people.  “I’ve made alot of good friends here, I get excited to come visit a couple times a year.”

His favorite place to ride in Revelstoke is Zippermouth Creek, which I’m starting to realize is a polite way to tell me, a journalist, that it’s none of my $*)%ing business.  The places he and his buddies ride are mostly, because of their abilities, advanced terrain and super secret.  Rob Alford had a hand in introducing him to some of these goodies back in 2010.  Amazingly, both these boys were advanced skiers before they were sledders.  “Watching some of the Slednecks movies, I would just fast forward to his part and Geoff Kyle’s part, so my riding style is kind of after their riding style.” He lists off some of the popular well known zones he’s hit over the years, Begbie, Area 51, Turtle and Eagle’s Pass, saying anything here is good when it’s snowing, really.  Riding a 2014 Skidoo XM 163, he can’t imagine riding anything else.

He started Sick Day Adventures 3 years ago.  His aim has been to educate kids and women on riding, terrain navigation, and avalanche safety.  I can’t say I’ve ever heard of any camps with this specific goal, especially not one operated by a man.  Extremely admirable.  He hopes to take these camps up to Revelstoke next year.  Togatee Mountain Lodge in Wyoming is his tenure area, and he runs a 2 day camp.  Out the backdoor of this lodge is the Bridger/Teton mountain range, 3 million acres or so of National Forest.  Snake River, Wyoming, and Salt River Ranges are also nearby.  My feeling is that if you took a sick day with Rob you’d definitely go on a great adventure.

His enthusiasm for the mountains is evident. “Just being here, and being in the alpine, the energy it gives me personally… I can’t even explain it.  The energy when I was on top of Turtle the other day made me smile from toe to head.”  That’s a pretty big smile.  “It’s hard to explain to people… they say oh you’re going to Canada again…”  You my friend, are welcome back to my neighborhood, anytime.