There is a seismic shift happening in mountain culture and outdoor adventure right now. Female athletes, rescuers, guides, and recreationalists are getting more representation, becoming more prevalent, and gaining the respect they’ve always deserved. Sylvia Forest and Danyelle Magnan, who star in the Arc’teryx film “The Pass,” have been at the forefront of that shift most of their lives.
The film is centered around their work on one of the most dangerous and avalanche-heavy zones along the Trans-Canada Highway: Rogers Pass.
The road passes through 134 avalanche paths. It experiences over 2,000 avalanches (controlled and otherwise) every single year. For decades, skiers were not allowed to recreate there. The use of Howitzer cannons to control avalanches made it too dangerous.
That was, until Forest and Mangan came along.
Showing the World What’s Possible at Rogers Pass
Forest was already a leader in the world of mountain guides, and avalanche safety when she got involved at Rogers Pass in the ’90s. She became one of the architects of the progressive Rogers Pass permit system, designed to keep skiers safe from the cannon fire and snow slides that make the mountain pass so dangerous.
The system has been in place since 1995. As a result, Rogers Pass has become a premier backcountry ski destination.
Forest would later mentor Magnan, who would become a force in the world of avalanche safety and forecasting. Mangen similarly had a background in remote backcountry rescue and ski guiding. She had looked up to Forest for most of her career. And eventually, Magnan would become the first woman on the Rogers Pass Avalanche Forecasting Team — one of the most elite in the world.
In the Arc’teryx film “The Pass,” the two female legends meet up for their first backcountry tour in nearly a decade — at Rogers Pass. They reflect on their journeys, the industry, the pressure, and high-risk elements of their jobs. And they discuss why they have such a fiery passion for what they do.