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Buff, John Buffery, by Dustin Lalik

From Travis Rice to Will Smith: How Buff is Keeping Everyone Safe. Curiosity killed the cat, but for others–like John Buffery–it's a path to endless adventure. Travis Rice tells me Buff's "maybe one of the few true role models I know personally. . . . He implements consciousness and kindness into all aspects of his life and it comes through in his teaching.” So who is Buff? June 30, 2018


Autonomy Mastery and Purpose in the Avalanche Patch: The psychology of risk-taking behaviour by Bruce Kay. Buff wrote the chapter titled 'Paradigm Shift'.


Behind the scenes look at Travis Rice's newest film. John Buffery was the lead mountain safety guide on set and featured in the film.


Every year at Baldface there's a tailored avalanche risk course for pro-riders. Communication is key. Photo by Dustin Lalik.


Tribute Snowboard shop hosted an evening where the public was able to listen and ask questions to Buff regarding his legendary career as one of top back country snowboard guides.

Spotting Hole in the Wall

Having the legendary mountain guide, John Buffery, jump in for the one hour flight from Nelson to Fernie put us right on top of it in no time. John had only seen it once many years before, and it's only that kind of mountain sense that could find such a unique formation amongst a mountain range that spans almost 45km. 2012. By Travis Rice.

When Stars Align - Baldface

John Buffery, a longtime Nelson resident and one of Canada’s most experienced mountain guides. Buffery was interested in the emerging Bigland idea of a cat-ski operation based at a high-elevation lodge, situated in a stunning, easily accessible collection of rolling ridgelines and subalpine peaks near Mount Grohman, a mere five-minute heli ride from Nelson. The Bigland crew saw Buffery as another crucial link to making their dream. Sept 2008.

Avalanche Patrol

John Buffery has spent the better part of three decades teaching avalanche safety and escorting professional and amateur skiers, snowboarders, filmmakers and vacationers into some of the most awe-inspiring and dangerous terrain on earth. December 2013. By Darren Hull.

John Buffery Interview

It’s rare to find a guide who’s able to relax and trust us to do our job as pro snowboarders yet has the experience and competency to ensure the safety of the project. February 2000. By Craig Kelly.

The Rise of the Snowboard Guide

Buffery continued to lead by example, and in 1999 pro icon Craig Kelly hired “Buff” as his personal splitboard guide. The pair traveled to destinations such as Iran, Japan, the Yukon and throughout the Canadian Rockies, where Buff guided Kelly into his famous Hole in the Wall line. While Buff was proving his job could be done on a split, the guide ranks were still officially shut to snowboarding. By Dan Kostrzewski.

3 Terrain Stages for Safely Riding

Buff’s been certified by the Association Of Canadian Mountain Guides since the ‘80s, he’s fought for the right of snowboarders like Craig Kelly to become certified guides, and has guided some of the biggest pros at Baldface Lodge. When it comes to the backcountry he’s seen it all. June 2015. By Gerhard Gross.

Kootenay Culture Magazine 2008

John Buffery is one of the most experienced and respected mountain guides in Canada. He's travelled the world, safely leading clients, pro athletes and cinematographers through some of the most spectacular, and consequently dangerous, mountain environments on the planet. While guiding a film crew off of a 36-metre helicopter armed yacht moored at the top of Knight's Inlet, Buffery would have one of the most harrowing experiences in his 28 years of work. 2008. Kootenay Culture Magazine.

In the Path of an Avalanche

In his courses, Buffery keeps his recounting of the avalanche factual and dry. He doesn’t give an opinion about the decisions that were made, but instead shows his students the data. “I just say, this is what I saw, and this is what we did.” For his part, he uses the accident as a teaching tool. “It brings people to understand the realness of it, the bigness of it. Not just lovely fluffy crystals falling out of the sky. It’s a mass in motion.” 2003. By Viven Bowers

Learn from your mistakes & survive.

The longtime Nelson, B.C., resident is one of the world’s most respected backcountry mountain guides, and he’s parlayed his intimacy with the province’s mountain ranges into a role as a senior avalanche officer for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. April 2011. By Jeff Beer.

Performer: John Buffery, Mountain Gu

Canadian Business audio records John Buffery. April 2011.

Skimbaaja. Feb 2007. Cover Image

Skimbaaja - Magazine from Finland. February 2007. Written by Jusu Hoivonen. Photos by Matt Scholl.

Rumbling Up to the Power Runs

Baldface also has an impressive cadre of ski guides led by John Buffery, an internationally known avalanche-safety teacher. Nov 2004. By Christopher Solomon, The New York Times.


"Powder skiing is a flowing fall with no hard bottom, putting your mind and body in a place that it has never otherwise been," says John Buffery, a 42-year-old mountain guide from Nelson who is one of the most respected skiers in the community. January 2001. By Chris Joseph.

Snowstyle Magazine for Snowboarding

Snowstyle Magazine for Snowboarding Generation - Japanese Magazine. April 2008.Written by Shoji Matsumoto. PhotosYuske Hirota.

Mistaya Lodge April 1997

Note the avalanche, which was started by guide John Buffery. He skied right through it, but then signalled us away from the slope. Day three we did the Grindl Glacier, which had a nice steep run from the very top. Buff took his snowboard along. It splits in two so he can use the pieces as skis for climbing. Then the thing bolts together for the descent. Neat. 1997.

Safety Key in Avalanche Recovery

John Buffery, a senior avalanche officer with the Ministry of Transportation was the bombardier who placed the explosives on the slope while attached to the helicopter. “A lot of companies were out in the mountains this weekend and having a good time with their clients,” he says. “We were not skiing challenging terrain, which was safer for us … If you can do it right, you can do it.” January 2011. By Greg Nesteroff.

TransworldSnowBoarding.Oct2005. Closeup

You Gotta Get Up to Get Down. TW's resident guide breaks down split boarding and other backcountry transportation. Craig Kelly tracked me down in Nelson, BC. He'd come to surf the deep, soft snow of the Kootenays with a Burton prototype splitboard. Those adventurous turns on a real split board grew into the most enriched years of my life. Oct 2005. By John Buffery.

Guides for Redbull Ultra Natural

With the event window now open, Red Bull Ultra Natural organizers and competitors are monitoring forecasts and mountain weather to find the one day with the ideal snow safety, riding and filming conditions to run the contest. February 2013. Lib Tech website.

Group shot in Iran.

But there were dangers other than avalanches, as Buff found out while exploring a ridgeline to the north of Dizin. With boards in split mode, they skied past coils of rusted barbed wire buried in the snow and a defunct-looking concrete bunker at the edge of a deserted compound. Suddenly, a soldier appeared in white snow camouflage. The first gunshot put Buff’s shoulders up around his ears and made his eyeballs bulge. 2000. By Eric Blehm.

chasingtheSpiritofCraigKelly.January2014. Close Up.

Chasing the Spirit of Craig Kelly. Transworld Magazine. January 2014.

Avalanche Gear

“I have said many times, if you ever have to use your transceiver for real, you will have wished you practiced more,” says John Buffery, senior avalanche officer for the BC government. “The variations and combinations of burial depths at different angles with one or more burials are numerous. Mix that with coursing adrenaline when your actions result in someone’s life or death, and you don’t want to be thinking of the switches and buttons on your rescue device.”

SpiritMagazine(SouthwestAirlinesSpirit).Dec2008.AuthorNathanielReade.PhotosDaveThomas. Close Up.

SpiritMagazine (Southwest Airlines Spirit). Dec 2008. Author Nathaniel Reade. Photos by DaveThomas.

Avalanche Control: On Bear Pass

To ensure travellers on the highway below, are safe from the awesome force of a massive snow slide, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s avalanche team at Bear Pass maintains a constant vigil on conditions that contribute to increased avalanche hazards. By Tran BC.

Evergreen, Hakuba, Japan

A very sad but enlightening case study and discussion presented by John Buffery of an avalanche rescue that he was involved in. This case study left the class a sense of challenge and commitment to try to make the winter mountains a safer place through their participation in avalanche awareness, forecasting, control and in the case of an accident, rescue. By Dave Enright.

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