Monday
Apr192010

Top Ten

Days like today are inconceivable until they happen, and then they just make sense. Aaron and I headed up Mt-Rogers this morning. We had thoughts of various lines but nothing really concrete. On the summit by 11 we had tonnes of time, enough time to really scope out the North glacier line. Considering the stability we have seen lately this was the time to finally ski this line.  Aaron used the photographers excuse and had me go first, which was great, Carvable firm snow held fast to the 45* slope, sloughing fast but very controllable. Several burgshrunds/crevasses had to be managed, which added to the excitement of the line.

This line looks so amazing in the Selkirk North guide book that I cannot believe it took us so long to finally carve our way down it. I cannot wait to  draw this line on my maps. One of our top ten runs ever. From this great sitting spot we quickly boot packed back up to get away from any serac danger.

First day with my new jetboil system. Super cool, we melted 5 litres of water and only carried the weight of 750ml. Quick and easy set up, melt while you eat and rest and then voila more water.  From this break spot we headed up the North ridge on Swiss and billy goated our way to the summit.  Amazing to climb and ski off both these 10 000 footers on the same day.  I have been up this south chute twice, great to ski down it, although not ideal powder conditions, south facing shlop (3pm), but it can't always be amazing.

So many people think that skiing is done, well maybe its not powder but you can ski dream lines.

Thursday
Apr152010

I have finally landed on the Eagle

This mountain has been staring at me for a long time, proud and prominent it has such a  striking south face that one cannot help but dream of skiing it.  I have always imagined skiing it under melt freeze conditions, but there have been a few parties over the last few years that have skied it in powder.  Quite a line.

The couloir is called the Stutfield couloir after the first ascentionist who climbed it in 1898, the peak is 9338 feet or 2846 m tall.

I finally decided that today was the day for the Eagle, almost 7 days of sun so the melt freeze cycle is well under way. We left the parking lot at 5.30 am and headed up, by 8 we had ski crampons on and we were cutting our way up steep frozen terrain. 9 am and  the boot pack was under way, up and onto the south face, perfect frozen crust made for great footsteps. 10:30 am and we were on the summit. Waiting for the face to warm up a bit more we enjoyed some relaxation and then headed down around 11:15. The pitch had warmed up perfectly and we carved some great corn turns down the face. Super fun. and no worries about avalanches unless we had waited up there for too long.

Great day.

Wednesday
Apr142010

Boulder 2/3

Sitting in the Adamants lodge last week, you could watch the sun rise on Downie peak and its neighbour Boulder peaks. This view made me want to hike up and ski around the glaciated summits.

So this morning Aaron and I drove up from Revelstoke, 100 km, and then drove in a logging road 20 km and then looked directly up 6500 feet to the summits. Huge relief. 

We put our heads down and worked up through thousands of feet of great skiing. North facing the snow was good above 4500 feet, still cold and creamy. By 1.15 pm we were on Boulder 3 and looking down its steep north face. We tipped our skis down this 50* face and enjoyed some steep faceted turns.

 

So much fun to ski a random 50 degree Nface in the middle of nowhere, most likely never skied before. Yah never know though.

We then headed up and skied off Boulder 2, which was excellent and tumbled from the summit down 6500feet to the truck.

What was so great about this tour was the relative lack of bushwacking, none really. we followed a logging road for 30 minutes and then went directly up. Awesome day, epic.   610 000ft

Tuesday
Apr132010

CMH Heli assisted ski touring 

Well its as plush as you could imagine. Wake up enjoy a great breakfast, a few espressos and grab your ready made lunch. Heli picks you up at 9 am and drops you in some remote area nowhere near yesterdays adventures. Tour up through forests and alpine bowls, enjoy great April powder, get picked up by a heli and dropped back at the lodge. Snack, hot tube, great meal, sleep in comfort and repeat.  It was an amazing way to get into ski touring, not something a dedicated ski tourer like me would do often but damn was it good. On our last day we got really close to Sir Sandford, the highest mountain in our range, 11555 ft.

 

And now I am bakc at home and enjoying some good turns while balancing family time. The wife and kids take off for three weeks soon, so I am skiing early and playing with kids most of the day. Except today..

We headed up Video peak, skied the north line, which was decent considering the high temperatures we are experiencing. We then toured up and summitted Ursus Major and skied  the north line off of it. Again creamy and buttery but not deep. and then up and down the corn up south facing Bruins bowl and home. Ahh it felt so nice to stand on a summit or two.

Sunday
Apr042010

Bonney Glacier

After our day up Connaught we decided to go somewhere that the wind may not have wrecked. So we headed up Loop brook and skied the morraine runs. The skiing was epic, so different from the previous day. Tommy,a photographer from Backcountry.com was up taking photos and I hoped we would get some in the Bonney.  It is such a magnificent place, we could get him some decent shots there.

We had some perfect powder, hero skiing, and occasionally we had some sun to accompany this great skiing. Needing my extra vert I pushed through a whiteout and we had one of the best runs of the year. Knowing it was so good we headed up again on Thursday and went deeper into the glacier for some great turns, a little whiteout and flat at times but really great. And then we headed up the climbers left glacier towards Mt-Clarke

This was a really exciting glacial up, with big junks of blue glacier all around us. Super fun and then a fun down, some where I had never been. Yet somewhere I will surely return.

All's well otherwise, just sitting up in the comforts of CMH and enjoying some Heli assisted ski touring. More on that to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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