Ski Touring, mountaineering, climbing, coffee and living in the Coast Range of British Columbia.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taseko Lake to Tyax

With much anticipation in the preceding weeks, the Chilcotin annual had finally arrived. We rode, pushed, bushwacked and carried our bikes over 100km and 4000m of elevation gain carrying food and supplies for 3 days. It was our most ambitious trip to date in the park and my favorite so far. The thing that always stands out the most with these trips for me is the camaraderie and friendship, I want to thank Jamie, Chris, Martin and Scotty for being great partners and friends on so many of these kinds of trips over the years - whether with bikes or on skis.

I will let the pictures do the talking...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Galleon

Had a pleasant time recently with friends Julian and Chris, driving northward from our respective S Coast towns, drinking copious amounts of coffee, slinging hip hop sets on the ipad and generally trying to find good times en route to Smithers, BC for the annual Everest Challenge. The event was a huge success and comes highly recommended by these coastal coffee drinking travelers and vagabonds. While a rather large and looming undertaking if done solo, the 8848 meters in 24hrs is quite pleasant if done as a team, in our case this year, a team of between 5 and 7 that got together and disbanded quicker then the Fugees. Between laps we laughed it up, drank a few beers, danced to some sweet reggae and generally had a great time while our friend Chris went deep inside the pain cave for his solo voyage up and down the hill for a total of 19 laps...

Our strategy of course has a double prong, partying and jockeying for position near the snacks all night was fun and left a memorable impression on us and all, but we also wanted to save a little gas for some skiing in the area, where winter is still alive above about 1500 m..Our first day we manged a mid day departure and a short tour up the S summit of Hudson Bay Mtn just above Smithers. We cracked a beer in the sunshine after reaching the top and marveled at our cool surroundings...later, we hooted and hollered our way down, jumping sastrugi and enjoying the brief winter simulation en route to the days end.

On our second day, we were up for a longer day, namely a peak called The Galleon in the Babine Range - A classic tour in the Smithers area and highly recommended if you are into a nice tour to a beautiful valley and peak.
The NW face of the Galleon holds many really nice couloirs...

Some of the terrain leading up..

Nearing the summit.

Pretty damn happy

The descent was mostly stellar with some preserved wind pressed powder interspersed with skiable crusts. All in all, quite nice and probably some of the best skiing this year (!).

Thanks Julian and Chris for a great trip, skiing and company.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Spearhead with the rascalz

Had a memorable day of fancy walking along the crest of the Spearhead with some friends, new and old. Nothing crazy to report, just unlimited visibility, great stability and some great travel and of course some rubber'necking of the great Spearhead lines, all looking fairly rugged under present conditions. We elected to do the 'classic' version of the traverse, starting from Blackcomb, going around Lago and sneaking through the notch on the Overlord glacier and finally, out via Whistler. Worth noting, Singing Pass is reported to be a no-go so we went up and over flute and skied out via the Burnt Stew trail by headlamp and on perfect groomers for most of the long descent, legs burning! In a word, superb.

Felix, Julian, Scotty, Chris Courtenay and yours truly.

With this group we were poised for a great day out in the high alpine.

Dropping down onto the Trorey Glacier.

Lone wolf in the white room.

Felix and the windlip

About to do the last big climb up around Fitz.

Climb to Fitz

Overlord downclimb

Good times going down Whirlwind.
Thanks to the boys for a great day out!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Squeeze the Day - Duffey.

I have a new line of thinking this year as we try and get out skiing during the 'atmospheric river events' and pineapple expresses here on the coast. That line of thinking is: Fit as much as possible into every day out. No matter how hard I stare at the weather models, gittery from espresso shots, I can't predict the outcome of these storms so I have just started to squeeze as much skiing as the body will allow into each outing because 'you neva know what ya gunna git"! (F Gump)...

Had a couple of great days recently with friends, leaving and returning to the house in the dark, smiling and stoked. If this is the mantra for 2015 so be it.

We headed to a familiar zone the other day and spent some time on the N, NE aspects lapping the alpine above 1700m. Nice 200-350 m shots in well settled snow.

Brad assembling.

Some nice windpress on the access ridge this day.

Scoping out the options of entry into the main zone.


Todd. If anyone says split-boarders are slow in the transitions, they haven't ridden with Todd!

Brad pushing snow leftwards.