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

Friday, January 01, 2016

Rockies Visit with some best friends.

We had a wonderful holiday in Canmore visiting some of our good friends. Luckily, conditions lined up great for skiing and we were able to enjoy some nice powder skiing.
Rob, Rich and I ventured to a not so hidden but still hidden gem...

This is/was my local ski area, logged a lot of days here!
As is almost always, it gave us a great descent right to valley bottom in boot top blower powder.

Marc, Chris and I headed up to a peak in the Bow Summit area to climb and ski a nice line from its near summit. Although the main line was wind schnarbed, we got a nice consolation in a nearby powder run in a nice couloir.

The boys are stoked!



Jason and I ventured to near the summit of Vermillion Peak and skied a nice 400m run on its N aspect. Very nice and remote feeling.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

trenchtown rock

Another great day of powder skiing in the books today with some pals. Felix, Gab, Tyler and I busted up through the trees and into the subalpine zone known as "Burnt Tree's in the S Cayoosh zobe. Low density powder was found on all aspects but the deepest was on true north, no photos of that as its was just too good! Can't say it enough, there is no better way to pass a winters day then skiing with pals.
Felix enters the whiteroom for a conference call,
Slash and burn

Gab goes to trenchtown

conditions were 'poppy'

No better way to end the day.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Storm Skiing, Coastal. Duffey and Paul's

Lordy! What a difference a year makes. Our local zones are piling up with snow and the storms are coming in, stacked out in the pacific, freezing levels are closer to where they need to be and people are having a great time with sliding surfaces on their feets...Lordy!

Had a great couple of days lately with good friends here on the coast, visiting a couple of our favorite areas and feeling the sharp bite of winter against our skin, so, so joyful to be out and skiing powder snow in these beloved mountains!

Cheques in the Mail/Vantage Ridge Exit

Chris and I had a great time ascending up to the popular ski run in Cerise Creek, "Cheques in the Mail". After reaching the alpine we could hardly believe our good fortune. Perfect turns were had in the 35-40cm of settled storm snow, we stuck to the alpine for a couple laps before venturing up once again to the linear ridge feature connecting the top of "CITM" to the NW Shoulder of Vantage and a nice run that takes you right down to the car. Great loop. We did find clean shears in our hasty pits down 35-40 on NNE aspects on the Dec 9 raincrust where we were, however the snow on top of the Dec 9 crust was not showing slab characteristics. This may likely have changed with the wind last night. The crust was less prevalent on NW aspects and we had effortless knee deep powder down V ridge with no bottom.
Still a bit sporty low down on this zone, although its better then last March here so hey!

Easy trail breaking for the most part through the old growth en route to CITM.

Top of CITM and ridge.

Excellent ski quality.

Lots of TEA.

We enjoyed great skiing on NW aspects.

 Ryan and I missioned today for first tracks at Paul's ridge. We were up there in the dark, just behind the grader. 40cm fell over night as evident by the cars parked there from users of the huts up at Red Heather and Elfin. We broke trail all the way up beyond Round Mtn which was a first for me, rare to have that special treat here. Ski quality was outstanding and we enjoyed adjective exhausting runs all over, skiing our most favorite lines first. Our first turns down off the top of Paul 3 (as we call it) were good, higher density for sure but buttery and knee deep. As we shot into the steeper sections in the trees, snow billowed out in front of us and over our heads, we again could not believe our good fortune and we counted ourselves glad for waking up at the crack of &*(^ to get this day in. 6 runs and a beer at the car before heading back to Squamish, 20 min down the hill. This is our local area and its simply a joy to be able to ski there again after taking most of last year off due to low snow levels.
Breaking trail up Red Heather Trail

With a salmon salad, only chopsticks will do.

Run one!

So good.

Ryan getting PITTED!

Thanks to my good pals Ryan and Chris for a great couple of days!

Monday, November 30, 2015

the unbearable lightness of skiing

 The last couple of months have been hectic. Back to back weeks of steady work with nary a day off in between, my busiest season yet of work was in full swing from Sept The odd run here and there sprinkled savory flakes of sanity on the meal but for the most part, it was head down and squint your eyes as the light at the end of the tunnel is faint, work times. When things became more manageable in the last two weeks I was struck down with a cold that made anything but the daily work tasks quite low on he fun scale. Not that I am complaining (although it seems like i am), in fact, I love my job and I am acutely aware of how fortunate/lucky I am to be able to work at all, let alone do a job I love and live in a place that people go to on their holidays. Ya, ya. All that said, at the end of the 'period of unfortunate immobility', I was keen as mustard to get that hell out of the house at the first opportune moment and just FEEL ALIVE for F^&#'s sake!

So, this last weekend a plan was hatched to spend a couple of days in the Duffey Lake environs to shake off the cobwebs and see how things were coming along in the snow dept. Nothing planned, but given the group, bigger days were likely and good times were ensured. In a word, perfect.

Day one we made our way to the summit of Mt. Rohr, were we found not a breath of wind, a pleasant lack of the 3000+ M freezing levels and surprisingly good preserved pockets of powder in sheltered zones, even to ridge top in the nebulous N/NW facing aspects which are not that common in terms of ski features in this area.
Felix feeling the stoked of an approaching ski day.

The group ascending
The Author. Photo courtesy Felix Jauvin

Just so so good.
Up, up!

Summit of Rohr. Photo courtesy Felix Jauvin

Surprisingly good snow in this zone, buts its all schralped now.   

Day 2 we ventured into the alpine on the W shoulder of Vantage Ridge. Usually a protected safe haven for powder, things weren't quite as preserved but somehow we all had a great time.
Who wants a cookie?

John approaching sub peak on Vantage Ridge.
photo courtesy Felix Jauvin

Photo courtesy Felix Jauvin

Still pretty fun if the angle was low.

All in all a great trip. Thanks for Felix, John, Linda, Greg, Mike and Allison for the awesome times and especially Mike for opening up his cabin in Pemberton to a bunch of sticky skiers!