Although it feels like summer in Rossland, I’m still (as of may 16th) finding great skiing. Andrew and I drove in till we hit snow at the 8.5km mark of the Bannock Burn access road into the Valhallas, slept in the back of my truck and made an alpine start on a clear hot day.
Dawn on the Prestleys South face.
Our objective was Mt Prestley (2732m), the highest one to the left in the pic above. We climbed the right-hand skyline ridge from the col to the summit. I skied a hidden chute off the peak down the middle of the sunny East face.
Summit Ridge – Andrew leading the way.
After ski-cramponing up the face and boot-packing the gulley to the col, the scramble up the ridge to the summit was steep and technical in places, but the views were stellar.
East Face Chute
I’d hauled my skis to the summit and wasn’t too stoked on the idea of down-climbing, so opted to try a dog-leg chute on the East face I’d eyed up on the climb. It was very steep and exposed, with large cliffs below. I made solid turns off the top and through the narrows, but despite being only 9.30am – it was rotting out in places as I diagnoled above the cliffs, making for some tense moments. I can’t imagine this line gets skied too often.
Prestleys South Face (one of those dots is Andrew).
Once back in the main gully we had great corn skiing for thousands of feet into the valley, and casually skated the road back to the truck.
Andrew- Dropping In.
After such lovely turns yesterday, I was keen to seek out some more powder while it lasted. We found good snow on the top 200m or so of the slopes leading into the Bananna chute on the north face of Old Glory. Below that it was funky crust, corn on 50’s Ski Movie Peak, and sticky snow on the trail bcak to the highway. A fun morning’s adventure. Here’s a vid of Andrew, just above the lower chute, and before the snow got funky. We skied the feature to the left of the lower chute.
Plewman and Old Glory from Elgood
It’s been cold and wet these last few days, but I woke early this morning to sunshine and a low snowline. It’s hard to find ski partners at 6am, so I headed out solo, up onto Elgood, and skied the North chutes (actually the spines as the chutes had all slid) in 25cm of cold dry powder snow. Back at home for breakfast.
Ross and Melly.
After 2 weeks of surf, sun and chilling out in Mexico, I’m back in the Kootanays, and skiing corn on Mt Brennan seemed a good idea. We crashed at Stan’s in Rettalack, planning on an early start. With ideal conditions, it was a popular plan, with at least 16 people on the mountain yesterday. Firm snow made for easy travelling (definitely the last day the road will be skiable), though a little challenging on the firm steeper sections. We summited at 10.30am, waited perhaps 45mins, and timed our descent perfectly. 6000ft of smooth silky corn skiing, ending back at Stan’s with beers in the sun. Here’s a short vid of Cam and Stan on the descent.