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.