Monthly Archives: February 2010

Watching Hockey?

Looking Forward.

I realize that my particular perspective on hockey, the Olympics, spectator sports, patriotism, and television, probably won’t get  a sympathetic hearing from many, suffice to say that this afternoon, while it seems most of the country was tuned in to “the” hockey game,  I was skiing.  North facing slopes in the local back-country have a half inch crust on top of  the 15cm or so of cruddy new snow we got yesterday, but on the steep stepped ridge-lines, where I was making linked jump turns, it was fun skiing with no signs of instability.

Looking Back.

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The Lost People of Mountain Village

Whatever happened to all that development hype?

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Old Glory

The Line.

With clear skies and mild temps we toured up Old Glory yesterday. Multiple fracture lines across the east face gave plenty of clues as to the poor stability, so we were on high alert as we skied the double hour-glass.  We were releasing small slabs the whole way down, and I cut out a fairly substantial section on the lower apron, but nothing we couldn’t manage. An adventurous descent.

Tyler – approaching the summit.

Andrew – Ski-cutting the upper snowfield.

Tyler – Enjoying the variable conditions.


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Yurtopia Guiding

Views.

I just spent a week guiding a group of ski-tourers out of the Yurtopia yurt in the Nelson Range. With such a reactive snow-pack, it was sometimes a challenge  finding slopes that were both safe and satisfying, but it ended up being a great week of powder skiing.

The Group.

Cruising through the Larches.

A small slope that released on the 6th skier,


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Random Stuff.

Motherlode Chair (What’s twittering?).

Another powder day at Red yesterday. Only 10cm or so, but heavy and sticky enough to cover the all the firmness.  Jordy and I skied Field of Dreams in the afternoon, in a whiteout (so no pics) with plenty of new snow sloughing. I’m now headed into the Yurtopia Yurt at Wildhorse for a week of ski-touring guiding. It looks as though we’ll be getting another couple of dumps on Sunday and Tuesday, so I hope it gets deep!

I was sent this link from the Revelstoke paper – great to see such a spirited opinion (even if bloggers are characterized as the foot soldiers of cultural imperialism) and an equally eloquent reply.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/revelstoketimesreview/opinion/letters/84034307.html

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Goat Range – Whitewater Peak.

Climbing Whitewater Peak.

Our goal was to climb and ski off the summit of Whitewater Peak in the Goat Range, but after a 5 hour climb up Whitewater Creek from Retallack, poor visibilty stopped us about 500′ below the summit on the East ridge.

Cam.

Skiing down the pocket glacier on the north side of the peak, was steep and adventurous in places.

Cam.

Stan.

Andrew.

The  pillows down into Kane Creek were soft and fun.

Old Growth Cedars in Kane Creek.

I remember the ski out Kane Creek  being a long flat slog the last time I did it, but somehow agreed to give it another try. Fortunately travel conditions were allot better, and we were able to glide or skate most of the 12km to 3 Forks. A 6000′ descent in all.

Francois – Hitching back to Retallack from 3 Forks.

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Spines and Chutes

The Spine

I headed up Mt Elgood this morning for a quick solo lap. The main lines (along with more of the local ski terrain than I’ve ever seen) were tracked out, but I was eyeing up this dramatic looking spine on the way up, and resolved to try to ski it. At about 100m down from the top it narrowed to less than a ski width, with perhaps 50′ near-vertical drops on each side. Feeling nervous that I couldn’t see over the next bulge, I spotted a steep exit line into an adjacent chute, and decided to go with the sure thing.

The Chute.

These chutes can often be wind scoured, but were filled with light, boot-deep powder today.

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Exploring at Kootenay Pass

Jordy Checking out the Cleft.

With conditions as good as they’ve been, it’s tempting to just ski one’s favorite powder lines over and over, but venturing onto new terrain keeps things exciting. The visibility was in and out yesterday, and we found time to both lap powder in the gladed trees and to ski a new aesthetic line we’re calling the Cleft.

Dave rappelling in.

Getting off the corniced ridge required a sporty strait-line into air. Dave and Jordy didn’t like the look of what I’d left, so rappelled in.

Dave – Skiing the Cleft.

I don’t think we had a bad turn all day.

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Road Trippin

Elise – Lilly Glacier.

I got to ski and see a some new parts of the Province this weekend. On Friday at Rogers Pass we skied the open slopes adjacent to the Lilly Glacier. Not deep, but easy untracked snow.

Stewart – Big Air in 108 Mile House.

Then a festive time at a wedding at the Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile House. Not enough snow to utilize the XC ski-trails or the mini terrain park, but the tubing was fun.

Face-shots – Kamloops style.

We took the back road route from 108 Mile house, and checked out some of the local culture.

Stewart and Lula – Bonney Trees.

Back to Rogers Pass on Monday. Unfortunately I got harassed in the Loop Brook parking area by a proto-fascist goon from the Parks Service for ignoring their expanding violation of my freedom and dignity (aka the new  winter permit system), and was compelled to a side trip to Park HQ before hitting the trail. We joined up with crew of keen local gals for a lap to the skiers left of Bonney trees. There’d been perhaps 10cm of new snow up high, and it was snowing heavily for part of the day, so the skiing was most excellent.

Not the ideal way to cross Loop Brook.

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