Cam and I sledded (I bought a 2008 Yamaha Phazer this summer) into the Russell Creek drainage in the Southern Valhallas yesterday for a bit a ski touring. The alpine bowls and perfectly spaced trees have long been valued by ski-tourers, but the area was appropriated by Valhalla Powdercats in 1999, where they operated until pressure from disgruntled locals forced a move to a more remote and less contentious location in 2006. Things are much quieter now.
It was pissing rain on the drive from Rossland, and storming for most of the climb, but our perseverance was rewarded, as the sun came out for a couple of great runs. Conditions were smooth and shallow in the alpine, and soft and boot deep in the trees.
Given the warm temps and lingering issues in the snow-pack we skied conservatively, but the steep lines off the peaks were looking sweet, and well worth a return trip when stability improves.