Our original plan was to traverse the Southern Selkirks from Ferguson to Rogers pass, however you have to be adaptable in the mountains. Our food drop didn’t make it into Battle Abbey, so after dropping a car (and waiting for a highway closure) at Rogers Pass, we loaded 8 days food and gear onto our backs and started slogging up Ferguson Creek. A 10 hour climb and a long north side ski brought us into the headwaters of Boyd Creek. Expecting a few days of mixed weather, on Day 2 we negotiated a high pass into the Westfall River, and set up camp at the base of the climb to the Scilla Glacier. On Day 3 we woke to heavy snowfall, 20cm of accumulation, and limited visibility, and with no consensus on whether it was prudent to continue, decided to wait it out. Powder skiing on nearby treed ridge was deeep! By the morning of Day 4 there’d been another 10cm accumulation, it was still dumping heavily, so in the face of dwindling supplies, uncertain hazard, and energy sapping trail breaking, we plotted a route back to Ferguson. Down through the magnificent untouched old growth of the upper Westfall River, and up the narrow and precipitous MacDonald Creek, with some deep powder skiing (without packs) to finish the day. Cold temps and clearing skies on Day 5 made for the first real views of the trip, and surprisingly good (given the aspect) skiing back into Ferguson Creek, and finishing with a sun bathed slog back to the truck.
The rest of the crew headed back to Rossland, but I stayed over at Rogers pass, and got in an early morning solo descent of the Saphire Glacier in perfect conditions, before heading to Golden.
In Golden I joined (skinning from the bottom) Elise and her friends for some side-country skiing adjacent to Kicking Horse Resort. We were all enjoying ourselves on the back-side of Ruedi’s, when Sabrina cartwheeled, blowing her knee and requiring heli-evacuation. A bummer for her, but impressive that with cell phone reception ski patrol had her in the chopper within 45 minutes.
It’s still snowy, and snowing in the Rossland Range. In a better world the lifts at Red could keep turning into May, but Elise and I are off to Mexico for some R&R on the beach.