Minimal ski penetration.
Although it feels like biking season is underway here in Rossland, I’m not ready to put the skis away just yet. Jordy and I gambled on sunshine and some fresh turns off the summit of Ymir Peak (2398m), above Whitewater ski area, but the sun only made a brief early appearance, and the snow was almost uniformly firm. On the upside, the coverage was great, the snow-pack stable like concrete, Jordy got to use his crampons, and carving on the steep terrain was fun.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Obsessively monitoring and patiently waiting for conditions has been the story of my Spring so far. The weather here in the Koots seems stuck in a warm wet pattern, entirely unsuitable for getting into the big terrain of our ambitions, but a recent short cold clear window presented an opportunity for adventure.
Mts Burnham and Grady.
After a 30km snowmobile ride in from the Shelter Bay Ferry in rotten snow, we set up camp at the outlet from the Frig Glacier. Dining and preparing in steady drizzle tested our faith in the forecast.
At 4am it was cold and starry, the crud had set-up, and we were moving quickly by 5.
At higher elevations there was 10-20cm of new snow, but the trail-breaking was easy and we’d ascended 2000m, topping out on the Frig Glacier by 10am.
Looking into the Odin Glacier.
As we reached the base of Odin’s 2970m summit spire, significant weather started blowing in, so skiing our line before obscured became urgent. The steep convex roll we’d initially planned to ski was ringed with a dramatic 3-4m avalanche crown, accentuating the commitment as I cautiously dropped into an adjacent headwall.
Once onto the Glacier proper, it was effortless powder skiing for 2000m down to the valley.
Taking a breather.
Slogging out Odin Creek to the sled we’d dropped was as horrendous as we’d been led to believe. Cruddy snow, almost entirely flat, and littered with swathes of frozen avalanche debris. It was snowing/raining by the time we reached the sled.
Another great snowy season at Red is finally done. I’ve a patch of grass opening up in my yard, but the bike trails are a long way from clear, and there’s still a 3 meter base up on the peaks.
The last couple of days on the lifts had some pretty sweet spring skiing conditions, sunshine, lots of funky retro outfits, and even a bit of nudity.
My first ever cover shot.
It’s not all powder and velvety corn. This time of year we get to ski the full range of snow conditions, from boiler plate to mashed potato.
With a snow-pack that should last well in to June, opportunities for ski touring adventures remain for the motivated. I’m just waiting on weather and snow stability to head out on a traverse of the Valhalla Range.
On a slow day recovering from an evening of Mocktober Fest, participating in my first slush cup seemed as good a hangover cure as any. My strategy was to carry as much speed as possible, try to skim the length of the 70ft pool, and stay out of the slush. I came pretty close. I’d planned to attempt a back-flip for my second run, but was told that inverts are banned, and that we’d be limited to a single run. Maybe next year. Kudos to all the scantily clad participants who bailed into the slush.