Sometimes you get exceptionally lucky. Our group of 16 flew into Ymir Lodge after over a meter of new snow in the previous week, and 25cm the night before. Then the sun came out, temperatures held, and we shredded incredible powder lines for 7 days. The Rossland Range was visible in the distance, yet we were in another world, living the dream of ski-touring every day, eating and drinking like royalty, and enjoying the company of a great bunch of friends. Ymir Lodge isn’t quite as fancy as some of the much more expensive hut options, but it’s comfortable and spacious with everything you need, and the amount and quality of accessible terrain is hard to beat. I’m told there’s availability through March.
Ready to drop
Climbing North Seaman
Top of the world, with Elise.
Just the tip
An incredible machine.
With some creative planning, and picture perfect conditions we pulled off a great day of heli-skiing at Wildhorse yesterday. It was the first time for me, and I was pretty stoked to be dropping off on the top of spectacular peaks, and skiing new lines with a group of clients.
Just another sunset.
Perfect Glades (pic by Elise)
When I finished up last winter Wildhorse had plans to relocate, and I figured my cat-skiing days were done. But through a complicated turn of events we’re back in Ymir, and I’m stoked to be guiding a couple of days a week. I just had our first couple of groups for the season, and whatever trepidation I had about conditions was unwarranted. We skied a selection of the classic lines in boot deep easy skiing powder that exceeded everyone’s expectations, including my own.
We’ve had epic deep powder conditions all this past week.
I’ve been spending allot of time guiding at Wildhorse Cat-skiing this winter. Consistent high quality powder and a high standard of clients have made for great skiing. Here’s a small selection of the pics I’ve been snapping during my days.
About to drop in off the Peak.
Another sunny day in the mountains.
South-East Face of Wildhorse Peak
Some skier’s perceptions of cat-skiing are limited to wiggling through meadows, but when conditions are suitable, we get onto the challenging stuff. This morning was sunny and windless above the clouds, with hoar-frosted powder on the steeps.
Fetching Eggs – Early morning in Rossland.
The timing couldn’t have been better. Sunny snow-less conditions over the Christmas break made for some picture perfect days at Wildhorse, then as the kids and workers returned to their regular schedules, we were treated to day after day of new snow and empty lineups at Red. Been too focused on shredding to stop for pics in the fog.
Elise – Carving the Main Run with -17 degree visual effects.
Warming up from a cold sled ride at Wildhorse.
Pulled Pork Poutine.
You’ve got to re-fuel the motor. Half priced butter chicken wings at Rafters (Thursday nights at Rafters) deserve a mention, but the pulled pork poutine at The Spot (Cedar Ave in Trail) is in class of it’s own. A 5000 calorie flavor explosion.
Breaking a trail to Record.
Laps on the Quim.
Elise and I, enjoying late afternoon sun on the Headwall.
The storms that inundated us through December have taken a break, but with consistently cold temps the snow remains dry and soft wherever it’s untracked.
Cam, linking together the openings below the OK Chute, on his birthday.
I never get tired of trees loaded up with pillows of powder.
“So well, just follow my track”. Guiding at Wildhorse.
Elise, getting her groove back in the powder at Wildhorse.
I’ve just finished my last shift at Wildhorse cat-skiing for the winter. Adjusting to the demands of semi-regular work rather than free-skiing all the time has sometimes been a challenge, but the daily powder skiing really has been a joy.
It snows in Ymir.
Since it passed the top of the 3 meter measuring stick we’re just guessing on the snow-pack depth, but it’s been a snowy season as per usual, and the terrain keeps even the most demanding skiers satisfied.
Wildhorse is a bit of an anomaly in the powder skiing industry. We’re not trying to provide a “luxury” product for the elite, and it’s not about status, it’s simply about delivering great powder skiing. For me, and for our regular clientel, that’s all we need.
Motherlode on a Saturday.
After much anxiety among the faithless, the snow has finally arrived at Red. There have been a few great days these past couple of weeks, including the past two Saturdays, making for happy weekend skiers and long lines. With the base now hovering around 2 meters, and covering the rocks and assorted schnarb, the amount of ski-able terrain is finally getting close to what we know and love.
There’s no shortage of challenging terrain at Red. Although the whole cliff zone from Sara’s through the Coolers is still looking pretty boney, there are always plenty of tracks in wild places.
An Island in the Kootenay Sea.
Our ski patrol seem to be having trouble finding the appropriate level of avy control this season, whether forcing late lift starts as though surprised that it actually snowed (too many times to count), or carpet bombing when it’s ankle deep (yesterday). Let’s hope they get it together eventually.
I love the way deep powder snow can make adults play like children.
Just another powder skiing snap shot from Wildhorse.
I’ll be ski-guiding solidly for the next couple of weeks, including a Fairy Meadows trip. Hoping for a some stability and sun.
It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had any significant snowfalls, so to keep delivering quality powder skiing at Wildhorse we’ve been punching roads, and setting boot-packs and traverses into areas we don’t usually venture. It makes my days much more interesting, and the steep powder skiing in the sunshine has made for some of the best turns of the year.
To the top of Wildhorse Peak.
So, where are we going ski?
Snow quality isn’t suffering.
Even the traverses are fun.