The Last Six Days of Winter?

It looks like wintery conditions and powder snow are about to be done for the season. Everyone saw this warm spell a while off, and to that end I’ve been skiing as much as I could over the past six days. Here’s an account of what I’ve been getting up to:

Thursday: Mt Niles solo trip-

This is covered already here:
I just added a video of it, if you want to check it out

Friday: Narao Couloirs attempt #1

I woke up for a reasonable person’s idea of an early start for Friday, and went up with Ryan to ski one of the Narao peak couloirs. Once we got up there though, sluff was already pouring off the walls of the couloirs. We chilled out for a while, hopeful that the sun would clear off the easterly aspects and give us a window, or that the forecasted cloud would show up. Neither happened, and we went home. As Ryan said, sometimes it’s just a walk in the mountains. It was sunnier and warmer the day before, and I really expected that the solar input would’ve completed doing its thing and clear off the unstable snow, but you can’t always get what you want. Or as I was to find out, I would never get what I want on Narao.

You will never get this, la la la la  -the sun, in a Borat voice

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Mt. Niles solo summit

This mountain had never really registered on my radar until I went to ski Sherbrooke lake. It’s just a really cool looking mountain with a wicked looking south face. Not gnarly, just really sweet looking. So since I’m recently parted with my fat freeride-oriented touring setup and just on my 90mm spring setup, I thought it would be a good objective for a fast and light day trip.

It was forecasted to snow the day and night before, and what better conditions for a big face than powder?! However, in order to ski it before the powder turned to wet slide avalanche prone glop or just another sun crust, I had to ski it really early in the morning before the sun had much time on the south aspect. So I woke up at 2am and got to the Great Divide Lodge and skins on by 3:45. Solo trips are nice because you can just plow on and not worry about group dynamics, and get to learn how fast you can really go. I got to the far end of the lake in an hour, and the base of the mountain in another two hours.

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Sherbrooke Shred

Skied another area I had been fawning over via Google Earth since last year. Upon trying to recruit a friend for the east facing slab rock wall above Sherbrooke Lake, he provided real pictures he had of it from exiting the Wapta. And woah, it was way gnarlier than I’d anticipated. I went up yesterday with Matt to go ski some lines, worst case there were straightforward N facing couloirs to ski.

Impressive sluffs off Stephen on our way up

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Boom Boom

Last spring sometime I noticed a nice looking skiff of snow in a couloir on Boom Mountain using Google Earth. I headed up in late May to see what I could see, but the views were fleeting and inconclusive. It was also obvious it was past season for it too. Over the summer I found a great picture of it, and it’s been on my mind ever since.

Photo: Manfred Delong, used with permission

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Mt. Smart Traverse

I have recently become entranced by the high alpine terrain that connects Flat Creek to Mt. Smart in Rogers Pass. The high ridgelines afford great skiing and traversing terrain, and also awesome views that are rarely seen from most of the other skiing I’ve done in the pass.I came up with a route to tag some of the cooler peaks on the east side of the Flat Creek headwaters, and link up to the main descent off Mt. Smart’s north face in a 2-day traverse.

The route

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