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.
I kept on skinning to the base of the rock band, then switched over to boot crampons to get up through the rocks. From there, I opted to skin up the left side of the face as the right side appeared to be steeper (and a good ski). Two hours after arriving at the base of the mountain, I was on the summit 500m above. So 5 and a bit hours to go 10km and climb 1500m, with some technical bits. Seems good to me.
Once on the top, I started snapping pics like crazy. Visibility was pretty good, especially on mountains to the west that were basking in the sun.
|Sherbrooke Lake with the O’hara area in the valley behind|
Then it was a quick ski down to the base of the mountain. There was 10cm of fresh light snow, with up to 30cm in sheltered areas, a great pow run. I had intended to make a full day of it, but the sun was beating down hard. There was one north facing couloir which unlike everything else didn’t have a rock slab in the sun above it. The longer I watched sluff after sluff pour off the slabs, the more I thought that getting to the base of the line wouldn’t be all that safe, just in itself. So I slogged all the way back out of the valley and went home. Got this banger shot as I left the lake:
It’s been a busy week so I just got around to the video: