I was thinking of doing a trip I’ve wanted to get done for a while, heading up the Ice River to ski the east face of Mt Vaux down the Hanbury Glacier, but as my weekend drew closer, the weather didn’t look good enough to commit so much time and energy on the full day approach. But the seed was planted, Vaux was on the mind. I looked at this old shot I had of Vaux’s south couloir on the SW ridge, but dismissed it as I didn’t have anything current on its condition, and couldn’t get out to grab a shot in daylight without wasting a day, the last day before the weather came in. But on my last work shift, something just clicked and none of that mattered anymore. Given the long lasting avalanche problem we’re about to have on these facets and the super-solar aspect of the couloir and amount of real estate that funnels into it, I thought this could well be the last chance at it this year. Continue reading Conviction
What an incredible December it’s been. Ian came back from work a week ago and over my weekend we quickly skied some classic lines, Frequent Flyer, Greg Hill’s “Chromosome Right” couloir, and STS, all without crossing another person’s track. Things were good, and we were wondering how to push ourselves. Continue reading Critical Christmas
Speak of the devil… A big alpine mission! Wicked.
With the high pressure system giving one last day of good light, Ian and I decided to go for the Single Bench couloir on Mt. Tupper. The plan was to dump all the gear and one guy near the avalanche shed, drive to Hermit parking and then bike down to the gear. Shortly after leaving Golden though, I heard a hiss… what was that? The bike tire. Seems the poor tired old $20 town bike wasn’t going to be of much use today. So instead I had to walk the click to the gear. Continue reading Wild Blue Yonder
Well, enough of that quiet period. I’ve become too tightly focused on what this blog should be about, with all the big alpine missions over the past year I’ve become too intent on conveying only that. But this thing is really about skiing, year round, also known in winter as just skiing. So here it is, a weekend worth of pow slaying in great conditions we’ve had lately from a variety of mechanized options.
I always have a hard time figuring out how to write these crazy scary ass/ skill building type of missions. It’s just a bit personal, a bit too hard to explain the reasoning behind the nutty. So here’s some pictures in the pretty mountains. Long story short, got up early on the 16th, climbed and skied the Aemmer couloir, went to work.
The September that won’t stop snowing! It’s becoming a bit ridiculous how good conditions are, all the big rockies ice lines you usually can’t touch until April are coming into shape, in early September. Ludicrous. To that end, Luke and I decided we wanted to go for a ski. We decided on the 3/4 couloir*, since the day looked to be a poor choice to go on a big glacier from visibility and access was currently so easy with the Moraine Lake road still open. Continue reading Three Four
Ah yes, every skier’s favourite time of year. The snow starts falling on peaks in view of the valley, and you race around the house thinking of all the stuff you meant to take care of for the coming winter and pawing at the windows every time a cloud clears and shows the white blanket. After a failed attempt on Delphine in this fresh snow (snow wasn’t sticking to the ice), I’ve been extra motivated to get after it. I decided to go to an old haunt and get in, ski, and get out before I went in to go to work. Success, ended up with loads of extra time after four laps on the pocket glacier. Don’t ask, I won’t tell you where 😛 This is my one secret stash. Continue reading A Change of Season
Well, after last week’s adventures a storm came in. I was skeptical, but it ended up dumping a good load of cold snow to quite low in the rockies. It’s smoky like crazy here, so it’s hard to check out something to ski before you’ve already done the approach and are standing at the bottom of it, so Luke, Natalie and I went up toward Collier Peak to see what we would see. Continue reading August Powder… WTF
After skiing McCoubrey last month, I thought I’d head up the same drainage again and give Mt. Delphine (3406m, a Purcells 11’er) a go. After the last storm passed, my days off were looking in a convenient day of the week to take advantage of its bounty. After talking to Luke who was looking for extra beta from McCoubrey, it turned out he had the same objective in mind for the same day. Well, that was easy. Continue reading Delphine
It’s easy to overlook the Purcells. Driving east to west along the 1, it takes hours to drive through both the Rockies and Selkirks, but you just kind of avoid the Purcells altogether. What you do see from the Columbia Valley doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of their loveliness. Once you peer beyond the front ranges, which are featureless foothills by comparison, there are formidable walls of granite, icefields that rival those on the rockies divide, some of the most diverse rock I’ve seen and almost a dozen 11’ers. Continue reading McCoubrey