Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chronicles of a (Slacker) Mountain Guide

I've been invited to start sharing some of my adventures on this blog, and I can only hope that everyone who reads them, doesn't begin to hate me...I am more thinking along the lines of inspiring a few folks to get after it, much like TC and powstash have been doing on this blog.

TC posted a bit about skiing with me up at Valhalla Mountain Touring 2 weeks ago, catching me in the middle of a 3 week stint of guiding at the lodge based in the heart of the Selkirks of British Columbia. The Utah crew caught it pretty nicely up north, skiing the ridiculously deep powder in an area about a third of the size of the central Wasatch, but with only 13 other people to compete with for freshies. With the week before they came, and the week after they left, I ended up tallying about 100,000 vertical feet of backcountry skiing all for work (see this is where you start to hate me). Life is tough being an IFMGA mountain guide, but I have to make my living some how!

Thankfully I am back in Utah as of Sunday for 3 weeks of down time before heading back north, and my timing couldn't be better. Monday morning the wife and I woke up to a good dose of new snow and fresh off the plane we headed out to Mill Creek to enjoy the deep stuff.But the wife has no remorse so I had to chase her around for 8 grand of touring...luckily she turned me on to her Canadian ways of using the ultra-light and bomber Dynafit bindings instead of tele skiing a few years back and I can keep up.

No rest for me though...Tuesday dawned and I still had yet to unpack, the phone rings and its time to climb some ice, as the Wastach are not only having a banner snow year, but the cold has kept the ice in good shape. So, I hook up with my photographer friend Andy Burr and my best friend's wife Caroline George to go climb Storm Mountain Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is in good WI 5 shape, catches a bit of sun, and is only 3 pitches long, so what the heck, unpacking can wait until tomorrow.

So I get home Tuesday night, but the whip is cracking and the wife insists its time to go to the climbing gym. A couple hours later I am on the phone, scheming about today's (Wednesday) plans...conditions are good, so time to grab the skis again. Today's mission: East Couloir on Kessler Peak, booting back up and skiing out God's Lawnmower. A good choice for a half day morning tour, and definitely fuels the adrenaline needs, skiing some big steep faces...however, the light and fast nature dictated that all parties forgot their cameras, so you are just going to go see what they are all about your selves...

Now I am home after the AM mission, and it is only 3 days since I have been back, but I just finished unpacking, so now I have the time to begin chronicling my adventures.

I told you that you were going to start to hate me.

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