And now we have it. The last 4 days have been crystal clear blue sky, calm winds, accompanied by a settling snow pack letting us venture out a bit further and ski a bit more aggressively. Last week, we had a few storms to track, as my assistant guide Jonny Simms and I lead our group of skiers around this corner of the Valhallas for a total of 40,000 feet of ski touring in 6 days.
Looking down our skin track to Shannon lake, with the main spine of the Selkirks in the background. Where is everybody else? There is no one else here...ahh...the Selkirks!This range is unbelievable, and it is really the home to some of the best skiing in the world, hands down. The mountains and snowpack add up for a perfect combination. It is an 'average' winter here, and the snow pack is a well settled 3m/10'. Just the other day we were looking down the bowels of a 6,500' foot descent that maybe 2 people have ever done. Today we were looking out at the Bugaboos, confronted with the 3,000' granite west face of the North Howser Tower, and off behind it the seldom climbed alpine big walls of the Battle Range. This place goes on and on and on. I feel like every mountain range I have been to in the lower 48 states has a limit to its mountain vistas...it is never 360 degrees; humans and their impacts are always visible. But up here, it's different, and it makes you feel good about how much adventure there is to be had so close to home.
And today was a day to check out some of those places so close to home. Even after three years of being up here at Valhalla Mountain Touring full time, there are so many runs I haven't gotten to do. Today I took the group down some 40 degree powder shots, with 15 to 20' pillows around to play on...I have been eyeing the line for 3 years and I finally got to do it now that the time was right...and it was so good, we did it twice!
Well, time to rest up for another big day of high pressure tomorrow. Maybe I will get to ski these lines that have never been done: