Saturday, April 3, 2010

Burning the Candle from Both Ends

Sometimes that is what the guide certification process is about. The alarm goes off at 5:45 am, coffee maker is turned on, weather is checked, bag is packed, lunch made, thermos filled. Skins? Check. Ski boots? Check. Gloves, hat, goggles, sunglasses, warm hat, gore-tex....check check check. And then the candidates show up at my house at 6:55am for the morning guide's meeting and briefing. We discuss the overnight changes in the weather and snowpack, the anticipated hazards associated with our day, and then review our plans. We pile out of the house and head up to the hills for more ski touring fun.

That is how every day has started for me lately, and they haven't been finishing until around 7pm at night, when the tours are done, the candidates debriefed, weather and snowpack discussed and plans finalized for tomorrow. Then its dry out my gear, unpack, eat dinner and go to sleep. Repeat the whole process the next day.

But we have fun out there everyday, because after all it is ski touring/mountaineering, and we are climbing peaks and skiing mostly powder. This week has been a blitzkreig of spring storms, that are seeming more like December than April. Low freezing levels on the coast of BC, has resulted in over 120cms of cold smoke at Whistler this week. It just doesn't stop...which isn't necessarily that great if you want to do some ski mountaineering! The last few days have been spent going over short roping and glacier travel, and attempted ski of Cayoosh on the Duffey Lake Road, tree skiing on Chief Pascale on the Duffy, and some more touring in the Blackcomb Backcountry.

Here are some shots to give you some visuals of what we have been doing this week.

Snowpack evaluation on Chief Pascale

Short Roping up Disease Ridge at Blackcomb

Disease Ridge

More Disease Ridge

Coming around to Blackcomb Peak

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