Friday, February 25, 2011

The fun just continues

4 new ski runs in the last 2 days as my buddy Tony is here helping me 'hut keep' during a self guided week. Here is a video of a new line we skied today we named 'Fireball' because at the bottom of the run Tony reached into his pack and pulled out a flask of the hot cinnamon whiskey. Now that is class, and that is how runs get named! Enjoy, I know I did!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And it just keeps going...

Still blower, still deep, still skiing steep with more bravado then normal.

Here is a quick vid from this afternoon...face shots and sluff management!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When it all comes together...

The snow pack, weather, time of year and people all aligned last week, and the result was maybe the best week of the last few years of ski touring here at Valhalla Mountain Touring.

I should have stopped to take more photos and pictures, but oh well, the skiing was just too good. Here is a quick taste of what we sampled.

Hope to ski with you here soon!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Young's Peak

Day 2 at Rogers Pass dawned clear again and even colder. -27c is not a friendly temperature for ski touring. The day before we did battle with the cold by skiing in the sun, and that was perfect. The problem is in the -20c range, that skins and ski wax don't really work that well. We left the car with the plan of going up the Asulkan Valley to take a peak at skiing the couloir Forever Young. Usually in Rogers Pass if the weather is good all of the big lines have a track or two in them, as it is home to some of the most accessible high quality ski touring in the world. However, it has really not stopped snowing for a month in BC, and these are the first few days of consecutive clear weather, and only a week or two ago was one of the largest avalanche cycles in a long time in BC. So for good reason people have been a little slower in getting to the big lines.

As we crawled our way up the deep Asulkan Valley, skinning uphill in down coats and face masks, we got to a view point of Forever Young, and instantly both Jasmin and myself knew today wasn't the day. Huge fracture lines were all over the basin, but the only piece of snow that hadn't slid yet was the one in the guts of Forever Young. After skiing a big line on Mt. Rogers the day before, I didn't feel the need to push it again today, even though plan B was still going to put us into some big terrain by going up and down the ultra classic 7 steps on Youngs Peak.

The couloir is dead center. Notice the 1.5 meter + fracture lines left of the chute and right of the bottom. Not today thanks!

I have tried 2 other times over the years to ski to the top of Young's Peak, but both times been thwarted, either by snow/bad vis or touchy avalanche danger. Jasmin on the other hand has been up there twice. So we pushed up and up and up until we reached the last steep step to gain the summit. Classicly, it is guarded by a 40 degree headwall, with some big runouts to the valley below. I mean 3000' of run out to the valley bottom. Fortunately the terrain does bench out below the headwall so you can convince yourself that you won't get flushed all the way out to the valley bottom.

Jas punches up the headwall

Jas felt the urge to put a track all the way to the summit, so I wasn't going to slow her down or get in her way. Fortunately for us, the summit headwall had an old avalanche crown, and then some more recent sluffs and debris, once again giving us the confidence to travel safely through the already slid terrain. Some steep skinning, some booting, then back to skins and we were pushing through to the summit with some more bluebird 360 views of the mightly Selkirks. I am truly convinced that there might not be anywhere in the world as good as this mountain range for ski touring, with its combo of snowpack and terrain. 6,000' lines in blower boot top powder from wild glaciated summits!!!

Last slope to the summit.

Jasmin contemplates the vastness of the Selkirks

Dropping from the summit...only 5400' to go

I think I see the highway...

1 more day of high pressure is in the forecast, but after almost 13,000' feet of skiing and 30km travelled in two days, we will see what we motivate for.