July 08, 2010

Skiing the West Face Mt Lefroy

Starting the hike from Lake Ohara to Abbot Pass on the evening of July 5th.

Went for a fun mountain adventure the other day with Chief Ali and Sheriff of Ski Eammon W. Cool temps and fresh snow up high lured us to the Sickle on Mt. Victoria. This enticing line has been eyeballing me every time I go to Lake Louise and I was stoked when Eammon and Ali agreed to break out the skis for a summer mission.

Unfortunately, we failed miserably. Minutes after leaving the Abbot Pass Hut at 4am, we were sketching along steeeep slopes over sizable cliffs. After taking off the skis to down-climb,we reached an exposed rock and pulled the pin. A lot of things need to come together to ski a line like this and I guess it just wasn't our day. In hindsight, we all agreed that we tried to come in to the line too high. In the future, it would be better to drop down lower in to the Death Trap and traverse mellower slopes in to the Sickle.

So after getting our heart rates up, we went for the second goal of the trip: The West Face on Mt. Lefroy. What can you say about Spring like stability with cold, Wintry snow?

Cool looking Quartzite on the way up to Abbot Pass.

This is not a frozen lake. It's a Rorschach Test.

Someone once told me that climbing with Eammon was like tying in with Superman.

The Abbot Pass Hut is the highest hut in Canada.

4 am

Le Retreat.

Ali staring up at Lefroy.

Good views if you're in to this sort of thing. Expression on loan to Global Alpine from Greg Thaczuk.

Mt Victoria and The Sickle from Lefroy.

Ali punching for the chains.

Step aside Wexler.

Getting closer.

Can you still call it a summit shot if you're not exactly on the summit? It's 2010! Of course you can.

Ali skiing from the top.

July 5th. What?

Big terrain on the descent in to the Death Trap. Luckily, this feature was in perfect condition.

Chillin in The Death Trap. You know, no big deal.

What you don't see here are the enormous seracs and slopes looming over head.

Getting ready for the long walk of shame. One of the problems with failing on the Sickle is that it stares at you during the entire hike out.

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