February 28, 2011

Time Off

A snowy day in Canmore when even the prayer flags are black and white.

Woke up to snow and high winds in Canmore this morning. Perfect weather for a rest day. After almost four months of non-stop work, I'm looking forward to some personal time. During the middle of the winter season, I find it tough to do much other than eat, sleep, drink and work. I can barely find the time to read, plan a spring trip, write, obsess over climbs, see friends, check out new music or even ask myself how it's all going. Months will pass and I'll find myself wondering what happened to the time. Was it a dream? Did it really happen? Does it make any difference?

Hiking in to the Bear Spirit mixed crag yesterday for a day of climbing with the University Of Calgary.

A cool shot from the Bugaboos last week.

February 20, 2011

Skiing The Adamants

Mt Sir Sanford doing a great North Side of Everest impersonation.

Had the pleasure of joining CMH Adamants last week for some epic skiing. By the time I arrived at the lodge, a recent storm had just just dumped over a meter of fresh in the alpine. Of course, being the Adamants, this was rarely referred to as snow but as Angel Fluff.

We didn't see the sun until the last day when the skies finally cleared. This was great timing since it also coincided with the end of a five day hangover.

Hanging out in the backseat might not get you much respect, but it does make for a good photo op.

Flying around under clear blue skies.

Firing up.

Cool light.

An early morning bombing mission with Mr. McGee. This, combined with the previous nights antics, had me feeling woozy for days.

Tommy R teaching me what to do with the Angel Fluff.

Skiing Silver Shadow.

Home for the day.

Somewhere in Norman Wood.

February 12, 2011

Skiing at Fortress Mountain

No shortage of snow during this University of Calgary Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course.

After a last minute schedule change, I found myself teaching an Intro Backcountry Ski Course in K-Country today. The venue was the defunct Fortress ski resort that is rumored to be re-opening in 2013. As has been the case for much of this blessed winter, it was snowing heavily throughout the day, and I think that most of the participants were left wondering why they didn't get in to this a long time ago.

The elation lasted until lap #2

A black and white sort of day.

Ahhhh, out of the wind

Taking a break before starting down.

In backcountry skiing, it is always important to have an excuse when you fall. I typically default to my skis not being wide enough. In this case, flat light was to blame.


February 08, 2011

Skiing Mt Hector

Bender Dundat nearing the top of Mt. Hector.

Finally got out for a beautiful day of ski touring in the Rockies today with a group of climbers turned skiers. Myself, Josh B, Bender and Mad Johnny piled in to Ben's truck this morning like a troupe of circus clowns, and drove up to Mt. Hector under cold and clear skies. We began the 1600 meter climb in -24 degrees and spent most of the day wrapped in full regalia.

It's funny how the definition of good skiing changes if you don't have a helicopter flying you around. The upper part of the mountain today was so wind hammered that ski crampons would have been useful. But we scraped our way up and down, managed a few fluffy turns on the lower slopes, and deemed it an awesome day.

Looking up at Mt. Hector from the lower glacier.

Low down on the glacier.

Bender, Johnny and the struggle.

Nearing the top.

Captain Briggs

The Rockies are tough to beat for vistas unless Josh is blocking the view.

Starting the descent.

Better snow low down on the hill.

Ben and Johnny taking the pits seriously.

The rare and coveted fluffy turn.

February 05, 2011

More Skiing in the Selkirks and Purcells

The Alpha Lima Hotel switchboard.

There are two sentences I've been hearing a lot of lately: "I can't believe it's February," and "Nice goggle tan." This sums the season up pretty well so far. Despite the lingering (and extremely hard to trigger) instabilities in the basal snowpack, the skiing has been awesome. I just got back to Canmore after a week of guiding at CMH Revelstoke followed by a week in the Bugs. It was a pleasure to be at both locations and I'm already looking forward to heading back in on Saturday.

In the meantime, looking forward to some Rockies ski touring and Haffner mixed climbing.

A short heli-ski clip from the multi-talented Josh Lavigne.

Skiing off Tickler South in the Bugaboos.

Swiss Tamara ripping it up on Larch in the Bugaboos.

Pete Mac skiing some windpressed schnee on Top of the World.

Flying home over Bugaboo Pass.

Hanging out in Rory Creek.

Managed a couple of days of touring at Rogers Pass on the way to Revelstoke. This is Sir Donald as seen from Mcgill Shoulder.

Danny boy going up.

Danny boy going down.

And a random sampler from cool early morning light on Mt Rundle.