March 31, 2011

Ski Mountaineering in the Bugaboos

The Howsers

Just returned from the Bugaboos after spending four days camped at Applebee. The Spires are a wild place in winter and reminded me of good times down south in Patagonia. Josh Briggs - aka Count Briggula - joined the party after I convinced him that the weather and stability would be perfect. Of course I was wrong. Unfortunately for Josh, by the time he discovered that the weather might not hold, it was too late. Big thanks to CMH Bugaboos for helping us out!

Josh climbing Crescent Tower on the first afternoon.

Check out the perfect form.

Skiing down in the shadow of Bugaboo Spire.

Long shadows beneath Snowpatch Spire.

Returning to camp on Day 1. Eastpost Spire in the background.

Digging around at the top of the Anniversary Chute on Day 2.

Hey is that all fresh debris at the bottom? It took us a while to notice that the slough from the ski cuts entrained an unsettling amount of snow.

Camp below Snowpatch Spire.

Weather about to change.

Getting pummelled on the Upper Bugaboo Glacier on Day 3.

The morning of Day 4 required lots of coffee.

Skiing down below the Kain Hut.

The awesome hour and fifteen minute ride out.

March 11, 2011

Powder Corrupts

1100 meters of this. Gery Unterasinger photo.

Got out for a soulful hit on 93 South yesterday with bossman Gery U. Timmy M also joined us for part of the session until getting waylaid by some gimcrack boots. Grey skies and wet snow stayed with us for most of the day and made for an atmospheric outing. Eleven-hundred meters of fall line fluff didn't make it easy to take today off, but with 2 weeks of of heli starting tomorrow, maybe a little rest isn't so bad.

Gery in the trees.

Andrew in the trees. Gery U Photo.

Listen up, if you even think of poaching my line I will take this here finger and...

Mine... all mine.

Adios sucker.

The End. Gery U Photo.

March 08, 2011

The Blessed Radium Highway

I'm not sure if these kids are raising their arms because they're stoked or because they need help. Near the top of the Olive / Vulture col on the Wapta Icefields. This was a two day back country ski course for Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.

In thirty days, the 2011 ACMG Ski Exam will begin. Since I am scheduled to take the exam, I've been keen to spend every spare moment on the sticks. I guess that's a little misleading though because I'd probably be doing the same thing regardless. Habitual behaviour is tough to change and when the skiing is this good it's hard to stay away.

If I had to choose one area to ski for the rest of the season, it would be the Radium Highway. The roadside terrain as good as it gets and the snow is dreamboat. It's also one of those places that rarely comes into condition ,so when it does, it's best to lap it up.

Eammon W getting ready for Vermillion Peak.

Vermillion Peak

The whole day I couldn't stop staring at the lines across the road.


Eammon on the summit ridge.

This was a good effort for me since I was only 30 minutes back of Eammon. Eammon Walsh Photo.

I'm pretty sure Eammon is thinking "I can't believe I dragged this idiot up here." Eammon Walsh Photo.

Like all good partnerships, we prefer to communicate with grunts, groans, hand signals and gestures.

In this photo, Eammon is explaining that his breasts are weighing him down.

Well if we drop in here the slope will avalanche and we'll probably die but man is it tempting.

We opted for the junior entrance. Eamon Walsh Photo.

Lower down in the main slide path.

The next day we rallied back to the Radium Hwy to try one of the lines opposite Vermillion Peak. I'm not going to say this was the best run of the year even though it was.

I'm always nervous going out with businessmen like Kris I and Ben because I know they're going to convince me to break trail, pay for gas and buy beer.

Our goal was the looker's right-most slidepath (starting in the sun) with the super slender entrance.

Bender Dundat.

We were only half way down and Ben was already basking in the afterglow.

Back at the road. The line we skied is the right-most line coming off the top.

Parting shot from a drive down Highway 40 over the weekend.

March 03, 2011

The Secret Stash

I'm always a little nervous standing between Eammon and his powder.

Went out for a mini mission in the Rockies yesterday with fellow guide types Eammon W, Ian W (both guilty by association) and Steve H. I was told that the location must remain secret so there's not much more to say except that it was smokin good skiing.

I find that sneaking off into the woods to shoot photos is a great way to avoid breaking trail.

Half way down.

This would be a faceshot on anyone else.

Slaloming the trees. No big deal.

They grow em big and red in Prince George.

This is a staged photo on a fake road.

As is this.