April 20, 2012

Spring Skiing in the Canadian Rockies - Mt. Whymper Etc


Steve H putting in a track to the N. Col of Mt Whymper. The col is in the upper left of the photo.

Someone was recently making fun of me for (among other things)  FOMO - the fear of missing out. While I don't think that I experience this on all levels, I would certainly agree that it does effect me with regards to spring skiing in the Rockies. Which is probably why, after emerging from a five week heli-ski shift on Saturday, I agreed to accompany Steve H on a Chickadee Valley hot lap on Monday. 

It's an interesting experience getting back in to a Rockies frame of mind and I couldn't help but feel slightly threatened while punching in the uptrack on the big, north facing slope. The last time I skied anywhere outside of the Purcells was back in February during a period of  very good stability. Stability is quite good right now too, but mid-April always feels like something of a transition month and I don't think that it would be impossible to get surprised. Steve and I dug two test profiles on the way up and didn't find the buried temperature crust that we thought might be present. So we continued to the top and found ourselves surprised by a grave and unforeseen hazard: Horrendous Hand Odor caused by profuse sweating of the manus. Upon removing our gloves to fiddle with various objects in our packs, I was overcome by the killer aroma and immediately blamed Steve. Of course, he immediately blamed me. I think the real lesson here is that it is important to wash and dry your gloves.


No one likes to be accused of having bad smelling hands... No one.


Aerating the manus


Classic Rockies.


Another one for the list.



On Wednesday, I guided Pat and Susie H on the Surprise Pass loop. We found great snow on the south and north aspects. Here is Pat climbing Surprise Pass with Mt. Aberdeen in the background.


The following day, we parked at Emerald Lake and skinned up the summer trail to Hamilton Lake. From there, we continued up to the col between Emerald Peak and the Top Hat. The ensuing 1000 meter descent to the Emerald Basin was epic! There was a little debris in the creek on the way out...


Next up...

No comments: