April 30, 2015

Skiing in the Bugaboos 2015 - The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves!

Helmets are getting much more creative these days. Thanks for the photo Trevor W!

The 2015 winter season will not go down as one of the deepest. It's not that we didn't get much precipitation, it's just that it fell mostly as rain below 2000 meters. Somehow, May is just around the corner and we're still at it AND conditions are finally getting good! Thanks to everyone I skied with this season. Despite the challenging conditions, the guests were awesome and seemed to appreciate the good vistas and trace shots. See you in the Rockies this spring!

Dave C skiing Tamarack in late April.

Visiting guide TED leading a group on a run called Kickoff in the Spires. Trevor Ward Photo.

My brother Tony fresh out of grad school with a PHD and a rented snowboard. It's been 15 years since he last rode and he's still got the steeze! After taking a decade and a half off to pursue academics and pick-up basketball, Tony is making a comeback to the world of mountain sports.

Tony riding the lower Howser Glacier.

The Shadow knows.

Tones going for a rip on Wildcat.

A group on Malloy with the Spires in the background.

Pick up on Ella's Run.

Looking at the Howsers from Route 66 in the Four Squatters.

Pete W probing the upper Vowell Glacier below the West Face of Snowpatch.

The Howsers.

Nat R digging a hole on Bill's Pass. This is the the route taken by the well travelled Bugaboos - Rogers Pass Traverse

There are about 12 people in this photo.

The NE Ridge of Buagboo Spire.

Long shadows across the Vowell Glacier with the Howsers in the distance.

We tried burning stuff in the hopes that it would snow but no luck.

On the drive to work two weeks ago, I passed these wolves on Highway 93 South.

Still skiing.

April 08, 2015

Skiing The Gutenteit Couloir

The late, great Robson Gmoser skiing a run called Fearless in the Bugaboos circa 2012. We had just finished bombing the entrance slopes and decided that our work would not be complete without a sampling. Robson made a short video clip that day of our heli-bombing escapade and used a Butthole Surfers tune for the soundtrack. Like many things with Robson, it was serious shits and giggles. Like the time he brought me a thermos full of Bailey's at work, or flying around with various objects on high, open glaciers, or watching him recite The Wreck of the Julie Plante to a crowd of drunken professionals - there was no shortage to the hi-jinks. During the seasons that I got to work with Robson, I can't remember how many times I watched him diffuse stressful situations with a goofy joke and a laugh. You left the world too soon brother! But you left it a better place. The Bugaboos will not be the same without you.

Not long after Robson's passing, a few of us found ourselves driving down the Icefields Parkway, looking for something to ski. The news and circumstances of Robson's death was front and center in all our minds. Afterall, if something like that could happen to Robson, it could just as well happen to us. We drove north of Bow Lake to have a look at the Peyto's Pipe line on Caldron Peak, but decided to back track to something that caught our attention on one of the great ski peaks of the Canadian Rockies - Bow Peak. 

Up into the white, searching for the access to the Gut (pronounced: goot) and Tight! Gery U photo.

Even if this couloir didn't continue higher up, it would still be a great piece of terrain on it's own with some of the finest quartzite walls imaginable. The entrance is just north of the classic Grand Daddy Couloir and the God Father feature, but a ways south of the F.O.D.

Bender coming out of the initial couloir and seeing that the line continues. Gery U Photo.

"A Gut Tight Fit. Afterall, that's what it's all about!" Herr Gutenteit. Gery U Photo.

As usual, nothing but laughs for Buba - even when he is getting clobbered by spindrift.

Isn't it just great how the exposure disappears when you're in the clouds. 

This picture doesn't do it justice, but the wallowing in this feature was some of the best I've seen. Gery U Photo.

The trenching shall continue until morale improves.

Atleast good wallowing often means good skiing!

A wintry feel to the day.

Turning in the middle section.

Gery about to enter the Gutentight.

Bender skiing the fan that is the trademark of all lines on Bow Peak. It's hard to say if someone has been up this feature before, but for us, the line will always be The Gutentight Couloir after our friend Robson.

January 2012 in Chalice Meadows with some of the Bugaboo crew (right  to left): Kobi, Helen, Lilla , Ella, Robson, Andrew.