Spring ski at Sunshine Friday May 19

One of best spring skiing days in memory. Outstanding coverage as never clipped a rock or dirt all day and the snow was fantastic on the steep stuff. Great slush, sunny and great views.

Bellevue Hill May 12, 2017

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Bellevue Hill with Galwey behind. Rained all the way down.

Friday – Drove down to Pincher Creek to try Victoria Peak but looked like still has too much snow – add in some new rain/snow showers at 8 am so we moved onto Waterton. Bellevue was dry until summit and then rained hard on us all the way down. Went up the RH Nugara fault route on East Face which had some nice hands on moderate rock in places up to and along the ridge. Rest was a hike with half a dozen ticks. Went down on south ridge direct to road which was fast descent in rain and shorter. Circuit was 835 m and 8.7 km including 1.5 km hike along road back to car, about 4 hours RT.

 

Pictures 

Prairie Bluff, East Castle April 22, 2017

Dave 5

Plan C after finding 5 to 20 cm of new snow

I like Dave’s summary from FB: This was a “plan C” and ended up being a great half-day wander after the twin irritations of encountering a woman driving in reverse at full speed on the center lane of MacLeod Trail south as we left town(she missed her off ramp!), and me accidentally puncturing a bear spray cartridge with my ice ax as we packed up to go at the trailhead. We chose this objective in lieu of a scramble due to about 5-20 cms of new snow that had blanketed the East Castle region the previous evening. (Dave could have chucked his axe towards his bear spray a 1000 times and never get it to hit the can let alone puncture the can – fortunately we worked things out and had a great day.

Sunny for most of trip(some sunburns), very calm and no ticks.

8 Km RT, 730 m and 4 hrs 23 min including summit time

 

Pics

Anklebiter Ridge April 8, 2017

 

 

 

Dave1Scramble 5.7 km, 860 m, 5.5 hrs – lots of postholing and time deciding on doing loop.

Similar but easier than doorjamb.  Good trail from Grotto pond park lot and turn right up trail on ridge. Several trail options but want to keep to ridge crest so keep RH of slabs as scree trails to the climbers left are treadmill down tracks.

Some deeper snow. More after first summit. Too much snow on back side so did not do loop around to ridge to East.

Picked the right day weather wise.

Pics  Some Dave’s.  thanks.

North Peak – mt Burke April 1, 2017

Snowshoe thrash in the trees. about 700 m, 11 km and 5.5 hrs.

No pics

Doorjamb/Loder March 25, 2017

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Loder and Goat ridge from Doorjamb

Trying to avoid the snow. Mostly sunny day with not too much wind. Some snow in trees starting near top of DJ but good trail/steps on most.

Route:There are many variations and trails in trees on lower part but they all go up. Route issues start 2/3 way up DJ when you encounter a series of slabs on the right and you want to keep to the top or RH of slabs. These slabs get steeper and higher as you progress upward and you do not want to go along the bottom or left hand side.  There usually are several ways to get up each slab -either at RH edge/start, scramble a break, ledges, cracks, rough spots or friction the slab, etc. Crux slab is near top of DJ has two grooves that both work(see pic). Some thigh deep snow on a few sections in trees but lots of traffic so good trail. More snow between DJ and Loder but no issues.

About 800 m and 6.5 km RT

Pics

For perspective Pics from a previous trip in 2007   Some better pics of the slabs.

Willow Ridge by Chain Lakes March 18, 2017

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Dave on Willow Ridge looking South

Warm sunny windy day in the foothills(+ 14C in park lot at Chain Lakes). The Mountains to the West were white and had a big storm wall and of course the avalanche hazard is very high.

Left the snowshoes in the car. Trip with Dave, Wietse and Brian. About 14 km RT, 700 m accumulated up and over 4-5 ridges and 4:30 hrs.

Pictures (some Daves – thanks)

 

Avi conditions March 16 – ski Sunshine

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Avalanche conditions off the scale so decided to enjoy the ski hill on a corporate flex day.

Finally getting enough skiing in this year that my fitness and technique are coming back versus last few years.   Have always found that need more than 6 days to get back to a good ability level and need over 10 days to improve.  New excellent quality skis make a big difference. Good feeling and satisfaction to using the right tool for the right job.

Love my new wide  “water skis” – Nunataq’s in the deep powder like at Blanket but I have a pair of dedicated down hill skis (Volkl RTM 84) that are expert triple black skis – any conditions – any run. Heavier and need a downhill boot to drive them and not a luxury ride like Cadillac but like a Porsche – meant to be driven. Top end capability beyond me but you never want to be limited by your skis!

I cannot exceed the skis no matter how many days I ski and it expands my enjoyment of the harder black runs.

Blanket Glacier Ski Trip Mar 3-7, 2017

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Mark E at Blanket Glacier Chalet

Annual back country powder trip.(25th time)

Snowed for three days so skied trees  – pollux, monster and christmas and no pics.

Skied 800 to 1300 m per day.

Great snow but Monday was exceptional as snow had dried out from cold Sunday night.

Great feeling to be in the groove again – exceptional powder, great runs in trees and fitness, technique and the right equipment all came together.

Volkl Nunataq skis, Diamir Fritschi Vipec 12 Bindings and Dynafit TLT 6 Boots.  Great combination for deep powder.

Some sun as we flew out.

Chalet has been expanded and now even better. Lots of room, better bed platforms, rooms for couples, better insulation and heaters, and an indoor toilet.

The drying room for wet clothes and the sauna and shower worked good as always.

Pics of chalet 

Cirque Fore Peak/Crystal Ridge Trees – ski Feb 25, 2017

Ski with Andy about 600 m 6 km 4 hrs.

Safe trip and some good turns.