Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Christmas present!!

We woke up in Christmas morning under a shinning blue sky! We headed towards a variant of the Lone Pine slidepath in the Hermitt area. Sarah taking a break and Freddy gone skiing with one of his friend, I teamed up solely with Piet.
I have never spend too much time in Hermitt due to the fact that the forest is not that skiable. You then need to ski in the different slidepaths which is not my favorite place to hang out when the avy danger is a not too, too stable.

Being bless with a LOW avalanche danger all the way to the alpine, we figured it would be a great option!
Unfortunately for us, just as we got to the top, the clouds moved in...
Since we weren’t too familiar with the area, we waited for some openings in the clouds to find the entrance to the slidepath.
We eventually got one and we were really glad to have found it!
The run was 1300m vertical of pure untrack awesomeness!!
I got so excited skiing it, I was woop-wooping all the way down like my good friend JS showed me! The snow was probably only 20-25cm deep, but steady and bottomless!
This was one of my certainly best run in Rogers Pass ever!

We then made it up towards Cheops.
Our initial plan was to ski the STS couloir which is a nice aesthetical line that needs good stability. Since it was already tracked, we opted for a bit less spectacular line and ski Nikki’s Notch which is somehow parallel to the STS couloir.
The top part was not so nice since it was windcrusted, but we the lower was really good.
Once at the bottom, we put our skin to climb back up to Balu pass.

From there, we climb back up on Cheops and this time, we dropped down the Cougar Valley. From my past experience, the snow is usually really nice and on top, you have an free extra 300m since you end up at the highway and hitch hike to make it back.

Hitch hiking is usually not a problem since there is a lot of people travelling by themselves in big pick-up trucks!

The top part was really nice, but the lower part was lacking a bit of coverage turning it to some nice adventure skiing!
I haven’t been to Avalanche Crest in a while, so it was kind of cool to hike up there. The area is fairly wide, so there is usually quite a lot of room to lay tracks even if it hasn’t snow in a little while.
The view from the top is really cool as you ski straight down to the highway.
As planned, there was still a lot of room to make fresh tracks!
We enjoy the continuing Low to Moderate avalanche forecast to try some new lines.
From the Rogers Pass Discovery center, we climbed up towards the Hourglass, but kept going until we got to Cheops 1. We first skin it, and then bootpack our way up.
From the shoulder, we skied into Cheops 2 which is a quite impressive open bowl.
Conditions were good, we were able to feel a wind slab that kept us from being to funky!

At the bottom of Cheops 2, there is a plateau from which we start skinning up towards Napoleon Spur.

Even if Napoleon is a classic of Rogers, I’ve never been there myself and I really wonder why since it is a nice steep pillowy terrain!
Late at night, after a 8 hours journey from Calgary due to some road closure, my girlfriend, Amelie, joined us after being dropped at the top of the pass from the bus. It took her a bit of arguing with the driver to convince him she would be better and more comfortable if she would be getting drop at the pass than in Revelstoke!
Our Christmas run was so good that we figured it would be a good idea to do the direct version of Lone Pine starting straight from the top.
From a distance, we were able to see there wasn’t any tracks and the weather forecast was calling for some great weather.
Amelie wanted a small day to start off and I guess it wasn’t exactly what she had in mind...
It took a bit of encouragement, but she made it up the 1400m after cursing a bit at her blisters!
The view from the top was really spectacular!
We were all really glad to have waited until some good stable conditions since the entrance was fairly sketchy.
The snow was not super deep and we all hitted some rocks somehow on the way down.
I guess this slidepath is probably a bigger threat to the highway and probably more control that the variant we did a few days earlier.
After this quite good day of skiing, we felt it was time for us to move a bit. After all, we haven't rented an RV only to park it and not move it!

With more and more people showing up, we wanted something a bit less busy.

Piet and Sarah proposed to make it towards Retallack where we could probably skied a good backcountry spot they have been before.

So we packed everyone in the RV and hit the road!
Living the RV liftestyle!



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