Monthly Archives: March 2014

What a day!

7th Heaven

Every now and then a day comes along that simply hammers home why I live in Whistler.  A surprise 32cms of fresh, dry, light powder and bluebird skies.  How can you beat that?  I suppose I should add that I got first tracks down several runs.

Hugh's Heaven

Never Ceases to Amaze

What a valley!

Riding Peak Chair on Whistler in late February, I unloaded at the top, chuckled at all the ‘tourists’ taking their holiday snaps,

Tourist

stopped a moment to look at their subject and was blown away.  I can’t tell you how many times I have looked upon this view, however it never, never ceases to amaze me.

Black Tusk

Black Tusk Winter

Random Skier

Great Valley

Ak Grab

Pink tusk

 

Steep Creek

View above the hut

Last week we went on a trip to the Duffey Lake area.  In one word this place is epic.  A lot of absolutely outrageous terrain.  It is steep, with lots of tree runs and lots of exposed faces with cliffs, chutes and very serious avalanche possibilities.  This year has been a bit worrying in terms of avalanche danger so the purpose of this trip was just to get into the mountains and hang out.  We weren’t really chasing epic lines.

As it turns out, it was a good thing we weren’t in search of epic skiing because as we were climbing up to the hut the freezing level quickly over took us.

The map below shows roughly the route we took.  The climbing is in yellow and the descent is in red.  Obviously most of the terrain is currently covered in snow, however you can get a rough idea.

Steep Creek Route

The climb itself wasn’t too difficult, it followed a road for most of the way that had been nicely packed down by snowmobile traffic.  We weren’t in a hurry so we took a little longer than we usually would, however we made it to the hut in time to unload our heavy packs and head up through the trees for a quick lap before dinner.

One Trail

Heading up for a quick lap before dinner

Heading up for a quick lap before dinner

The snow was quite heavy however we were able to have some fun and play around.  You can see the rough line we took in orange on the map above.

We stayed in an awesome hut that had lights (solar), ipod dock, foam mats and more including a disco ball.  We ate, drank and played cards well into the night and when we crashed it was almost luxurious how much space there was in the loft.

On the second and final day we took our time packing up and departing, an excellent bacon breakfast was on the menu.  We climbed up through the trees once more, stopping several times to look at lines and wish the snow was champagne powder.  Next time!

Will Trees near Hut

Towards Chute 56

At the top we looked down an avalanche path called Chute 56.  On a good day this chute apparently has some incredible skiing, however it is a committing line and we weren’t overly confident in the snow pack so we decided to stick in the trees.

Tree Negotiator

Tree Negotiator 2

Will playing

The skiing was heavy but actually pretty fun at the start however below 1500 metres or so it changed drastically into this horrible heavy concrete style snow.  We slowly picked our way down, popping into the chute at the very end to link up with the road that would take us back to the main road out to our car.

Will heavy snow

Heavy Pow Will B&W

All in all it was a pretty fun, short adventure and I cannot wait to get back there when the snow is in a better condition.

 

Chamonix, France

Aguille du midi

In January I was lucky enough to travel to Chamonix, France.  This place is simply incredible.  The terrain is about as dramatic as I have seen anywhere.  I could write an essay on why this place is amazing but I’ll save you the task of reading it and let you do your own analysis through these pictures.

Chamonix cliffs ssunset

Jagged Peak

Chamonix cliffs

Chamonix Cliffs

Chamonix Cliffs

From Grand Montet

Valley Blanche Begins

Valley at Les Houches signed

View from the Aguille signed

Across Valley From Aguile

Across Valley

Mont blanc

Orange Building & peaks

Peaks from Cham

Aguile from Town

Mont Blanc signed

Chamonix Cliffs sunset 2