Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I have to say that I had one of the best in recent memories. I got to ski all weekend and had a great evening of costumes and adult beverages. I am still working so I am limited to only skiing weekend like the rest of the world. All I know is that after this weekend going to work is going to be a little more difficult, my mind is officially in ski mode. Lucky for me the interior of BC has been blessed with some great early season conditions.
The weekend started off with some serious precipitation, the amount of rain that was coming down Friday night was insane! It felt pretty cold so I figured it was snowing somewhere up high.
The next morning I met up with my good friend Marty Schaffer and Brandon Pollard! Over coffee we discussed where we should go, the little glimpses of the mountains that we were getting were not reveling any sign of new snow. We changed plans numerous times but eventually decided to head to Rogers Pass. This long decision process would have infuriated some but waying all the options payed off in the end cause we got some great skiing.
The problem right now is gaining the elevation to get to snow line which is about 2000m or treeline. If there is no path you will have the slog from hell through all the alders. Luckily there is a great hiking trail that goes right up the Connaught drainage to Balu pass.
We arrived in the parking lot to pouring rain. Putting your boots on in the rain is a really special experience. As rain poured down so did our enthusiasm for the day but we figured that the exercise would be good for us. As we climbed higher we weren’t seeing any signs of improvement with the snow pack saturated with water and isothermic conditions. The wet slides that had come down most of the sled paths weren’t giving us much confidence either. We pushed on under peer pressure of not wanting to be the guy that says he has had enough.
Lucky for us as we approached Balu Pass (2000M) things started to change, the snow got deeper, the rain turned to snow and the wind picked up! We made it to the pass and hummed and haughed about what to do. We had seen a chute on the way up that looked pretty choice but the route up the shoulder looked heinous at best.
I convinced my comrades that we should at least have a closer look at this shoulder. I have this thing of convincing my friends to do stupid shit with me. After an interesting skin (read horrible), we managed to gain the shoulder and were looking down the chute.
To our surprise the snow seemed pretty good. We did a couple of ski cuts and remembered how to turn again! The chute turned out to be one of the funnest early season skis I have had. The snow was epic and bomber, I can’t think of a better way to start the year. The stoke level was high!
After a night out on the town of Revelstoke celebrating Halloween we managed to drag our hung over bodies up to Sail Mountain.This time I had Marty Schaffer, Izzy Lynch and Christina Lustenberger.
Normally you need a snowmoblie to get up there but the military is training up there right now and have plowed the road to the top. This is great because I am now sans snowmobile due to the dickhead that stole mine. Are expectations were pretty low being as to the fact that you can’treally get above treeline on Sail.
As we started heading up the road, there was way more snow than expected. The trees kept getting more and more caked and it was really starting to look like winter. We topped out and were in a full winter paradise, snow caked to the trees and even a bit of blue sky.
We got in three awesome runs in a little pillow area and called it a day. And what a day it was. So stoked to be shredding again.
I have a another week of work and then I am off to premiers in Canmore, Lake Louise, Banff and Revy. We get a day off in between each so the plan is to shred. Stay tuned for more action. Prey for snow.
P.S. Thanks for the photos Marty, and Happy Birthday Sis! Thanks to Salomon, Fresh, Kask and Smith for making it happen!