Monday, March 26, 2012

Birkenspitze Shred....

For a number of reasons I've been looking forward to the spring months this season. The past few weeks we've just been getting pounded by storm after storm. The temps stayed in the right place keeping the snow quality just right. The avy danger on the other hand has been of full red alert making just about everything a little out of reach. On Monday all looked to be lining up for a week of highish pressure and some relative snowpack consolidation. So in the first week of spring Jack and I headed out Thursday night to the Darcy area. First thing Friday morning we headed up the Anderson lake high-line to try and grab a classic line I'd done a few years ago. The day was filled with the typical coast range adventure of an unknown approach on a very old road. We had both pictured a smooth 12km sled ride to the base of the monster couloir with a 4 hour boot-pack. It was not to be. We did however savage the day with a 14km skin through mature slide alder.

One on the days highlights was the wash-out section where we dug out a dirt road for the machine. Sketchy...... It was just then I realized the last time I did hit this elusive peak was with the assistance of a Helichopper.

Danielle was set to join us for Saturday and we we're a little unsure of the approach so we decided to put in a sled track to ensure the next days success. It wasn't much out of the way and turned out to be a breeze. We got this view of the zone as the sun just started to set.

After a night at the Pemberswiss Hostel we were at the trailhead bright n early.


When we emerged from the forest after only one short hour we were greeted by the Birkenstock Couloir.

One more hour and we were well above tree line and on the toe of the glacier.

Studying our line from afar the wind was ferociously loading it from the south which was a potential concern.

As we approached the headwall our next concern was a cornice we estimated to be at least 10 meters tall looming above our boot-pack.

We spent a little while assessing the snowpack and found some moderate results that pointed to a "good to go" decision.

While I watched Jack on the summit approach I snapped this shot of Whitecap Mountain in the distance. It reminded me of one of my favourite epics he and I did over 7 years ago.    


Our boards took a break as we did the final summit approach.

Got it again!

Great views of the east face of the Sun God.

Mount Curry, Whistler Blackcomb, the Black Tusk and the Pemberton Valley.

Time to shred......

Jack dropped in over the 50deg roller first.

Danielle caught the days last rays. What a day to be in the alpine at 5:30pm!


We made it back just before the sunset and a celebratory Bier!


Paul Cannin said...

great blog, I heard of this after your talk at the VIMFF. Last weekend was definitely a great one to get out into the mountains!

Pat Mulrooney said...

Right on Paul! This season just keeps getting better.....