Sunday, February 23, 2014
Twenty minutes from our front door in Squamish, B.C. there's a magical forest where pow dreams come true. It's a place where one can find 500m hallways that extend at 40 plus degrees through 300 year old Douglas fir trees. For us, these types of places are not entirely typical. The coastal forest above Howe Sound is generally thick and un-passable at these lower elevations. This place however is "Kootenay like". It's a place that after spending the last 25 years in these forests, is unparalleled to any other one like it in my humble opinion..... Read G3's blog here.... and some more Flickr shots....
We set off early Saturday am and put in a very steep but manageable skin-track.
Enroute we decided to have a detailed look at the snowpack. The massive amount of snow that fell over the past 2 weeks has really ensured that all back-country travellers are on maximum alert and choose their terrain wisely. The CAA put out a special bulletin this week-end that highlighted our complex and unusual snowpack and to tread lightly and intelligently. Two weeks ago this place had no snow. This week-end we found a base of 305cms.... winter actually came!
After a test run of the zone we headed up for round 2....
After multiple laps we agreed this was by far the best day of the past 5 seasons. We headed back to the machine to rest our legs and hopefully be back for day 2.....
Sunday morning turned out to be a very "Canadian" day. We woke up like much of the country at 4:00am and turned on CBC to watch the Canadian men's hockey team capture their well deserved Gold medal. When the game ended we were quickly aboard the Ski Doo plowing new overnight pow towards our favourite spot. The up-track needed very little work and was back in action for another big day.
Day 2 turned out to be even better! Oh Canada!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
..... and the tap is wide open with almost 2 weeks of continuous precip in the form of cold powder. With nearly 200cms of new snow on top of an already very complex and non typical coastal snowpack it's time to play safe. We decided to take a trip over the Hurley to Bralorne and sample the old growth trees en route.
After unloading at valley bottom in Pemberton we made our DEEP way up to the pass and found a nice parking spot.....
This spot is a nice one to have in your back pocket when things are touchy. Even so we experienced some very eery settlement whumphs below tree-line and in very thick forested areas.
After a couple of laps the weather came in and the Mineshaft Pub was calling so we headed north.
I had a bit of fun on the way.....
There 's a brand new info kiosk at the junction of the east Hurley. Pretty nice set up.
A very old photo of the ski lodge we would be heading to the next day at Sunshine Mountain is featured....
We checked in to our cozy accommodations and headed for dinner.
They've done a great job with this place.
We only met one other skier in the deserted streets of Bralorne.
A typical Mineshaft scene with a Husky chillin on the floor.
The next morning I woke up very refreshed. I realized it was due to the hops growing below our window and remembered I sleep very well when hops are near!
The ski lodge was open for business and the repairs were outstanding.
So nice to see this place brought back to life.
We spent the afternoon as the only lift ticket holders and shredded waist deep pow in bounds! Sunshine mountain was true to it's name and the skies cleared.
After another great week-end in the Bridge River Valley we headed home and braved the snow covered highway in Whistler traffic.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Danielle and I spent January getting lost in the high Andes of South America. The decision was made when it became clear this years winter, had plans to act like summer. We decided on a riding trip in Peru's legendary Cordillera Blanca.... Photos and story to follow shortly but here are a couple of teaser photos....
When we arrived back in Squamish in the first week of February snow was no where to be seen in the mountains but the temperatures were on the chilly side. This created some very unique and special conditions that would allow us to have a unique long week-end. We spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday Ice Skating on Brohm Lake, Stump Lake and the Squamish River right behind our house. It was a super rare experience to walk 100m from our door and strap on skates at sea level!
Sunday afternoon we took a break from the ice and Emily joined us from Pemberton to sample some flowy single-track in Britannia. What month is this again?
Monday am we woke to a beautiful winter dump and headed to the river for another round of hockey. These four days will be tough to beat anytime soon....