Sunday, November 27, 2011

Before the Storm...

Looking for a record perfect month of November, Danielle and I decided to try and beat the inevitable warming event that would hit us this week-end. The plan was to hit the steep and deep trees the Hurley has to offer.  

We spent the afternoon grabbing a few laps in a great stash of old growth trees. Trail-breaking was stupid deep as expected but well worth the effort.

After a few hours we decided to head north and hit up the Mine Shaft pub in Bralorne for a burger and some beers. Surprisingly there were only two other sledders who came over the Hurley that day. We almost has the place to ourselves. 

At 4:30 we geared up and headed back to Pemberton in the dark. A great way to spend a stormy day in Pemberton. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Plowing Pow in Squamish....

My anticipation built up all week as this winter's first big storms blasted the Coast Mountains around Vancouver. As Saturday approached all signs pointed to a bomber weather day and a load of new snow. It's pretty rare to experience legitimate mid winter conditions in November but that's what was delivered in Squamish. Photos....

I'd also been raring to take out the new sled so it was time to fire it up. It had been a little too long since Aussie Dave had been out with me so I was pumped when he confirmed he would help me break in the new machine. We arrived at the trailhead early enough to beat the crowds and headed into the valley.

Just as we were leaving we ran into Toby and Matt who shared our opinion of where the goods would be. The snow was deep and cold..... game on!

The four of us made quick work of setting the up-track and were ready for our first deep run on the season.

What month is this again?

The alpine was beckoning so we decided to get high.

After spending an hour in the mountains shadow we emerged on the ridge and were back in the sun.

After a pair of two more big runs we arrived back at the sleds just before dark. Toby and Matt we're kind enough share some delicious Red Racer IPA's they had stashed away. After a day like that we agreed all signs point to a big season!   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Early season pow on the Duffey....

Expectations weren't high this week-end when we headed up the Duffey, Saturday morning. The goal was to see how the base was shaping up and see if we could find some secret stashes.

Our first plan was shut down when we realized the snow was actually too deep to drive close enough to our trail-head. So we decided on plan B and retreated back to the highway.

Only minutes from the truck things we're looking up. There was plenty of new snow on a small but packed base!

After a snowy day of skinning in we arrived at our palace and dropped off some gear. Unfortunately Renata and Kyla had to work on Sunday so they headed back out just before dark.

That left Danielle and Rich to help me find one good spot to grab some of the years first face shots before dark!

The next morning we b-lined it to the alpine and farmed a perfectly wind protected zone with around 70cms.

Photo credit: Rich Kupskay

After a few hours we declared it "skied out". With one more big dump this season will be a go!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Every October I start dreaming about the first day of the season. Sometimes it's a full on winter day with a deep snowpack but no base. Other years it's a bluebird day with almost no snow. Regardless of the year you're almost guaranteed to leave P-tex on some rocks. The key is to hit an area that either has lingering old snow or a glacier that's got small enough slots that won't eat you up. After last weeks Wed night storm it looked like Sunday would be a go as the weather shaped up. Photos...

We decided to hit one of our favourite zones in Squamish that always seems to deliver. After 30 minutes off road the snow got deep enough to stop my truck around 200m from the trail-head. Nice! We skinned up and made out way across a couple of creeks and the early season slide alder.

After an initial steep climb we emerged in the alpine where the snow looked reasonable.

Once on the glacier we realized we would actually be getting some quality November turns!

When we got to the base of Cypress Peak Mike decided to do his best Billy Goat impression.

Eric and Mike dropped in first with a world class view of the Tantalus Range and the Squamish River valley.

We spent the afternoon sharing the zone with only 3 other guys milking the November snow!

We made it back to the truck just before dark and celebrated a perfect first day of the 2011/12 snow season!