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!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Furry Crack.... I mean Creek.

With the Avy forecast looking more than a little sketchy Jack and I decided to check out a very close to home zone we'd never explored before. It's pretty rare to see "Red" across the board in the Sea to Sky area but this March has pretty much looked that way from the get go.

Our morning began with a 30min drive to Furry Creek.

The drive was filled with some of British Columbia's historic mining relics.

We found some unexpected accommodations.

And after a long walk to near the headwaters of the Seymour river we found some potential.....

We ended up getting a nice 1000ft shot on Ben More at the head of Furry Creek.   

Friday, March 9, 2012


Mike and I decided to celebrate the first week of Marchpowderfest by heading to the small village of Pemberpowplow. So after a hard days work we headed north and spent a night in the Hostel Shilohworks.... aka Pemberswiss.

After a couple of hours we arrived in Pemberpowplow and tunnelled our way in. It was still there!

With half a day left we decided to do some exploring and found a sweet 700m run to milk.

It was deep.

We got back just in time for dinner and Mike pulled off one of his famous 4star kung-fu dinner moves! Check out the size of Mike's flat bread!

In the morning Scottish Paul and Yorkshire Andy met up with us and then there we're four. Plenty of pow to go around.

On our way back to the village we heard rumours that others had arrived. The head count was now 11 humans and 4 dogs. This would be interesting.

The good news is we would learn the game of French Canadian Dice. My math skills suck and you need them for this game so I cheated.

Hold your bets....

Smart dog...

In the morning the temps were warming and the evening brought in a shit-load more snow with wind so we grabbed a couple more runs and headed back to North VanNoPow. Let's hope for more great week-ends in Marchpowderfest!