Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Squamtanamo Bay....

Friday night Danielle and I put in an offer to purchase a home in Squamish so we decided to get a better perspective of the area from above. We figured the best place to do this would be the summit of Mt Garibaldi. Neither of us had ever skied / boarded it so it was a perfect opportunity to head up the classic volcano that stands guard high above Howe Sound. Local guides Andy and Scott led the way up Brohm Ridge.

After 20 min or so the mountain showed itself....

We found a place to park the machines and put on our glacier gear.

We got some great views of the Tantalus Range....

From this vantage the neighbourhood we chose looked well situated.

The traverse of the Warren Glacier was scenic.

I finally found out where that pointy mountain on my Prior Splitty was!    

As we rounded the corner and started up the North Pitt Glacier big views of the more remote parts of Garibaldi Park opened up.

The summit boot-pack looked a little wind hammered.


Only 4 hours in and we were on the summit ridge.....

The view of Atwell's West face was sick!

The weather came in quick white we were on the summit so it was a bit of a milkbird drop in.


Cheers to a Squamish classic!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Phat turns in Slim....

Easter long week-end Danielle and I found ourselves once again, in the vast and remote Slim Creek area of B.C. This time of the year it can be hard to justify the long drive when there's plenty of goods right out the door and close to home. The thing with Slim is you'll usually get better weather as it's on the dry side of the range and lower freezing levels compared to the coast. A look at the forecast showed rising temps throughout our 4 days so it made the decision easy.

It's a strange thing to pass over the Duffey Lake road and head into the arid Lillooet desert away from all the snow. I kept telling myself.... don't worry... It'll be deep!

The drive along Carpenter Lake road in the Bridge River canyon was scenic. It seemed that everyone was enjoying the sunny springtime day. In the past 15 years I'd never seen sheep in the Shulaps Range despite the fact that in the St'at'imcets (Lillooet) language it means "ram of the bighorn sheep". 

After 5.5 hours we "over" loaded the sled and boarded our flight.

30 minutes in I was surprised to find we were the first into the zone in quite a while. We were trail-breaking in 30cms of new and the going got tough.

But after a few solid stucks and some route finding through the trees we emerged in the meadow areas of Slim creek.

When we arrived at out accommodations we were pretty thrashed from the days shenanigans. It made sense to crank up some tunes and have a few pints while taking in the days last rays. Good choice!

Danielle worked hard preparing our first nights dinner.... mmmm.... Schnitzel. 

Day 2.... 

After our morning brews we were well fuelled for an early start. I had a big mission planned and a lot of it was unknown. 

Our views were pretty solid 5 minutes into our day. 

The whole way up I felt like having a Red Stripe on a beach in Negril

Our first prize started to get closer. 

And we arrived on the summit with some pretty special views. We had been here before but this time we were looking to get into it's north face and a different exit valley. 

Great views of the Bridge Glacier and beyond. 

Others were enjoying the day in Lone Goat. 

We got some great views of Fasp where we enjoyed a trip a few years back.

I took a close look at the snow on one potential line and found some moderate results that were a little concerning given the exposure. Nearby there was evidence that this layer was reacting from recent cornice bombs. 

Luckily we found this entrance and it looked better! 

The line was very aesthetic! 

After a bit of a ridge hop we found our way into the next part.

From this spot we got some great views of the headwaters of Slim and where we would be headed the next day. 

We skied almost right down to the creek and over 1000m with super low density pow. There was time for one more summit and line back down to the cabin. 

The sun was fading fast as we dropped in for our final descent of the day. Almost a year ago to the day I snapped a shot of Danielle deeper in the valley with the sun in the same spot.

Back in time for another epic dinner! Red Curry stir-fry....  

Day 3...

The Easter bunny showed up. 

After a breakfast of champions we were well prepared for the long day ahead. 

A few hours later we found ourselves beyond the headwaters of Slim and Nichols creeks and arrived at Griswald pass. 

I've been dreaming about visiting this place for so many years. It's the kind of place that really makes you feel remote. In every direction you see vast ice fields and rugged peaks just waiting to be shredded. 

We set our sights on Sorcerer Mountain. It was the clear prize at the pass with a massive NF glacier approach. 

It looked inviting. 

Looking back at the sled. 

There came a point for a very steep boot-pack over the bergshrund. 

  The top of the glacier was scenic. 

After a 20 min boot-back scramble we were sitting atop Sorcerer Mountain at the head of Slim Creek. 

More views of the Lillooet ice-field and the Bridge Glacier. 

The heli skiers were getting after it too. 

Even Waddington's twin summits were visible..... just. 

Easter summit carrots. 

Time to shred Sorcerer's NF glacier. 


Our line looked good from a distance. 

We spent a few more hours milking the area and summiting another un-named 2600m peak at the head of the valley. 

We arrived back at the sled and got ready to head for camp after one of the best days of the year! 

With the music charged up we saluted the sick day over some well deserved Pivo. 

It was a magical night. Thanks to our friend John who had the vision to set this place up 30 years ago. Happy 30th anniversary!   

The local pub was open for business on our last night out.      

Day 4....

We woke up expecting cloudy skies and wet snow but Slim creek had other plans. The weather was solid and the snow was still cold. Even though we had to be home that night we decided to get after it one more time. We set off to Shishbanga

I felt like some grape juice for some reason. 

And after one last big day we arrived back at Gun lake. Anyone got a bottle opener? 

We couldn't have asked for better conditions for another big spring trip in the Coast Mountains! Until next year....