Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 2013 Snowy Fun

 A couple Weeks ago Mike and I went up to Grouse Mountain with Rita, Adam and Natalia.  It was cloudy and cold in the city, but thanks to an inversion it was 14c and sunny on the mountain! We had a great day of sliding, hiking and skating!

The following weekend Mike and I organized and Intro to Backcountry Skiing trip for the Alpine Club. It was an interesting, but still good, day. Here's the trip report:

"A fun and interesting day of learning to Ski tour at Paul's Ridge. Good Weather - light snow on and off through-out the day, calm winds comfortable temps. 17 of us met in West Van at 7:00am, sorted out carpools and reconvened and picked up two more members, making 19 total, in Squamish. Headed up to the trail head and by time we set off up the skin track we were 21. Wait a sec, only 19 of us are signed up? Whats going on?!? Learned half way up the trail who wasn't with our group; too bad some of our groups gear was locked in their car...Reached Red Heather Hut after about 1hr 15min. Had a break and some lunch and headed back out. 2 headed home, 2 confessed to being stowaways, so that brings us to 17 members. Wait, why are there only 15 at the latest head count? All of us had made it to the Hut when we did a head count before lunch... After a bit of a wait for the 2 MIA, we spotted them happily skiing above and obviously self-sufficient. We headed up the nearby slopes, found a safe spot and practiced some skills. Practiced our digging skills, did a Rutsch Block test and a compression test. Thanks for sharing your Avi knowledge with the group Deon! Both tests sheared easily and cleanly on a weak layer. Decision: lets ski some conservative lines. Oh uh, a broken binding! The group worked together with pooled resources of screwdrivers, wire and duct tape to allow the skier to make it back to the car, albeit slowly and conservatively to not break the temporary repair job. 2 more down. The remaining 13 of us skinned up to the top of the ridge, had a great run down in some nice powder and met up back to the hut. Our group head count was restored, everyone accounted for, lets ski down to the cars. We arrived at the cars without incident. Waited for the "stowaway" to return to get our groups gear back from their locked car and ended our day with snacks and beers at the Brew Pub. Thanks to the drivers for getting us safely to the Trail Head and thanks to everyone for a great day out!"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coquihalla Take 2

On Dec 30, 2012 we headed back to the Coquihalla Hwy with the ACC for another epic day of backcountry skiing. We went with Stephen Hooper (Trip leader), Robert Stupka, and Daniel Hudson, the same group we went with last time.  This time we parked at a pullout South-West of the Falls Lake parking area and toured up Nak Peak.  We climbed to an area just below the summit block of Nak (~6000ft El.) and then traversed below the Nak summit to the Nak-Thar Col.  From there we found a wicked alpine bowl where we set up a "base camp" and spent the day skiing laps in the bowl on a bluebird day. A few areas were windswept, but if you chose your lines wisely there were sweet line with great powder to be had. The weather was great for most of the day, slightly below freezing in the sun, but the wind picked up and the temperature dropped in the late afternoon. By then we were all worn out from all the skiing so we traversed back over to Nak for one last awesome run all the way down to the pipe line and out to the car. We ended the trip with a compulsory stop for food at Home Restaurant in Hope. Thanks for organizing another sweet day skiing the Coqu. Stephen!

Photos By Stephen Hooper:

Photos By Robert Stupka: