Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winding down the Ski Season

After completing our AST2 course, Mike and I tried for 3 weeks in a row to get out to the Coquihalla to use our newly learned skills and lead and ACC trip up Zoa. Unfortunately, the weather had different ideas.  Since Mid-February we've been getting a lot of warm days, rain on the hills and sketchy avalanche forecasts.  So instead, we've been hanging out and doing a few local trips.
On the running scene,  I helped out at the Dirty Duo training run.  It was a great day for a run on a challenging 22km route with a fun group of ladies.  I hadn't run in 3 weeks due to all the skiing we'd been doing so it was a bit of a butt-kicker; but I made it! A couple weeks later I volunteered at the Dirty Duo Trail Race by cooking up 8 lasagnas to feed the hungry racers.  The racers had a beautiful sunny day for their run. A big congrats to everyone who participated.

Mike and I  celebrated our 3rd anniversary a couple weeks ago. We spent the night at the Hilton hotel, enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub and a nice dinner at Reflect Lounge. and the next morning my parents treated us to brunch to celebrate. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Last week we had some exciting family news. My brother and his girlfriend came back from a trip recent to Mexico engaged! Congrats Geoff and Shannell! Soon to have another Sister-in-law! We're so happy for you and can't wait until your wedding!

In Skiing news, we’ve spent a couple of days up above Brockton point at Mt Seymour practicing our avalanche beacon searches. With the mediocre weather it seemed like a good way to get outside and practice some vital skills along the way. We’ve also spent countless days up at Cypress in variable conditions.

 One of the Cypress days was an evening with the Orr family where I played ski instructor to try and pass on my limited ski skills to Tiffany and Austen. After a bit of a rocky start I think it may have worked out; They were both cruising down the slopes by the end of the night! Tiffany even joined me for a trip away from the bunny hill and did an excellent job of navigating down the full length Panorama Ski Run.

Last weekend Mike and I spent a couple days up at Whistler.  We spent the first day skiing Whistler mountain in-bounds. The conditions were only OK due to the warm temperatures, but we still had fun cruising around Symphony and Harmony all day; neither of us had ever skied Symphony before.  

 On the second day we joined an ACC group to ski the “Hard Way” up Whistler. The conditions were once again only Ok so we decided a tour would make more sense than yo-yo skiing. We spent the day climbing the 12km up the Singing Pass trail to the Musical bumps area. The trail was quite icy and there were several avalanche run-outs that were “interesting" to cross. As we got higher the conditions improved, however it started to snow heavily and the wind was picking up. Once we broke out into the pass we stuck to the low angle trees to avoid avalanche terrain and climbed up to the summit of Oboe Peak. From there we got caught in a white-out with blowing snow. Luckily we had a GPS and a couple of our ski buddies knew the area well, so we were able to navigate to the ridge and stick to low angle terrain and avoid any cornices and wind-loaded slopes. We also ran into another group who confirmed our route selection, which increased our confidence level. As we were traveling part way along the ridge between Flute and Oboe Peak the weather improved and we could see the rest of our route to reach the in-bounds Whistler Mountain Ski Area. We finally ripped our skins for an epic ride down Flute Bowl Seven (7) hours after that morning's start. Symphony chair had not been opened that day so we had fresh tracks in deep snow all the way over to Harmony. Turns well earned! After an hour of skiing down the Whistler Ski runs we bee-lined to the village for  hard-earned burgers and beers.

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