Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hell Bell II - Nigunsaw Pass

The north of British Columbia really rocks!
Following the advices of some local we met on our journey, we made a stop around Bell II. But where's Bell II???

Bell II is on the highway 37 that goes to Yukon. What we found there is just some incredible terrain for backcountry. It looks pretty similar to Roger's Pass but without any information center, detailed maps that show you where to ski or daylodge. There is a heliski operation there, where you can have a look at the map of the area, get a crap or fill up at 1.28$/liter. We found some information through the avalanche safety crew that control the avalanche around Nigunsaw Pass.

Following there advices, we headed up to Red Flat creek to get a first view of the area. The snow was good considering the warm weather. So good that we went back there for another tour the following day. With perfect weather and just a little breeze, we climbed the 1200m all the way to the summit. The view from there was just spectacular the terrain surrounding is really full of opportunities for a skier. There is pretty much no one that use this backcountry skiing site for touring. We could have spend a month there skiing different runs every single day. But we have such a tight schedule considering everything we want to ski that we had to leave...

After a great day of skiing, we headed up towards Stewart. I've heard a lot about Stewart. Seen it in magazine and film. From what we've been able to see, there's not much to ski around Stewart if you don't have a chopper... We tried to get some motivation to go skiing a ridge near Mezidian lake, but the lake was not really frozen and the snow looked terrible. Total ascent: 16m...

That was the fourth day of the whole trip that didn't really worth putting the ski boots on! Jumping in the car after some vodka (to forget that shitty day), we headed toward Terrace!

Shames is an other typical northern resort. A small and friendly place that get hammered by more than 40feet of snow annually. The resort got a little bit of good terrain, but this is not the main reason to make it there. The slackcountry (backcountry from the resort - check out is just enormous. We had the chance to hook up with one of the avalanche control guy we met in Bell II who kindly guided us around. The north aspect is pretty much the only thing left since the warming trend doesn't really want to stop!

We plan on hitting the backcountry of Shames one more time, drop Amelie (who is going back to reality) and head toward Alaska (which is only 2300km from Terrace). We might stop around the Cassiar mountain (near the Yukon border) where we've been told there was some good skiing!

Keep on going north!!


1 comment:

tc said...

Man, you guys are killing it. Definitely an inspiring trip.