Thursday, January 31, 2008

21 inches at Snowbird!

I don't know what you have been doing today... but you should have listen to us! 17 inches of light Utah snow when we woke up... snow falling all day long... almost now one at Snowbird in the afternoon... AMAZING! Here are a few pictures from the LAST run of the day...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snowchasing Utah!!!

We finally took a second day off on the 25th since we started. This was the last day out west with Jeff so we looked around for snow. January has been fairly dry in British Columbia, and we were starting to be tired of chasing the snow inches by inches!!!

So after looking at the weather forecast for the next week, we realized that there was a storm coming from California that was supposed to hit Utah on the 27th with 1-4 feet of snow. The decision was made kind of quickly: we ditched Jeff in a cheap motel in Golden (so sorry for that......!!!) and started driving straight south for the 15 hours drive.

We stopped in Fernie to check the backcountry around Tunnel Mountain so that we would not loose a day of skiing, but it was so bad that we decided to cut it short and keep driving. We finally arrived in Salt Lake at 5AM and had a short nap in a parking lot.

The storm was delayed by one day. So we had a day in the backcountry around Grizzly Gulch. It was really windy out there with steady winds of 30-40 mph and gust of 90mph!!! So windy that on our way back, Alexis felt while skinning. After I stopped laughing, I asked him the camera since I realized he cut his nose with the tip of his ski (thanks to the O1 free pivot).....

We were afraid that they might close the Little Cottonwood road, so we made a no-brainer and slept in the parking. The next morning, we were blessed: 12 inches of snow has fallen overnight, it was still snowing hard and........ the road was CLOSED!!!!!

For those who don't know, there's not much condos around Alta, only one road that get you there and not much accommodation available. Only 50 cars in the parking lot...

So here we are in a resort full of snow with...... pretty much no one. At the beginning of the day, we rushed to make sure we were going to have fresh tracks. The snow was great and we had freshies! After a little while, we realized that it was going to be pretty much freshies all day for everyone!!! So we skied non-stop from the opening till the closure. It was for sure one of our best day in a resort ever!!!!

No pics for that epic day since we were to busy skiing..... We only got that one for the record: a hard day of work!

There was another 4 inches to top that snow overnight so we ripped it all day.....

For tomorrow, there are expecting an other 12-15 inches of snow. I don't know what you are doing but whatever it is drop it and come skiing here right now.... or leave it all to us ;)


Friday, January 25, 2008

There and Back Again

They say that sun is a great remedy for depression, but it is definetly not working for us. Southern British Columbia did not get any new snow in the last 10 days... and are depressed!

So after a quick stop in Rossland to check out Red Mountain (unfortunately their nice tree are not fun without new snow) we decided to head back to where the journey began: Roger's Pass.

In the vast playground of Glacier National Park, and with the help of Luc and Chris at the Discovery Center, we managed to find a few virgin lines satisfying our appetite for powder.

In our second in Roger's Pass, we went for the Tupper Traverse... a nice tour that provided us magnificent sceneries (you know... that f***ing blue sky).

One of JF friends that we met in Roger's Pass Discovery Center joined us on the tour. He is Belgian/Ontarian, but we forgive him since he invited us for shower and a sleep in his warm place in Golden (blue sky = -20C at night). Thanks Phil!

We drink beer and and eat wings at the Moberly's Pub for the last day of Commodore Marchette in the SnowChasers adventure. It was short, but a lot of fun!


The SnowChasers!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Le Shack à Hector

After 3 days in Kootenay pass without a single snow flake, the forecast was still calling for a blue sky... Nothing to please us!! We desperately took some advices from locals who told us about a cabin in a remote place where snow might still been untouched.

So after a great meal, we headed to Barrett Lake in the Bonnington Range.

A long hike was awaiting us: 1100 vertical meter and 8 km with loaded backpacks before we reached the palace!!! But it was worth it... some high class lodging (you need to shovel the front porch, log your firewood and the pit toilet doesn't have a door).

Fortunately, the snow was nice and we found some pretty decent lines. So nice that we even met a heliskiing crew! We tried to hitchhike for a run, but they wouldn't take us aboard unless we paid the regular fee of 1250 per day...

So we hiked more...

Enjoy the splendid view...

And got some good skiing ...

We now returned to Nelson to make another weather check and shop for food!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Déception à Kootenay Pass

On est arrivé à Kootenay Pass (Salmo-Creton) le 14 avec plein d'espoir. Il neigeait à plein ciel!!!

Le lendemain matin, on est monté jusqu'à Ripple ridge cabin qui est à env. 1hre de marche de la route.

Après avoir laissé notre stock, on est allé voir s'il n'y avait pas de la belle neige à skier. On a marché quand même assez longtemps pour se rendre compte que le vent avait formé une croûte sur pas mal d'aspect (nord et sud)

On a finalement pas réussi à trouver de la neige aussi profonde qu'à Roger's Pass, ce qui nous a laissé un peu déçu étant donné la neige qu'on avait eu au même endroit il y a 2 ans.

On a quand même réussi à trouver des lignes et de la neige pas si mal.

On a aussi perdu pas mal de temps à bucher du bois et jouer au poker dans la cabine.

Ils annoncent pas vraiment de neige pour les prochains jours (5-10cm).... bref la deep powder risque d'être difficile à trouver!!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apocalypse avoided...

We are sooooo lucky ... the weather system that was suppose to melt all mountains in BC never hit us (or at least is delayed)!! So today we skinned up to Whitequeen again (which is probably the only safe option for now) but by a different way up. We started at the Hummingbird parking lot... the hike is longer and we start lower, but people at Whitewater resort prefer that! The hike went easy and we discovered a lot of new terrain along the way...

At the top we decided to ski a new route. Good powder on the slope, great view along the way... but the snow was transforming into layers which is not good for avalanche (the top 20cm was easy to release).

We had plan another hike up after the first run cause it was only 700m... but going back to the skin track we found a kicker and we had fun on it! :-)

After this short day we warmed up one last time (for now) in Whitewater resort and drove down to Nelson to buy some gear and food for our next destination for the next 4-5 days! Whitewater/Nelson area is an amazing place... one of these small paradise where the snow is falling everyday, people are friendly and life is simple!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Last day before apocalypse

After another hard day of work in the backcountry of Whitewater, we needed to fuel up for what could have possibly been our last day in southern BC. Unfortunately, a forecasted warming of the temperature is threatening to screw up the nice powder that we had so far and increase the risks for avalanche, forcing us to move... We hope for the best.

When we woke up in the parking lot on our second morning at White, a dense fog was covering the base of the resort, making visibility mediocre. Our motivation was at its lowest, but we decided to skin up anyways, since it was possibly our last day in the Nelson area...

And then, unexpectedly and fortunately, the sky opened up to let the sun in and turn our so far very ordinary day in a great one! These pictures explain better than I coukd with words...

The resume of the hard day of work:

To be continued...

Arrivée à Whitewater

After a day of rest spent in Revelstoke (slept in a shelter close to a baseball field), we finally moved from Roger's Pass after 6 consecutive days of hard work!! Since the area around Nelson had been hit by back to back storms leaving more than 50cm in 3 days, we were pretty sure to hit some nice powder!

Once we got to Whitewater resort, we realized that they changed their policy concerning the backcountry and that skining the resort is not allowed anymore. Nevertheless, there's a skin track just outside the resort boundary that allowed us to get on top quickly.

What we were looking for was just there waiting for us!!!

All the following pictures have been taken in only one day!!!

1382m ascent
1404m descent
4 laps