Monday, January 30, 2012

The Pillowland of Roger's Pass

We had so much fun in the pillows that we figured it would be good for another day since we left the area certainly quite tracked, but with still some room for more turns. 

After gathering all our gear after sleeping once more at the Asulkan Cooking Shelter, we drove up to the Discovery Center all pumped to get our permit to ski those pillows again. 

Unfortunately for us, the area was close and skiing there was not permitted for the day. Roger's Pass is separated in 17 difference area that required a permit to access them. Depending of the avalanche control required to be done to control the danger, they open and close those area to let the army shoot some 270mm shells to trigger some avalanche and secure the Transcanadian Highway.

While waiting at the Discovery Center, I met one of my high-school friend, Martin that is now living in Golden. He tagged with us and we hiked towards the Bonney Trees. 

We figured it would be great to have a quick lap on an opening I have never been able to hit. I guess we lucky out a bit and hit the best opening straight from the top. 

The snow was fairly deep and the run has just the right steep pitch to have us all pumped for a second lap. 
We climbed back up and hit the main opening. The visibility wasn't really nice so we figured that we should venture to far on the moraine so we took our skins off right where the trees were ending. The run was pretty similar to the first one but with more snow and a longer fall line. 

At the end of the day, Martin invited us to his place to crashed over. 

We certainly jumped on the occasion since all our stuff was starting to be a bit wet by the repeating night of not really drying. 

After feasting with steak cooked outside during a big snowstorm, we crashed in anticipation to see how much of the white gold had fallen overnight.

I wasn't really fully awake when I picked up my computer. 29cm it was. 29cm of snow has fallen overnight at Kicking Horse Resort. This resort is located just next to Golden and rarely receive some major storm. We packed our stuff and drove to the resort. 

We weren't the first in lane, but certainly not the latest!

Everyone in line in the morning was anticipating what a lot of people were predicting: the best day of the season!

 I can't say if it was the best one, but it was certainly a really good one! It kept snowing all day and the weather finally calmed down at the end of the day. 

We skied it non stop from the opening until pretty much the closing of the mountain. 

My poor legs weren't able to do any good at the end of the day. All the boys were also quite toasted. To celebrate what was a really great day of skiing, we went to the Moberly's Pub to tackled their famous 5$ burger! 

The day at the resort was certainly a great one, but we were eager to see how the pass was now looking after that fresh snow. As we get up to the Pass, we realized that our Pillow Line was open again!!! 

It was a no brainer and we went straight up without any hesitation. 

The snow was again nice, dry and deep. 

I think I'll just let the pictures do the talking since there is nothing more to say than: EPIC DAY!!!!!!!!

For our last day at the Pass, we figured it would be really nice to……….. ski some pillows! We went (again….) back to the pillow line. Unfortunately, this time, there was other fellows skier with whom we had to share! We made a few laps in what was getting a bit beat up area.

We finally left Roger's Pass to start our drive back towards Vancouver from where we all have to fly back in the coming days. After a stop for a quite anticipated 5$ pizza in Revelstoke, we drove towards the Coquahalla Pass where we'll have our last day of skiing of the trip. 

This will also conclude my journey in BC for this year. I will then fly from Vancouver to Kyrgyzstan where I will stay for 3 weeks. I think it will probably be fairly hard to get a decent internet connexion, so I might have to spread a bit my post on the blog.

I'm just hoping for the best!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

From Vancouver back to Roger's Pass !!!

We kicked an early start at 5h00AM and headed straight to Mt Baker totally excited by the forecast and anger to ride to promised snow.
As we got to the resort our expectations dropped significantly. It wasn't snowing, it was raining… We were also told that it rained all the way to the top of the mountain earlier on.
We headed nevertheless to the nearby backcountry with not much visibility. In typical wet coast weather, the now was a bit better higher up, but it certainly wasn't a day that I will remember as an epic one.
The freezing level was forecasted to drop overnight and with about 2feet of snow still on the forecast, we decided to give Mt Baker another chance. As we drove down from the mountain, the sleet turn into massive rain. Leaving us pretty much one option: a motel. We stayed pretty grounded with and we fall asleep at the sounds of the heavy rain. 
The following morning, we drove back up to the mountain. It wasn't raining anymore, but only 20cm as fallen instead of the 20in that was previously forecasted. 
We rode the resort until much of the goodies as been skied. The snow was a bit warm and wet but everyone was quite stoked to ride some fresh pow! Since the snow was wet, it ended up packed pretty fast. 

We were a bit bummed and disappointed by the fact that the forecast that didn't happen and by the quality of the snow that we skied that we decided to hit the road and head straight to Roger's Pass where the snow is usually much lighter. 

Almost 7 hours later, we finally arrived to the Revelstoke Dugout Inn where we crashed overnight. I haven't stayed here in quite a while, but the quality of their room is still the same. 
None of the boys as came to Roger's for 2 years and they were all excited about the mountains, the terrain and of course, the snow!
We headed to McGill Shoulder and we founded some really good snow. Dry, light and deep powder was waiting for us. 
There is nothing better that bottomless turns to put smiles on everyone's face!
After a cozy dinner at the fancy Asulkan Cooking Shelter we crashed there hopping for the best! 
Well, the best happen! On our way up to Loop Brook, we walked by a nice 200-300m open run full of pillow! 
The decision was easily made and it was such a gooood idea!! There were thousands of pillows of various size waiting for us to be hit.
I've never seen JS in his element! He was flying everywhere, screaming and stomping some pretty nice lines.
…. and crashing a sometimes as well.
Everyone had good lines and we collectively gather a fair bunch of Air Miles!

There is again more snow on the forecast so it seems that we might stay around Roger's again!