Monday, January 11, 2016

Canada. Mount Brennan. Powder

After a day of tiptoeing around deep instabilities at home, Leah and I headed north on a quick trip to Nelson, BC in search of deep, stable powder.  We found both in abundance. 
Powder high on Mt. Brennan.
Kootenai Pass
We spent the first day exploring the Wolf ridge area near Kootenai Pass.  By starting below the pass, we were able to spend the day without crossing ski tracks on any of the descents. Although we lost some time at the beginning of the day getting our bearings, we were able to squeeze three excellent long powder runs into a moderate day.  The highlight was skiing a wild dike off Wolf ridge.  
We skied the ramp between cliffs in the center of the photo.
Or maybe it was the 2,000 foot powder return to the car at sunset.  
Powder at sunset.  Time to head home.
Or maybe it was just running around in the mountains, assessing stability on the fly, and piecing it altogether - I love that game.  In any case we returned to the car after dark, cold but excited after a great day.
First run of the trip near Wolf peak.
Leah skinning in front of Wolf peak.
Dropping into the unknown off the back side of Wolf ridge.
Mount Brennan
The main objective for our trip was the spectacular moderate south face of Mount Brennan, which drops 6,000 feet from the summit to the car.  We were thwarted by avalanche danger several years ago, so it was nice to return and get it done.  
Leah arrives at the summit of Mt. Brennan!
We were surprised to share the mountain with nine other skiers.  In addition to heli skiers the previous day which included a heli drop on the summit.  We took a modified line off the summit, and were treated to first tracks down the entire upper mountain.  Aside from a little tempo effort to burn off some extra energy, we kept it relaxed and had a great day skiing powder in the mountains. 
Above the undercast on the upper peak.
Leah skiing off the summit of Mt. Brennan.
Still skiing.
Skiing above the undercast on the upper mountain. 
I like skiing.  Still 3,000 feet to go to the car.
Icy sunset on Brennan.  The ski run takes a low angle ice field on the other side of the visible ridge. 
Note:  There is a lot more to do on Brennan, especially if one can put in honest 10k days.

Whitewater sidecountry
We took a spin on the Whaleback near Whitewater resort before driving home for New Year’s festivities.  This is a popular side country area, but the run was great, and snow ghosts along the skin track made for a memorable climb.
Another day, another assembly of snow ghotsts.
Climbing the Whaleback before heading stateside for New Year festivities.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos Brian! Looks like perfect conditions...