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.
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.
Or maybe it was the
2,000 foot powder return to the car at sunset.
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.
|We skied the ramp between cliffs in the center of the photo.|
|Powder at sunset. Time to head home.|
|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.|
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.
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
|Leah arrives at the summit of Mt. Brennan!|
|Above the undercast on the upper peak.|
|Leah skiing off the summit of Mt. Brennan.|
|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.
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.