Sunday, March 8, 2009

Little sister to the rescue

A respite of work mid-February resulted in a mini-road trip to the Rockies with Evan where we froze our fingies off trying to be ice climbers. Damn, that sport is tough when you are not used to it. I had the biggest fear paralysis while leading the ice equivalent of 5.6. We did do some beautiful routes and by the end of three days I was actually kind of digging it. I definitely have a lot of respect for all the friends I have who are can ignore the cold, the fear and the insanity of it all to become really solid, strong ice climbers.

Next phase of the winter was a week at Sorcerer Lodge where I was cooking for guide Brian Webster and his guests along with the assistant ski guides Josh and Garth as well as the hut custodian Dave. It was a spectacular week, beginning with blue skies and sun but a dearth of the prized Selkirk pow pow. Midweek brought a 60 cm dump and some spicy avalanche conditions, and by Friday we were back to sunny skies, spectacular views, and a fresh sheet of snow to wiggle our way down. The guides and guests were great help in the kitchen, meaning that I was able to ski a lot and learn about guiding by observing Brian, Josh and Garth guide the group through the sometimes complex glaciated terrain surrounding the lodge. We skied on the Nordic Glacier and bagged Escargot, swooped down Lower Wedding Bells, schralped Lee's Trees and schlaedeled the Perfect Glacier.

Heading up the Perfect Glacier

More perfection

Party on the Perfect Ridge

Perfect pow on the Perfect Glacier

Nordic Peak looking gnarly

From Sorcerer I went straight to Battle Abbey for round two of a practicum there. The first few days went as they should; great skiing, beautiful snow and fantastic food prepared by Eileen. A midweek medical emergency meant that one of the guides and the custodian had to be unexpectedly flown out. Luckily for us, there were more than a few accomplished physicians in the group of guests, and the first aid and evacuation went relatively smoothly, and I have to say, I learned a ton. The week proceeded relatively smoothly, with still more snow, some fabulous touring days to Little Ahab and Typee Peak, and great turns down runs like Steepness (AKA Sweetness) and Kitchen Envy.

Omoo Peak

Gobble gobble (Eileen makes great food)

Moby Dick from the summit of Typee Peak

Skinning up to Schooner Pass - John Goodman Photo

On the summit of Little Ahab - John Goodman photo

Luxury lunch break - John Goodman photo

Typee Peak - John Goodman photo

On Typee Peak with the Wrong Glacier in the background

After flying out of Battle Abbey I managed to see Evan for a few hours in Lake Louise before he left to guide the Wapta in ball-freezing-off conditions. This morning I was happily tootling down the Trans-Canada to visit my sister in Calgary when my trusty, dusty, rusty subaru lost power and died. My sister drove to Canmore to pick me up and it reminded me when she rescued me in Moab out of the City Market parking lot with a mountain of gear around me when my relationship with my climbing partner/boyfriend/ride from Yosemite exploded. Where would the world be without our little sisters to look after us?

1 comment:

jgood said...

Hi Jasmine, I have enjoyed reading your blog (while not skiing) How did you do on the ass't guide exam? Send me your email, mine is on my website www.jgoodgravure.com. I'll send you a pic of Robson and Sepp's scars.
Jon Goodman (note, no "h" not a plumbing fixture)