Friday, February 19, 2010

The Super Tour

Here in British Columbia the winters are long... especially if you are a bona-fide rock climbing addict like myself. Luckily for me I have the endorphin-producing sport of backcountry skiing to keep my body tired and my mind peaceful during my four or five month annual hiatus from rock climbing. I love backcountry skiing, really I do. But I must admit that it rarely captivates my mind and body to the same degree that climbing does. That said, there are some days, usually only a few per season, where scheduling, weather, snow conditions, avalanche hazard, and a motivated partner all stack up for a really amazing day in the mountains on skis. On January 27 I had one of those days...

I had managed to escape from my winter paradise/prison of Valhalla Mountain Touring, an amazing place to spend a winter, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing. I had three coveted days to tour at Rogers Pass, a sweet bivi with great friends in Revelstoke, but no ski partner! At the 11th hour, my friend Lydia Marmont got in touch and informed me she had time to play. We both agreed that rather than "train" for our upcoming ski exams we would rather take advantage of the primo weather and stability and just go skiing. Lydia hatched the tour plan: up the Illecillewaet Valley, through the Sir Donald-Uto Col onto the Uto Glacier, through a col to the Eagle Glacier which joins onto the Avalanche Glacier, then down Avalanche back down to the highway. The tour was amazing, here's the proof.

Lydia bustin' track up towards the Sir Donald-Uto Col

What ski mountaineering experience would be complete without some facet wallowing?

My partner in crime, Lydia Marmont, at the Sir Donald-Uto Col

Too bad the views sucked

The NW Ridge of Sir Donald, lookin' prime

Hard to tell in this photo, but it looks really cold, dark and scary down there... at least there's a monstrous convex roll and a partially open 'schrund to welcome us onto the Uto Glacier

Lydia carving up the Uto Glacier like it was a turkey

Lydia scopes the line down onto the Eagle Glacier. Our conversation went something like this: Jasmin - "Does it go?" Lydia - "Can't tell." Jasmin - "Well I skied the last run first, so your turn for first tracks!"

Lydia drops in above the Eagle Glacier

View back along the Avalanche Glacier towards Sir Donald and Eagle

Lydia perched at the top of the world before our final descent

Looking into the entrance to our final leg burning 1500m (4900') run to the car

No comments: