Another annual hut trip has come and gone. It's hard to believe that 12 months have passed since I wrote about our last hut trip. Where does the time go?
We have already been to Sorcerer twice. It's such an amazing place that when we last flew out from the lodge back in 2007 we booked a week in 2009 as we stepped off the helicopter. Of all of the huts we've been to, Sorcerer has the most impressive and varied terrain, the best accommodations, the nicest owner, and is the most professionally operated of them all. You've got a special place Tannis. Thanks!
The trip got off to a good start in Golden where we stayed at the Ponderosa Motel. When the proprietor learned that we were repeat customers he was barely able to restrain his enthusiasm. As we organized gear in the parking lot he chatted and joked with us. At one point he ducked into the office and returned with Ponderosa Motel ball caps for each of us!
This time of year you can get full-on spring or full-on winter conditions. Thankfully we had conditions that were more like winter with cold temperatures, generally clear skies and just a hint of spring in the air. The March 1st layer was still reactive at tree line. Although the avalanche conditions generally improved throughout the week we still avoided some of the steeper lines that we've skied in past years. There was also less snow in general, a common story in the Selkirks this year. There were many holes and fractures showing on the glaciers that we'd never seen before. We often wore harnesses and probed for crevasses whenever we stopped for lunch or something.
There were a couple of pine martens around the hut this year. They were incredibly bold. One only very reluctantly gave way to let me through to the sauna; he growled and hissed at me as I passed. Having left a pair sandals on the deck I returned to find one of them missing. Thief! I was miffed. From then on, after returning from a day of skiing I would wander around the hut with a shovel and dig up random marten holes looking for the stolen booty. It seemed a hopeless endeavor but I persevered.
On the fourth day I followed a particularly well worn marten path away from the hut towards the lake. It led to series of deep rocky nooks. As I approached actually saw the little bugger clambering up the cliff side away from me. I scrambled down to the lake and lowered myself head first between the rocks to peer into the darkness. As my eyes slowly adjusted I slowly discerned the outline of...a sandal! There it was far back in the deepest nook. Aha you little bugger, victory is mine. Well, victory of a sort anyway since there wasn't much sandal left. Still...screw you marten.
Here's the link to a schwack of photos and a video starring one of the infamous martens.
Conditions Update Apr 11 2017
2 weeks ago