Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We made another trip to Malakwa back on November 29th. Pretty late blog post and mainly just for my own records at this point.

There were only a few other vehicles at 15k and this might have had something to do with the rain crust that was lurking about 10cm below the surface, so we weren't expecting much as we reached the main summit. It was snowing hard and really windy. We had a pretty good run down the opposite (south-west) side and the crust wasn't too bad. By the time we had climbed back up it was a virtual white out. I'll admit that we got a little turned around on the top, wandering around in the howling wind trying to figure out where the heck our original uptrack was. In our defense we hadn't been up here for a few years. Anyway Nick pulled out his GPS in a manly "I'll save you!" manner and rescued us from further wanderings.

By now it had been snowing for a few hours and was beginning to pile up nicely. We had a couple of runs back on the north side before the short day caught up with us. Back at the car we finally crossed paths with Loic and Tess and friends. We've followed their blog for so long that it almost felt like we knew them even though we had never met before. Good to meet you guys!

A quick stop at the Burner for a Backhand and off for home.

This week (December 8th) we heard that the road would only be plowed to 6km beginning in December. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


We were very happy to be invited for a day of early-season skiing at Malakwa with Gerald, Neal, Neil, and Dan. The place was hopping, and it was exciting to run into a number of friends over the course of the day. There's something about running into people you know randomly, and especially in the mountains, that makes us feel generally good about life.

The skiing was still a bit early season, with some rocks and stumps showing through. Although our party did not suffer any damage to bodies or skis, there was much evidence of core shots and edge grinds in the tracks and exposed rocks.

Malakwa is a funny place - sometimes, when you least expect it, you find skiing nirvana. This time we angled for where we thought the lines were, but on balance came out a little short of the best the area has to offer. Still a super day though, with plenty of good turns.

We followed up with some food and beer at the Burner, which has seriously upped its game since we first went there maybe five years ago. Good food, good service - and still great beer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Asulkan Cabin

Just another November weekend at the Asulkan Hut...

It's important to keep these traditions alive! No comparison to last year when we carried our skis for much of the journey in. This year we were up to our necks in snow at times...well, the tele skiers were anyway. Great snow, but all of it sitting on top of the buried surface hoar from last weekend. We had three significant skier remotes and also watched the Raven's avalanche path run almost full length.

Nevertheless we had a safe weekend, caught up with Dustin, hung out with yoga John and yoga Jeff, and shared the hut with a great bunch of guys from Vancouver.

Still no Brenda. I told her she didn't miss much. I don't think she reads this blog.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Balu Pass

While Brenda was at a "conference" on a cruise ship in the Caribbean the rest of us had our very first turns of the season. It was a quick trip up to Balu Pass with a detour up into the lower reaches of 8812 Bowl. There was great coverage and people were skiing everywhere. 8812 was completely tracked out. We must have seen a dozen people come down off the north side of Cheops including a dog. Clanged a few rocks on the luge run out but overall a great start to the season. The one caveat being the surface hoar that developed over the weekend. When that layer gets buried I think we'll be hearing about in the avalanche forecasts for weeks.