Older or wiser? Another big storm put us off the drive to Rogers Pass this weekend. Instead we met Dave and Keith at the Bombtram Mountain trailhead west of the Coquihalla summit. Great name for a mountain; there is a tramway here that was once used to hoist up explosives for avalanche control.
We were surprised to discover that Dave, a stalwart proponent of all things telemark who practically taught me how to telemark ski in the backwoods of the Adirondacks, had chucked it all in and converted to a Dynafit setup. Is there a word that means "feeling a combination of condescension and envy"?
The route followed a steep and often narrow ridge bounded by a box canyon on it's north side. Deep loose snow over a hard rain crust made for slow travel on the steeper sections. We exited from the trees into a wide expanse of open terrain with loads of potential for skiing. However it was blowing like made and we couldn't see much so chose to simply ski straight down through the trees from a point on the ridge well below the summit.
Really good skiing. So good that we were tempted into dropping further and further down from the ridge towards the rim of the canyon. Marked on the map is a narrow gully that provides the only way through the steep cliff bands. With the map and GPS we made our way to what we hoped would be an obvious entrance. Instead we found several options all of which looked possible but highly committing.
We hunted around for a while but it was too late to make the wrong choice and then have to climb back out again. Instead we put the skins on, climbed up to the ridge, and skied out the way we had come. It was almost a headlamp job but not quite.
In retrospect I think we had been in right place but just didn't have enough time to properly explore. Here's a good trip report from a group that did find the gully.
Conditions Update Apr 11 2017
2 weeks ago