They say that a legitimate adventure has no predetermined outcome. To look at it from a slightly different angle, perhaps the idea of a true "adventure" has more to do with the nature of the participants than the actual objective itself. That's why our own humble definition of an adventure includes a visit to the Stanley Mitchell Hut during the short, dark, and cold days of late December. I mean it's not exactly hard core in the grand scheme of things right? But for us the promise of toasting our hands in front of a warm fire at the end of the day was never a sure thing until we actually laid eyes on the hut.
We did this trip a couple of years ago. I had never been so cold in my entire life. This time it was -18C for our 5:45AM departure from the parking lot. Not exactly balmy but considerably warmer than the -33C of last time.
Even so Brenda still had to break out the Backcountry Burka to keep her schnoz from getting frostbitten.
It took us over four hours to reach the shelter at Takakkaw Falls where we made some hot tea and refilled our thermoses.
There were a couple of pieces of firewood so we sparked up the ancient woodstove. It produced more smoke than heat but it did warm us up a little as we reapplied wax to the skis. We didn't see any sign of a larger wood supply. It would be a cold place to spend the night.
From the shelter we enjoyed the sun for a few kilometres before reaching the trees and beginning the true climb up into the Little Yoho Valley.
Finally reaching the hut at 3:30 we were pretty cold and tired but very happy to be there.
The next day we toured up towards Emerald Pass with Kevin, Brendan, and Jeremy from Calgary who we had met at the hut the previous night.
We even found some decent skiing in a steep little gully that had filled in with blowing snow.
This being New Year's Eve we celebrated in fine fashion with the Calgary Crew. As usual our own supply of booze was overshadowed by the massive quantities that everyone else had managed to haul in. There were even some fireworks to light up the midnight sky. Okay it wasn't quite midnight. We were all tired.
We closed up the hut the next morning.
And headed back home.
An adventure? Sure it was.
Conditions Update Apr 11 2017
2 weeks ago