Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cheops North 6 (Niccy's Notch)

This is the "last" of the north facing gullies on Mount Cheops.

We'd come this way once before to ski Cheops 5. This time wind had scoured the north side of the valley making the climb up from Balu Pass a little tedious.

Quite a temperature inversion this weekend. When we left the parking lot the temperature was -14C but by them time we reached the top of the ridge it was near zero.

Unfortunately the gully hadn't been spared from the wind making the entrance feel a little intimidating.

Especially for the tele-wankers in the group. Of which there was only one today (yours truly) and yes Brenda was with us. Ahem. Anyway we sorted it out and got down in one piece albeit at about mach 6 on the hard snow.

From here we headed back up to the pass for a quick run on the other side of the valley in much better snow conditions. We only saw one other group all day. It was a bit weird. Surface hoar everywhere. It's going to be interesting when we get more snow.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Asulkan Cabin

You never know what you're going to get spending a few nights at the Asulkan Hut in November. This year? Something special!

We had some new faces this year. James and Laurie. Chris and Margaret. Seana. We even managed to ski some lines which we've never been on before like this one to skier's right of the Pterodactyl.

We've been making this trip for 11 years. There's often a big pyschological and physica1 hurdle to burden oneself with a heavy pack and shlep up to a hut so early in the season. But if the payment for all those times, when the climb left us knackered and the skiing was sketchy, is a weekend like this? Cheap. Cheap at twice the price.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Grizzly Shoulder

First turns of the season. We wanted a short day and hadn't been this way in a couple of years. The existing skin track was exactly like it always is up the shoulder....brutal. But hey we weren't complaining at least not too much since the trail breaking was exhausting. At the top we boot packed onto the ridge for a short run down the opposite side.

Just as I took this photo we heard a loud "whoomph!" and the snow under our feet seemed to settle noticeably. It was a small feature so we weren't overly concerned but it was unnerving. On the climb back up we actually came across a fracture line that had appeared over a convex roll which had settled but not released. Interesting to see and informative.

The ski down, character building, in an early season bottomless snowpack alder-y kind of way.

To the Nomad! Hot tea. French fries. A good start to the season!