Saturday, September 17, 2016

Seton Ridge Bike

A quick two day trip to BC's Little Nugget to escape the rain in Squamish. The first day was spent doing a few laps of the Della Downhill and the 2nd day was back along the Duffy Lake Road on Seton ridge. Its a full on hike a bike for 2-3 hours to get to the alpine but once you are up there its great times. A night out in town was a perfect reprieve and made us forget all about plans of going to the Chilcotins. With the newly formed LOCA (Lillooet Offroad Cycling Association) look for more good things on the dry side of the Coast Mountains.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hutting on the Duffey With a Turd Generation

I love sunny September days in the mountaains. The forecast looked....perfect so I traded out of a shift at work and got ready to head to the mountains with the family. I have a fascination with the Eastern side of the Coast Mountains, especially on the other side of the Duffey Lake road, the mountains are a bit more arid, with a red hue that really pops in the crisp fall air. Its a long way from Squamish so day trips aren't always worth it but we had a few days, so off we went. We are in a bit of a calm period right now for hiking with the kids. Remy is just happy to be along for the ride, while Arlo is happy in is backpack and enjoys discussing philosophy and seeing how many adjectives that he can use to describe large boulders. He likes to walk on his own a little bit but you only cover about 100m in an hour so independent hiking is discouraged. After about 10km up the logging road we headed up a faint trail that was better marked than we anticipated. An easy river crossing was followed by some difficult boulder gardens. Note; carrying kids and full packs over Smart Car sized rocks is not ideal. The trail was relatively flat and followed a creek for the first hour and half before climbing quickly to the alpine and our cozy accommodation. Our Grizzly Bear encounter the week before had made us a bit wary, and since this area was known to have a lot more than around Squamish, so we made lots of noise and brought some bear spray. I was 95% sure that I knew where we were going but the two minutes before the hut came into view were a little bit anxious as I don't think think that anyone was interested in a trip back to the car that day. It took us about 2.5 hours to get to the hut with a stop for lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, napping and hiking to some of the many alpine tarns in the area, it was truly a perfect afternoon. Arlo and Remy were both gems, it was great to see Arlo entertaining himself without any toys around. Sarah, Remy and I went for a hike to look over the col into the Stein Valley, a huge provincial park that escaped logging. As expected, Ganny Annie came through with a great pasta dinner, pasta and gluten free two bite brownies(????). Nobody slept much, the next morning we went out for one more little hike above the hut before heading back down to the car. It took Thanks so much to Anne and David for making the trip, we definitely wouldn't have made it without you!
That is one tight rump

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SUP Garibaldi Lake

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards came out as an option a few years ago, with a target market of condo dwellers who didn't have room to store a full board. They tend not to paddle quite as well as their rigid counterparts but their pack-ability and durability make them way more versatile for those looking to go on an adventure. Garibaldi Lake is the Jewel of Garibaldi Park and for that reason the trail and campsite at the end of it are often as busy as Whistler on a Powder day. Hauling our SUPs and camping gear up the hill for 2.5 hours was not a pleasant experience, in fact I brought earphones and just put my head down and tried to get it over with. The feeling of paddling away from the crowds at the campsite and off into this ridiculously beautiful lake was completely worth all of the pain on the way up. I'd been to the back of this lake once before in the winter while doing the popular Garibaldi Neve Ski Traverse, however the summer was going to be a whole different story. 

A bit of a disclaimer here; we arrived to near perfect weather and wind. This lake is big and open and in some conditions would not be cross-able on a SUP. We had an extra days food just in case the weather picked up and we couldn't make it back across.  The lake is also very very cold and falling in would not be a pleasant experience, you might die, or you might just experience severe shrinkage. Some people would advocate for wearing a wetsuit.

There were a few bugs around that evening making sitting around on the shore slightly annoying, so we headed out for a float and beer at sunset. A short Lone Wolf IPA Tragically Hip Disco Dance party ensued before bed. 
No tight jeans or shoes with sparkles on them were seen after leaving the campground
Jake's hat has been seen in some fashion magazines though. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jim Habrel Hut with every Tom's Dick and Barry

Fourteen backcountry skiers from Ontario armed with years of stories went to celebrate Tom's last ski days as a single man, hopefully not last ski days ever. The Jim Habrel hut is located at 2030m on the Serratus - Dionne col about a 6 minute helicopter ride from the Squamish airport, it is a simply spectacular location. This amazing alpine setting makes good weather a necessity when visiting this hut, the surrounding terrain is almost entirely glaciated and travel in whiteout conditions would be almost impossible. We very lucky to be graced with great, almost tshirt weather for our three days up there aside from a bit of a SW wind on day one. On that first day the mountains were alive as we watch cornice drop after cornice drop start slides on all aspects 'summer was winning'. Many thanks to the organizers of this wonderful trip. 

Gentlemen of an extraordinary pedigree

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ski the Sea to Sky Gondola - I Only SKi With Groups of 7 or More

What a start to the season it has been! After a great day on the Duffy a day earlier, we looked a little closer to home for the next day's turns. Even withe the lift up to 875m , it is a bit of a long approach to the skiing above the gondola but if the snow conditions are good on the North Shore, then the gondola is good to go. It would be great if they did some drainage work on the Sky Pilot Valley Trail so that the ski out doesn't get washed out each time it rains below 1100m
We came around the corner and saw this for the first time, Welcome to Squamonix

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Duffey's Delight

Its not often that good snow, sunshine and stability all line up, so when it does its time to take advantage. A great crew headed up to the Duffy for some holiday cheer. A steep climb right off the road brought us up to 1850m in about 1.5 hours. It was cold at the car but actually warmed a bit as we climbed. A few of the fellas had some issues with skins slipping on the techy up track but all in all it was impressive for a group of seven to make it up with no real delay cards. There was another party at the top who had some sudden results (CTM5) on a compression test on the E facing slope that we were about to ski so we moved a little further down the ridge to something a less committing. We did two laps on the E facing slopes with great snow then 1.5 laps on the west down 'Cheques in the Mail' before skiing out to the highway along the Keith's Hut Access. Chilly beers at the highway capped off a great day in the mountains. 
This was one of my favourite runs of the year, so good that some of us went back for more.