Saturday, June 14, 2014

CFFOV in Squamish

This is not really my adventure but rather one of my mother's. All of my spirit of exploration I get from my parents, they spent many days when I was a teenager at the cottage exploring the back-roads of northern Ontario. My mother last flew CFFOV across the country in 1992 when she flew from Ontario to Alaska I remember crying on the dock at the cottage when she arrived back and then had to leave again to drop her copilot off in Toronto.  This time Squamish was the final destination, It took her three days to fly across the country with my Uncle Alan in good weather (except for a bit of a headwind). When she was here we went for a number of flights around Squamish along with one up to Desolation Sound and one over the mountains through the Salmon Inlet over to Howe Sound, flying along the back of the Tantalus range was truly awe inspiring.

Above Woodfibre

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arlo's First Chief

Uncle Cam and Aunt Christine are here so we decided to go for a jaunt up iconic Squamish Chief. Arlo behaved himself the whole way up and down (slept). We got a lot of looks from other people on the trail. This will be the last time I carry him up - next time he has to do it all on his own.

This is a baby blog now

Ok how can I resist one post - Arlo Cameron Norman at a whopping 8lbs 12oz showed up after 24 hours of labour. Sarah was a champ and i'm a very proud father. Arlo hopefully you will read this blog someday and see how fun your father used to be.

Yes Arlo, welcome to the outside world - life is difficult

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rainbow Drop

It took me allll day a few years ago to get to the top of rainbow mountain w Pascal via the SE ridge passing false summit after false summit. When we arrived a helicopter dropped a group of skiers right on the summit beside us. We did one run on E glacier and I told myself that was the last time that I would climb rainbow from valley bottom. A heli drop is clearly a much more sophisticated way of visiting this popular mountain right across the valley from Whistler. The plan was to get dropped up high and then do a number of laps in the alpine / at tree line. There was a cloud cap on the summit, the helicopter went in for a closer look but it wasn't going to be able to land  there so it dropped us on a nearby shoulder. 

I'm not sure if that is a smile or a grimace - Whistler Blackcomb in the background photo cred Jake

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cowboy Ridge

Last ski tour before baby and a few edge card days to use up - it really doesn't get more dependedable for good skiing than the Musical Bumps. Had some turns with Brewster and Short in the morning then headed out with Jesse and Tom in the afternoon. First run on backside of Flute was the best, slight crust everywhere else but with big skiis it was hardly noticeable.

We took second chute from the right, seemed to have the least tracks

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Dog Climbs Couloirs

You can see this 300m chute from almost everywhere in Squamish - and  its been a target of Cam and I for awhile now so we decided to give it a go this week. I was excited to get out on skis with both Cam and the King and Queen of the Squamish Valley. It was t-shirt weather as we left sea level at Squamish and drove up some logging rds to the the start of the ski around 12:30. I tried to get Andrew to duck down in the car so nobody would wonder why I was driving a homeless pedophile around in the delica but he refused.

We drove to about 700m and started the hour and a quarterish skin up the logging rd. The snow was a lot more isothermic from the sunshine over the past few days than I had expected but it was still great to be out. We approached the couloir and noted that a big slide had come down in the past few days. This was not good news for the skiing conditions but was good news from a safety standpoint of climbing up it. We skinned as high as we could and then threw our skis on our backs and started bootpacking.

The firm surface was pretty difficult to kick boots into at many places, we actually found that it was best to follow the bits of avalanche debris that was left in the couloir. The surface bed elsewhere was so hard that the snowboarders needed me to go first and use my hard boot to kick in foot holes. the dog however, had no problem at all and even fell asleep while standing halfway up. Gorgeous views of Squmaish and the surrounding areas from the top. The way down was survival skiing at its best. Back to the car by 7pm  - got to love spring time for long hours of daylight.