Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mt Pattison NW Face and Surrounding Area

A great day in the sunshine taking advantage of LOW avalanche hazards to go and ski some steep lines. I had tried Mt Pattison once last spring but got stopped by visibility. On this day, visibility was not an issue at all! After a few good days inbounds, Andrew, David, Scott and I headed up to east col for what we thought would be a quick trip in the Blackcomb backcountry. We didn't really have a destination in mind and kind of just kept moving as we were feeling good. Traversed across Decker lake and up Decker Ridge to the chute entrance to the Trorey Gl and then enjoyed the long gentle climb eastwards eventually passing Pattison. Once we got that far, there really was no turning back, a brief rest for lunch and we bootpacked up to to Pattison's summit ridge. The skin / walk across the back of Pattison was a little slow due to poor coverage, rocks and exposure below.  There was a very small cornice at the entrance to the face that could be skied over. The Face skied nicely with a little ice under 6cm of snow at the top that all but disappeared as you moved further down. A small amount of sluff followed each of us down as you can see in the photos.

We enjoyed the run down the Trorey Gl but did not enjoy the Skin back up to the Decker Trorey Col as the small amount of fresh snow on top of the crust was sliding easily. The rest of the day was in the late afternoon sunshine as we summit-ed Decker and went out via the 9th hole and disease ridge. A great day in the sunshine!

Slogging across the lake at the bottom of the Circle glacier.
Sunshine in the coast mountains, luckily we were in the shade for this climb, keeping us cool. 
David, Andrew and I on Decker's N ridge
Andrew will believe anything
He also believes he can fly
These next two shots show you how heavy coast powder is
As close as I get to trying to be artistic
Skinning up Trorey Gl

Lunch in black and white
Other pretty mountains
Bootpacking up to the ridge, have seen other years where this looks less intimidating (it actually wasn't too bad)
Andrew looking down the NW Face of Mt Pattison
Andrew escaping his powder cloud
Scott enjoying the ride
My quad's burning, the straight-line is the only option at this point
Looking back up
Top of the 9th Hole
Thumbs up to a great day

1 comment:

  1. Peering over the cornice on the face of Mt Patison is a seriously intimidating photo in my opinion......Your shots are fabulous. They almost do justice to that glorious day of epic backcountry skiing.