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.