Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Snow

Or at least, the first snow that I think will stick around town for awhile.

2012.12.18 Snow (7)

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2012.12.18 Snow

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Needle Trees

Hands down, our favourite backcountry ski route is Needle Peak on the Coquihalla.  We don't have that many to choose between so far, of course.  But it has never let us down.  This last weekend Tracey was here to visit Caroline, so I thought it would be a good idea to get out of town.   Obviously, Caroline was unavailable.  Dan was patrolling.  So I sent the following email to Andy:

Earlier this week, the Coquihalla received approximately a metre and a half of fresh snow.
Read: there is a ___-ton of snow up there.

Since then, temperatures have remained cold throughout the day.
Read: it is still light and fluffy.

Snowfall has tapered off, with little expected over the next few days.
Read: avalanche conditions are favourable.

Caroline cannot make it this weekend.
Read: I have two sets of beacon/probe/shovel available.

I was thinking of skiing the trees at Needle.
Read: 1. low avalanche risk. 2. it is straight up / straight down, so snowshoes are more than adequate (also available from my store). No splitboard required.

This doesn't happen very often. Whatever you have planned for Saturday, this will be better.

Apparently, this was such a convincing argument that two other guys from work came along as well.

2012.12.08 Needle (7)

It turned out that I was right in almost every aspect of that email. I took off my skis at the top, and fell in to my armpits.  I have never had snow that deep before.  I had also borrowed Mike's AT setup, so instead of trying to learn how to telemark in armpit deep powder, I could ski it normally.  Just fantastic.

2012.12.08 Needle (2)

The one aspect that I got wrong was snowshoes being adequate. They were not.  With all the postholing and slipping backwards, I think Jake and Andy climbed 5 times the elevation that I did.  Next time, with skis or splitboards, we can hopefully do a few more laps.

2012.12.08 Needle (10)

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Full set here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Zoa Peak: A Dog Experience

We went to the Coquihalla today for the first ski tour of the season.  The weather was pretty dodgy on the way there, but about half a kilometer before our pull off, the snain switched to proper snow.  It hovered around zero at the low elevations for the rest of the day, with wet snow off and on.  We only had to bootpack for about 50 meters before we could put on our skis, so it was definitely acceptable.

It was the dog's first ski tour ever.  First, he had issues with the rope:

2012.12.01 Zoa (2)

Then, he spent the majority of the ascent trying to hitch a ride on our tails:

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And when we finally reached the top, he required a restart:

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All in all though, a good way to start the season.  I think the dog is hooked.

2012.12.01 Zoa (8)

2012.12.01 Zoa (12)