Forays into the Monashees tend to be  of lesser frequency than that of the Selkirks due to the absence of a high elevation highway pass and the fact that  access from the east into the Northern section is blocked by Lake Revelstoke.  We generally resort to canoes or snowmobiles to aid in access logistics, and for my second mission into the  South Monashees of the season Magee provided  the “sled” that, combined with Joey’s machine, would drag us over kilometers of snow covered logging road and into the glittering Gold Range.

Norse God Odin in the guise of Wanderer.

 Like its namesake Norse deity ruled Asgard, Mt Odin (2970m/ 9744ft) stands as the highest mountain of the Southern Monashees, and that was the objective for today.  Having two sleds allowed for dropping one up Odin creek, ready for us if all goes well and we drop off the NE.  Skinning away from the snowmobile at just after nine, we pushed up through the last of the trees and onto the Frigg glacier. 

Jeff and jets on the Frigg glacier

Although seldom visited by ski tourers, this  general area sees traffic from commercial operations like Sol Mountain Lodge and CMH Galena, so it was hardly surprising when after 50 mins of driving, 50 mins of sledding, and 2 hours of skinning, our path crossed that of a dozen descending skiers.  They came back for a second run when we where on the summit.  Pretty sick place to get dropped off  in a helicopter. 

Sick Bird.

After a pleasant, un-threatened skin up the glacier, we were faced with an amazing snow ridge to the summit, a real treat after all the sugar snow rocky ridges we have been booting up lately.  

Greg strolling along the ridge crest.

Mark and Joey, splitboarder brethren.

Greg walks the line.

 It was pretty intense watching the 212 fly by as Greg dropped  into the cherry  run down the NE face,  knowing we wouldn’t being crossing any heli tracks on this run… 

Joey with our run in the background.

The snow felt awesome.  Arching turns down this glacier was so much fun I can’t even describe it!  All too soon, the slope angle fell into the single digits and we were off on the 5 km cross-country ski in search of the dropped snowmobile.  The light was well on its way out as we pulled up to the machine and headed for the trucks.  An almost flawless day, at least until I ditched Magee’s sled over an icy snow bank trying to get set up for loading. We had it out in 15 mins, got it into the truck , and headed down the pot-hole ridden frozen Forest Service Road. 

It was great to stand on this new summit under crystal skies and look to the North and recall Monashee days of the past.  Six years ago Greg and I stood with three other good friends on the summit of  Mt Monashee, hundreds of kilometers to the North,  on the second day of our 21 day ski South to Revelstoke.  What a wicked range. What a wicked run!  Always worth the effort. 

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