Whew!  Sorry about the TR delays, I was just sidetracked by a trip to the Rockies which involved driving (exclusively in imported Japanese right hand drive diesel vehicles..), bicycling, walking, skinning and cramponing, all for an ascent of a peak whose name means “shining brilliantly; gleaming; splendid”.  But more on that later… 

Although we are well into the spring of things, my season is far from over.  My very first over-night ski trip was a 3 day/2 night figure of 8 loop out to the Samuel glacier in Haines Pass, in the Yukon Territory, and I am finally planning to return to the St Elias range.  In late May Derek G, Dave S, Joey V, Greg H, and myself are bound for the Steele/Lucania zone to check out some of Canada’s higher mountains base camp styles, very exciting stuff! 

Greg heading for the summit of Boulder 3, 2 in the background.

But on to the Trip Report.  I try to get out skiing off the highway 23 North as much as possible, but the low snowpack at the lower elevations made the access from the valley bottoms seem unappealing this season.  What a pleasant surprise when the one attempt I do make this year turned out to be as simple as a day of touring at the Pass.  In the early morning Greg and I headed out past the dam and up the paved highway to where the Goldstream FSR branches off to the East.  A moderately rough 20 klicks up this road, park in a pull-out, walk across the road and start skinning up a logging road.  Less than half an hour later, we break out of the trees and stare up the North aspect of the Boulder peaks.  Also visible from the highway as you enter the Downie Loop from the south, this cluster of summits lies just to the west of Downie Peak.   Climbing up through the rubble of what must have been a massive avalanche, we ski-cramponed up a steep snow/ice gully, no place to be if the snow stability was in question.  This led to open moraines, and with the North face of Boulder 1 (the highest of the four)  looking a bit burly for us, we headed up the bowl on our climber right to have a look at 2, 3, and 4.  

South facing slopes across the Goldstream River looking bare.

 

As we wound our way up the bowl, the short North face of Boulder 3 called out like a siren.  Also clearly visible was an excellent route up the climber’s right hand ridge. 

Mini-golf in the middle of nowhere.

An example of why staying well away from the edge of corniced ridges is a good idea.

Greg getting down the N face of Boulder 3

The snow turned out to be quite faceted on the face, excellent skiing,and steep enough to get the heart pounding.  We pulled up on the bench below and re-skinned with our eye on a perfect NW facing run off Boulder 2, the snow was looking well preserved. A short time later we were standing on the second summit of the day, looking down our 6500′ run back to the truck.  I love the Columbia’s.  The honors are mine this time, and the turns off  the summit are dream-like.  See the video posted a while back,  and here a shot of the top part of the run. 

Boulder 2, Downie peak in the background.

 We worked the shady aspects down the same bowl we had ascended and the skiing was really good!  

Powder skiing in the middle of April, no complaints here.

I would have to say, one of the most easily accessed N facing areas I have skied around Revelstoke, so long as the Goldstream road is plowed (it often is for access to CMH Adamants lodge).  I am psyched we made the effort to explore this new zone!

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