Objective hazard in the parking lot.
Wow.  This winter has been all about powder.  I can count the number of sunny days since New Years Day on two hands.   Midwinter storms frequently  left 70 -80cm of fluff blanketing the hills, often to valley bottom.  Now spring squalls  are pushing  cells through that are leaving 2-5cms behind, and this is stacking up to 50 cm ski penetration.  In April.  Outstanding! 

Andrew M. sunshine and pow on Little Sifton.

Two metres of settled snow in town (500m elevation)  meant  less driving to Rogers Pass, and more local exploration.  Logging operations had the Laforme road (off highway 23 North) plowed all winter, and the surrounding terrain saw a lot of ski touring traffic.  Here are some pics of an ascent of St Cyr, a beautiful glaciated peak at the head of the drainage (the first shot is from the recce the day before).

Renaud P. dropping into April Chute. 3000'+ of sick slide path, ridge to valley.

Skinning up St. Cyr, looking NW down the Laforme drainage.

 

Heading for the short couloir to access the summit ridge.

Booting up the couloir.

Renaud P. droppin' the knee.

Low light slashing, yours truly.

 I bought into a sled this year with Dave S.  which I have used exactly once.  This is mainly due to having no way of transporting it.  However, Renaud has a double trailer, and earlier in the season we checked out a top-secret cabin in the Monashees for a few days.

Loading up my Skandic, which performed very well in some really tough conditions.

Good backcountry living.

 I am of the opinion that the BC/Alberta border be redrawn so we get ALL the mountains, what does Alberta need the Rockies for anyway?   Well, I guess the range does extend into the south-eastern corner of BC.  Having spent seven years in Fernie, it was great to get back into this zone on a single day tour with my good friend Jeff.  We missioned in behind a summit studded ridgeline called the Steeples, whose western face drops with huge relief right to the Columbia Valley.  The east side offers a myriad of ski terrain, and some huge faces and steep big lines.  We kept it mellow and exploratory, but the skiing was great, and the Rockies style views loaded with weather gnarled White Pines and steep orange limestone cliff bands reminded me how incredible this area  is.  I guess Alberta can  keep the rest…

Checking out big lines on the East side of the Steeples.

BC Rockies pow-pow.

 Although the sunny days have been few and far between, 2011 has been one of the best winters of my life.  Powder every day out, and loads of exploring areas completely new to me.

Heaven on Earth.

 
 
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