The time of year had come to hunt for the goods on the shady sides of the mountains. The crew chatted about options during the commute to the Pass, in English and French.  Julie, Renaud  and Conor are bilingual, and Mark, Rob and myself fall into the unilingual category.  We settled on the Asulkan drainage and it’s plethora of NE facing options,  plus we could take advantage of an uptrack set the previous day on the Dome glacier. In no time at all we were standing on top of the run depicted above, and when we pulled up at the bottom with huge powder grins on our mugs and a whole day of perfect settled spring pow ahead, the plot thickened.  Here’s a colour pic of Rob M rippin’ the @&$* outta tha  Dome.

Our team of three skiers and three snowboarders cycled the uptrack again and snuck over the ridge to the Sapphire Glacier.  The mountains were alive with people on such a gorgeous day.  We were aiming to traverse the three peaks of Mount Jupiter, and a party had just set the bootpack to the first, Castor. Perfect.

Booting up the ridge of Castor, edging ahead of the masses.

Heading for the crux and the summit of peak 2, Pollux.

Gaining the third peak, Leda. Notice the pair of tracks down Young's Peak in the background.

In my  opinion the Jupiter Traverse is one of the best tours in Rogers Pass,  especially if conditions permit a descent via the 3000′  Thorington  Route directly off the East face of Leda.  On this day, they most definitely did.

Having witnessed the creation of the uptrack on Young’s Peak across the way, and with a couple of hours of light left, we opted to make it a three run day.  Our legs were feeling the burn, but the golden light of the setting sun on the slopes above lured us upward. 

By the time we made it to the final pitch below the summit, the two tracks on the face had multiplied into many, and no wonder.  I don’t know the boarder in the pic above, but I am sure he is having fun!   The 20-odd folks that skied Young’s that day kept their tracks nice and tidy, so lots of room for us.

We dropped the more NW aspect, and the run was superb.  We headed down right of the Pterodactyl, and the creek exit to the mousetrap was almost unrecognizable being so filled in with snow.

Last run.

Rob M. takes it a little steeper.

What an exceptional day in the mountains, three classic runs with a great posse, for a total of 3200m.  One of the parties we passed that day was visiting from the states, and they commented about how lucky we are to live in such a spot.  I couldn’t agree more.  Commercial operations around here use a descriptive word scale to rate stability (very poor, poor, fair, good, very good) for below treeline, at treeline, and in the alpine.  On this day they were calling it three times good.  Damn right!

Advertisements