Greg Hill.ca

Ursus Minor NE

griz.jpg

What a day! We went up to the pass with plans to ski the Herdman Couloir on Mt-Macdonald. But the area was closed for avalanche control so we went for option B.   B for badass.  Little did we know that option B was a wilder day than Option A was going to be.

I have thought of this tour for awhile and when we had no plan A  I figured we might as well test out this tour. Up Ursus Minor with the a little different track than last time. On the summit somewhere around noon. From there we skied NE of the summit. Down the ridge and then into the chute. The schralp hawk snow boarded into the chute and down into the north face.  What a line………NursusMinor.jpg

I have only known about this line since last year, when I toured around Sifton mountain and spotted this beauty.  I haven’t forgotten about it since…. This is my third summit of Ursus Minor and my third different descent off the summit this winter. What a great summit, such a  variety of aspects. We had great skiing down the face and then toured around  and up the north glacier on Little Sifton.NlittlSifton.jpg

Such a cool place that I have never visited. The tour up the north side was a little aggressive but the light and fluffy north facing powder made it a little easier. And then the descent into Grizzly bowl was great. Two couloirs for the four of us and then fun turns down to the valley bottom.

What a wild day. Quite possibly a first descent. Since there is no history of stuff skied around here and I have never heard of anyone even mention the possibility of skiing this line, I am verging on first descent. Most definitely our first time down it.

Terminal Peak

yaya.jpg

With promises of some sunny skies we ventured up towards terminal peak. The illecilleweat glacier is always a beautiful place to tour. We wound up its moraines till we reached the glacier. from the toe of the glacier we went up high and skied a 1000 foot line beneath Lookout Mt. The powder was great and  the light was decent for the first 500 and whiteout for the second 500. 

From there we toured up the long glacier till we reached Pearly rock, from there we went up the South face of Terminal peak and got to the Ridge line around 3pm. Immediately the sun disappeared and we were stuck in a pea soup fog. Initially we thought it would pass quickly and we waited out the clouds. 10 minutes passed, 20 and then 30. By thirty minutes we were getting dumped on and I got out the guides tarp. I sat in my little haven for a few minutes and then the boys joined me. Soon there were six of us in my tarp. we hung out and waited till 4:20 when we finally went for it.It had snowed close to  4cm. Surreptitiously the sun broke through for a minute and afforded Jeremy a clean shot down from the col.  Luckily since the  upper 35 cm , lazily broke free and slid down the first 300 feet of the run. We all skied the bed surface and then had awesome powder turns the whole way down Pearly Rock. Spring powder rules! 

Got some  good footage, though I missed the best of the skiing. I am sure I got enough to show off the Cold Selkirk snow. Speaking of footage I have a little "Guiding at Whitecap" film coming out and then I will work on the latest footage, which holds some promise.

Bagheera I’ll be back….

DSC_2435.jpgBagheera is one of the most dramatic summits in Roger’s Pass. It is the most "Alaskan" style descent around. A 2500 foot alpine face, south/east facing and no easy way up. It is one of the few summits I have not skied from and I look forward to skiing it.  It is a tricky face to ski in powder conditions, to time it right and climb it safely while also getting great skiing will be difficult. After our day on Ursus and 8812 we thought the conditions were perfect.  10-15 cm of snow overlying a solar crust, it seemed ideal.

 When we arrived at the parking lot at 6 am we could tell things had changed. Wind was blowing lots of new snow around. We hoped that it was less than we thought but it slowly became obvious that it had snowed another 10-15 over night. So instead of the 10-15 we had more like 20-30cm.Much more of a hazard than we had hoped.

But with optimistic hearts we toured up Balu and skied a great run down to the Cougar valley, from there we toured up towards Bagheera. The morning light lit up the upper face and I was scared, I could tell we would not be making it today.We still toured up to an upper basin to look at the  slope. But large "whummffffs" and two easy shears in the upper snow pack  had us skiing down and looking for other options.

 Option C was to tour up and  ski north off a col between Copper and Bagheera. By the time we got there my psych was gone and I was ready to head home. Looking north down the couloir I was filled with apprehension. The new snow  was deep in the start zone and I felt like it wasn’t a smart decision. So we skied south and had a 5000 foot run to the valley; powder turns morphing into spring carving.

I will be back for Bagheera on the perfect day, when I know all is perfect and can boot pack straight up the middle of this incredible face. 

 

« Previous PageNext Page »