Ursus Minor/8812

 This trip is a classic! There is some fantastic spring skiing in the Selkirks right now. Its dust on crust on the south aspects and great powder on the north.

 Aaron mentioned the idea of skiing of Ursus minor and then touring around to Ursus Major. It seemed like a fantastic idea to me, Doug and Jodi had never summitted Ursus nor had any of them skied the west face. SO we skinned up ursus minor, the weather wasn’t perfect but hinted of better. The clouds would obscure the summits and then moments later they would be lit up in the sun.

ursu.jpg We summited the peak by noon and decided on a new line of the summit, skiing down the ridge we rolled in and had a decent chute that opened into a larger bowl and a total descent of 2500 feet.

 Wicked line. Jodi claimed it as his best line ever.

We then skied around into Ursus Major bowl and  had dreams of summitting it. But the approach is aggressive and there are no easy ways up. So I generally only go there when I know things are perfect.

Things are really good right now but there are some lurking fears deeper in the snow pack. So we listened to our instincts and went up 8812 instead.


 The tour up 8812 is a perfect glacial tour, these perfect benchs wind up to the summit.  They are a pleasure to skin up and provide a great vantage of our morning turns. SO we summitted and then had some great north facing turns, Jodi learnt a bit about "slough" management…..

We then finished of with bruins bowl and headed home. 


chromosome couloirs

cheeops.jpgChromosome Couloirs are not their names, I actually don’t know their names, but that is what I would call them. I have looked at these two couloirs for years and wondered when I would ski them. They are both 1500 foot couloirs with huge fans out the bottom of them, and they join in the middle, somewhat like a chromosome.

We toured up and skied the Hourglass off Cheops East shoulder and had some fantastic powder turns at the top that eventually turned into dust on crust at the bottom. We then toured into the climbers left chute and began bootpacking up. The  chute regularly shoughs so we were imagining a safe zone throughout the middle of the chute. It worked for awhile  and we got 300 feet up the chute but eventually it felt as if we shouldn’t be there. So we turned and skied down. Deep turns turned to fast ones as we careened down the fan. From there we wandered up to the morraine and worked our way up to the top of the right hand chute. A steep skin track led us to the top where we hung out under some cliffs. Sensing that there was a start zone to negotiate I worked my way up a small rip to get on top of the zone. Hoping to push the hazard off from a safe spot. I managed to get most of the way up and then the start zone popped, most of it tumbled to the right but the left side caught Mark and pulled him down onto a small bench. He probably slide 20 feet but it was enough to know that I had made a mistake. All the math made sense but it was a very close equation, no room for miscalculations!!  I should have asked him to stay at the cliff while I worked up and into the start zone. All was well and we skied the chute. Again fast and furious we tore our way down the fan.

Great to be home.. 

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