Its funny yesterday morning was poring rain. It was pelting down onto the windshield as I drove to eagle pass guides meeting. My partners for the day were waffling and it really looked like a doozy of a day. I had looked at the weather forecast and it was supposed to get better. But as huge raindrops bounced off my windshield I wondered?
I knew that once I was done it was going to be sunny and nice for a few days. The eagerly awaited sun, that never really came for me all month, was going to show up once I no longer needed it. But at least give me a banger of a last day.
Eagle Pass Heli-skiing was going to drop us in the alpine so we could get some great footage with Sherpas cinema and Bruno long could get some good finishing photos. Which would make it a challenge to get my 10 grand in but also document the end of this madness. We flew up into the clouds and managed a high drop near where I was hopeing to shred. It appeared that Danyelle was having issues closing the compartment door on the back of the heli, so I went around, precariously stood on the skid and reached up and closed the latches. I gave the pilot the “OK” and he flew off. As he flew off, I realized the issue was not in closing the latches but in opening the door. So he flew away with Brunos, touring gear and more importantly his camera gear. Not a good start if you want to document the day!
The clouds stayed thick and heavy on the mountain so I banged off a few thousand feet of short runs, getting a little footage, and once the heli flew back, with the camera bag, a shot or two. But the whole time I was dreaming of this line.
Over ten years ago, Dan Treadway came to town for a magazine article on this sleepy town called Revelstoke. Scott Newsome and I took them up and dropped Dan off on top of this line. It was his first ski run in Revelstoke and he shredded it. I have wanted to lay some turns down it forever.
The weather began to break and we headed directly to this line, and shredded it. My instagram greg_hill_ski has a few seconds of the fun I had carving down this face.
With that run in the bag and the skin track back up, it was session time. Over the next 5 hours, I lapped this north facing ridge a total of 6 times. From wide open ramps, to sketchy rock entrances under huge cornices. It was all there and the skiing was off the hook deep.
The clouds rolled in and out all day and finally cleared completely for the last up of this March Madness. To hit 100 km I neeeded to tour a 10 000 foot day. So at 5:23 pm I hiked my final feet
to watch my number
And bamm I had successfully completed the biggest human powered powder month ever. 328,000 ft of effort, a 100 vertical km of wild powder skiing.
Leo, of Sherpas cinema asked me for some wise words. My first were ” judge me by my actions and not my words, but eventually I had a few words of wisdom.(maybe)
The biggest thing is that uncertainty in life is a good thing, not knowing what can happen is important. Trying to do things that you may not succeed at, digging deep and really finding out what you can do. I was full of doubt this whole mission, but I was also full of belief that if I worked hard, really hard, I possibly could achieve my goal.
Its another totally pointless greg hill goal, yet its the challenge that is important, the desire for more and the willingness to work hard towards something.
Not really sure how today worked out. I was bummed about the weather and wondering what I would do. Talked to Joey and his group was going up mt-green. As I got to the pass the weather was better and I got excited. I punched a trail up to the ridge on Mt-Afton, it was so stormy and windy that I skied down 2500ft and re-used my skin track. By then the weather had gotten better and the summit was in the sun. So I booted to the top and skied the west face down to the lilly. With 7000ft in by 12 I was excited, I latched onto their skin track and followed it for 4600 feet to the top, meeting up with them near the summit for the ski down. The 5000ft descent of green is great and we did get some light at the top. Crusher of a traverse back to the parking lot and now I have to dream up tomorrows adventure. 21 thousand feet to go…
Something I know for sure is that I am not Superman. Lying in bed at 3 am, eyes burning from a little too much sun yesterday (not kryptonite), worrying about where to go today. My hip flexers, thighs and all parts of my body trying to convince my mind to take the day off. Aching and wondering why the hell I am doing this, I know that it is for the challenge. And if I was superman this would not be hard.
I remember an article from years ago calling me “neighbourhood superman”, it was exciting to think that maybe I was. But upon any bit of reflection its pretty clear I am not. Sure I push my body to the limit, have a stubbornness that drives me upwards, and optimism to have a lot of fun while I am doing it. but it is taxing. Especially at 38 when the body needs time to recover. With 33 thousand feet to go lots of people assume it will be easy for me. I have done 50 000 ft in a day so 33000 in 3 days should be easy. But when I did 50 grand I trained extensively for it, and had lots of rest and was in fighting shape. I didn’t have 23 days of hard core touring out of the last 28 days. Right now the 12 thousand foot day I did yesterday was excruciating, and tiring. Any time I sat down for a break, I desired to not get back up, to just sit there and enjoy. I have no top gear, I tried to race away from my friends for a quick lap, I put my head down and pushed hard. Breathing deep I focused on the skin track and “ran” up the hill. For 20 minutes I skinned and decided to look back and see how much advantage I had and how big and extra lap I should do. They were pretty much right behind me!!
I feel like I have denatured large days to the point where people think I am inhuman and that it’s really easy. Oh no big deal he just has to do 11 000 feet a day for the next three days. Sure that seems easy when you look at my numbers and see what I have done in the past but you also have to take into account what I have done in the past 28 days. A lot and its taking its toll. For sure I should be able to accomplish it, but its going to take a lot of sweating, swearing and swagger. (couldn’t help but alliterate, even if it doesn’t make sense)
So with no top gear, and many great zones visited I can’t decide where to go today. The weather looks not so great “Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon.” Not only will visibility be bad but I have to worry about lightning!! I really need to be decisive right now and am waffling…..
(authors note: this was written at 5 am, forgive me for any ramblings and unclear thoughts)