Gates and almost Kelly
Another adventurous day went by yesterday. At one point Aaron turned to me and expressed how lucky we were to be doing what we do. And how many amazing days we have had out in the mountains. Yesterday being one of the many, many incredible days out there.
Chris,Dave, James and Jay had decided to go on a three day traverse of the southern monashees and asked me to go on it. Although I was interested I feel the need to be at home right now so I passed on the traverse. But I realized that perhaps I could help them out with a sled shuttle and get a great day out in the Monashees. The Southern Monashees are the best kept secret around here. Remote, impressive and they get more snow than the Selkirks.
Since they had two sleds, Aaron joined me for the shuttle and a huge day out in the mountains. The morning was a bit of a "shit show" since they were getting their gear ready for three days of ski touring. Aaron and I realized that they we were on our own program and took off towards Mt-Kelly.
The approach involved four km of valley touring surrounded by huge mountains on either side. Then we toured up the north side of Kelly wrapping around the seracs on the glacier and skinning to the highest skiable point. The glacier is crevassed but it is hard to imagine falling through a snow bridge since there is 4m of snow covering these slopes. Here is Aaron reaching our high point with Mt-Gates in the background.
From Kelly we had a great descent down a rib and the over the glacier. For some reason I chose to not bring the map along so we had some adventuring into the unknown to get from where we were to Gates peak where we hoped to meet our friends.First we boot packed up a small couloir and busted through a cornice, followed by a small tour up a small peak from there. Standing on this peak it was hard to tell which way was the safest way off it, I almost guided us down a steep face and over some 100’foot cliffs. Luckily instinct prevailed and we skied down the ridge till we found a weakness that curled us around and under a huge cornice and down towards Gates peak. A quick snack on the lake and then we toured up the south ridge to the summit. Nearing the summit we watched as the traversees came around from the north side and summitted before us. It was so great to meet up with them one last time before they headed off towards the north and we headed home. I was a little jealous looking north at the terrain they were about to tour through but I was also happy to be headed home.
After a fantastic glacial descent Aaron and I said farewell and skied out the valley home. Seemingly easier than it was. 8 km of flattish valley and small lakes till we finally found the sleds. From there we sledded the 24 kms out and loaded the trucks and home. what an adventure, 8600′ feet of touring, 28 km of new terrain, one new summit and almost another. Great day,