Perhaps Mt-Cartier is best done when you can ski the 7000 foot shot from the summit to the road as in mid winter conditions. Today was not mid winter conditions more spring /summer. Recognizing that it was not the best choice I still went with it since I had not summitted this mountain this year.
Tracey and I went for a jog at the base of Mt-Cartier and when I mentioned to her that I was going up there she sort of laughed at me. The first 2000 feet had no snow on it and the summit looked miles away from where we were. But I am a stubborn man and a nice walk through a Fir forest didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
I booted up the forest floor till I reached snow and then toured the rest up to the summit. Things on the south side were getting a bit isothermal but I managed to minimize my hazards and worked my way up to the summit. The vantage that Cartier offers is amazing, views deep into the Selkirks and the whole Monashee range. There is an old fire cabin up here, where the rangers would live and watch for forest fires. A cool little cabin with 360′ views of everything as far as the eye can see.
I then dropped around to the North bowl, which required a bit of creative touring but I managed to wrap around and ski the 2000 foot bowl. Great spot that I have never been and always looked at. The descent led me down and around the mountain setting me up for a great skin to the ridge. I have always wanted to ski a NW chute of the summit that my friend Scott skied years ago, it seemed like such a dramatic line and today when I toured underneath it I realised how easy a line it is.
When I reached the ridge I was at 9000 feet so I did a fast, cruiser back down the bowl and took my skin track back to the ridge. Skins off and I was on my way down to the valley and the frustrating walk out. While boot packing out the bottom I ran into a deer carcass that was in the process of being eaten. By what I wondered? A cougar or a Grizzly? I looked around and than hiked out of the area as quickly as possible. 7.5 hrs 10 200 feet