First Ski Day

Puff Daddy

It was Greg’s Birthday today so that meant a mission to the Pass. The skiing was great and we had  a fun day.

Originally we thought about ice climbing but it was -14 in the morning, which would have meant breaking the -12 rule: I don’t go ice climbing if it is colder than -12. Living in Banff that conveniently means I don’t have to go ice climbing a whole lot. 

Typical early season trail breaking in the Pass

On the road at 7 am meant we got to the Pass at 9.  You cross into the Pacific Time Zone along the way so a 3 hour drive takes 2 hours. Or that’s what I like to think anyway. It was actually 10 o’clock MST.

We cruised up Grizzly Shoulder, pushing out an extra large pizza on a steep wind loaded roll at treeline that failed on the surface hoar buried recently. So we kept that in mind for the run down. Then we scratched through the rocks above onto the ridge leading to Little Sifton and stripped skins just below the clag in the alpine. There was a track leading into Puff Daddy, one of my favourite runs, so we followed that. We weren’t sure if the surface hoar was going to be reactive there but were ready to skin back out if it was. Luckily there was no wind effect and we had a great run. Low-density, high-speed, blower pow with chest shots.

Macdonald West Shoulder is still aldery but I bet it's skiable

There are a lot of buried hazards out there – rocks and alders – and I put a pretty good hole in my skis on the way down. So heads up for that. You also want to make sure there isn’t a wind slab sitting on top that surface hoar, so don’t go where there is wind effect and the skiing is crap anyway. Pretty simple.

I still have space on Rogers Pass trips in February, click here for more info…


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