Monday, March 9, 2015

Pika Peak

Sunday 3/8 Steve and I headed out for an "exercise" tour. Figured we'd head up to Duck Pass and figure it out from there.

As we approached Duck Pass we noticed some nice tracks above Barney Lake and noted that the snow was still pretty darn good despite the recent warm temps.

At the top of Duck Pass we had the good fortune of meeting longtime Sierra skier John Dittli who was eyeing Pika Peak.  We quickly accepted his invitation to join him.

John and Steve cruise across Pika Lake on the way to Pika Peak (center).

Skinning up the huge apron below the chute (up right). Nice snow!

The chute was too narrow for skinning so we booted. Steve leads the way.

Steve and John. Almost there!

Summit photo.

The chute itself was a little scratchy at the top getting better near the mouth, but the apron and below skied great.

Steve enters the broad alley below the apron.

John enjoys the good snow in there too.

Up track to the right, down track to the left with the chute upper right.

We still had a little left in the tank, so when John suggested a little detour to ski Barney Bowl we didn't hesitate. Real nice skiing there too.

Fine skiing.
Beautiful weather.
A peak bagged.
Good times with a couple of super nice guys.
The ski gods were with me again!

Jumbo Pass Epilogue

In the weeks before our trip we had left Saturday open as a day of travel with the possibility of more skiing, but more skiing wasn't happening. We were beat!

We started the day at Kicking Horse Cafe in Invermere.

Ted, our snowmobile guide, had recommended a soak here. 

They do warning signs differently here.

The pools were a little crowded, but there was room for everyone. After soaking for a good bit our core temperatures were nice and warm, so we dipped in the icy river. The warm tingling sensation upon reentering the hot pools was great.

Terrific pools.

Back to Kicking Horse where the caffeine fiends fueled up for the drive to Calgary.

After the scenic drive we settled in to our hotel, watched some curling, and prepared for our long travel day back to the States.

Thanks Canada!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jumbo Pass Day 5

Our last morning at the cabin found us in clouds.

With rime on the ski poles

and rime on the Larch.

Leaving the cabin.

Sunrise was a gorgeous, moody affair.

We decided to take one last run through the glades since they were on the way out. At the transition.

The final run.

Followed by a hairball descent down the trail.

Skis off!

Firm, smooth, and fun - in a twisted sort of way.

Once off the trail we had about thirteen miles of logging road to contend with. Not so much fun.

The End!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Jumbo Pass Day 4

On day four we decided to give the alpine zone another try, so we headed up to this col.

We enjoyed the fine views across the valley on the way up.

 Steve. Almost there.

From the col, the view north. Jumbo Pass is this broad, treed low spot along the ridge.

The view south into the next sub drainage of Jumbo Creek, with Blockhead Mtn in the back.

We skied down a fair ways into the next drainage encountering sun crust, so we headed back up to the col.

The skiing off the col was better than expected especially skier's left. Steve makes it look easy.

We explored around a little more, but had to take one more run in the glades. Momma Larch and me.

Good times for sure!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Jumbo Pass Day 3

The third day brought a crisp, clear morning with a hint that a little new snow had fallen.

Distant peaks and glaciers at first light.

Right from cabin the skiing was noticeably better.

We quickly found an area with open glades where the new snow had accumulated nicely.

 Ego snow!

 So good we decided to lap it.

Lots of laps! This is the transition zone at the top.


The terrain was mostly cruiser, with a few steepish rollovers.

This Larch, dubbed "Papa Larch", was one of the landmarks we used to guide us through different open glades.

This is the view of Jumbo Glacier where developers seek to build a year 'round ski area. Hope it doesn't happen. Check out the advocates trying to halt it here.

 This is the view of our morning turns on the way back to the cabin.

Heading home.

I dig my new sticks!

We were all happily tired after a fine day of powder skiing.

Jumbo Pass Day 2

The second day at the Jumbo Pass Cabin dawned with the shocking realization that some sort of animal had stolen all of our meat and cheese products. We had stored them in a bucket labelled "food refrigeration" which had been slightly melted such that the lid did not seal tightly.

The damage consisted of 1.5 Salames, ~16 Laughing Cow cheeses, 250g of smoked Gouda, four Italian sausages, 2 sticks of butter, 16oz of red pasta sauce, 400g of breakfast ham, and 200g of sliced ham. Quite a haul!

A perusal of the cabin log revealed several mentions of Pine Martens stealing food. We had no idea!

Thus we wrote a warning on the "Fridge bucket."

We followed the tracks and determined the whole cache went down this hole.

We recovered from the shock as we determined we still had plenty of food, but with a little less protein, fat, and flavor than we originally planned.

Then we skied up to the small peak above the cabin.

Note the cabin along the sunlit ridge on the right.

Up high we found big cornices and variable skiing.

We then headed over to some west facing slopes where we found a little good skiing in the lee of these pines.

Larch abound in this area. Not only are they beautiful, but they have the distinction of being one of only a few deciduous conifers.

We found some real nice skiing in the northeast facing glades just below treeline.

Topped the tour off with a steep little chute with wind affected snow.

Back at the cabin we were missing our evening hors d'oeuvres.

Scenes from the cabin.

Spirits improved after a few spirits.