Mt Victoria East Face

The South Summit is just to the right of the middle of the picture, click to enlarge for our route

With so much snow in the hills it’s tough to put down the torch, when I got the call that a strong posse was eyeing up Mt Victoria I nervously agreed to meet in Lake Louise early the next morning.

My first gig ski patrolling was at Lake Louise ski resort a number of years back where I got my first taste of the Rockies. I was keen to get out on my days off and ski many of the lines on distant peaks I could see from the ski resort.  Staring at Mt Victoria knowing people skied off it’s paired summits, left me a little bit in awe of the iconic mountain that may be one of the most photographed peaks in Canada if not the world.

Saturday morning after a less than ideal sleep I rolled out of bed at a very early 1:30 AM, kissed my pregnant wife as she looked content to sleep another 7 hours, brewed a coffee and had a light breakfast that I guess technically was more like a midnight snack.  Pulling into the parking lot I met the rest of the team Ian, Jeff and Silas.  We walked around the lake shore trail by headlamp, joking that usually there are hundreds of people milling about on a Saturday outside the Chateau. Continue reading

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Eagle Pk

Photo Courtesy of http://www.skimostoke.com

On Saturday Jeff and I made plans to climb and ski Eagle Peak at the Pass.  Conditions were near perfect on the SW face, travel was fast but firm requiring all the pointy implements in our packs; ski crampons, foot crampons, mtn axes and whippets.  Once off the top 100 ft and into the sun the corn skiing was delicious.

It’s a great time to be in the hills right now, conditions are fast and the mountains are empty.  Once the weather smartens up it’ll be time to get after it again!

Colvin below the Eagle bowl headwall

Uto and Sir Donald from the summit of Eagle

Golden Rite of Passage: Skiing the Seven

"The Seven" is the prominent snow cornice/crossload right below the summit *click to enlarge

As Goldenites get on with life and enjoy spring in the valley bottom after an epic winter, we have a beacon above us, beckoning us to get back into the high country, leave the running shoes and bikes alone for a day and get one last kick at the can.  “The Seven” forms every spring lending the mountain it’s name-sake.  It’s a great summit, well used by mountain bikers and para-gliders who aren’t afraid to take advantage of the forestry road that goes almost all the way to the alpine.

I took a few hours yesterday afternoon to burn up and “Ski the Seven”.  A half hour of serious 4x4ing and few hours of hiking/running, the mutt and me were plunked on top of the most accessible peak in the area.  The snow was the consistancy of creamed corn and a few schmeary turns were the perfect way to salute a fabulous season behind us.  Classic.

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