On Sunday, Kaja Duncan Sam and I headed up to Red Heather. The avalanche forecast looked really nasty, and the weather didn't look any better, so this is a great place to go on a day like that.
We left Vancouver at 8:30am, but didn't get to the trailhead until just before 11am (Kaja predicted this, I didn't believe her when she said it). This was partly because we stopped to get food in Squamish, and mostly because we had to chain up. The road was pretty good, but eventually Busty just wouldn't move any further. We were in the middle of the road, and tried to quickly put on the chains.
Numerous cars passed us, up and down, including a BC Parks Ranger. He threatened to kick us out of the park because we didn't chain up at the chain area, but he sympathized with us. The front left chain was having problems, Busty was sounding like a choochoo train. Eventually the chain broke, just after the scary corner.
At the trailhead, we realized that Sam didn't have any poles. This was also Sam's first time on in the backcountry with his rental AT setup. We took numerous breaks on the way up to let the pole-less one catch up, meaning a very well nourished Richard and Kaja.
At the shelter, I ran out of tea, so I suggested that we had to go home. Duncan and Kaja reminded me that Jeff had placed a bet on getting the most awesome nekkid pictures. They were going to ski the slopes above Red Heather nekkid, and luckily I brought my camera. I almost left it at home, thinking it would just be another Red Heather day in a whiteout. But I brought it so it could fill up my pack.
When we left the hut, Duncan borrowed an un-used wand. It performed with mixed results. Definitely not part of the standard skiing gear. Similiar to a lurk but way more flexible.
Tree bombs started to release at we skinned up the slope beyond Red Heather. We were more worried about these balls of ice breaking our neck rather than the slope sliding. You should always be aware of NARSID.Safety first.
Nekkid skiing was enjoyed by Kaja and Duncan. I'm not going to post any of the pictures here, but rumours have it that they may appear in this year's journal. I started to complain about my cold fingers while taking pictures, but I wasn't getting any sympathy from Duncan. Sam, who was still higher up, was enjoying his first dose of Coastal powder. On his first turn, he face-planted and his ski disappeared into the bottomless powder. I went on a ski recovery mission, while the other two got dressed.
The snow was actually some of the best that I have skied at Red Heather. There was about 20cm of fresh snow, on top of a very thin rain crust, and more fist density snow below.
The Red Heather gnar was shredded.
A kayaking AT style.
Going down the road was awesome.
And I actually saw the view from the road this time!