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I like being outside if it's nice out. This includes mountain biking, trail running, sailing, climbing, skiing and much more. If you're going on a fun adventure, let me know!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rohr Ridge and Chief Pascall

Tim, Nick, Christian, Line, Ben, Anne and I enjoyed a powder day skiing steep trees off Rohr Ridge. The avalanche danger was considerable at treeline and above, and high in the alpine. With this in mind, we focused on tree skiing all weekend on the Duffey Lake road. It snowed 40cm the previous night, and continued to snow all day. We returned to the cars with another 20cm of fresh snow. All of the storm snow fell ontop of a firm ice crust, and we noticed sluffing on this layer all day long. We skinned up through the steep south facing trees of Rohr ridge. The trail breaking was deep at times, and upward progress was generally slow. Visibility was minimal, but the entire route is mostly in tight trees so it's no big deal.

We skied down Rocky Horror Powder Show, a 650m run that connects steep glades and open rock slopes down to cutblock above the normal Marriott trail. It's steep enough to be of concern at the top, but the terrain in the rest of the run felt suitable for the conditions.

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Anne skiing down a steep section at the start of the Rocky Horror Powder Show. The rest of the run is in denser trees, great for days like today where you can't see anything.

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The skiing was pretty darn awesome after a month of powder starvation. Welcome back La Nina.

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So much snow. On anything flat, it felt like we were just wallowing through the snow.

From here, we continued up the road, and then climbed steeply through tight trees to gain the big west facing bowl on the north side of Rohr ridge. We didn't ski very high above the trees, as everything was turning into a soft windslab and the visibility was very limited. From our highpoint at approx 2000m, we skied down the run called Stellar Bowl, which lived up to it's name.

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It was a very wet day, and the snow resembled more like the stuff typical of Whistler, but the skiing was quite good still.

The next day, we went over to the other side of the highway to ski the trees of Chief Pascall. The weather was much better, with occasional sunny periods. We parked at the weather station, crossed Cayoosh Creek, skied east along the logging road until the second cutblock, and then climbed up and mostly left to get up to the good skiing. There were initial concerns that the runs would be tracked out from the Saturday skiers, but their tracks were almost completely buried. The snow was best again in the trees, with 60cm of fluffy snow. Trail breaking was hardwork again. The snow wasn't very good in the open alpine and we skied a few amazing laps in the trees again.

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Anne skiing a mellow open slope below the northwest ridge. The snow was definitely wind affected in the alpine. We observed a Size 2 avalanche on the northwest face of the bump in steep rocky terrain, likely from Saturday night.

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Anne, back up in the windslab junk snow. The skiing in the trees was too good to take photos on the first run. We could have skied all the way down to the cutblock, but we opted to only go halfway down.

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Nick deep in the Chief Pascall trees. What a great place for easy access to north facing trees.

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The snow was really only knee deep here, but Christian skis a very low stance. Perfect for faceshots.

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Tim skiing back down towards the highway. Rohr Ridge is in the background.

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Nick and Tim enjoying some fun skiing lower down in the trees.

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