A few people have asked me about my method for chasing weather windows in the mountains. I guess they figured that they’d receive a quick answer, but each time I ended up replying with either a novel or a TED talk. Depending on whether they’d been foolish enough to ask in person. Since it’s on my mind, I thought maybe I’d better just write something down. Forecasting complex weather systems in the… Read More
Some things don’t go as planned. Such was the case in early December when a friend and I were approaching Mt. Chephren’s N face, eyes set on the Kum Ba Jah Couloir. Our eyes were so set, in fact, that we neglected to realize how thin our margin of safety had become as we approached the line. Spurred on by better than anticipated stability, we rationalized that, despite sloughing on other aspects… Read More
Well into the second half of August and still no precipitation to speak of, so time for another corn ski. And a good, solid bushwhack to keep me honest.
It’s been a stellar week for skiing. On Monday, a great linkup of Haddo Peak and Mt. Aberdeen. Then a down day midweek on the Clamshell in Golden (this time without the whiteout) and finally, on Friday, a chance at redemption on Mt. Victoria’s wild north face after bailing earlier this year. With our recent failure still fairly fresh in our minds, Ian and I decided to pad our chances this time… Read More
They say that everything is good for you in moderation, and few ski lines I’ve been on embody that sentiment better than the linkup of Haddo Peak and Mt. Aberdeen that Ian, Andrew and I skied on Victoria Day. On the way up, a little bit of steep snow, some exposed spots, and a fun scramble. On the way down, everything from cold powder, to ice, to five star corn. Plus stellar… Read More
So far, the theme of this season seems to have been roadside classics. With good weather lasting hours rather than days lately, my motivation for mega missions and overnights has been low. It’s easier to time quick windows on the metaphorical low hanging fruit, and there’s a far higher chance of success when the lines are visible from the parking lot. With that in mind, Jason and I saw the first solid overnight… Read More
Finally, another exploratory mission. On the 28th, a spring temperature cycle was a little more locked in, but the weather remaining unsettled. It looked like a good time to check out a line I’ve been staring at from the highway near Field for years: the north facing couloir on Mt. Dennis.
It’s the time of year where the lines we stare at all winter finally start to come into skiing form. Since getting home from Europe I’ve had to work altogether too much, but still got out for descents of the classic Forever Young couloir in Rogers Pass and a quick half day in Canmore’s Miner’s Gully, plus some short tours around Kicking Horse. Feeling back into the swing of things, I set… Read More
I have a love/hate relationship with the extended high pressure system. This most recent one, though, has so far served up nothing but good times. By virtue of the weird fall we had, the alpine is caked with a little extra snow, despite lower elevations looking only marginally better than they did in October. That means bigger lines are coming in, even if their approaches aren’t. After a few weeks of mainly working… Read More
My first ever September turns (Seriously. I have no excuse.) took place Sept 21st high above iconic Moraine Lake. This trip report will be brief, as in all honesty there wasn’t much of a trip to report on. Just a great day on an easily approached big line for my 11th consecutive month of skiing. Plus a few photos, which I think came out all right.