Forums Trip Reports 2018 Canadian Road Trip
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  • #818711
    D-GREEN
    336 Posts

    So it’s been a long long time since I, or many other people for that matter, have posted a trip report on here. In other words, this is a long winded and shitty photo filled test. By shitty photos I mean that they are all taken on a very low end phone with no partners and therefore no “action” photos. It was a GREAT trip though! So be forewarned of many selfies in amazing places and what I consider awesome lines.

    My trip started on January 13th leaving rainy Girdwood and looking for snow in far off places. (I gave up on Japan when Kim Jung Un started lobbing missiles over them). It was pouring rain in Anchorage and turned to snain by Wasilla. I quit counting overturned cars in the ditches after 10 (I don’t have that many fingers). Get me out of here! The “snain” eventually turned to snow to full blown whiteout and 40mph white knuckle driving. I pushed through to Valdez where it had recently snowed 10 inches an hour!!! for 2 hours. 10 INCHES AN HOUR!! Unfortunately that was too much snow to safely ride Thompson Pass so I did multiple road runs with friends. The weather was turning warm, and the pow to cement so off to Canada I went. After a 45 minute search of my car because of the stickers on my rocket box, all mountaineering and resort related, I was in our Northern Brothers Country. The cold Yukon Territory! It was 40+ farenheight all the way to the states, not good for snow. I did stop in Terrace for a half day at Shames Mtn, not even cold enough for a full day! Then to Smithers and the Hanklin Evelyn backcountry trails.
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    This place was Awesome! Like 8 gladed tree runs that top out at a warming hut with a huge open bowl above.
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    and a view like this
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    Unfortunately, what seemed like super pow on the way up was actually boot buckle deep light dry on an inch of very breakable crust that was near impossible to turn on. Oh well, it was cold down South in the Pacific North West I heard. So off to Baker I went and things were looking good.
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    Very good!
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    It snowed close to and inch just waiting for the lifts to open.
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    which made for a very happy Dusty
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    my car at the end of the day, it’s in there somewhere!
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    After a taste of Baker and actual snow, I dropped even further south to visit my old riding partner and friend jdoneill to ride more POW at Alpental
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    and it was DEEP!
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    and YUMMY!
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    After a short visit to Alpental it was time to pick up another friend in Seattle for a week at Whistler/Blackcomb!
    Which also provided…
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    We actually found Nipple Deep super light dry Pow in the trees which made for more ear to ear grins
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    But after a week of this…
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    I was more than ready to head to smaller places and get into the backcountry.

    So I dropped off my buddy back in Seattle where the weather turned warm again and it was back off to the North and East to the beginning of The Powder Highway!
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    …Now that’s more like my style of liftlines!

    And Whitewater was also providing the goods
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    $24 for a lift up and a short hike gets you to this!
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    I highly recommend a visit to Nelson, BC and Whitewater resort to anyone who wants a cheap seat to the goods. But I had a cabin bunk reserved in the backcountry of Rogers Pass and it was time to move on.

    It started DUMPING, again
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    and sometimes the roads in BC aren’t actually roads at all
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    It actually snowed too much for my comfort level to hike solo 3 to 5 hours in to a hut I’ve never been to before. Through a piece called “The Mousetrap” at that! So I opted for a powder day at Revelstoke instead. Oh resorts on powder days, 2 to 3 hours in and they’re trashed! Even the trees turned to mogul fields. Up to Rogers Pass I went. The Rangers seemed none too excited for me to hike out to The Asulkan Cabin by myself, so I filled out a form stating the time of my return and searches to begin if return I did not.
    The hike in was Beautiful!
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    and abounded with lines to be had/Pillows!
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    The cabin itself was a Great relief to finally find after hours of skinning with too heavy a backpack
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    But, Really?!?
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    This is what I hiked 4+ hours in to find, a coming out party? No, just a bunch of good humored Canadian Alpine Association members drinking, skiing, and having a good time. Phew! One of their wives put this rainbow dildo in his backpack without his knowing it. It was lodged between his sleeping bag and the backpack so when he pulled out his sleeping bag, this very colorful dildo jumped out and hit/slapped him in the face! It changed from sleeping bag to sleeping bag nightly, fortunately it never found mine. Unfortunately, it had snowed too much to venture out beyond the trees below the cabin. They were still quite fun!

    To be continued, with Big Lines to come!..

    #818737
    D-GREEN
    336 Posts

    Snowboarding out of the Asulkan valley with a backpack on was quite the adventure. The trail is very narrow, windy, and bumpy over fairly flat terrain above an open creek. If you fall, make sure you fall on the uphill side and not 10 feet down into a glacier fed creek! I never fell, into the creek, and made it back to the visitor center/ranger station in time to drop off my return slip and not set off a rescue mission. I stayed up at the visitor center for the next two weeks, off and on, in the back of my Subaru.
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    Throughout the two weeks I’d check in daily at the visitor center to see what areas of the pass are open and let the rangers know where I’m going. They were hesitant at first of my going out alone, but by the end we were all on a first name basis and they almost seemed excited to hear where I was planning on going today and how the snow was yesterday. The visitor center became home. They let people store their gear in small cubicles over night, so everything (boots, skins, gloves, etc) are warm and dry the next morning. All you need to do is be there by 4pm before they close and back after 7am when they open. They generally had a nice fire to warm up to and stretch by in the morning also, as well as fresh water and toilets. Sometimes it got a wee bit cold out though
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    so I’d drop down the pass to Revelstoke to shop for food, wash clothes, and eat a good meal with tasty beers. While in Revelstoke I always stopped at the aquatic center for free wifi, a hot shower, sauna, hot tub, and swimming with a water slide… Don’t miss the aquatic center if you’re ever in Revelstoke! I also met some backcountry partners over beers at the village idiot.

    Fellow split boarder the.big.van and his wife hiking up NRC gullies
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    and a look at NRC from Cheops
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    Followed by a day up Video Peak
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    Then they had to head back home in Jackson Hole and I was on my own again. I primarily stayed fairly close to the visitor center. I mean, look at what this area has to offer!
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    I road quite a bit, mostly in the trees due to inclement weather and avalanche conditions. But coming from Alaska, I love a chance to ride in some trees. When conditions warranted, I got to ride Frequent Flyer.
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    Something like 2500′ of untracked blower powder bliss!
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    Then it was off to the other side of the pass…
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    KickingHorse!

    I love this place, the “side country” is unreal!!!
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    Unfortunately they don’t have any single lift tickets. So I started from the base and hiked around the resort boundaries to the bowls beyond. First checking out the big green phallic symbol.
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    and then back to the snaggleiest dog tooth I could find.
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    This took like 4 attempts to finally attain. It’s a good ways back if not using a lift, it’s steep as hell to climb, and it was getting warm and avalanching. But I prevailed!

    half way up, looking down
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    and across
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    Getting there, things are looking bright!
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    and topping out!
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    Eagles Eye Restaurant and Kicking Horse Resort in the far background

    Midway down and fairly stoked on the pow that I found!
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    At the bottom and definitely stoked to be alive!!
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    Next stop, Banff!…

    #818883
    the.big.van
    15 Posts

    good times EH

    #818885
    JimmyC
    350 Posts

    Good stuff!!!!!!!!

    #818902
    D-GREEN
    336 Posts

    Golden took a little while to get out of, the Dreamcatcher Hostel is a great place to stay and get out of the back of a Subaru and the Riverhouse Bar rocks a lot of Metal and stiff drinks. Be warned! After the dreamlike fog that is Golden, I was off to Banff
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    where I started with some lift accessed runs at Sunshine Village
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    with some short hikes to Goats Eye Couloirs
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    and then Delirium Dive
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    Unfortunately they did not open up The Wild West
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    Next time…

    Those were some pretty good runs for a resort, definitely worth checking out. Then I was off to Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel in Jasper National Park where this thing was in the backyard
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    Grandaddy Couloir!

    A couple from Golden were just skinning back to the parking lot when I arrived at the Hostel. They were returning from Grandaddy and informed me that the snow in the couloir was quite stiff and crampons would be more than useful if not required. Fortunately it snowed all the next day and I had a bed at the Hostel for 2 nights and not 1. The sun popped on day 2 and I was off, in a foot of fresh! Where there were once tracks, now there were none and I broke trail to the base of the couly.
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    Then began the long, steep, and cold slog up.
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    …Snotcicles and all. The snow was perfect for bootpacking! Midshin to knee-deep powder on a punchable styrofoam like layer. Towards the top the snow got a hollow like feeling on top of rime crusted rock, not good. And the cornice looming above was scary as Hell!
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    Being solo, scared, and tired I decided to turn around just short of topping out.
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    Did I mention that it’s a 53 degree slope up there? F*ck it, as in the words of Daffy Duck, it was “Mine, mine, mine. All Mine!” And it was Beautiful!!! Except I couldn’t see for I was being blinded by all the face shots!
    Leaving the hostel the next day I counted 7 people in my skin track at the base of the couloir and 2 more in the parking lot planning on riding Grandaddy as well. Haha! The dirty hippie gets the pow.

    Next up was 3 4 couloir outside of Lake Louise in the valley of ten peaks. This one is on the old Canadian $20 bill, and it’s Money!
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    Unfortunately it’s a 7.5 mile hike in just to get to the base. Fortunately it’s mostly groomed and absolutely gorgeous!
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    The grooming stops short of Moraine Lake for some reason
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    but there was a fresh skin track and so I pushed on
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    This is where I met, and thanked, the 2 makers of the skin track who informed me that they only booted up maybe 1/3 of the couloir before turning around. A 7.5 mile skin in to only hike 1/3 of a couloir?
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    Thanks for the freshies boys!
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    Yes!!!
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    and the obligatory shot of my trusty steeds
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    So I started this trip at 9am and finished in the dark at 10pm, Wasted!
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    With my confidence growing way out of proportion and my lines getting steeper and further, I decided it would be a good time to head home before pushing my luck tooo far and making any deadly decisions. I WILL RETURN, hopefully in a camper with a partner and maybe a sled. Until next time Canada, I Love You!
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    #818934
    the.big.van
    15 Posts

    good thing the lead in your ankle did not slow you down, you know who to call for a partner(s), glad you had a great rest of your trip

    #818935
    vapor
    349 Posts

    Some of the best selfie shots i have seen in ages. need the stoke so people keep it coming people.

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