Forums Trip Reports More big lines and deep snow in the Duffey
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  • #574793
    176 Posts

    There’s only one way to describe what happened in the BC south coast over Easter: it was going off! Due to the coldest april in 74 years in Vancouver, the snow on almost every aspect was deep, stable, and waiting for some clear weather to get high. It showed up for 3.5 days straight and resulted in the best conditions I have ever had for big tours in the Duffey. So I hooked up with my usual crew of Lee and Sharon ( and a few others and ticked a few peaks and lines off the list.

    Day 1 – Spetch and slalok:

    We got a nice start at the crack of 9am in the clouds and took a bit of a dicey route up towards slalok in an effort to save time. The clouds were upon us for most of the 3 hr climb to the matier glacier, so we avoided the sun and stayed safe, although just as we reached the top the clouds parted and the sun beat down on us in full force. We heard several collapses from the ice fall in the chute beside us, which was a bit scary. The chunks of blue ice at the bottom of the slope in the afternoon were size of cars so we were happy to get the climb out of the way earlier in the shade.

    Up the left in the morning, down the huge face in the afternoon (1km vertical!!!)

    We did the initial climb so quickly that we were sitting on the matier glacier with time to spare, so we went for a leisurely bonus lap on another peak above the glacier called spetch…I don’t think it get skied very often because its right near a bunch of other big lines, but the snow was some of the deepest I’ve ridden on a 45 degree slope.
    Lee laying it down in the pow:

    My turn to surf:

    Sharon admiring our destruction of that poor thing:

    Then it was time for the big one. Slalok has been getting hit like a surrey girl lately, so it’s not exactly a big deal or anything to ride it, but it was pretty special hitting it in these stellar conditions. The slope has 1km vertical relief over the lake below, and the snow was absolute blower pow for 95% of it. This was one of the best sustained runs I’ve ever had.
    Sharon in the white room trying to hide from the shade:

    Thanks for this shot Lee:

    Lee with a looooong ways to go to the bottom of this run:

    After a few lake scootches we were back at the car at a reasonble hour, just in time to hear the sun pounding the south and west facing slopes so we were happy to clear out of there for the evening and gear up for day 2.

    Oh, and of course, the video:

    And story:

    176 Posts

    Day 2 – Taylor:

    For day 2 we headed back to the same sort of area to hit some lines we had spotted earlier in the season and scoped out in cruddy weather last weekend. This time, the snow was perfect and the sun was out, so up we climbed. The problem is the way up faced right at the sun all morning/afternoon and cooked us like fried chicken on the way up.
    We go up, with our adventures of day 1 in the background:

    We summitted taylor just in time for the only cloud in the whole area to move in (it would have been nice to have it on the hike up instead of cooking our brains out!). While waiting, the powder hog was getting impatient:

    After a few minutes waiting for the cloud to leave and getting psyched out by the intimidating look of this run from the top, we all got to drop in to some amazing snow on a NW face. Slough management was a prerequisite for this run (as stu learned the hard way…see video).
    Lee hiding in the white room again:

    I convinced my buddy nigel to drive down from Prince George (8hrs away) to join us for this…I think he made the right choice:

    And my turn to blow up in some nuclear pow explosions:

    Gotta outrun the freight train coming behind you…

    We banged a few more laps off in the bowl we were in…the snow was just unbelievable. Really words can’t describe it, so look at these pictures instead:

    A look back at the goods:

    Story and more pics by Lee and sharon:
    Pics are from Lee/Sharon, Videos from myself.

    176 Posts

    Day 3 – More Joffre:

    Luckily it’s the end of the season, because we needed the legs for day 3 of the deep stuff and sunshine. Luckily day 3 we got to climb directly up the N face we were to ride, so temps were a bit more reasonable on the way up.
    We got up, with the objective in the background. Lee and I have decided to call it nuclear explosions of pow couloir, because both times we have done this run, the snow has been epic and there is always this breeze over the ridge that makes your pow clouds take off even more than usual:

    After a super steep skin track and a short bootpack, we get to the top:

    Then we go down:

    We then took a short skin back up for a nice down down a big wall of awesome back towards the ski out. It didn’t suck either:
    Nigel getting some:

    The wall:

    And here’s a nice sequence of my best crash of the season (see video for good POV footage of it…)

    After completing the trifecta of ski days, in the perfect trifecta of conditions, we decided to top it all off with the trifecta of beer (1 can, 1 tall can, 1 bottle):


    Back to reality today for my last final exam. It’s a good thing I spent the long weekend cramming…

    700 Posts

    Thanks for this one- made my morning!

    875 Posts

    :drool: :drool: :drool:


    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg


    282 Posts

    Wow! Really awesome lines. Beautiful and fun!

    Great video too! I appreciate the cliff drops you got after too! :rock: Nice!

    27 Posts

    ” Slalok has been getting hit like a surrey girl lately”

    hahaha. Nice

    Some other gratuitous splitboard luving

    336 Posts

    Sweet TR of the Duffey area… Great conditions… Gotta love “Spring Snow”… And yah, nice little crash sequence… Good times!

    Greg - NoKnees

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