canada general snow

ast2: quartz ridge, sunshine meadows

We went to ski this thing:


Quartz Ridge


It involved another episode of cheating, where we caught the gondola up to the village at Sunshine, then rode a chairlift to gain even more height, then whizzed off downhill into the meadows. Eventually we ran out of speed and had to start skinning. And then after some hole-digging, some steep uphill skinning.


Skinning up Quartz Ridge


Then it was weeeeeeh downhill again (that’s me in that cloud of powder… somewhere).


Megan skiing down Quartz Ridge


And some more hole digging and food eating (leftover spaghetti pizza is a fantastic meal for backcountry skiing). There were great views off the back of Quartz Ridge.


Valley views


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ski tour: rockbound lake

Woah, it’s been a while… I haven’t been on the internet much, although I have found the time to make a pie chart displaying exactly how much time I’ve been spending at work and in transit and sleeping, leaving only 3 hours or so at home for laundry/dinner cooking/grocery shopping/going for bike rides/bouldering…. But anyway, prepare for an onslaught of backdated adventures. With lots of pictures and not many words no doubt.


Rockbound Lake, nestled underneath the ramparts of Castle Mountain


This one is more of a Nordic trail than anything else, with just one little steep section to get from the lower lake to Rockbound Lake. Optional to keep going to the top of Castle Mountain, but much higher avy risk as you go further. We just stopped and had lunch at the lake then flew down the packed trail home again.

canada general snow

to the inkpots

The avalanche danger has been very high recently, so a lot of the more interesting backcountry skiing has to be avoided at all costs. And most of what’s leftover has to be approached with a healthy dose of paranoia.

So on my day off I went and did what was basically a hideously ungroomed nordic trail, with no avalanche danger whatsoever, as it was so flat and far from anything that could conceivably be viewed as a skiable slope. But still pretty.



We kept the mountains at a healthy distance, and there were signs of natural avalanche activity everywhere.


The Inkpots


But there was sun! And even if the downhill back to the car didn’t involve floating through fresh powder, well at least it was downhill.

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the worst thing about minus 24oC

The worst thing about minus 24oC is the frozen nostril hair.

Although I did get to go home from school early! (School being work in this case)

Colder than -30oC up on the hill = too cold to ski!

canada general snow trip reports

boom lake

It wasn’t going BOOM at all (except for once perhaps, on the way up).



Starting from a parking lot not far South of Castle Junction, you head up through the trees, then up and down a meandering path through the trees til you hit the lake about 5km later. When we went up there were only a few sets of footprints there, some of which had obviously given up after a kilometre or so. The lake was mostly frozen (except for those few disconcertingly slushy sections), and had a few inches of snow on it.

There are a few ice routes up the end up the lake too, that were looking blue and climbable.