Friday, February 5, 2016

Revisiting the Kootenay backcountry: London Ridge, Whitewater BC and Kootenay Pass!

Since we felt Rogers started to be a bit track due to the lack of new snow, we hit the road south.

First stop was London Ridge near Retallack.
Piet has been there before and thought it was a good option.
It is pretty tricky but you can find some quite useful information about it here.
The skin up was in a logging road with not much snow. We actually got to an opening after a climb of about 600m.
The weather was quite spectacular with an inversion to top it off!
There were actually quite a lot of tracks already, but we made it to the west summit where it was totally untrack.

After snapping a few quite spectacular pictures due to the sun falling rapidly, we started skiing down.
The snow was really spectacular being cold, steady and blower!
The ski started to be a bit shitty around 300m from the bottom since there wasn’t too much snow to have a proper base.
We made some combat skiing keeping left of the main gully until we got to the lake at the bottom.
With a long approach and not that many options to ski out, I wouldn’t return there too soon.
We drove south to the Whitewater parking lot where we slept.

The backcountry around the resort was so tracked it looked like a resort!
We skinned a bit deeper towards Mt Beattie figuring it would be a good option since it was north facing.

The snow was effectively nice and surprisingly untrack!
We stayed overnight in the parking lot.
I was at the exact same spot about 10years from now with not as much of a pimp setup!
Souvenirs from my first winter ski-tripping!
Ten years after...
The skiing was so good that we returned for another round!
After another great day of skiing, we headed to another classic : Kootenay Pass!
I’ve never been to this pass in good weather. With the avy forecast being on the Low side again, we headed towards what is call ‘The Muffin’. This mountain is located on the south side of the highway and looked quite promising!
We toured under a bright blue sky and ski (again) some great pow!!
I've always thought of Kootenay pass as a non-steep option, but we found some nice lines!
With the high pressure sticking around a bit more, we ventured on the north side of the road to have a good view of what really is on this side!
The weather from the day before has really affected everything that was a bit south or west facing and created a quite solid suncrust.

Nevertheless, we found some great snow and had and awesome day touring around!
We looked at the map to try to find backcountry spots we all have never been. We eventually settled to head towards Rossland and ski the backcountry around there.
We quitted the pass and spend the day in Nelson which is one of my favourite city in Canada to resupply, rest and shower!
Now off to Rossland!!
evans