A warm front was forecasted just as we were arriving in Vancouver, so first thing we did was to check at the airport which direction to take for the best snow. We finally made up our minds for the Duffey road area located about 45minutes north of Pemberton.
After getting our rental car at the airport we headed to my friend JS' apartment for a little rest.
JS was to join us with two of his local friends from Vancouver, FX and Hugo. We left Vancouver at 5h45 in the morning to start the 3 hours drive.
The skiing domain around the area is really extensive and it looked a bit as the Roger's Pass of the West Coast. The plan was to hike up Rohr ridge and find some lines.
The hike was quite straight forward and not too long for a first day out.
Excited as we were, we skied late in the day on some really nice and creamy snow. I was really stoked to have my first turns of the year out in the backcountry.
Since the warm temperatures weren't too present, we decided to stay around and camp at the top of the pass to ski another day.
The area definitively got some nice terrain. There is also a bunch of cabin were one can stay (Keith's Hut, Wendy Thompson Hut)and use it as a base camp.
Our second day brought us a bit more warm temperature. As we got to the car, the snow was almost falling as rain.
Amelie and I splitted from JS who needed to go back to work. We drove towards Lillooet to check out the weather forecast and buy some food. The forecast was now calling for colder temperature around the Duffey area and 15-25cm of snow.
We made a plan to go back up there since the weather was quite promising.
As we got to our trailhead, we realized that the weather forecast might has been a bit too optimistic for the freezing level to drop down since the temperature was about 1deg. We slapped our skins on nevertheless and start climbing towards Joffre shoulder.
As we were climbing, water drops were coming down from the trees and the snow was really wet. The ski didn't look so good but we kept going anyway. After an hour or so, trees stop raining on us and the snow started to look a bit better.
We finally made it up to the top of the run with a bit more motivation than previously expected. That motivation quickly disappear as we struggled finding good lines on the way down. We hit heavily treed area, cliff band and hard-to-ski pillow lines. The early season snowpack didn't cover much of the obstacles and I had some early season skill to ski it!!
When the terrain eased up, we finally hit the really wet and massively tree-bombed forrest.
We were both disappointed by the run we just made and the absence of the new snow that was forecasted and the persisting warm temperature cut our love story with the Duffey area. I am really looking forward to come back in more decent temperature to further explore this area.
I haven't hit Roger's Pass for 2 years now and I figured it would be a great way to celebrate my 30th anniversary so we drove East towards arguably the best backcountry spot in Canada.
We were rewarded with some rarely seen weather at the Pass: -5deg, blue sky, no wind…. and about 40cm of light powder!
Damn I have miss this place!!! The mountains, the terrain…. and the light fluffy powder! As a starter, we played it safe and headed to Teddy Bear Trees. We silently carved turns in the bottomless powder until we were too tired to climb.
I had expected a classic Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce for my birthday dinner cooked in the parking lot of Roger's Pass, but that was before meeting Piet and Joerg, two Germans who were living in a RV up at the pass and invited us for dinner!
I certainly had one of my best meal ever up at the pass!! I certainly couldn't have ask for a better way to spend my birthday!
The forecast looks promising for the next couple of days so we will most likely stay around for few more days!