Ski Mountaineering

Ski British Columbia
March 9-14, 1997

Private Trip

Fernie Backcountry 3/9-3/14/97

On 3/9 I flew from LA to Calgary and spent the nite in the Calgary Hostel. The following day after a 3.5 hr drive south arrived at Fernie Hostel which also serves as the Australian Gehtto (Fernie is now in fashion for young Ausies looking for back country). The lifts access one of many bowl systems along a north-south running ridge of the Canadian Rockies. It snowed apprx 4-6" each day/nite and there was ample lite powder. Towards the end of the week the cable hook lift (like the lifts accessing the hotels at Alta) opened up access into the back country bowls via a 45 minute hike over the Fernie ridge (apprx 700' vert climb to 6,000'). The resulting runs in Curry, Timber and Fishbowls yielded untracked 2,000' + runs back into the ski area (runs similar to pics of nearby Island Lake Lodge in the mags). On 3/14/97 drove to Revelstoke. Selkirk Lodge 3/15-3/22/97

After arriving in Revelstoke 11 of us (groups from Logan, UT, Alaska, ID, an Nakusp B.C) + a guide, cook and assistant were driven to the western foot of Rogers Pass to the staging area. We were then helicoptered up Albert canyon to the hut at 7,200' on the Albert Icefield. It snowed almost every day. On the first day we had waist deep w/head shots light and dry. After 3,000' vert on the first day I was too nakered to continue. The next two days we were snowed in all day - so we built an igloo.

The rest of the trip we averaged between 5,000 and 7,000' vert per day of basically boot-to-waist-deep skiing over the justice and albert glaciers. We were lucky to have a guide that knew the terrain and conditions well enough to get us excellent skiing during heavy snowfall, white out conditions and keep us "on top" and bring us back safe (this was the same week that 2 heli skiers were killed in the Bobby Burns area -- buried under a 20' avalanche). See attached pictures from the trip. We should have an SMS trip there!

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