Ski Mountaineering

A Week at Reudi's
March 4-11, 2000

Randy Lamm (Private Trip)

I needed to use up some excess vacation time and was lucky enough to get on stand by for a week at the Selkirk Mtn Experience Durrand Glacier Chalet operated by Reudi and Nicoline Beglinger. After warming up the day before at Red Mountain I arrived in Revelstoke the night before our helicopter flight up to the Durrand Challet. While waiting around at the landing zone I unexpectatly ran into Eric Klosterman as he was unloading from the helicopter after spending the previous week. He advised me of two things that I agreed with: that the food was a major highlight -- as good as the powder skiing and that the Volkl M30's available to rent were worthy powder tools.

After Eric got off the helicopter, the pilot shut down due to the fog and ceiling closing in. After 10 minutes or so talking to Reudi he decided to go up and have a look. He landed again and this time recommended that we load in. When asked if it was his decision, he replied "you will not hear the words Oh Shit -- from these lips." We flew up the canyon and into the fog, and after circling we were wondering if the clouds were solid, when on the radio Reudi could be hear telling the pilot "Ja, its sunny up here." In a few seconds we broke thru the layer and could see our way up the next canyon to the chalet.

After unloading and making a quick lunch to take with us, we were briefed and divided into two groups. I was to join a group of 10 in the B team (which turned out not to be any slower). The A group was made up of more hard core alumni like Paul Parker and co-worker from Marmot and others including a father/son from Makenzie in northern B.C. (near PowderKing), a husband and wife from Vancouver, a couple of doctors from Oregon and Washington, a salmon biologist from Winthrop, Washington, a doctor from the Bay area.

My group of 10 included 4 from Colorado -- King the Yodeling Architect, Mark also an architect in business with King from Denver, Mark from Colorado Springs, Connie from Durango, the two Johns who we named Tele John and Johny Alpine to tell them apart, both from Seattle. There was a couple from Vancouver who dropped out early. Our guides were Derek and Rokus. After briefing from Reudi we headed out about noon for our first tour. The hut was at 6300'.

Saturday 3/4/00: Our tour went up to Moonhill, up to Woosley Pk, down to Boogie Basin and back to the Chalet. We did 3,070' of vertical, sking 12 noon till 4:30. I was beat and wanted to take the next day off, but was convinced to keep going. Snowing whole day.

Sunday 3/5/00: Our first full day. Up to Moonhill to 7580', then a long rund down some tree gullies on a run called Excaliber to around 5000', then back up Moonhill and down another tree run called Camelot down to about 5000', back to chalet. About 5400' of vertical. Sun came out for a couple of hours.

Monday 3/6 Symphony Pk, Snowcap & Alian down thru the Keyhole. About 5500' vert, snowing all day.

Tuesday 3/7 Forbidden Pk, skied down Forbidden Glacier 2x's different aspects, went over Forbidden Pass, skied down the Gendarme and back to the chalet. 6000' vert. Sunny day. Best day of skiing I ever had.

Wednesday 3/8 Climbed Mt Ruth, thru Diamond Col, skied down the Ruth Glacier to Moloch Hut. Approx 4,700' up, 3,450' down.

Thurs 3/9 Climbed Mt. Fang & skied down the Juliana Glacier, back up Fang, down to Diamond Plateau, up Diamond Pk, then down Diamond, then up Tumbledown, then back to the Chalet. Worst weather -- snowy, windy and cold. 5300' up, 6300' down.

Friday 3/10 Skied up Woolsey, down Boogie Basin, back up Camelot Pk, down first descent of Morgan Lefey gully, then up Camelot ridge, then up Elm Pk to 8130, then down front face of of Elm Pk, up Moonhill down to Chalet. About 6,000' vert.

Total vert for the week was about 36k and I felt it. All in all an enjoyable but tiring week at the Durrand Chalet. Everyone in my group was compatible and skied and toured well together. Thanks to Reudi, Nicoline, Derek, Rokus, our Chef and asistant Salome.

A Week Bumming Around Central B.C.

After returning to Revelstoke I had time to sample some of the local back country opportunities before heading back to Spokane for my flight home. After the week at Reudi's I thought something more lazy -- like chair lift and snowmobile assisted backcountry skiing would be appropriate. I met up with a Revelstoke local and fellow guest at the hostel, and the three of us took two snowmobiles to Turtle Pk near Frisby ridge on the west side of Revelstoke. After riding for about 20k on the machines we climbed from about 1700' from the Transcan hwy to 4000'. There we parked, got out our skins and started climbing up to about 7500'. The skiing was light and dry as the photos show. The snowmobiles are more work than climbing!

Next stop was the town of Silverton , about 3mi south of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. In Silverton I hooked up with a local named Moonbow and we rode his snowmobile about 15k up Maurier Creek to about 7000' and parked. From there it was skiing up. It was snowing lightly the whole time - just like it had been every day for the last few weeks. Since the visibility was low and the avalanche danger a possibility, we stuck to some of the slopes Moonbow was more familiar with -- he skis there a few times a week. After pronouncing the snow safe we dove in, light and dry. We did 4 or 5 runs, maybe 4000' of vertical. Really good skiing is within reach for a day trip there with a snowmobile.

Finally into the town of Nelson. Skied at Whitewater, using the lifts to access the back country on the west and east sides of the canyon above the lifts. Bill Bryce, a local, and former Patroller showed me a great stash on the east side above the lift. After letting the "guest go first" I snapped this face shot of Bill Bryce in the open spot in the trees.

P.S. After sending the pictures I got this message back: You probably don't want to hear this but the day you left, the skiing in the bowl was quite deluxe - not exactly champagne powder (a little heavy) but very nice. We also had a really good week of snow at the end of March and there's a big cold low pressure weather system heading our way tonight. They're calling for snow at the "higher elevations" so I guess it's up to Whitewater on Friday for a bit of touring.

A great trip and back just in time for spring skiing in Elderberry Canyon and Onion Valley.

Randy Lamm

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