Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bluebird Day

My second day in the backcountry couldn't have been much different than the first. There hadn't ben much snow lately and the weather had been sun and more sun. There was also an inversion on Whistler, where the village was about 10 degrees colder than the alpine. That actually meant parts of the alpine had been up to 7 degrees Celcius the day before we were up.

We headed up early Sunday morning, hoping to avoid the lines of the last day. Both the coffee shop and the ticket office were quick, and we were in the gondola early. We were meeting a friend who was a bit behind which meant we were able to get in one run on Symphony before heading over to the meeting point.

We headed out behind Whistler to Flute and Oboe ridge. Lots of uphill slogging. It was warm and even with my jacket off, I was sweating, but I tried to keep my mind off it by enjoying the view. The uphill work is just pure cardio. I think my technique was a bit better today and I didn't end up with the same back of knee pains as I had on the first day. The snow conditions also helped. There wasn't much trail for Graeme to break as there was a skin track almost the entire way.

I learned that I can actually ski in powder. As long as the powder is actually light and fluffy. And its fun! Nice floaty turns. After reaching our peak, the boys dug a pit to look at the snow conditions, while I sat and watched. The snow pack was pretty good, so we were able to ski down the face they wanted.

We decided after that to head out. We thought we would have enough time to do another run, but that it would be cutting it close. Well, it was a good thing we had made the decision we did. We took the Singing Pass Trail out, which Graeme has taken a number of times before, but the trail was in very poor condition. Between blow down all over the trail, to pure icy sections, tree branches across the trail where you had to duck and push the branches out of the way and a lot of creek crossings where it was necessary to take your skis off and jump, it was a slow slow way out. I was very very glad to get back out to the Village just after the sun had set. I was afraid I was going to have to pull out my headlamp and doing that trail in the dark would have been way harder than it already was. Of course after a beer, the bad parts were mostly forgotten and all we were thinking about were the fun powdery turns.

With Black Tusk in the back

Water break and getting stuff together to ski

Uphill slogging

The way out

More uphill slogging



Julie said...

Perfect temperature for your adventure!! That uphill slogging looks like so much fun -- I go up in the mountains in the back of my house on my Crappy Tire snowshoes. So much fun! :) :) WHEN the weather is nice. Hahahahah!

Glad you guys made it off the trail when you did -- EGAD. Sounds like a bit of a gong show!

John said...

Wow, looks like you had a great day - funny how the beer at the end erases all the bad parts, no?

Happy New Year, Beth!