(Last Updated On: July 3, 2012)
March 7th was looking like the final bluebird day before at least a week of storms were forecast to pound the Coast mountains of British Columbia. So, it was with both a tinge of sadness and anticipation that I decided I would starting heading back to Colorado as soon as the clouds came back. Though neither Jon nor Susan could ski with me, they set me up with their friends Lisa, Chris, and Lon so we had a good group and we made our way back to Dope Creek, since there was already a track and plenty of room for more turns on the face.
The only change that had occurred in the previous two days was a bunch of ski tracks on the 20 degree “drag race hill”- apparently left by heli skiers. I can’t imagine getting dropped off a heli to ski flat terrain with snowmobile tracks on it while being surrounded by steep spines and faces everywhere. Maybe some day I’ll have top secret information and I’ll be tortured in this manner- I’ll give up my secrets pretty quickly to get on the good stuff.
We got 3 runs on this spine wall before we decided to switch it up and ski a nearby steep face. I only got a couple of runs in on the helmet cam, but that’s probably enough anyway. I used “Back in Black” by AC/DC because to this day every time I hear that song, I think of Jack Hannan and a competition run he had at Kirkwood 10 years ago. He was way back in about 20th place and had the best comp run I’ve ever seen to move all the way into 2nd place. This video also features “Jackass Pass”, a crazy snowmobile line between a wind drift and the mountain which somehow goes cleanly:
The last line we skied in this zone was one I had looked at a lot on a poster made for Jack after the avalanche last year. We got to the top and clicked in, and at that moment a bald eagle flew by, maybe twenty feet away. Lisa was the first to yell out “Yeah Jack!” as we watched him fly across the valley. I came to Pemberton to ski, but I also came to feel some connection to Jack, and this moment was one of many that qualified. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since he passed away. I know the eagle is hard to see, but he’s on the left in front of the cliffs.
I guess that’s about it. The skiing in Crested Butte has been pretty amazing for the past 3 weeks, so I haven’t felt like I was missing out on too much since getting back. Tomorrow, March 31st, will be the one-year anniversary of Jack’s accident on Mount Currie, so I hope everyone shreds a line or tips a glass in his honor. “Jack’s got My Back”