(Last Updated On: April 11, 2013)
The weather forecast, admittedly, was not looking promising for big line backcountry skiing over the weekend. But, as I read through the lines, the forecasters predicted a pocket of blue that would vanish around 3 pm.
I awoke at first light and caught a glimpse out of the window. Was it blue or was it grey? I squinted across the road and saw the bleakness formed by clouds, but looked upward toward blue. A dense fog had sunk into the valleys but above the sky was clear. It was time to go.
But, all hopes were thwarted as we made the West Brush turnoff with our sleds and found minimally supportive snow which crumbled with the weight of our snowmobiles. Under the crust sat a foot of facets which ran all the way to the ground. We didn’t make it far past the turn off before getting stuck. We knew if we tried to go further, we’d have a frustrating nightmare of sledding mayhem. So, we abandoned our plan, and went back to the trailhead.
At the trailhead, we debated plan B. Clouds were billowing and building over the high peaks. But, we decided to try out our options on the deeper snowpack accessed by Kebler Pass. As we drove our sleds up the road, the clouds began to vanish. The sun was back to greet us. Hallelujah 🙂
We found ourselves hiking up the south side of Purple, with the intention of skiing the north-facing S-Couloir on the other side of the ridge. We enjoyed the views of the terrain off of Owen as we skinned. Jenga Chute was looking good.
It would have been easy to skin back up to Scarp’s ridge and head back to our sleds. But, we weren’t done yet. A booter was already set straight up the C-couloir to the lookers left of the S. So, we went for it. Me with Afley behind.
We climbed the ridge above the couloir’s notch to gain a few extra turns. Clouds were beginning to close in on us and snow was engulfing the northern peaks. I looked at my watch. It was 3 pm. The forecast couldn’t have been more right. Frank.
After a rough start to the morning, we now felt redeemed. And, to top it off, I checked another line off my wish list 🙂