This Christmas holiday, it was decided that we should try and avoid the craziness of Whistler and the long lift lines by escaping the the backcountry for a few days. Large amounts of snow before Christmas had us concerned about avalanche stability, weather and visibility but this turned out to be the least of our worries in the end. The skies were clear, the snow was stable and conditions were perfect for ski touring!
Kyle arrived on Christmas night. The plan was to head out to Brian Waddington hut with the UBC Varsity Outdoors Club for 6 days where we were to be staying at the hut for their annual New Years party and ski amazing terrain all week. Unfortunately, Kyle came down with the flu a day after arriving in Whistler. The departure for the trip had to be postponed for two days while he recovered. This didn't stop David and Tyler from heading up to the cabin for their first winter hut trip experience ever. Their trip is worthy of its own story, involving breaking trail to the hut in the dark, a midnight rescue and some fantastic skiing. I will let them tell you about that one.
|Big packs and big smiles|
Back in Whistler, Kyle and I brainstormed various potential plans but eventually decided that we would head into Brian Waddington despite the delay. I was concerned as I had heard stories about how difficult it can be to get to the hut, involving a 10km (feels much longer) skin up a logging road then through a steep forest before arriving at the lake where the hut is situated. We got lucky and things went smoothly on the walk in. It was an exhausting trek but spirits were high when we finally spotted the cabin across the lake.
|Brian Waddington Hut below Gandalf Peak|
|At the top of the Knob|
We awoke to bluebird skies and said goodbye to David and Tyler who had to return to Vancouver that day. It was so nice to only have a day pack on after the 6 hour hike the day before with a massive overnight bag. The hike out to Aragon was gorgeous, and as we made our approach the views just kept getting more and more spectacular.
We reached Aragon summit at about 2 pm which was earlier than we had expected. We spent ages on the peak taking photos and struggling up onto the boulder that marked the true peak. From the top we could see all the way to Whistler and Black Tusk!
|Awesome Volkl Nanuq's, my new favourite ski|
|Black Tusk in the very far off distance|
|Aragon peak on the left|
|Skiing the glacier|
|Looking back at Aragon|
|Kyle took advantage of the almost full moon to shoot some photos|
|Brian Waddington hut by moonlight|
|Touring out across the lake|
|Help! I've fallen and I can't get up|
It seemed to take forever but we finally got out of the forest. Seeing the car has never been such a relief.
|Survived thanks to Kyle, the best boyfriend ever!|