After our trip into the Bow Hut 3 years ago for Remembrance Day, I was pretty convinced it was never going to happen again. Last time, we had to hike in with our skis on our backs the entire way in and out from the hut along the summer trail. It really wasn't that fun. But, when Kyle saw Alex's post about heading back up there, it just seemed like the right thing to do (funny enough, we actually met Alex on the original Bow Hut trip as the result of a very similar facebook post). To our surprise, we were able to ski right across Bow Lake and ski all the way to the hut along the winter trail that follows the canyon. It made for a much more enjoyable approach.
|Touring up the recently frozen canyon. The winter route is in|
Once we arrived, we had a quick lunch then made our way up to the practice slopes for some laps. The light was flat and the snow was a dense wind crust, but it was great to get some early season turns in. We didn't find any crevasses, but there was a cave that tunneled down under the glacier with the entrance at the bottom of the practice slope.
|Touring up above the Bow Hut to get some turns in on the practice slopes|
|Guillaume, Kat and Kyle getting ready to ski|
|Alex goofing around on the practice slope below Mount St. Nicholas|
Checking out the cave was the highlight of the weekend. We spent some time in there on the first day, then returned on Sunday to do some crevasse rescue practice out of the entrance. In the evening, the entire group of people that were staying at the hut skied up to the cave and we lit it up with headlamps, cranked the tunes and enjoyed the ambiance. Its not often you can say that you had a party in a glacier!
|Kyle at the entrance to the ice cave|
|Checking out the beautiful ice cave below the glacier|
|Cool reflections and Kyle crawling out the exit|
We attempted an ascent of St. Nicholas on Sunday morning, but with whiteout conditions and thin snow-bridges (snow was about 50 cm - 1 m in most places), we were having trouble navigating the crevasse field below the St. Nick - Olive col. Instead, we skied back down the glacier and did a quick run up the Onion before finishing up the day with a few more laps on the practice slope.
|Saskatchewan boys skiing down the glacier|
|The only summit of the weekend, the Onion|
It was a fun weekend of catching up with old friends and making some new ones. One of the best parts were the new boots I had acquired this fall. Thanks to Landon at Surefoot in Whistler for all the bootwork, its going to be a fantastic season of backcountry shredding!
|My new boots all punched and ready to go - thanks Landon!|
|Big raven on the deck at the Bow Hut|
The ski out was quick but there were lots of rocks. We still need a few good dumps of snow before the lower elevations will be truly ski-able, but I am pretty hopeful that this is going to be a great ski season.
|Massive Yaminuska group heading in as we make our way back to the car|