Nov 26, 2007

James Bond Bassin November 24-25 2007

James Bond Bassin (Steep Creek)

Saturday morning Pete, Kristen, Luisa and I headed to Squamish to pick up Jay and meet the rest of the crew in Pemberton for around 8am.

We headed out to the James Bond Bassin for my first winter camping/skiing adventure. The Ski in was surprisingly mellow with about a 600m-elevation gain and most of it was on a logging road that was already tracked out for us. Jay, Luisa and I set up camp (we were sharing a 2 person tent for the three of us…lucky for us we are 3 fairly little people).

After everyone got his or her tents up and sorted we were off to a nearby slope. Pete did a fab job of breaking a great trail and off we went. We ended up doing loops in the area for the rest of the afternoon. I managed to sneak in 4 runs…I have already noticed a great deal of improvement in my skills and confidence from the first weekend we were all out.

Back at camp Jay, Alex and Luisa set up a fine outdoor kitchen for us and were onto making some soup, warm tea and dinner. We all ate ourselves silly, drank a variety of luxurious beverages such as hot whiskey, hot choc and whiskey and the staple bailey’s and hot chocolate.

The full moon was spectacular that evening and lit up camp well enough that head lamps were hardly needed.

I was pretty zonked and the three of us settled into our nest at about 730pm. I must say I was much more comfortable than expected throughout the night. We awoke to a brisk morning, frost was inside and outside of our tent.

We headed to the other side of the lake up and over. I was feeling a little tired Sunday morning but the fabulous snow, sun on the horizon and the beautiful scenery kept me pumped for wanting more until…….a very frustrating experience occurred. My skins failed to collaborate with my skis and after many attempts I had to cut my losses and begin my ski down back to camp. Luckily I got a couple of fabulous runs in but it definitely ruined my spirits for a bit…..

We made it out just as dark fell upon us and we quickly found ourselves talking about next weekend adventures while scarfing down some delicious Pony expresso Pizza.

Another fabulous weekend……

Lovin’ the pow.

Nov 18, 2007

3 Masters and a Bachelor hit up Cerise Creek

I received a call at 5:50am from Pete. "We are here...." I eagerly jumped into the truck; SJ, Luisa, Pete and I were on our way to Cerise Creek for another weekend of "shreddin the gnarly pow pow". We arrived at what we thought to be the entrance point to the trail. After getting the truck stuck half way onto the side of the road and then out again, Pete realized that infact it was not the correct entrance point. Back in the truck and a kilometer later we found it! Taking the summer route we made it to the hut with enough time to eat, stash our stuff and hit the ridge for one run before dark. We managed to find some fantastic powder and got a bunch of sweet turns in before night.

At the hut, after dinner, melting snow for water and Pete doing a fantastic job on starting the fire we played a round of euchre. Now, Pete and I knew the game but we had to fill SJ and Luisa in on the rules. The game came down to the last point. Alas Luisa and I managed to take the win....

Sunday morning proved to be a beautiful day. The sun came out, we found some deep powder, some fabulous lines to ski and had the entire place to ourselves....It was magical!

I felt much more confident on my skis this weekend and am quickly becoming addicted to this sport of backcountry skiing!!!!

life is good.

Nov 16, 2007

The Hunt for the Harrison Hut

ADVENTURE? Count me in!!!!

I was a last minute addition to the crew, excited and eager to join in on the adventure in finding the Harrison Hut. This hut had been built by the Varsity Outdoor Club many years back but had been standing vacant for nearly 4 years as the bridge to enter the Meager Creek had been washed out in a flood a couple of years back.

This was going to be my first attempt on skis since last season and my first multi day backcountry ski trip ever. Needless to say I was pumped for the entire experience.

Saturday morning we left Pemberton and began our journey towards the hut. It was pouring rain when we left but it did not dampen our spirits and energy. Once the locked gate was opened we were all on a high. Driving over the newly built bridge was exhilarating and finding out the second bridge wasn’t washed out made our day and saved many extra kilometers of hiking up a logging road.

A flat tire on Pete’s truck caused us to park the cars and start hiking. When we left the trucks there was little to no snow on the ground…a much different look upon our return to be told in future paragraphs.

The hike/ski in was long; it included some steep bushwhacking, ski whacking, skinning and some boulder hoping. It’s difficult to explain the emotions that we all felt when we first noticed the hut. It seemed so close yet it was still a couple of hours away….We eventually made it to the hut as darkness filled the skies. We settled ourselves in and spend a relaxed night, singing, chatting, and eating.

Sunday we hit up a nearby glacier and shredded some gnarly pow pow until wind and snow made it difficult to see and therefore to avoid any injuries we headed back to the hut a little earlier than we hoped but just before the storm hit.

I’ve never experienced such loud scouring winds. It was difficult to sleep through the night as the howling winds did not let up. Monday morning we awoke to snow in the hut and a complete white-out outside. After s solid group discussion and eventual concensus we decided that it would be wiser and safer for us to spend the day in the hut and leave the following morning. Thankfully Pete brought a satellite phone and we were able to get a weather report and report to Dan (the man of the hour) our repective work numbers and friends names to inform everyone that we would arrive a day late but that we were all okay. We spent the day fixing the door, shoveling a trench to get to the outhouse and water but mostly just relaxing to conserve energy as our food sources were low and we had to ration our supplies.

Tuesday turned out to be a brilliant day. It was a long haul to get back to the cars. We managed to sneak a couple of good turns in but mainly had to do some serious steep skiing in some seriously thick bush…Snow greeted us at the trucks but luckily did not cause much delays as the two vehicles were beefy enough to plow right through it all. We finished the day off with a fantastic dip in the hot springs and a delicious meal at the Pony.

Thanks for a fantastic weekend full of my favorite word..”adventure!”

Nov 4, 2007

Haney to Harrison and a chill Sunday

So, I awoke at 415am on Saturday morning at Trudi's place to go run the first leg of Haney to Harrison 100km relay run. I was pretty excited as its always a fun race, I haven't run on the road in a long time and I was curious how fast I could run a 10km road race...I must admit I was fairly tired and had a massive headache as I was out having a good time at Toby's the night before. We finally arrived into Haney a little early so i decided a quick 15 min nap in the car would be needed in order to get myself motivated to go out in the cold, dark, rain.... after a bunch of pre race handling we were off at 630am. So, I don't usually get off to a quick start in racing as my skill and talent comes in maintaining a certain speed over time..For some reason I was feeling quick on this particular morning so I went with it. Lucky for me, I was part of the top group that went off course and eventually chased down by a van to let us know we were off course approx 2 km into our mistake. I was with three other runners at the time and the 3 of us turned around and made our way back to the beginning of the race. At first I was bitter and upset as I was pretty sure I could have posted a solid time and this would no longer be the case. After my initial frustrations I just let it be as I realized others were in the same boat and essentially there was nothing I could do but keep on running (something I am fairly good at). It was dark, cold and wet but as my mind recovered from the whole "mistake" I was really enjoying the run and fell into a good rhythm and flow. Upon completion Trudi and I decided to run back to the car which proved to be a cold decision but a fabulous warm down to an interesting event.

I decided to go mountain biking with friends Geoff and Andrew on the North Shore. It was a fairly nice day and was excited to show them around some of the trails in my "hood". We had some fun on Bridal path and eventually I kind of got disoriented and we ended up on a new trail for me and had a blast figuring it out curious to see where it would take us. It ended up being somewhat challenging at times but with good company, a great crisp day, we all came out with huge smiles on our faces.