Monday, March 24, 2008

Skiin', eh?

(Bryn just outside Sapphire Col hut, checking out our descent path)

I spent spring break in the Canadian Rockies with Bryn and Louis. Incredible snow, pretty nice weather and the usual assortment of laughs made for a good trip. Of course, no trip of mine is complete without some (usually self-induced) antics, and this one was no exception.

To start with, it was relatively remarkable that I actually made my Denver to Calgary flight, since I, uh, didn’t exactly make my original flight out of San Jose to Denver. Somehow or another, in the mental checklist to go on a trip with Bryn and Louis (Pack? Ski boots? Beacon? Shovel? Probe? Stamina? Appetite? Endurance for Pain?), passport didn’t make it on the list. Is it just because those Canadians are so darn friendly? Or perhaps I’ve spent too much time so close to the border (Ely, Seattle, Priest Lake ID)? Or because the last time I went to Canada, I drove and only needed a driver’s license? Or simply that I just wasn’t thinking? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

To make a long story short, I have VERY, VERY nice friends and got one to drive my passport up to the airport. Then, got rescheduled onto a flight out of San Francisco and in a bout of EXTREME luck (and some of the usual state of affairs at airports these days) even scored a free shuttle ride to SFO from the airlines because they had just cancelled a flight and had to schlep a bunch of folks up to SFO. And somehow made it onto my original flight from Denver to Calgary. I think I’ve used up a bit of airport karma (to quote Genya) so it is good I don’t have any flights in the immediate future.

On to skiing. We headed to the Roger’s Pass area of Canada’s Glacier National Park. There are numerous huts at various distances and elevations, so the trip was a combination of nights in huts and snow camping. We started the week in flat creek, snow camping for 3 nights since there is only a cabin for wardens (the Canadian equivalent of park rangers). Alas, the location of the cabin was wrong on the map, and we ended up with our camp just uphill from the cabin. We discovered this when the helicopter nearly landed on top of us, and ten minutes later, a whole train of wardens skied by on the way to the hut. Oops.
Bryn loves the snow! Louis loves smoked salmon!

Spent Wednesday & Thursday night in Wheeler Hut, and of course discovered more folks with small world connections to us, between the NOLS/Widji/Santa Cruz links. When I wrote the tag line for this blog, I didn't really realize how true it was. Sometimes it feels like I don't really meet new people, just people I can't figure out how I hadn't already met!

Anyway, we day-skied from Wheeler up to Lookout Notch on Thursday, then Friday we skied up to the Sapphire Col hut (a whopping 4000 ft of elevation gain, as my thighs and rear can attest...) and then skied out on Saturday.
View down Asulkan Brook, on our way up to Lookout Notch. Note the windswept glacial moraine in the far edge of the snowfield in the foreground. According to the Louis bag of knowledge, there was a glacier there when they put in the Trans Candadian railway, so not long ago..... Now there is just a moraine. And sweet, sweet rocks. (another view of the moraine)

(descent path from Sapphire Col, on our way to Lily Glacier)

One tired Katie in Sapphire Col hut. Apparently I drifted off, only to awake with that weird feeling of people watching you, and saw Bryn and Louis staring at me. I guess I'd been making funny whinying noises while drifting off... I think it was about 6:00 PM

1 comment:

Dan said...

You have that "I think I will sleep right here..." look. :)

Looks like you had a good trip.