Winter Camping and Crowfoot Glades – March 26 and 27

With his long held desire to start winter camping, to save time at the start of a ski tour, Alex convinced us to head out winter camping. Looking for sites, we decided on the Wilcox Pass trailhead, which is at the very south end of Jasper National Park near the Icefields Center. In the winter, you get a bivvy permit and are allowed to camp near the trailhead, or in the Wilcox Creek Campground if you decide to walk in.

We loaded up the Vibe with ski and camping gear, picked up Alex once he finished work at 6 PM, and hit the road, getting to the Wilcox trailhead around 9:45 PM. We walked in, set up camping, and rehydrated the dehydrated pasta Alex earlier concocted.

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Alex rehydrating declicious pasta
Alex rehydrating his declicious pasta

We checked out the stars (sorry, no pictures – I left the tripod at home), then headed to bed for a few z’s. In the morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, made coffee, and enjoyed some oatmeal surrounded by the beautiful Columbia Icefields.

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Is there any better time for coffee than a winter sunrise in the mountains?

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Packed up, we hit the road, and got to the parking spot on the shoulder for Crowfoot Glades in almost perfect timing to meet Paul. We toured into the glades for a beautiful day of skiing surprisingly soft and powdery snow. We skied a short open slope early in the day, expecting the sun to come up and destabilize the snowpack.

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Our mountains are incredibly gorgeous!
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One at a time across the open slope

Heather decided to show off a unique technique for skin removal, which made skin removal a breeze for the rest of the day!

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The skies were a mix of light clouds and solar heating did not have a big impact through the day. With some confidence in the local conditions, we rode the ridge in the early afternoon on our last run. We snuck down through the gully, showing off our short turn skills to each other, and headed back to Calgary.

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Paul hits a jump
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Heather’s a moose!

 

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West Nile Trail Pics March 2016

On March 13, Alex, Paul, Anne, Heather, and I headed up to the well anchored slopes of West Nile for some turns. West Nile has treated us well, with fairly guarded slopes (with some overhead exposure) and has held fairly good snow. The trees in the upper two thirds are well spaced for some turns and the access is fairly short over the Bow river.

On the way up, we ran into Adam and Sydney, and combined forces for a couple laps.

Anne and Paul Contemplate Some Lines on Grand Daddy Couloir
Anne and Paul contemplate some lines on Grand Daddy Couloir

Anne and Paul Contemplate Some Lines on Grand Daddy Couloir

Anne Rocks the Mountain Scenery
Anne rocks the mountain scenery
Heather is Confused by Alex's Fiddling
Heather is confused by Alex’s fiddling
Later, Heather was still confused by Alex's continuing fiddling, and assumed moose form
Later, Heather was still confused by Alex’s continuing fiddling, and assumed moose form
Anne gets a surprise turn full of branches
Anne gets a surprise turn full of branches
Skinning up for the way out, Alex decides to look like a hero in a Hollywood film
Skinning up for the way out, Alex decides to look like a hero in a Hollywood film

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Heather makes her best throw
Heather makes her best throw
Alex is unphased
Alex is unphased